As good fortune would have it, my daughter is also a communicator. Officially, she’s a marketing project manager at a med-tech company in Minneapolis. At lunch, we chatted about some of the challenges she faces each day in her job.
One frustration she shared is something I hear frequently from communicators on the corporate side: "The content demands from the sales team is insatiable. We've become an assembly line in place to produce leads and no time is left to create content that nurtures new and existing customers."
The sales team asks for new leads.
Marketers create webinars, events and other engagement opportunities designed to generate leads.
Leads roll into the funnel.
The marketing team moves on to its next project or endeavor.
Days later, sales reps ask for more leads.
This isn't a new reality for any sales and marketing function. What stuns me as a content creator is the inability for organizations to fix the revolving door issue.
Marketers and communicators need to spend the vast majority of their time creating strategic content that engages with key audiences. This might be a case study, a white paper, an e-book, or social media content that supports thought leadership. If the team isn't strategizing and developing content that connects with clients or potential clients, leads dry up fast.
The sales and marketing teams must talk! What a sales rep thinks he or she needs and what a marketing comms expert can offer should align from the start. If the two functions don't speak regularly with each other, nothing fruitful will result.
Think big. Create meaningful assets. Leverage those assets. To. The. Hilt! The best marketing initiative starts with a big, bold idea - a client event, a webinar or other engagement designed to generate buzz about the company. Once done, don't move on to the next task. Milk each big idea until the well runs dry. Turn that big initiative into digital content - surveys, research reports, an e-book, a blog post, customer feedback soundbites. The list is endless. Be creative. Then generate social media content that keeps that buzz going and engages with existing and new audiences.
Marketing teams must make the most of the big ideas they're asked to generate, not create lots of useless content. Sales teams must work the leads and sell, of course. But first, the two functions have to communicate - get on the same page and understand the course of action that will keep leads flowing into that sales funnel.
Want to learn more? I wrote this article on content creation with a purpose recently. Check it out!