What should I expect from my marketing person or department? This is a question that I get asked frequently as an experienced marketer who has worked in-house for big and small companies and as a consultant. My answer 10 years ago would be quite a bit different than my response today! So what has changed? Let’s take a look at the world of a savvy modern marketer.

Before Social Media:

Before social media exploded onto the scene, the role of marketing was to identify target market segments; differentiate a firm within those markets; and consistently communicate effective marketing messages related to the company and its products and services.The goal was to build brand awareness and to set the sales team up for greater success. Marketing and sales had very different roles but needed to work together to drive revenue.

After Social Media:

Social media has had a profound effect on the role of marketing in that marketing and sales are no longer distinct. Some folks even say that modern marketing is making sales a bit “extinct.” Let’s explore what’s happened. Some of the basic principles of marketing, like segmentation and differentiation, still apply. But pushing out “me” focused messages (push marketing strategies) has been replaced with “you” focused communications (pull marketing strategies). Another term for this is Inbound Marketing. For more information on this topic, view our on-demand Inbound Marketing webinar.

Through the Internet and social media, people are taking charge of the messages they receive. They want to read content that is authentically helpful and directly relevant and participate in engaging online conversations. Successful marketers of today are now becoming highly skilled at engagement and social media platforms are the tools they’re using to do it.

Savvy modern marketers are now moving target customers through the sales cycle sometimes all the way to close. According to ChiefMarketer.com, B2B buyers are moving as much as 70% of the way through the sales funnel before engaging with a sales representative.

So in today’s world, what should you expect from your marketing professional or department?  Warm sales leads, among other things!

If your firm has a marketing professional or a team in place and you want to assess their modern marketing capabilities of building competitive advantage, raising visibility and generating warm business leads, here are some helpful questions:

  • Does your firm and its professionals have a clear understanding of how it stands out from its competitors? All enterprises need to have clarity around positioning.
  • Does your marketing team / professional(s) embrace target marketing to ensure that resources are being used to generate brand awareness and leads among its most profitable current and future client segments?
  • Does your business favor inbound marketing techniques that are proven to produce a higher ROI over higher-cost “old school” marketing methods (e.g., advertising, direct mail, sponsorships)?
  • Are marketing tools and technologies consistently being evaluated for their ability to increase online engagement with clients, potential clients and referral sources?
  • Does your website generate leads on a regular basis?
  • Are you receiving proactive, strategic advice on your marketing mix?
  • Does your marketing professional or team focus on developing the skills of rising stars through social media, client development, content generation and business development training?
  • Do you have a marketing plan for your firm and its target market segments? And are you monitoring and measuring the success of this plan? How is the success of this plan monitored and measured?

Marketing is not a cost center anymore! Get yourself a savvy modern marketer and watch your top line grow.