I’ve written previously about why marketing, like relationships, takes time. But, is there a point when it’s time to “break up” with your marketing?
In dating (or marriage), either he’s right for you or he’s not. In marketing, that decision isn’t so binary. There’s a lot to consider as you evaluate the quality of your marketing investment.
Let’s Avoid the Blame Game
We all take our own “weaknesses” into relationships. She loads the dishwasher wrong and would rather watch football on a Sunday than go to brunch. He is super-particular about bedroom temperature regardless of the season.
Can these disconnects be solved by just one-half of the relationship? Sometimes, the other partner has to step up and uncover a possible solution.
Here’s an example:
Based on metrics, you need 25 new customers. It starts with 1,000 visitors to your website, with 300 people who actually engaged with you or your team. Marketing did the work—followed through from inbound to engagement to the discovery call.
But, the sales process is where it fell apart. The discovery process wasn’t deep enough. Or, you ended up onboarding a bunch of new customers which only resulted in churn.
If sales are crystal clear about what types of prospects are more likely to close—or at least engage in an ongoing nurture sequence—then marketing has an opportunity to shift messaging, voice, or offers that make sense to this valued group.
Marketing isn’t to “blame,” but it takes strong sales and marketing leadership working together to identify the gaps on both sides of the “aisle.”
Amicable Divorce, Joint Custody
So… where are the points of compromise between marketing and sales; those that allow you to move forward effectively with your own discipline and expertise, without getting into someone else’s space?
Families have to navigate vacation schedules, holiday sharing, and expense-related matters when there’s been a separation. And for each, there may be conflicting priorities that get in the way of peaceful negotiation.
Here are common areas of contention between marketing and sales:
- Sales needs pipeline, yet there’s the reality of kissing a lot of frogs before you find you're intended. So part of the marketing process is, indeed, to generate a pile of “unqualifieds” in order to yield a set of truly “qualifieds.” So, don’t disparage a high volume of leads just because your conversion to MQL isn’t 100%.
- There’s your list of MQLs that need to be vetted to determine if they’re actually sales qualified. Marketing needs to do a solid job of inviting likely SQLs into your world—knowing that, after discovery, some may be left to nurture for when the time is right. But, sales has to be clear about what creates the delta between an MQL and an SQL to improve that conversion. All hands need to be on deck.
We all take our own ‘weaknesses’ into relationships.
- Sharing feedback between marketing and sales is time consuming. It takes leadership to uncover the most powerful formula that generates enough top-of-funnel leads while driving high potential MQLs into the SQL pipeline. Leadership from both marketing and sales.
Sales-driven organizations sometimes sacrifice investment in marketing because “when sales is working, everything works.” PSA alert: Don’t break up with all of your marketing. Do the work to discover what part of marketing will service sales best at all points in the sales cycle.
Define Your End-Game KPI
Some business leaders will take a marketing initiative and attach it to an end goal that is way, way off in the distance, like “revenue.” This is where goals that are too broad get us into trouble. Each marketing initiative, in each marketing channel, needs a very specific KPI—one that’s determined in advance and fits realistically into a point in the buying cycle.
I’ll admit, sometimes that’s hard to know. Here’s an example:
I really thought that LinkedIn would serve a lead generation purpose for my business. Turns out, it’s really an awareness channel. So, burdening my LinkedIn activity with a goal of generating “X” leads would have been unrealistic and unfair. But, understanding that LinkedIn provides a place for my voice, and provides context for a company to reach out, changed the structure of my LinkedIn activity almost entirely.
Take a look at this webinar, How to Avoid Random Acts of Marketing, and see how we craft a strategy based on a focused point on the buyer journey. That’s how you can trim your marketing if you need to, without abandoning the moment where it still works best for your business.