Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Is sales marketing's spouse, or its offspring?

In a strategic marketing plan that I put together for a client last year, I wrote that the term Marketing refers to a great many activities which include market research, brand management, customer service, sales, promotions, public relations and advertising -- and argued that the most effective marketing infuses every task in each of these areas with a common strategy which is driven by a thorough, up-to-date analysis of a company or brand. I just read several stories from the special report in the July issue of CMO Magazine, which are linked together here: The Sales-Marketing Culture Clash. I recommend reading the report, but also, this definition of Marketing from Wikipedia.

The CMO entries I read hit some important notes, including ensuring that sales pros and their marketing counterparts adopt common language and objectives, and encouraging folks from one side of the fence to walk in the moccasins of their counterparts on the other side. In large organizations, it's apparent that remedies like these are necessary to cure some ills that arise from poor coordination between the more action-oriented sales pros and the more strategic marketers. That's baffling to yours truly. Though much of my business experience applies to smaller companies, I've worn both sales and marketing hats. In my view, in order to be effective, sales must be a function of the bigger marketing agenda, and that agenda must constantly be tuned toward the fulfillment of a company's sales objectives. As such, is the metaphor of a "Marriage" really the best way to symbolize this relationship?