Marketing, sales need singular platform

I enjoyed reading your three-part series on the obstacles that face marketing today. At times it seems that only those directly involved in the marketing process truly understand the complexity and the difficulties that need to be overcome. It is the third in the series that I would like to comment on in particular, 'The War Within: Don't Fight the Sales Staff.'

I enjoyed reading your three-part series on the obstacles that face marketing today. At times it seems that only those directly involved in the marketing process truly understand the complexity and the difficulties that need to be overcome. It is the third in the series that I would like to comment on in particular, ‘The War Within: Don’t Fight the Sales Staff.’

Aligning sales and marketing strategically is only one step, albeit an important one, in reducing the traditional tension between the two groups. In order to maximize the ROI on sales and marketing efforts and to eliminate the disconnect, an efficient, singular platform on which to execute the operations of marketing is also required.

I will admit, I do run a marketing operations management (MOM) company, but I started the company based on the frustrations I experienced first hand in my career.

I have been in the sales and marketing world since I left biz school in the early ’90s. When I was a district sales manager with a major CPG company, the reason I didn’t get along with marketing had nothing to do with the fact that we weren’t aligned strategically. It had everything to do with how difficult it was to execute the programs they created.

Communication was poor. Getting the materials for in-store was inefficient (most of the time I had no idea who to go to for what I needed), ad hoc and error prone. Timing was out-of-synch with the national portions of the programs. Localization and/or personalization were virtually impossible (or I bastardized the brand)…etc., etc.

Then I moved to product marketing with a global semiconductor distributor and nothing changed. For example, designing and executing programs with a supplier partner for our hundreds of branches throughout the world (even just in NA) took me weeks, if not months. I am sure that with every program there were salespeople saying: ‘Who is this guy?’ because of the inconsistent delivery of information and the actual materials.

The fact is executing marketing programs is complex and time consuming. It is custom manufacturing every single time. Unfortunately, it is custom manufacturing without a clearly defined, documented and consistently understood process. In fact, to date I have not met a company that has truly engineered its marketing operations management process to maximize its efficiency and effectiveness (with the end goal of properly arming sales). That does not mean they don’t exist but it does mean they are few and far between.

It’s our belief at marketingisland that the effectiveness of the marketing and sales relationship can be greatly strengthened if the organization created a singular platform (engineered process and fully leveraged technology) for marketing execution. By doing this, all stakeholders would minimize the inefficiencies and frustrations in dealing with one another. They would have one place to go to provide instruction and to get the information and materials they need. They would be on the same page more often and because of the efficiency gains realized, they would have more time to mutually work on strategy and to better understand spend patterns and ultimately ROI.

Bryan Bogensberger, president, marketingisland