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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. – Albert Einstein

The 80/20 rule in Sales and Marketing needs a make over

 

Can’t we just get along? Especially now, when we are planning for the new year, our goals should always be in alignment.  But are they?

Sales and marketing have been tasked to work together to accomplish the growth expectations of the company for years.  However, sales and marketing have traditionally had separate agendas and therefore separate goals for their departments.  In the spirit of the holiday, or just the right thing for the business, its critical for a company’s growth expectations to get these two areas on the same page.  Marketing is funded to support the revenue growth and therefore should have a key partnership with the sales teams.  And in the same breath, the sales team should be invested in the programs that marketing creates and deploys.  These two areas have to be tied at the hip so to speak.

I know, you are sitting there, and saying, “I have heard this before”, however nothing seems to change.  There was a recent IDC study, citing the 80/20 rule, that stated “up to 80% of the content [that] marketing generates is not used by sales, even though a lot of it is specifically created for sales and channel enablement.”  Every marketer and sales person should be stunned.  These are your dollars that are not being used efficiently.  80% of your marketing budget is not being used by the sales team.   We should have an 80/20 rule… but it should be 80% is used by sales and 20% is the corporate, investor pieces that are needed from a corporate perspective.  As we plan for 2013 budgets, knowing that 80% of the content developed is NOT used by sales, is problematic.  This is the number one reason why I scream from the mountain tops that the plans for sales and marketing should be the same.   This isn’t about communication, this is about tactically deploying programs that make sense for sales and for marketing goals.  This is about effective use of our budgets and capitalization of our marketing spend.  This is about fundamentally getting on the same page with our teams, and ensuring everyone understands where we are headed. If something isn’t working… let’s switch it up and maximize those dollars.  Let’s communicate effectively with each other.  Let’s work together and ensure we are spending and planning new programs that work.

 

About Sondra Boroff , Insight One

Sondra Boroff  is a marketing consultant with more than 15 years of experience. She works closely with companies to develop comprehensive marketing strategies. Sondra also has extensive expertise working with global sales teams and provides value to organizations by helping marketing teams maximize their investments, while creating materials that will benefit sellers. Contact Sondra today for a complementary content assessment and analysis for 2013 planning.

 

Challenging yourselves and pushing forward in 2012

I was raised by small business entrepreneurs.  So frankly, I have an affinity to small and mid-size businesses.  I have been thinking recently about marketing strategy and how the positioning of your business can help push you forward in 2012.  My family always says, what is Marketing Strategy, what does that mean… what do you make…?  When I think of marketing strategy I think of  one of my favorite quotes from Abraham Lincoln,  “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my axe.”  I think Abe said it so well, I help companies sharpen their message to their markets.

My family again, pushes… what does that mean… what do you do?  I like to look at  your market, your business, and how your customers use what you sell, and how they benefit from it.  I can help you put a strategy together.   This helps you can divide and conquer. You can stop focusing on your competition and you start focusing on how your customer feel about you and your product.  This is an important shift.  I find more times than not, this shift will keep your energies on the right thing and your competition will be chasing you…The strategy is also important from an internal perspective as well. It is important that your employees, family members, and friends, what I like to call your ambassadors, are all speaking the same language.  Your customers will hear the right message the same way, each and every time.

I am extremely passionate about what I do and how I can provide tangible value to companies.  It is something I research all the time.  Small and Medium sized business just as much as Enterprise sized organizations, need a strategy to ensure they are focusing on the right thing and getting the positive attention they so much deserve.

A few things that I think all companies can benefit from:

1.  Check your competition  – what kinds of words are they using to describe themselves… are you using the same ones?  Perhaps there is a more powerful way to tell your story.

2.  Focus on your customers – I find companies (of all sizes) focus on what their competition are doing.  Focus your energy on your customers.  Keep them satisfied and happy.  You will see a shift and your competition will be chasing you.

3.  Network – Businesses of all sizes need to be in the community.  This doesn’t mean you have to be in every group out there… but when you go to your next Super Bowl party, talk about your business, when you are at Starbucks picking up a coffee – talk about what you do.  You never know where your next customer will come from.  It is about taking pride in what you do and talking about it.

Contact me to learn more…

Social Network….will it overtake the Internet?

Since the dawn of the social network, there have been questions about where this will all go. As marketing strategist come up with new tips and tricks to push their clients messages farther, the social network is something that is coming more and more into the mix.  Today, corporations are seeking strategists, bloggers, and other tech savvy folks that can help navigate through this new sea of options.

So what does this all mean for organizations… It means that the landscape has changed. In March 2010 Facebook overtook Google as far as market share, according to an article, Facebook Overtakes Google as Most Popular U.S. Website, written by Sam Gustin.  The article indicates that Facebook grew 185% in one week over the same exact week in the prior year.  This indicates that Facebook is taking great strides to continue to grow their market.    Although this data is not conclusive, it definitely showcases that all marketers should include social marketing in the overall strategy.  Many organizations are having great success with LinkedIn, Blogging, and other social networks other than Facebook.

The internet is never going to go away, content is always being created and will always be searched for, therefore the need for access to that information is still critical.  However the way people access that information may be through their social network instead of directly through an internet site like Google.  It is important that organizations make room in their strategy for new networks, new ideas, and new strategies.

Feeling Connected in this thing called the Web

Why is it that Social Marketing is becoming so important for organizations?  Why do organizations and corporations have to think about viral marketing?  What are blogs and why are they so important to my brand identity?  These questions and many more are facing corporations everyday.  In a blink of an eye, people went from receiving mailers about products and services, to email, to online websites, to now a richly social environment.  So what does this mean to large organizations and how should they prepare for this next step?  Well, strategy and understanding is always the first place to start.

Many organizations are fearful of these “social” tactics.  Could they impact the brand of the company?  How does it work? I think today, more than ever Social Marketing needs to be part of the overall strategy for organizations.  Goldman Sachs recently invested 450 million dollars in Facebook.  It is high-time that we all realized that Facebook and other social media outlets are not a fade and should be embraced instead of ignored.   It is a different tactic and should be thought about in a different light.  This is a very involved medium.  There is no pushing a button and not getting a response.  In the strategy that organizations build, you must think about the customer in every step.  This is a critical piece the entire equation.  Social Marketing is about just that, being social.  It is about having two-way conversations with customers, giving them the opportunity to learn about your products and services in a very informative but approachable way. Social marketing should be looked at as a huge opportunity for organizations to really get to know their customers.  To learn from each other and to share with one another during many stages of the product life cycle.

In addition to Facebook, there are many other options that are very useful investments for organizations.  One thing that I think not enough organizations are doing is Blogging.  Blogging is doing exactly what you see right in front of you… It’s a written piece, a perspective, a thought from an organization.  I like the way Google handles their corporate blog.  It shares updates from a product perspective, but it also has a “voice” to the piece.  It allows users to interact at a different level and they can comment and like the articles.  Again, it’s about the two-way communication.  In addition I believe that Microsoft does another good job of creating Mavens within the company.  Like most companies, I am sure there is someone or several people who are “experts”.  They can also be a voice of expertise for the company.  It provides an intimate way for customers to access some of these thought leaders that I am sure in every organization.  These people are important and should be used to increase your coverage, thus increase your brand.

All of these tactics and several more are easy to implement and important for the next generation of tactics.  All of these things help consumers feel connected to their brands and companies of choice.  It appeals to them because they feel as if they have a voice in their transformation of products and the growth of the organization moving forward.  Customer-centric organizations are implementing these tactics and many more, because they know that their customer are going to guide their product development and go to market strategies for years to come.  Helping customers and organizations be connected is what Social Marketing brings to the table.

Sum up 2010

Recently I was reading Mari Smith’s blog, My One-Word Theme For 2011: Commitment. She speaks of picking one word that you can use to drive yourself forward or in her case, commit to for the year. I have thought about this quite a bit over the course of the last couple of days. As we leave 2010 I believe the word that summed up my year is “Learning”. I think this year was one for great learning. In 2010 I finally finished my MBA and that was a great triumph for me. I started to apply those learnings to my work to ensure that everything I do is measurable and valuable. I think 2010 I learned quite a bit about myself personally and professionally. I am a very thoughtful and strong leader. I use new technology to push the objectives we have further and to the next level. It’s a dynamic place and one I am fortunate to be in. None of those things would have happened if I wasn’t a constant student, learning new tricks and tips.

So, as I think about 2011, I wonder, what would my one word be? What would I want to accomplish? The word that seems to resonate the most for me is Abundance. I want to create a professional and personal life that is full and complete. I think the learnings that I have acquired over the last year have provided me with great tools and now I am in a place to put them into action and ensure that I meet my personal and professional goals. What would your word be? What could you select as a word to drive you to the next level in your own life? It’s an interesting question and I would love to hear your thoughts.

A Little About Me…

Marketing came easy to me, even as a child.  I remember selling Girl Scout cookies and being the top seller in San Diego, year after year… it wasn’t that I was a particularly good sales person… I don’t even like selling that much. It was that I had a plan and knew how to execute on that plan to get the results I needed to be successful.  Today, I do the same thing that I learned so many years ago, with more sophistication and punch.  I am able to strategize thoroughly to understand a market, develop tactics that work, deploy on them, and track and measure the success.   Just like when I was a child, I am able to work with all kinds of people throughout an organization to ensure success.

Through my site, I share with you my education, leadership, and professional experience that has led to my success over the years. I am passionate about building organizational teams, driving those teams to meet the needs of the business, and providing leadership and support to those I work with.   Working together, teams can do amazing things.  They just  need the right mix of experience and support to get them there!