Who We Serve Marketing Organizations

Description Challenges Best Practices

Marketing has a number of strategic and tactical responsibilities. The specifics can vary dramtically from one company to another; but they are typically very broad, spanning the entire buying cycle. For our purposes, we will define the marketing organization as encompassing traditional marketing activities and product marketing. The distinctions between the two - and between product marketing and product development - are not always clear cut. Because product marketing is more directly involved in the revenue generating process and is tied to the revenue organization, we include it in the marketing organization. Given that, strategic marketing functions include:

  • Corporate branding

  • Establishing and maintaining a presence in the marketplace

  • Generating leads

  • Promoting and supporting supporting the sales process by providing a variety of collateral and other resources

  • Providing data and feedback to product development for new products and product enhancements

Just a sampling of the specific marketing activities that might be conducted to achieve those strategic goals includes: 

  • Defining target markets

  • Conducting market research

  • Developing and implementing a branding strategy

  • Developing creative materials (e.g., logo, Powerpoint templates, corporate color palletes, etc.)

  • Designing, developing, and maintaining the corporate website, social media, and other online presence

  • Creating advertising and messaging

  • Developing and leading media and public relations activities

  • Creating and distributing product data sheets

  • Planning, creating, delivering, and/or managing seminars, workshops, conferences, and other events 

  • Creating and maintaining a library of reference stories, case studies, and whitepapers and other content and collateral

To successfully perform those functions requires a diverse set of skills and expertise, and corresponding personalities. Whether those skills are part of the internal staff or outsourced will be based on the needs of the organization. There is often a significant amount of outsourcing, which may be cost-effective but presents its own set of challenges. Some of skills needed are:

  • A variety of creative skills (graphic design, writing, etc.)

  • Technical skills

  • Analytical and research skills

  • Logistics and project management

  • Strategic planning

The challenges for marketing are as broad and diverse as their responsibilities. Some are strategic and others tactical. We will focus on those that have the most direct impact on the ability to generate revenue. In that context, marketing challenges include:

  • Gathering and analyzing market data to identify target markets

  • Creating customer profiles for each key player involved in the purchase decision within target markets

  • Cutting through the massive amount of marketing communications most people receive to engage individuals and be recognized

  • Establishing your position in the marketplace and being perceived as a viable option by prospects

  • Designing, developing, and maintaining the corporate website and other online presence - making certain both the content and design are engaging, informative, well-functioning, and up-to-date

  • Generating interest for your products and services

  • Qualifying leads

  • Maintaining effective engagement with contacts until they meet the criteria to be passed on to sales

  • Gathering and analyzing data on competitors

  • Developing collateral, sales tools, and other resources that are effective in promoting sales

  • Helping the target market(s) understand how they will use your products and/or services

  • Gathering customer success data and, when relevant, quantifying the benefits that can be realized by using your products and/or services

  • Gathering, analyzing, and prioritizing customer feedback for product enhancements and new products

  • Managing a very diverse staff, in terms of skills and personalities, and coordinating their efforts

  • Demonstrating and quantifying the contribution of marketing to generating revenue, when many activities are far removed from the actual sales transaction

You can review our approach to addressing these challenges and how to sequence them in our model for the development of a marketing organization.

As with the challenges, we will focus the list of best practices on those most directly related to generating revenue.

  • To effectively support sales, the marketing and sales processes should be aligned, in terms of strategy, sub-process inputs and outputs (e.g., lead qualification criteria), terminology, data, etc.

  • A comprehensive marketing plan should be developed and implemente - with periodic reviews and revisions based on key performance indicators - that integrates the entire range of functions and spans the buying cycle

  • Consider how every interaction with the target market(s) can be an opportunity to gather marketing information; but respect respondents time by not overburdening them with too many questions or requests

  • Use market research and sales data to continually refine your messaging and expand it to include all key players involved in making a purchase decision in each of your target market(s)

  • Educating the market on how your products and/or services are used, and the benefits that can be realized from that use can cost-effectively serve many strategic and tactical goals (e.g., establishing brand, initiating sales cycles, etc.) - if it is focused on educating, not selling

  • Develop and implement the messaging and means to initiate buying cycles by moving prospects in target market(s) from not looking to being qualified leads that are actively looking to buy

  • Implement tracking systems to enable the calculation of lead conversion rates and a revenue-based ROI for each marketing activity

  • Develop 360 degree feedback systems within the revenue organization and with customers to identify, gather, and distribute key information and collateral to support the sales process

We provide a comprehensive range of development services to help marketing organizations improve their performance. We can help with specific development efforts or assist in putting together an overall performance improvement plan. You can learn more about specific services and review our model of the development of a marketing organization. To best accomodate your needs, we offer a variety of services. They include:

  • Instructor-led programs

  • Distance-learning programs (web and telephone)

  • Individual coaching

  • Curriculum development

  • Self-paced workbooks and other instructional materials

  • Job aids and other support tools

  • Process mapping and process refinements

  • Change management

  • Project management



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