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Why marketers should stop marketing

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The Creative Copywriter on why marketing managers have been giving marketing a bad name for yonks

I’m not saying that all marketers should quit their jobs and take up something else... like fishing, or fencing.

I’ll be honest: the word ‘marketing’ gets my back up. And marketing in general. It’s weird for me because I am the founder of a creative copywriting and content agency, so you’re probably thinking, ‘what’s this guy’s problem?’

Allow me to explain.

The word ‘marketing’ is defined as the action or business of promoting and selling products and services (here is a handy little dictionary link if you want the proof).

And here lies the problem. Most marketers focus on the actions they’re undertaking, not the end goal. It’s usually a case of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.

A bit of content here and there. A campaign with no efficient tracking. Just spaghetti being thrown over and over again. Like a disobedient toddler at mealtime, who then sulks when they don’t have any food (or budget) left.

And even the marketers who are results-driven usually obsess over the wrong kind of results. Things like engagement. Or traffic. Or, at best, the total number of leads per month.

Fair enough – it’s a common thing, right? But I invite you to dig beneath the surface, just a little bit, to think...

What actually is a lead? (And why do we want them?)

Essentially, a lead is a person or company who shows interest in a brand’s products or services. And this makes the person or company a potential customer, meaning sales happen, which turn into revenue and profits.

But... this is the clincher. Revenue and profits should be the focus for marketers. It’s what they should be obsessing about over the buzzy buzzword ‘leads.’

Not total monthly MQLs (marketing qualified leads), SQLs (sales qualified leads), traffic and engagement levels. Or the dreaded word: ‘activities.’

Of course, these things are all important to pay attention to. They are all part of the journey.

But let’s say – for argument’s sake – that we changed the job title ‘marketer’ to ‘profit & revenue grower.’ Or, even better, ‘P&R grower’ to keep it short and catchy. This would mean that all their marketing strategies and tactics were geared toward exactly that: the end goal.

Makes sense, right?

This would stop a common clanger from happening that widens the gap between sales and marketing teams the world over. Marketers wouldn’t just focus on hitting a random lead target, then pass the buck to sales. They would realize that their job is not done just because lead targets were hit.

Which ‘leads’ me happily on to...

The importance of full-funnel tracking

The marketing funnel is a well-known marketing framework.

It’s about nurturing your customers and potential customers. It’s about taking them on a carefully-crafted journey that actually makes sense for their stage of awareness.

And, most importantly, selling each prospect or customer the next step. That way, they move nicely and happily along the funnel to conversion.

Full-funnel tracking is about understanding what is happening at each stage of the funnel.

It gives you a clear visual of each and every touchpoint, where you gain invaluable insight to ensure that the lead makes their way to the end of the funnel (where you want them).

So the problem often isn’t that you’re not generating leads. It’s about understanding lead quality. For example, how many of these leads started a trial? How many requested a demo? How many dropped off the face of the earth?

If our P&R growers were full-funnel tracking, they would soon realize that not all leads are born equal. Some are more likely to convert. Some are more likely to spend a ton more money. And actually, those big spender leads are also more likely to be brand advocates and refer other big spender leads your way.

Which is exactly what you want to happen.

And with this realization maybe, just maybe, our P&R growers would stop giving equal weight to the 80% of time-waster leads and the 20% of leads that are way more profitable per head. The 80% of time-waster leads wouldn’t be sent on to sales, or would at least be highlighted as not being as important when they’re passed on.

Of course, this would also involve fine-tuning their content strategy and marketing efforts (like this) to bring in more of those big spenders.

A win-win for all.

Sales and marketing in perfect harmony

You read that right. The impossible can be done.

Our amazing P&R growers would realize that they needed to work together with the sales department to help increase the sales conversion rate by feeding them the right leads and arming them with the right content assets – not just dropping a whole load of leads at the door and speeding away.

Plus, they would work together with the account managers, or whoever is in charge of after-sales care, to help increase the retention rate of customers and how much they’re spending.

Don’t you agree this would be far more productive than having these teams completely siloed and butting heads? You’ve got to admit, it would be a fresh, sensical approach that would have a far more beneficial result.

Because, after all, our P&R growers should now be just as interested in increasing conversion rates and their customer lifetime value as they are in acquiring more leads, as they now know it’s about lead quality and retention more than handing over impressive numbers that don’t mean much.

Final thoughts

In my unhumble opinion, startups that have chief revenue officers have the right idea. In fact, we should all just take a big fat leaf out of their book and just do away with that fluffy ‘marketer manager’ role that’s been giving marketing a bad name for yonks.

Let’s become P&R growers instead.

Are you with me? Say yes.

Konrad Sanders, founder, CEO and content strategist at The Creative Copywriter.

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