Gone are the days when marketing didn’t have a budget. Wait! Is that still true today for your company?
There’s a myth out there among upper management that when the belt needs to be tightened, one of the first things to cut is marketing because it has no bearing on revenue. According to the 2017-2018 Gardner CMO Spend Survey, of those 300 US and UK companies surveyed, marketing had 11.3% of the overall budget in 2017, and many are anticipating a decrease in marketing spending in 2018 due economic factors. That’s not good for sales.
It’s true that marketing drives revenue and if your company is cutting your marketing budget, it will eventually reflect in low sales numbers. In our short attention span lives, the companies (and their salespeople) that are always front and center are the ones we remember. Regardless of how persistent a sales rep is they can’t be in front of customers 24/7. If you aren’t reminding your customers who you are, why they like doing business with you, and what problems you are solving for them, they are likely to leave. The role of the marketer is to engage customers and prospects in a cost-effective, inclusive manner while providing the sales department with a continual stream of leads and retaining customers you already have.
The second part of this story is that CMOs have to justify their purchasing decisions by showing they can deliver the return on MarTech spending and that they too have marketing talents. The changing role of the CMO is not only to direct marketing initiatives but to participate as a creative asset in working alongside their team. In short, big salaries are requiring justification. CMOs will need to search out MarTech solutions that provide deliverables in multiple areas. Simply put, the more revenue brought in, the more the marketing department gets to spend. Cost-effectiveness and sticking to budgets (just like other departments) is crucial to CMO survival.
The lie that marketing and sales have nothing to do with each other, as people and as departments couldn’t be further from the truth, especially at successful companies. Marketing departments that ‘talk to’ the sales department and are aware of what the sales side of the business needs and assists them has a proven record of marketing success and increased revenue. A good example of ‘cross-teaming’ for sales growth is in the real estate industry. Because they operate in smaller franchises, many hire their own marketing team under a corporate hub. They can arm their sales people with marketing options to drive sales and grow their company because they interact with them. Perhaps we have been a bit too complacent and controlling in the financial services industry to realize we are behind a decade or two.
Another myth with no merit is that all marketing initiatives at a company should be in-house. There are many product and service-oriented agencies that specialize in the financial services industry. Companies that find talent through agencies that specialize in what they lack, find themselves ahead of the competition. If you’re looking for a specialized marketing person or a team of people, I urge you to look outside and hire an agency, MarTech provider, or a contractor to help drive sales revenue upward in 2018. Your job depends on it.
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