As many of us are entering ‘budgeting season’ for 2010, we are all looking at that marketing budget line and trying to determine how much to allocate. Getting a return on your marketing investment is crucial these days and at its most fundamental level, marketing is about selling.
Far too often, we (at M&IT) observe marketing and sales departments within an organization that don’t communicate and as a result, are not on the same page. Your marketing and sales strategies should be 100-per-cent in-line together. If they are not, then your return on your marketing investment is going to be very thin.
Both your marketing and sales teams should be able to:
- Articulate your unique selling proposition
- Recite your organization’s top goal(s) for the next 12 months
- Articulate your target audience
- Quote research and statistics (both internal and external) that substantiates your industry, product and/or service
- Drive the audience to the same website and use technology together (i.e. social networking sites such as Facebook should be co-managed)
- Understand what market-intelligence your organization needs to advance and be working together to collect that data either quantitatively or qualitatively.
An Unaligned Example: The organization’s goal is to build a database of clients and prospects. The target market is business travellers and meeting/event planners. The marketing department has decided to run a slick branding campaign to launch a new look and message – not matching the organization’s goal. To do this successfully, they need to divert some marketing funds to target consumers – not supporting the target audience. The sales team is out selling/prospecting, but is not passing along lists and names they are collecting, such as business cards, association membership lists, trade show and conference attendee lists, etc. The result at the end of the year? The organization will not have met its goal and will not have been successful in penetrating the target market. Sadly, because marketing is harder to quantify than sales, the blame will fall on the marketing efforts and, ultimately, on the media or vehicles chosen.
If this seems like common sense to you, then you already have an advantage. Sadly, from our perspective, the above is not common sense and is not frequently put into practice. As you are planning for 2010, I strongly encourage you to align your goals, target audience and tactics to maximize any marketing investment you make.