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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

In our research for the book Smarketing we looked at the current state of sales and marketing and the way that the empowered buyer was changing and impacting on those traditional roles.

Before we dive into this its worth saying that sales and marketing has been on a constant direction of change. How many of us still send out mailshots? Or direct mail pieces (dmps)? Technology and an evolving buying has forced us or even made us evolve ourselves.

Marketing has always owned brand and to a certain amount of lead generation. But times have changed, none of us read advertising, we dont read corporate marketing and we avoid B2B websites as they are all the same. Everybody says the same thing, we are the best”, “we are number one. It all merges into one and is just noise.

The brand is now owned by the people of the organisation. We know that people buy people and the collective standing of all your employees represent the brand and they do this on-line. With the empowered employee now taking responsibility for the on-line presence.  Think about it, you don’t need to get all of your staff talking about the company every day.  One 500 word blog a month and this will slowly shout out the competition.

There is No Pipeline Anymore

In our research for the book we look at the current state of sales and marketing and there is a gap between marketing and sales.  This gap is one that often customers and prospects often fall through.  The pipe is now starts at awareness and goes through to close.  The people that will will engage with with pipe change as the buyers more through the buying process.

Buyers will go on-line and search for products and services, so you need to track intent data.  This will feed into a content creation process.  With buyers looking for insightful and educational content, marketing can still create this.  That said, buyers are also looking for people who will be the solutions to their problems, which it is so important that sales, marketing, HR etc are involved in the content creation process.

Here at Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) we publish a new piece of unique content everyday.

Different People at Different Stages in the Pipe

I’m not going to say that we need Marketing people at the start of the pipeline and sales people at the end of the pipe because in a new merged departments sales people are marketers as they use marketing techniques (we have after all always done this) to prospect.

Marketing people can start using analytics, using social media listening, using intent data, providing the advice and guidance to sales people as they use content and blogging as the new prospecting.

Smarketing: How to Achieve Competitive Advantage through Blended Sales and Marketing” is available on all Amazon platforms click here

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