Dec 27, 2017
Every week, I’ll pick one marketing question and attempt to address it with actionable takeaways. So send me your questions. I want to help you take on your marketing challenges.
For today, I want to share some exciting news. I signed up with a publisher to work on my 2nd book. No, it’s not about content marketing. No, it’s not about anything global. So, what is it? OK, drum roll, please! It’s about sales enablement! When I told my friend, Amy, about the news, she was like, “Whaaaaaat? What’s that? And why did you choose a topic that is so, um, unpopular! Oh, I mean, niche?” Amy, I feel your love.
Let’s talk about why I chose that topic.
I am a firm believer that marketing’s role is to grow business and drive sales. Everything we do in marketing should directly and indirectly lead to a conversion. Two interesting challenges prompted me to write the book.
1. I want to help sales and marketing teams understand that there’re more and more marketing elements that can be used for sales efforts due to digital integration. In general, sales teams likely only associate demand-generating activities or events with marketing, but marketers do so much more than that. If we look at marketing activities in a broader sense, many marketing programs have the essence of sales enablement. Channel partner marketing, co-marketing with key partners, email marketing, loyalty programs, and affiliate marketing are part of marketing outreach to support sales or the bottom of the funnel.
I believe that sales teams do not leverage these marketing programs effectively. Just one quick example: We could dedicate a space on our website to showcase our customers and their products or we could selectively include our customers in our weekly webinar or podcast series. The tricky part is how to integrate our customers’ products and messaging seamlessly so that it’s not sales-y. That takes time and effort to do it right. But, it’s a missing opportunity for both sales and marketing teams if we don’t leverage some of the digital opportunities to better integrate sales elements into marketing programs. It’s more than a “buy” button.
2. I also want to address the ever-growing overlap of
responsibilities, goals and tools to sales and marketing teams. The
line between sales and marketing is becoming blurred. Once digital
and social media came along, sales and marketing started to use the
same communications tools. Email marketing is a great example of
this. Email marketing used to be only in the marketer’s domain.
Guess what? Now, sales teams are also using email marketing to do
their own versions of targeted email campaigns by sending their
customers relevant content. That’s good and all, but this may
create duplication and inefficiencies and further impact the
overall customer experience. The communications between the two
groups need to be tight, since the line will only get blurrier in
So I supported sales for a long time, so I also wanted to share my own thoughts on how to better support sales as a marketer. How can marketers look at their own marketing programs differently and invite sales or add certain sales elements to the existing marketing program to create a win-win situation.
Ok, to Amy’s 2nd question: why choose an unpopular topic?
Yes, like global content marketing, sales enablement is also a niche topic. I hope someday that I’ll start writing popular and catchy titles like “Master Email Marketing in 7 Days”, “Social Media is as Easy as 1-2-3” or “Create Killer Viral Content in 5 Hours!” but, I haven’t figured out how to do marketing with clever tricks and shortcuts, just yet. Based my experience, to do marketing right takes time, effort and continuous optimization. There is no shortcut. Yes, I need to find a popular topic to write. That will be my 3rd book. Ha!
I told Amy that if you want to frustrate yourself mentally and physically, write a book. If you want to be anti-social, write a book. If you want to stress yourself out beyond your control, write a book. Why am I doing it despite all the frustration and stress? Writing helps me organize my ideas and put them in a proper framework. It brings clarity to my thoughts. I might as well get a piece of long form content out of that. Now, that’s the content marketer part of me talking.
I’ll keep you all updated as this journey progresses, but in the meantime, are you supporting your sales team? What are your tips and tricks? Lesson learned? Reach out to @pamdidner on twitter and I’d love to include your stories into my book or my blog.
Thank you for listening, until next week.