Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Richard Hale, Pat Romanski, Gregor Petri

Blog Feed Post

The Cost of Misaligned B2B Marketing

When alignment is discussed in marketing, the usual application is to sales and marketing alignment. This has been an ongoing conversation for nearly as long as I can remember. And I've been in the business environment for quite a while.

The issue that comes up for me is that there are some alignment issues before we can even get to sales and marketing alignment that could have major implications for brands, if they took stock.

What I'm talking about are two sources of fragmentation - the second driven by the first.

  • marketing misalignment
  • customer misalignment

But, first, let's start by defining what "alignment" really means. According to dictionary.com:

Alignment is a state of agreement or cooperation among persons, groups, etc. with a common cause or viewpoint.

Seems pretty straightforward, don't you think? Apparently it's not. So let's take a look at why...

Marketing Misalignment

Over the years, the marketing organization within enterprise companies has become sprawling and fragmented. In my work with clients, the group I work with is often labeled demand generation and is usually responsible for an industry vertical or for driving demand for a specific product division. We hit stumbling blocks quite often when trying to implement multi-channel programs due to siloed divisions of labor that can include separate teams representing specific areas of marketing, such as:

  • Corporate marketing & communications
  • Social media marketing
  • Product marketing
  • Marketing automation team
  • Telemarketing
  • Public Relations
  • Website team
  • Webinars and event management

And the list goes on...

The problem with this fragmentation is precisely the lack of cooperation or communication that would enable visibility across the marketing spectrum in play at an enterprise. Not to mention the disparate viewpoints.

In my experience, each of these silos has their own budget and turf and it's really hard to gain overlays that enable the creation of consistency for the brand and for the customer experience. In fact, some of these groups may not speak to the others - at least not regularly.

Not all enterprise companies have this level of fragmentation, but its still something I find to be quite common in some form. And it's a heck of a minefield to navigate. As marketers face more channels and challenges, as well as responsibility for proving the quantifiable impact of our programs, one would think a holistic perspective would be much more valuable than tunnel vision based on silos.

The issue really is that with the proliferation of digital channels, each of these marketing teams may be providing programs visible to customers that have no consistency of messaging or connection to the other initiatives also being presented.

What a waste of resources and the opportunity to have our customers see us as awesome.

Customer Misalignment:

The outcome of marketing misalignment is that we get out of step with our customers. I've worked with companies where each marketing organization has a different perspective on who their customers are and what they care about. They may be focusing on the same titles or departments, but the approaches taken to address what they've determined "their" customers care about are different enough to present a kind of Jekyll and Hyde experience for someone on the outside, looking in. Heck, even for those on the inside looking around!

The other thing that happens is that the potential increases exponentially for wasted resources and inflated costs and lower brand credibility. This is because there is no coordination in program development or content creation. If marketers from across the company would just step back and think about it, they would see huge opportunities for content re-use, creating connected pathways for their customers and consistency in experience delivery that could drive performance improvements across programs.

What to Do Now

  • Create one storyboard for all groups to work from - Yes this will need to be summarized with roll downs for different programs, but it will help each marketing group determine how they can best contribute to building the same story based on their area of expertise.

  • Weekly stand-up meetings to present program developments, engagement results, learning from execution and suggestions for refinements.

  • Institute metrics that measure across groups and programs, not just individual team efforts. One program must feed another, each channel supports, enhances and leads to others, etc. Look for ways that successful programs can inform other initiatives.

  • Consider how marketing efforts can be integrated to create better overall outcomes that serve the customer and the company, not just the department or group. For example, if your social media team is posting wins but your white paper downloads have fallen off, something is out of whack.

This may not be an easy thing to contemplate, but a consolidated marketing approach is necessary if a brand wants to establish and sustain market advantages. Customer expectations are higher than ever and they're not going to lessen...ever. In my opinion, before marketing and sales can align, the marketing organization needs to align.

The cost of not doing so is just too high.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist of her firm Marketing Interactions, helps companies with complex sales increase and quantify marketing effectiveness by developing and executing interactive eMarketing strategies driven by compelling content.

Her book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, was published by McGraw-Hill.

Her articles and blog posts have been used for university ezines, published in CRM Today, Selling Power, Rain Today and Enterprise CRM News. Marketing Profs has incorporated her blog posts into a number of their "Get to The Point" newsletters.

@ThingsExpo Stories
On Dice.com, the number of job postings asking for skill in Amazon Web Services increased 76 percent between June 2015 and June 2016. Salesforce.com saw its own skill mentions increase 37 percent, while DevOps and Cloud rose 35 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Even as they expand their presence in the cloud, companies are also looking for tech professionals who can manage projects, crunch data, and figure out how to make systems run more autonomously. Mentions of ‘data science’ as a skill ...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.