There is an open question posed in this title, “what is the purpose of marketing?” This may seem obvious – you may answer;
“to shout about your brand”, “to run social media”, “to create websites”, “to create campaigns to generate more interest”, “to reach your target market”, “to get your brand into magazines and papers with PR”, “to improve your search rating within Google”…
Essentially, these are all activities conducted by a marketing team, either internally or outsourced, but what really is the purpose of marketing in the eyes of the key stakeholders?
The sales team have a tough job on their hands. Most are tied into high targets which have a competitive monetary influence on the salary that they take home, this can both motivate and cause stress depending on the individual. So, in order to maximise their own success or reduce the pressure of the job, what are sales teams looking for from a marketing team?
Most salespeople I have met (and trust me, I work in the same office as 50 of them) need marketing to be aligned to their sales goals, supporting them to achieve their targets. But what does this mean in real terms?
- Marketing messages should be closely aligned to sales messages
- Marketing should be assisting sales in collateral support, such as pitch decks, proposal documents and sales collateral, ensuring it is on brand but also fit for purpose
- Marketing should be using intelligent techniques to create demand for a company’s product or service, when executed correctly this delivers marketing qualified (warmer) leads which the sales team can progress, rather than having to fish for cold leads
- Marketing should be using intelligent techniques to nurture and score leads, allowing them to determine when an opportunity is ready for a sales call, therefore only utilising the salespersons time when leads are most likely to convert
Marketing is often a juggling act, balancing the key deliverables of your long-term marketing strategy, with ad hoc priority projects thrown into the mix, alongside the trialling of new technologies and theories. For both internal and outsourced marketing teams, it can at times feel like a thankless job, due to the age-old perception held that marketing is intangible and unable to report on the impact of activity or ROI.
But what would marketing tell you their purpose was? From my experience, this is a really interesting question, as it can differ depending on the focus of the team. For creative, brand driven marketing teams – they want to be trending, they want to win awards for their creativity, and they want their brand to be talked about across the digital space for maximum brand awareness. For campaign and opportunity focused marketing teams – they want to be maximising ROI for their spend on campaigns, generating exciting opportunities for sales teams and maximising customer spend through trackable campaigns. Ultimately in real terms this means:
- Demonstrating the importance of marketing for the whole organisation
- Enhancing metrics, whether this be in delivering opportunities or growing brand awareness and traffic
- Creating a smooth, brand cohesive user journey for prospects and clients
A business owner is often working long hours to make the business a success, pulled on by many people within the organisation as the ultimate decision maker, when it comes to spend and investment. Time is therefore very previous but also very scarce.
A business owner thinks less about the separated individual functions (and therefore activities) within the business and more about how these functions work with each other. Results focused, a business owner is looking for increased opportunities to be generated, and client/customer spend to deliver more revenue, whilst maximising the profit margins of the business. This is one of many functions within the business, and so they are likely to be seeking the guidance of a marketing team, internal or outsourced, to deliver the right activity to meet the desired metrics. What does this mean in real terms?
- Marketing should be working closely with sales to deliver tangible results for the investment
- Marketing should be building intelligence on competitors and the market before coming up with creative ideas on how to reach the target audience in the most effective method
- Marketing is a central function within the business and should be involved in cross-function conversations on communication and brand
What does this mean?
To sum this up into a neat conclusion for this article, the purpose of marketing can differ depending on the stakeholder who is viewing this function. There is, however, one common theme that runs through all three – that being alignment to opportunities generated for the business. Sales need these opportunities as part of their prospecting, a business owner needs to be assured of return before investing and marketing want to prove that their creative ideas can deliver results.
Why do we care so much about this? Because Roots to Market are a Demand Generation agency with a sales attitude. Born from a sales background, we develop strategies that are focused on delivering marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to sales teams using a mixture of direct, automated and inbound marketing.
Are you in need of more opportunities and looking to partner with a marketing agency who are serious about results and driving opportunities? Get in touch today, 01392 796702, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.