There has been a significant shift in the structure of marketing as digital tools and marketing approaches allow for more effective ways to grow your company. The most notable change is within scale-ups. Companies with an abundance of energy and wanting to scale their marketing.
The important questions these scale-ups are asking are, what should the role of marketing be in our organisation? And what marketing roles/functions are important to our goals?
The Collaborative Fit of Sales & Marketing
Increasingly marketing is playing a larger role in fulfilling the whole sales pipeline from identifying potential customers to completing a sale. This does not mean the death of sales. It means the function of sales and how they are structured alongside marketing has evolved.
Many scale-ups with a sales function then bring in marketing as an administration role to support them. There is a purpose to this and a short term benefit that eases the pressure on sales. But in the majority of cases this means missing out on the scalable growth that is enabled by digital marketing.
For scalable growth a defined marketing strategy that works alongside sales is essential, this strategy should be of equal importance to your sales strategy. Implementation of this marketing strategy should allow you to turn your pipeline into a scalable, measurable entity. By treating marketing as administration for sales, you won’t grow as quickly as you potentially could.
Strategic level digital marketers have become well adapted to finding the people in your target market, and can target them specifically. Then engage them and follow through to the sale. When a marketing strategy is implemented well, you gain useful measurable data that you can use to continually improve your sales pipeline. Your marketing function can and should be accountable for this digital pipeline. Just as sales are accountable for their sales goals.
However, for this to work, you need a marketer that cares about meaningful data. Website clicks, ad clicks, social likes are nice to have but you need to scale and you need sales.
Marketing is not something to add on at the end. The best marketing is not fluff, evil, misleading or coercive. The best marketing is an honest representation of a product, based on an understanding of a need that your buyers have. Marketing should be there from the start. Ideally even as your product comes into inception to help define the problem it is solving. Marketing should work with you to develop a story that describes how you fulfil that defined customer need. It’s creating an honest narrative that should also feed into your product development.
Marketing is in every touchpoint you have with your customers, from your website, to your support. EVERYTHING. At every customer touchpoint there is a customer experience that strengthens or weakens your brand and your reputation.
Marketing and the Role of Your Product Manager / Account Manager
Perhaps you have a Product Manager or person in an equivalent role who has been working with your customers to develop your product or service. This person, if they are a good listener, will be full of useful customer insights. They are likely the closest person in your company to your day-to-day customer experience and needs. They are a vital part of developing your marketing story. Your marketing story is crucial for developing your ‘why’, why make the purchase? What problem does your product solve?
Marketing needs this person. They need to tap into this gold mine of information. Marketing and this customer facing function can collaboratively build a story, establish how to pitch your USP, and how to market any changes, new versions, product updates and features.
This is where it is also helpful for both the Product Manager and Marketing Director to work with the engineering team to build a companywide customer understanding. They will help to align your product to customer needs and to effectively tell a story to explain the ‘why’ to your customer.
What Steps Should You Take Next?
Ask yourself and your leadership team, what should the role of marketing be in our organisation? And what marketing roles/functions are important to our goals?
Align marketing with your growth goals, make it measurable, scalable and accountable. Make it honest. Integrate marketing into every aspect of your company to increase company wide connectivity with your customer needs.
Growth Marketing Specialist