Marketing Is a Contact Sport
Do your marketers interact directly with your prospects and customers on a regular basis? Do they go out on sales calls and attend project meetings?
To convince prospects that your services bring value, your marketers need to have a clear understanding of the challenges that your customers face. Good marketing requires contact.
An Embarrassing Admission
Fresh college grads and marketers new to the industry can bring valuable knowledge and best practices to your business. They also need a clear understanding of the value that your firm's services bring to clients so that their marketing efforts will resonate with your prospects and customers.
New marketers may be embarrassed to tell you that they don't really know what you do. If they have never been involved in an Exchange migration, ERP implementation or SharePoint rollout, it's tough to imagine what a requirements analysis involves or a project meeting looks like.
Going out to visit clients may even worry some marketers, since they won't have a specific role other than observer. They may be intimidated by your consultants' knowledge and afraid to ask to join them.
Build Connections Between Consulting and Marketing
Building bridges between your marketing and consulting teams can go a long way in keeping the messages that you send to prospects consistent with the services you deliver. Support a regular schedule of marketing attendance at customer meetings to foster a more collaborative approach to building business for your firm.
While it may feel like an expense to take your marketers away from their productive office time, you'll see the rewards in better messaging and campaigns that address real problems.
Your marketing team can even help out the consulting team by testing out new products like Windows 8 and Office 365. What better way for marketing to understand the benefits and challenges of the product and for consulting to get honest, preemptive insight into adoption issues?
A Passion for the Outcomes
Even seasoned marketing professionals, including Microsoft employees, should spend time with clients on a regular basis. Not only does the value of IT services change over time, but the impact that technology makes on our shared customers really is inspiring.
To be a part of the Microsoft partner channel is to have a front-row seat to the practical application of technology in the small, midsize and enterprise businesses that fuel the innovation and growth of this country. You can't tell a great story if you don't feel the passion.
So, do your part. Take a marketer out on a service call or to a project meeting this week. Keep marketing a contact sport.
How does your marketing team stay engaged with customers? Add a comment below or e-mail me and let's share the knowledge.
Posted by Barb Levisay on January 10, 2013