By: Todd Feldman
Founder & President
In December 2021, Harvard Business Review published an article saying that 90% of sales and marketing professionals say they’re misaligned. The post went on to peg the cost of marketing and sales misalignment to businesses at over $1 trillion.
One of the very first questions I seek the answer to when working with a new client is if Sales and Marketing functions are together, separate, and have a shared comp plan.
If they’re not working closely together and being compensated to do so, then that’s a huge area of opportunity for the client.
It also speaks to culture, role clarity, marketing and sales maturity, and how the organization views performance overall.
How’d we get here?
For starters, the American Marketing Association (AMA) hasn’t helped much. The definition of Marketing has not gone through a review in five years. Approved in 2017 the current definition is:
“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
Back in 2017, it didn’t accurately define marketing’s role then and it certainly doesn’t portray the role it plays in a “post”-pandemic economy.
The AMA definition lacks specificity and doesn’t go far enough to call out the need for performance. It may very well be why this lack of specificity creates confusing role clarity when CEOs are looking to hire their marketing leads.
It’s 2022 and it’s time to declare the following two points:
Marketing not directly connected to Sales is expensive and time-consuming.
Sales not directly connected to Marketing is expensive and time-consuming.
I think a majority of people would agree with each of these statements. What is lacking is the comprehension of how critical this is to operationalize what this means.
If I were to redefine Marketing it would be:
A set of specialized activities that identify qualified prospects and engage customers so Sales can efficiently sell more shit more often.
Let’s break down this definition:
“A set of highly specialized activities…”
The marketing ecosystem has become extremely complex over time. With complexity also comes the need for highly specialized roles led by a leader that understands how to leverage and orchestrate each discipline programmatically through significant rigor for optimization.