There are a lot of very talented people in marketing. However, the sad truth is that many of them are still trying to market like it’s still the 1980s. They spend big money while adding little value. Whenever I run across such groups or individuals (and plenty of them leave comments on this blog) I find that they tend to promulgate five dysfunctional lies. To be fair, the marketers who espouse these lies happen to believe they’re true. But they’re lies nonetheless.
LIE #1: Branding is vital to your success. Marketing execs take everything that happens in a company (product design, development, call center, sales, manufacturing) couple it up with the stuff that marketing does (advertising, marcom, etc.) and call it “branding.” Then, because all those things are important, they convince the boss that “branding” is important and therefore marketing should get a bigger budget to oversee all the “branding” activities.
LIE #2: We can train you to sell. Selling is like sex; if you’ve never done it, you have no idea how to do it well. Many marketing professionals have never sold so much as a glass of lemonade, so they have no idea what customers want and how they think. The training that marketing provides is almost always product features and functions, which is of very limited usefulness, because customers, frankly, don’t give a rat’s rear end about features and functions.
LIE #3: Our market research is scientific. There are exceptions, but from what I’ve seen, a lot of what passes for market research inside most firms is simply Marketing figuring out a way to get somebody else to produce the smoke they want to breath. In any case, a great deal of B2B “market research” qualitative and anecdotal (e.g. focus groups) that lacks both validity and value.
LIE #4: We can handle the media. In the 15 years I’ve been a freelance writer for major national publications, I have run across about 4 marketing managers who were capable of working well with the media. All you have to do is look at the trash that passes for press releases in most firms. And what’s really pitiful is when the PR managers think that THEY should be the source. Clueless.
LIE #5: We are giving you good leads. CSO Insights recently conducted surveys of more than 2000 sales and marketing professionals. Get this: 85% of company marketers felt they were doing a good job generating quality sales leads. By contrast only 50% of the sales professionals in those same organization were satisfied with marketing’s efforts. The result of the disparity is fewer closed deals and less revenue. Ouch!
READERS: I’m perfectly willing to give Marketing equal time on this issue. Feel free to leave a comment describing some Lies that Sales Tells Marketing. If I get enough, I’ll publish them as a full post.
Courtesy of BNET.