Posted Under: marketing manager,relationship with engineering,subject matter experts
How do your co-workers view Marketing? Do they understand what you do, and why it isn’t Sales? Show them some science.
Leon Sterling of Compelling Concepts wrote last week about the blurred (or missing) distinction between Marketing and Sales in the minds of most people in a given organization.
True, Marketing is strategy and Sales is execution, but even that nuance is lost on, say, a draftsman or a QA lead or the bloke who runs the warehouse. Many of these people think that the main difference between Marketing and Sales is that Marketing lies and Sales lies even more.
I spend a lot of time with software engineers, and my rapport with them is important.
- Why? Because I need to get information out of their heads and into marketing content.
- Do they care what it’s for? No.
- Why not? Because they don’t realize that I need to feed the strategy (Marketing) beast so that the company can have some execution (Sales).
- Would it be better if they cared? Yes, I think so.
- Why? It’s possible to show these people that their contributions to Marketing can help move the Sales needle. That will resonate with some of them, and they will participate more actively.
- What should we do? I’m glad you asked.
Show them the marketing science
Consider that the reason that your co-workers don’t honor your work is that they don’t see the science in it.
You’re a marketing manager; do you feel the science in what you do? Is your organization helping you to promote that science?
You know what I mean by “science”: the data you collect that helps you justify your marketing spend.
Try starting conversations with your co-workers and subject matter experts with sentences like these:
- “81 percent of physicians online visit sites with content expressly for health care professionals. These physicians are our target market, and that’s why I need your expertise to help me develop the pieces we’re going to place there.” (Marketing metrics)
- “We get about 12 percent conversion based on the keyword ‘IT service management’ and over 22 percent conversion based on ‘service catalog.’ That’s why I want to interview you on customer requirements for the catalog.” (Web analytics)
- “In April we posted once a week to our blog. In May and June we posted two or three times a week, and three new analysts started following us. These people are influential, and I need you to help me keep blogging good content so we can ride and support that influence.” (Content frequency)
You know the data are there. If they weren’t, you wouldn’t have a job. Savvy marketing managers realize that they can turn the data not only outward, to help the sales effort, but also inward, to evangelize their co-workers.
They have solid marketing data and they’re not afraid to use it.
John White of venTAJA Marketing is a marketing communications writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Marketing Communications Writer.”
photo credit: Rob Ireton