Before rejecting the idea, think again. The truth is that only a tiny fraction of a marketer’s time is actually spent on marketing – that is, on creating demand for a product or service, shaping the brand, and supporting sales.
How is that possible? Just look at the number of communications channels a marketer has to manage in today’s multi-channel world – and add to each communications channel the necessity for planning and budgeting, delivering or implementing, tracking and reporting on each one.
Add managing the process of distributing marketing and sales support materials in an indirect sales organization and ensuring compliance with brand and regulatory standards. Traditional marketing died under its own weight.
If marketing is dead, what about sales? It’s in danger, too. In many companies, sales reps spend 20-30 hours a month recreating (and customizing or personalizing) existing marketing materials, and another 20-40 hours a month creating materials from scratch for local campaigns. That means that out of about 160 scheduled work hours each month, they’re spending 25-40% of their time on basic marketing tasks, not selling.
So what’s the solution? Harness the power of technology as the centralized enabler of data, marketing assets, analytics, and fulfillment (print, video, digital media) to free up talented sales and marketing professionals to focus on their core jobs. This means that corporate marketing can focus on campaign strategy, delivering and creating messages and materials that sales people want to use and customers will respond to, while field marketing and local sales use their knowledge of customers and markets to personalize and target the messages appropriately.
The buzz-word for this is sales enablement. Sales enablement starts from the idea that the best sales and marketing organizations connect through a single portal that automatically allows for customization of sales tools while ensuring compliance with corporate standards.
Once the marketing team sets up the parameters and automation, the process is entirely self-service. Local marketing and sales reps access the centralized repository of sales support materials, select deliverables that best match their customer’s needs based on selected segmentation criteria, customize and personalize them, and deliver them automatically to prospects.
With on demand access to accurate data on what tools and messages sales uses, as well as results tracking and reporting on every digital message, marketing can quickly refine the process to deliver more of what works – and less of what doesn’t. It’s dynamic, efficient, and simpler than any other way to deliver results in a distributed marketing environment.
Best of all, the resulting personalized communications to prospective customers generate higher response because they’re relevant to the target audience.
Marketing is dead — long live sales enablement through distributed marketing automation!