Social Media and the Emperor's New Clothes

Recently, on days ending with a "y," I feel like the Emperor, and that social media vendors and supporters are the weavers. They conjure up out of thin air meaningful tapestries of "hits" "bounces" "likes" "followers" "re-tweets" "viewed" and cover them with a cloak of viral. If I were a CMO and dressed with all this finery I would indeed feel proud and assured when meeting my peers … for they will be able to see how well-dressed I am.

For the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) who believes this, he will rapidly undress when the CEO says, "You do look nice today, but tell me how you have helped to generate revenue." Responses relating to building the Brand, and Brand recognition, along with success with key demographics tend to get tossed aside like dirty clothes thrown in the hamper. Comments about selective pruning of leads, enhancing the quality of the pipeline, resulting in a large group of potential customers being nurtured via the new marketing automation system tend to appear like clothes that you slept in. In short, from the point of view of contributing to revenue, "you aren't wearing anything at all." What the CEO wants is increased revenue.

To this end he has his foot on the neck of the VP of Sales, who in turn is saying one of two things; (1) I could close more business, but my team has to spend most of their time prospecting, or (2) Most of the leads we get are old, tired or not qualified. This leaves the CEO with an impression that Marketing is not doing its job. In this scenario the only solution is for Marketing to deliver an increasing number of qualified leads to the sales organization, month after month. (This assumes that Sales and Marketing agree upon what is a qualified lead.) Any other metric beyond a Month-Over-Month increase in qualified leads is like the Emperor's new clothes.

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The CMO can, and should, request that he be copied on all lost sales reports so that he can judge the quality of the leads and establish a feedback loop to success. However, in my experience the sales organization that has the time to focus on writing lost sales reports has one foot out the door. The bottom line of most business in America is profitability. There are millions of ways this can be achieved, but they all boil down to selling your product for more than it costs you to make, distribute and service it. Selling it requires finding buyers who have a need, and convincing them that your product / service fills that need. Growth comes from finding more buyers. Profitability comes from controlling your costs as you grow, or cutting them if your revenue is flat.

One of Marketing's roles is to find new buyers and pass this information along to sales. Great marketing organizations provide month-over-month increases in qualified leads. Good ones do so most of the time. We need not worry about the ones that don't as they a finely dressed in today's new clothes.

Source by Dick Lush

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