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Businesses can (and should) be well-oiled machines; however, as most know, it's not that simple because every company is made of many moving parts—including sales and marketing. While they are two separate departments, sales and marketing often go hand in hand (even if they don't always want to admit it).
Andy Buyting, CEO of Tulip Media Group, has perfected the marriage of the two, otherwise known as "smarketing." His “integrated content” strategy has served both himself and his clients exceedingly well. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares the positive things that can happen for your business when your sales and marketing strategies are aligned.
Andy is the founder and CEO of Tulip Media Group, a B2Bprint & digital media agency that grows businesses through marketing designed to generate leads, reduce cold calling and produce immediate results. With over 27 years of experience in sales and marketing, Andy spent the first half of his career in retail, where as President of Green Village Home & Garden, he took the business to over $5M in annual sales, to the latter as a business coach for founders, and agency marketer where he uses his integrated “SMarketing” strategy. He is a two-time international bestselling author—with his books, How to Win Clients & Influence People and Double Sales/Zero Salespeople, in addition to being a serial entrepreneur and strategic advisor.
Question: You actually have an interesting story. How did you get where you are today?
Answer: Yeah, I grew up in retailing, and it's interesting because, you know, you talk about modern marketing strategies, and people talk about, "well, there's PPC and social media and content marketing," and it hit me—I was doing content marketing before the Internet even existed. Because when growing up in that business, one thing we did in the early 90s—now this was before this was pre-internet in the early 90s—we were collecting mailing addresses from our clients, from our customers in the retail business. We sent out quarterly newsletters, and I did that for nearly twenty years in that business. And really what it was that's the original content marketing strategies right there.
I've always loved marketing; always had a real keen interest, and I love the creativity. I love the challenge of how to craft marketing messages that inspired people to take action as some sort. And it's been happening really since the early 90s.
Question: You specialize in a true strategic approach with "SMarketing." So your belief is, and I love this belief because I share it, that sales and marketing should be aligned and really working together, that they're not different entities, is that correct?
Answer: That's right, you know. I think one of the marketing mistakes that people make is, you know, marketing is responsible for generating leads, and then they toss it over the wall to sales to close the sales. And when the sales don't happen, sales blames marketing, and you know, because the poor quality leads supposedly, and then marketing blames sales because "we've sent you great leads; you're not closing them."
You know what it really is— we're all on the same page in any company. Business development is a team effort. It's a team sport, and sales and marketing need to be totally integrated. For good marketing to be effective, it needs an element of sales messaging in the marketing; for a good sales process to be effective, it needs an element of marketing in the sales messaging. It's one process, and what you're after as a target is to grow the company.
I can even go several layers more because you know your customer service reps should/need to be aligned so that you don't lose clients once you have them—because that's another important aspect of growing the company. But sales and marketing need to work together, and most people look at them as separate initiatives, separate key performance indicators, separate everything. And we really try to make sure that people are integrated with their whole approach—because it really doesn't matter. I don't care if there's one person, or you know, eight people that a prospect talks to before they actually become a point. What I do care about is that the customer journey is seamless and it's enjoyable. It's easy. It's effective because if it's too convoluted, and the messaging and the strategies and the objectives of the different people are not totally aligned, it's not a great customer journey, and you're not going to close a lot of new business.
Question: What are the mistakes that people make along the journey?
Answer: A big mistake is not being very not being strategic in your messaging and your strategy. So, there are a couple of things there. People say, "okay, how do you develop a marketing strategy?" Well, tell me about your BUSINESS strategy. Where do you want your business to go? So I'm a firm believer that any good marketing strategy or sales strategy, business development strategy, in general, starts with a good business strategy. Where do you want your company to go? And then, you know marketing and sales, it needs to enable your business strategy. So you want to be clear on where you're going as a company so that marketing can build a strategy that works well for that. And then, you need to be very deliberate about that messaging and the customer journey.
A mistake I see happening all the time is that digital marketers will say, "Oh, we'll guarantee you, you know, we'll increase your website traffic by fifty percent. We'll increase the number. We'll bring your social media engagement, whether it's Facebook likes or whatever, from X to Y." Really, what marketing should be doing is actually getting people interested like real, interested, qualified perspectives, prospects, and opportunities to be coming to your business.
Question: What do people do, and can people do, when it comes to the journey of integrated sales and marketing?
Answer: Another big thing when it comes to sales, and it can happen in marketing, and it can happen in the early stages of sales, is you really do need to pay attention to the customer journey and the message that they're receiving, because well, the way we put it is: never ask for a hand in marriage in the first day. Right? You've got to know who your target audience is, talk to them, and be very deliberate in the messaging at the right times in your marketing and then in your sales discussions so that you're leading them down a real positive experience in their customer journey...especially if you're a B2B, and especially if your sale is complex at all. You know, the first thing you need to do as far as the customer journey goes is you've got to understand where they're at. You know, what's their situation? Where do they want to go to? What are their challenges? And you've really got to understand their main points and their needs before you can start introducing any kind of solution. Because, you see, the proverbial salesperson that they say the quote, you know, "show up and throw up." That doesn't work. We all know that.
Andy has so much great information from his experience in digital marketing. Check out the podcast below to learn more about important sales and marketing tactics that fuel revenue growth!
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Topics: Podcast Interviews, Podcast, HB Podcast