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  Why the CEO Should Hold Marketing Accountable for Disappointing Sales  

By Robert McGarvey & Sharon Beckett

 
To hold marketing departments across America accountable for disappointing sales, we must first revisit our definition of marketing. We define marketing as the adroit use of tools which effectively communicate a company's unique value to its customers.
 
If you're going to be highly successful, marketing and sales need to be well coordinated. Let's use a military analogy to illustrate this fundamental. The goal of a military campaign is to capture and hold ground held by the enemy; the goal of a company is to gain market share held by a competitor--a two-pronged coordinated attack is critical to success. Marketing does for sales what artillery does for infantry.
 
In a military campaign, the artillery is launched first; it paves the way for infantry. A successful artillery deployment facilitates the job of infantry, to gain ground and hold it. Given the choice, no general would ever send his infrantry into battle without excellent artillery support and no CEO should send a sales force into the market without brilliant and effective marketing support. Marketing and sales must be strategically integrated to achieve corporate goals.
 
Marketing prepares the way for sales by softening up the customers in advance, preparing their minds to purchase before the sales person enters the room. Marketing helps your company gain valuable customer mind share, preparing the way for a motivated sales team to gain and hold new market share.
 
How do you know if your marketing department is performing well? Look at sales results.
 
To move from a military analogy to a more peaceful orientation, race car teams have dozens and dozens of functions that can make the difference between success and failure, so it is with your sales and marketing efforts. Races won't be won and records won't be set unless the racing and engineering teams work together in a highly coordinated effort. There isn't one simple answer to boosting sales. Each item needs to be checked and rechecked, tuned and fine-tuned for optimum performance.
 
Third-party outsourcing assists the CEO.
 
What does the Beckett team do? We know how to fine-tune for success; where to trouble-shoot for weakness. We've got a check-list. We can help you identify gaps or deficiencies in your teams--find details that are standing in the way of your company's top-notch performance. Due to internal conflicts, it is difficult for insiders to do this. We recommend, train, engineer and implement change in the manner that is most healthy for the organization.
 
Mark this well: Outstanding sales are the result of massive amounts of attention being paid to marketing. (Lousy sales are the result of inattention to marketing.) Like infantry and artillery that triumph in wartime, like the race car driver and pit crew that stand inside the winner's circle, sales and marketing must work together in unison.
 
Fortunately, many of your competitors don't get this. Act now.
 
Robert McGarvey is Founder & Director of Beckett Advisors, Inc., a strategic marketing firm based in Los Angeles. He can be reached at robertm@beckettadvisors.com
 
Sharon Bailey Beckett is Principal & Founder of Beckett Advisors, Inc., a strategic marketing firm based in Los Angeles. She can be reached at sharonb@beckettadvisors.com

 

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