I’ve been thinking about the relationship between Sales and Marketing quite a bit lately.  If ever there were two parts of a company that could work amazingly together it would be the big S and the big M.  Unfortunately, like the growing rate of marriages that end in divorce, there seems to be an increase in the friction between Sales and Marketing.

marketing-vs-sales-11I’ve probably experienced it long before I realized it, but the first time I encountered general mistrust between the two was during a job interview several years ago.  It was for  a marketing manager position at a software company.  Job interview? Interviews, I should say, as the company had me interview with the marketing director, followed by every single one of their sales directors.  Plural.  Lots.  Head spinning lots.  Even the director of European sales was in town!

But I like meeting new people, and am confident about what I know. So for me this felt like a head start on meeting my future ‘customer.’  It would be a great chance to evangelize all the amazing marketing strategies I would implement and with trumpets, unfurl this new thing called marketing automation.

I found it interesting that the style of the interviewer seemed to match their sales style.  I would imagine the high pressure interviewer closing like a monster at the end of the quarter.  Likewise the really friendly folks seemed to have the relationship sale nailed.  They were good people and I respected them.  And then one of them caught me by surprise.

“I think Sales and Marketing should hate each other.”  These were the words out of a sales director I was interviewing.  Over the course of our conversation, he related that the two departments always had and always would hate each other.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to get wrapped about the meaning of words.  I may hate bumper to bumper traffic in a Jeep Wrangler with no AC during a 90 degree heat spell.  But if you asked me if there was anyone I knew that I genuinely hated, it’d be hard to answer.  Like everyone, there are some people I don’t enjoy spending time with, some I’m angry with but hate? Strong word!

king_kong_vs_godzillaSo was this guy hot or cold with his choice of words? Is it great or shitty? Love or hate?  Great question!  I couldn’t tell you if he was pointing out general friction or really had a massive personal conflict with the current marketing director and or his craft.

Either way he raised my awareness about the potential for interdepartmental conflict, which is a big scarey sounding word, not all that different from global thermonuclear war.  That day forward I’d been given the heads up that not everything is rosey between Sales and Marketing.

What about you? Have you experienced any negative interactions between the two?

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The Business Advantage of Marketing Automation 

By Casey Cheshire

This article was originally distributed on the Chuck Sink Link.

caseyMy first experience with Marketing Automation came when I assumed responsibility for the Marketing program at a small consulting and training company. There were several major problems to address.

 

To start, there were no inbound marketing initiatives to drive people to the website. Once there, a Newsletter Signup and Contact Us page were the only ways in which prospect information was captured. Those two types of gateways are extremes – people were either vaguely interested in keeping in the loop or being contacted right away. The majority of the visitors, who fell in between those two types, weren’t being converted.

 

Further into the Sales & Marketing process, four Account Executives had almost entirely shifted to prospecting work instead of making sales as the quality of daily incoming leads was always in question. No wonder they were frustrated! The bulk of these “leads” were simply people subscribing to a newsletter and not yet ready to buy.

 

Does this sound bleak (and familiar)? The good news is that we solved all these issues in about three months with Marketing Automation. Several new product solutions in this space had recently appeared on the scene and made the automation tools, once reserved for stock ticker brands, available for SMBs (small to medium sized businesses).

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I want to share with you a theory I’ve been developing over the past few years.  It’s a work in progress, my own opinion based on multiple elements, and I think, fascinating!

Let’s start with a working definition (the tough part that initially will sound like greek) and then pick it apart with stories & pictures (the fun part).

The Rosetta Stone ™ Effect is a brand marketing phenomenon where a product’s high perceived value influences consumers to purchase and then recommend the product regardless of actual value gained from it.

As a quick aside, I’m not the first person to use the phrase “Rosetta Stone Effect.”  June Cohen, Executive Producer of TED Media, the creators of the wildly popular TED talks, used the phrase in describing TED’s crowd sourcing of translation for their videos and other materials.  While I’m referring to the language software, I’m pretty sure June was tipping her historian hat to the original tablet.

I first started to notice hints at this effect while working at Transparent Language, a small shop competitor of Rosetta Stone.  I’m no longer at the company and don’t intend this article for product bashing.  If anything, it’s a big business model compliment.

Transparent’s consumer flagship, Byki, operates on a freemium model.  That is, they give it away for free and a certain percentage of users will ‘upgrade’ to the paid version.   That’s a hard offer to beat, but their brand is relatively unknown compared to the mighty yellow box of Rosetta Stone.  But it’s not just a strong brand, it’s a BRANDOSAURUS and when your brand has teeth- weird things start to happen.

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EF is Hiring

Apr, 09, 2011

I work at EF in Cambridge, MA and they’re always hiring.  It’s a great company and I love working here.  That’s not hot air either, as I’ve worked at quite a few companies over the years so I know good and bad when I see it.  EF is definitely the place to be.  From international tours to domestic trips to DC, there’s a lot going on over here!

What is EF? Sometimes it’s best to grab a quick line of text from the website:

“EF Education is #1 in educational travel. With more than 45 years of experience and offices in more than 50 countries, we are the most reputable student travel organization.

Our all-inclusive tours offer the most value, with the lowest prices guaranteed and unparalleled safety and support.”

Whether you’re in Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Finance or some other profession, I highly recommend you check out the EF open positions.  This is a company that takes care of it’s employees, pushes them to learn & grow, and has a lot of fun while changing the lives of people worldwide.

What’s it like working there? Every day is both challenging and exciting.  We all work hard, but see it pay off in real life dividends.  First and foremost for the folks working in EF Tours, we’re bringing kids to foreign lands on a school trip that will likely impact them for the rest of their lives.  Bridging gaps of culture, language, and geography is a mission that is live and at the front of our minds.  If you get this, then you’ll understand the biggest shared value we all have and are on your way to working here.

And in case your current job is at a company that makes or sells something really boring- there’s an amazing sense of purpose and passion when your company does something with serious positive impact.

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Facebook advertising is hyper targeted and as a result is often much more expensive than the Google Content network.  It’s important to have solid reporting in place so you can make sense of which campaigns are winners.

Facebook has gone through substantial growing pains as they develop their ad network.  From reporting errors to actually doing away with website based conversion reporting (it was too much to support)- it’s not your grandma’s ad network!

There are new social actions that can take place on Facebook ads such as a Like or an RSVP.  The resulting advertising performance report is a mish-mosh (yes, I said it) of trendy new terms that can both overlap and exclude adjacent stats.  It’s then left to us to translate the results into business speak.

The final bit of challenge is that until recently, not everyone at Facebook knew exactly what each stat was or how they were related.  So I’d Google Search the heck out of the situation- coming up with less than helpful docs, like the Facebook Ads Report.  No offense to FB but the thing was definitely created by someone who’s never had to calculate a CPL for a Facebook ad campaign.

There is a help file that gives the run-down of *most* terms in your Facebook Advertising Performance Report. Go there for definitions of things like Impressions & Spent. Just in case you didn’t know. ;)  To their credit they do label Social Conversions- which we’ll expand on in a second.  Conversions, though, is neglected- leading everyone to wonder which conversion this column refers to…

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