Nothing ticks me off more than a marketer believing that marketing objective is some random (derived from some historical analysis) percentage of sales objectives. That’s like selling yourself short. It really shows that you have less confidence in marketing and lack strategic vision. Does this hurt? Probably yes, if your marketing objective is 30% of your company’s sales objective. I wish, setting up marketing objectives was this simple.
In my first blog Don’t love your company, I shared my perspective on why maintaining objectivity is so important for me while practicing marketing for my business unit. The same objectivity is required while setting up targets for marketing. While sales teams will continue to focus on driving revenue and gross profit objectives of the organization, marketing however should try to bridge the gap between what is strategically important for the organization and where sales can’t venture directly and influence customers. One must also understand that not every new product, service or business initiative need to be a marketing priority. Sales teams take a relatively short-term view of the business (Quarterly or yearly objectives) while marketing should take a long-term view, for example, making sure how to stay relevant brand in an always changing business environment.
Here’s how to test if you have the wrong marketing objectives. Have you tried presenting marketing influenced metrics in a sales review meeting? Did you find more disagreement than agreement on your numbers? Chances are, if you showed how much marketing influenced revenue you achieved from existing customers, nobody would have trusted your numbers.
If you as marketers are not bringing any new customer into your business, you must be spending precious dollars in engaging with existing customers, with whom you could simply connect with organically. This may be because you are chasing that elusive marketing contribution number. What a waste of time, effort and money.
I know this topic will invoke some thoughts in your minds. Some of you might disagree, but feel free to discuss it with me. A healthy debate will help shape our thoughts. I will touch this topic again in one of my future blog. I will also share what I feel could be a formula to calculate what your marketing objective should be.
Till then, try and be a bit more innovative while setting your marketing objectives.
You can do it!