Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department

Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department

I love this quote…

Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department

I really believe that it’s hugely important to integrate marketing into almost every part of your business…

It’s not just sales and advertising

And I personally think there’s a big difference between ‘marketing’ and ‘sales and advertising’. There are certainly crossovers, but so many people associate ‘marketing’ with telesales calls that interrupt your evening.  Just about every taxi driver comes to this conclusion if they ask me what I do… maybe I look like a spammer!

Seth

While I was thinking about this quote, I stumbled upon a video by Seth Godin from a Software conference in 2008, Seth is the author of best selling marketing books ‘The Dip’, ‘Permission Marketing’ and ‘Purple Cow’, among others.

The title of the video echoes the quote, but the video covers a huge amount. It’s about an hour long, but well worth watching. He uses examples of companies that punch above their weight by integrating marketing into the development of products/services and delivery of business processes (whether this was by design or it just came naturally). Seth gets into this at about 20 minutes in.

Seth Godin Marketing video

Product development

Marketing is often used just to sell products ‘when they’re ready’, but should be used to help design your brand, products and services. By researching the potential target audience, you may find out that you’re targeting the wrong people, or there’s a different use for your product. This can prevent you wasting a lot of time and money perfectly executing a plan that, in the end, has no sustainable revenue stream.

Your audience might answer your open questions with responses that you’d never thought about, or ask you questions that take you down a completely different route.

Website

And exactly the same applies to the development of a website… It’s normal to see projects after the web development is completed and the new website launched. Marketing for the site is often only considered when it becomes clear that visitors and sales don’t appear when you hit the ‘go live’ button.

The tools used to market a website will differ from case to case, depending on the industry, product/service, budgets and objectives, but typical channels would include things like social media, Pay per Click marketing (sponsored search engine results), and Search Engine Optimisation.

By only considering these things after the website is built, you may need to go back to your web developer to ask for changes.

For example:

Adding landing pages for Pay per Click campaigns.
Social media integration – e.g. so that messages are displayed nicely in Facebook or Google Plus, or to make it easy to Tweet about a blog post.
Website restructure & technical amends for a more search engine friendly website.
Template re-designs to include calls to action, newsletter sign-up box or additional text.
Web Analytics integration so you can track and improve results based on testing.
And if you have ongoing campaigns, you’ll want to make sure your messages are consistent, and that you can track when people visit as a result.

Maile Ohye, Developer programs tech lead at Google explains how SEO should be integrated in her video “5 common mistakes in SEO (and 6 good ideas)”. Again, the video covers much more than the topic here, and if you’re getting in SEO, is worth watching to till the end.

Sales

And back to those annoying telesales calls… well there are companies who do tremendously well by throwing enough mud at the wall.

A detached sales team that systematically runs through a bought list of phone numbers, may generate fantastic volumes of sales. Money is one thing…

But if you could integrate marketing into the selection, delivery and follow up, while it may be more time consuming and costly, you have a better chance of maintaining a good reputation, long term customers and referrals.

Some examples:

With better targeting, and segmentation of your audience, you can make sure that your messages are more relevant, and can avoid trying to sell something inappropriate.
Offering something of value, a free guide or sample for example, could warm up a cold lead.
Better research, and testing of sales and marketing messages could lead to improved conversion rates on sales calls.
A CRM system (Customer Relationship Management System) could help you make timely permission based follow up calls after an event, or at a time that the customer says they might be interested in your products.  Or it could allow you to cross sell with a product that compliments something they have already bought.
Well informed sales staff, who understand the brand guidelines and product benefits can help the customer decide.

Customer service

It’s painful to see companies that spend fortunes on wonderful marketing and advertising campaigns, but don’t have the stock, or are represented by customer service staff who either don’t know about the product or offer, or don’t seem to care. Making sure that marketing, logistics and customer support all speak to each other can help prevent this wasteful situation.

And whilst social media is often used as another method to broadcast brand messages and sales promotions, certain companies have used it incredible well to deal with customer queries and complaints.

Amex have a Twitter account devoted to just that, and you can see here as their ‘branding’ account responds in a friendly way, and points this customer in the direction of the ‘customer service’ account.

This was from Kiss Metric’s article “10 Ways to Make Customers Fall in Love with Your Business“.

social media customer serviceIn a 2011 study by Maritz and Evolve24, they discovered that of the people surveyed who had made a complaint via Twitter, only 29% received a response. But interestingly, of those people who did receive a response, 83% said that they “loved” or “liked” receiving a response.

Bearing in mind their initial contact was to complain.

Communication

As well as being aware of your competitors, market trends, planning interesting campaigns, tracking results and ensuring your have logistics in place to serve the customer; what effective integrated marketing really comes down to is listening to your customers, and responding sympathetically.

Your customer can be your marketer

When you’ve thoroughly listened, to understand your customers’ needs, to respond to their problems and help, then you can start to unlock this secret door. Your customer stays with you, buys again, and starts recommending your product or service.

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