After coming close to bankruptcy in the mid-90s, Apple quickly became one of the largest and most successful brands in the world.
Steve Jobs, the man largely responsible for the turnaround, accomplished this because understood the vital part marketing plays in a company’s success. A strong brand and marketing strategy is a powerful asset, and Jobs knew it.
When you break down the numbers, you can see why.
According to Forrester Research, buyers are anywhere from two-thirds to 90 percent of the way through the buying process before they ever contact a vendor or sales person.
That means people are using websites and other online resources before interacting with a sales person and becoming a customer. Buyers generally wait until the last possible minute to contact a sales representative, relegating sales to mere order takers for both B2B and B2C businesses.
A Mindset Shift
The majority of leaders in marketing and sales won’t disagree with the concept above. Now, take a moment to consider how the pay structures are set up within your organization.
Even though marketing is responsible for a conservative 70 percent of the buying cycle, does your sales salaries take up a significant portion of the salary allowance? (Plus, that 70 percent doesn't take into the account the post-sale development that marketing provides, such as loyalty, customer retention, and brand awareness.)
The point is that marketing no longer functions simply as a “sales helper” that creates pretty materials for sales teams to use.
Marketing spend is more critical than ever before to make sure sales gets the number of leads needed. After all, what’s the point in paying expensive sales team salaries if they don’t have any leads to follow up with?
If you are in charge of the budgets, be sure to take a realistic look at the importance marketing plays for all businesses in today’s day and age.
Do you agree that marketing, compared to sales salaries, needs to be compensated more because of today's consumer control and the increased importance of online marketing? I would love to hear your thoughts.