Click here to close now.



Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Elizabeth White, Cloud Best Practices Network, Talend Inc., Charlotte Spencer-Smith

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
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...