Saturday, August 06, 2005

Changing Marketing Minds

You can look at marketing/sales programs (or the photo to the left) from different points of view and arrive at totally different conclusions. We need to create the common viewpoint if we are to move forward successfully.

I blogged recently about Strength Through Unity. It was a posting that was inspired by the pastor of our church -- so I don't want to claim the thinking as all mine, but he did send me into a pathway that had relevance to how we run our businesses.

The essence is that when we come together, we can accomplish so much more. But it clashes with the reality that too often managers at the same company are not aligned and they actually subvert plans -- knowingly or unknowingly.

This was an observation we made years ago at my promotion agency. Marketers (with our help) produced lead generation programs that worked. They brought in tons of leads. But the leads went ignored when they went into the field. Now we were clever enough to know sales people were not ignoring the leads just to avoid work. They simply were never involved in the development of the campaigns ... they did not see the process ... they were not in alignment. When they had trouble turning the first few leads into qualified prospects, they assumed the programs were duds and the leads were not worth their time. So we worked with our clients to create alignment between marketing and sales. This did not happen overnight. It takes time to change behavior. But eventually the alignment process did begin improving results.

Seth Godin touches on the same subject when he writes about how to encourage business associates to change their opinions during meetings. Read his whole post (I Changed My Mind Yesterday) because he provides several good guidelines to encourage greater alignment.

From my perspective, the essential order of the day is to realize that when you call a meeting to initiate a major marketing program, there are people around the table who do not agree with you and who do not want to agree with you. This is the most important task we have as managers ... either they have to change their minds or you have to change your mind. You cannot leave the room with hidden dissention. The program will unravel if everyone is not on board, together, walking arm in arm toward the goal and perfect execution.


At 5:46 PM, Blogger PR Machine said...

Dale, what is your email address? I want to email you.


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