So what does marketing have to do with sales, anyway?

By March 14, 2018 No Comments

Here at 321, we’re about more than sales.  Why? Because as hugely important as sales is, it’s not enough on its own. Startup success and scaling also require great marketing, great products and great customer experiences – all delivered by your great (unicorn-esque) team.

Steve Blank has a post we love, called “Why Startups Win”. That post defines the mission of marketing. In short, the job of marketing* is to:

  • Generate end-user demand (to match revenue goals)
  • Drive that demand into sales channels
  • Value price products to achieve revenue and margin goals (create high-value)
  • Educate sales channel(s)
  • Help Engineering understand customer needs

(* I’m a superfan of Mr. Blank, but there’s one word in his description of the mission of marketing that makes me crazy… see my P.S. below for my reason.)

At 321, we like to say that the mission of sales is to transform interest and demand into revenue. And the Customer Success team’s mission is to transform customers into raving fans.

So, if you look at it that way, marketing, sales and customer success are all part of one continuous process.  You can’t win, and scale, until they are all working together. Maybe we should call it “scmarketing”. (Actually, we usually do.  And so do some of our clients to boot!) But no matter the name, the idea is that every function plays a role in engaging your prospects, nurturing their interest, converting them to customers, and then into raving fans.

Key to your growth and success is how you manage your prospects’ experience along this process, rather than looking at each of these as distinct functions or teams in your company.

How can you get your team aligned on who is your best customer, who you most want to serve? On how you speak to them, and the message that is meaningful for them? On how you reach them, in ways they want to be engaged? How your team aligns to delight your target customers so much, they convert and become advocates?

We’ll be exploring these topics and more in a couple of weeks. Join us on March 20th (Edmonton) and 21st (Calgary) at the Alberta Growth Marketing Symposium. Startup founders and marketing teams will hear some great perspectives on growth marketing – from companies including Benevity, Solium, Unbounce, GrowthHackers, and more. The 321 team will be delivering an afternoon workshop to help you put together an action plan, so you can get your grow on. (And, if you’re a 321 alumnus, contact us for details on how to get your 50% off promo code.)

P.S. Still reading, and wondering which word in Steve Blank’s definition of the mission of marketing drive me crazy? It’s “generate”. I’m a 4x VP Marketing, and if there’s one thing that I think is misguided, is that it’s marketing’s job to “generate demand”. Marketing should inspire, fuel and uncover demand, and spur action, conversion and sales as a result of that demand. But “generating demand” sounds too much like “build it and they will come” for me.

This post originally appeared on Alberta Enterprise Corporation’s Start Alberta portal.