I hate to borrow the quote from Jerry McGuire but it’s appropriate here.  Marketing traditionally has been a cost center for most companies.  When we talked about marketing, we talked about ROI, the return on investment.  We talked about how marketing’s role is to shape awareness and perception. 

Well, that all remains true, but marketing has changed significantly in the last few years to drive some new benefits for the organization.  Now marketing is becoming a SALES ENGINE all of its own. Simply put, a progressive, insight driven marketing organization can drive sales.

I believe this is happening because of a small number of factors:

  • The Rise Of Integrated, Digital, Social Campaigns:  It’s now possible to reach out to potential customers through digital and social marketing to create sophisticated, immersive, personal experiences that bring sales and marketing seamlessly together.
  • You Can Now Recognize That Your Customers Are Already Here And Focus On Customer Centricity:  It’s now possible to really hear what the customer wants and to react to that want in almost real-time.  Are you listening and being part of the dialogue with your customers?
  • It’s A Buy Now World:  People traditionally conducted independent research on products as a result of awareness and perception efforts but we traditionally have not had a connected experience with them during these efforts. 
    That has all changed.  Now, much of the buying experience is digital.  A customer can research the product, read customer reviews, and get everything they need to make a decision digitally, online.   Your marketing can now lead them to a sophisticated sale without the customer ever
    having to leave your marketing campaign. It might be disconnected in time, but even the most complex of sales can be delivered through an immersive, campaign driven online experience. 
    This is a revolution for marketers.  We are moving away from driving just perception and awareness to driving actual purchasing action.     This is a well understood concept for consumers but it a new concept for commercial accounts.  In the past you might run a commercial campaign to raise awareness and perception and then have an event to attract customers and make sales.  In this new world you no longer need to run an event.  It’s now a Download Now, Trial Now, Buy Now world! 
  • Support Marketing With Analytics:  We now have the data to make real-time decisions about how effective our marketing is and then adjust our efforts in real-time, online!

In summary, marketing can not only drive demand, but it can convert prospects into customers, and we can measure the revenue it generates, and adjust it in real-time to maximize those results.  

Is your marketing organization viewed as a good Return on Investment (The Old Marketing) or is it a Revenue Generator (The New Marketing)?