Marketing is not Sales, Period.

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!

Don’t love your company.

Yes, that’s right. I don’t want you to fall into a trap of loving your company or product. The worst thing that could happen to any marketer is to loose all objectivity while making marketing decisions. As a marketer, I always look at my company from the eyes of a detractor (critic). Some of my friends call me rebellious. Actually, that’s not entirely untrue!

A healthy self critique encourages me to always think about better ways to convince my audience that my product is better than the competition. Remember, whenever you look at or hear about your product, think from the perspective of your customer, and question “so what?” Just do this simple exercise and see for yourself. Pick up the last piece of content you may have written for your company or product. Revisit that piece today, seek an unbiased review from a colleague (who is not associated with your product or company) and see the outcome. You will find a lot of opportunities for improvement. I believe in keeping my approach simple. Let me quote a simple example of something I purposely do when I am in a briefing or all-hands meeting, I try to stand away from the crowd so that I can get that disconnected feeling. This helps me mentally focus on what’s being spoken and how it would be perceived or received externally. It almost turns me into an outsider, eavesdropping on what the organization is trying to say and do.

So the big question is, why do some people fall into this love trap in the first place? I believe at times, marketers take convenient positions, ignore what data tells us and how things can be perceived by people externally. Marketers who do not exercise objectivity eventually end up building campaigns that get muffled by the time they are  ready for execution because it degrades at every step of the process. What ensues is failure in delivering desired results. The culprit is our love for the company, product or campaign. So, maintain that objectivity at every step of the way.

Stay true to marketing and don’t love your company!


In my future blogs, I would take up more marketing topics that are close to my heart and those I believe my readers can benefit from. If you want to suggest any topics, and want to hear my point of view on it, simply leave a feedback for me below.

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