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October 16, 2012

Go team go! Integrate your marketing & sales for maximum impact.

Two heads are better than one.  And three or four are even better than that.  The fact is, putting together teams to tackle your big issues or your big projects is simply smart business.  The team gets together, discusses options and tackles the assignments as a single unit.  Good stuff.

The same concept applies to your marketing & sales… and not just having your people working as a team, but to have elements of your marketing & sales initiative also working together as a unified group.  When you do this, the effects are additive, each one building on the other in the minds of your clients and prospects.  It’s called “integrated marketing.”

Here’s how it works:

Look & feel:  All of the visual elements of your marketing & sales should have the same look & feel.  That is, your business cards should look & feel like your website, like your advertisements, like your trade show booth, like your social sites, like your sales collateral, like your PowerPoint presentations, etc.  Be consistent with your use of logos, colors, fonts, etc.  The idea is this… it needs to be clear to clients & prospects that all the different things they’re seeing are coming from one place… your firm.

It all gets back to that ‘additive’ idea, with each impression adding on the one before it and improving your position in the minds of your target audience.  Change the look & feel and it’s as though you’re starting over.

Online linkage: Make sure all of your e-marketing elements connect to one another – so your clients can do the same thing.  For example… does your blog link to your social media sites, your social media sites to you website, your online ads to your product pages, your email to your website and so on.  And make the links obvious… I’ve been on way too many websites in our industry, for example, where the link to their blog was buried on an interior page.  Put it right out front in big letters… “BLOG”.  And where appropriate, use those little icons (see Twitter example) to link to your social media sites.  The goal is to make it easy.

M&S together: Lastly, make sure your marketing team and sales team are on the same page.  Make sure the messaging that marketing is creating is what the sales team is taking to the marketplace.  Make sure that marketing creates the best tools for sales to use.  Make sure the two groups meet regularly – so sales knows what marketing is working on and marketing knows what sales is hearing from your clients and prospects.  Too often, these two groups work in silos, lowering the impact and results that either can have.

In their landmark book, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, authors Jack Trout & Al Reis submit that marketing is not a battle for market share, but rather a battle for ‘mind’ share.  If you agree with that (and I do), taking an integrated approach to your marketing & sales must be in place to win that fight.  And when you’re #1 in the minds of your clients and prospects, you have a competitive advantage that simply cannot be challenged.

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