Transactional Sales and Strategic Marketing
No company can survive without transactional sales. This is what brings in revenue month after month, year after year.
A company can survive without strategic marketing. But it cannot grow beyond very finite limits.
Strategic marketing looks beyond the next quarter, or the quarter after that. It looks to the evolving marketplace and the organization’s position in it.
Sales and marketing have different world views. Sales looks at today’s reality on the ground and is in a constant struggle to maintain the company’s day-to-day survival in a competitor strewn environment. Marketing’s day-to-day job is to speak to the customer and prospect in a way that engages his interest. It enhances and supports sales’ ability to close the deal.
Strategic marketing, on the other hand, looks at the world from “50,000 feet.” Its job is to understand the coming landscape, to be the GPS, as it were, of the organization.
To those on the sidelines, strategic marketing doesn not seem to be a bottom-line function. The people who practice this art form (and it is an art form) seem to be disconnected from the practical urgency of achieving ROI.
In fact, properly done – and it is not always properly done – strategic marketing is what separates thriving from surviving.
So what’s strategic marketing, really?
Strategic marketing sees behind and beyond today’s trends. It focuses on the reasons behind the trends and develops an organizational voice that speaks to the people who create and maintain the trend. (Not the “trend setters,” but the people who actually buy and make up the marketplace.)
Strategic marketing understands that for the marketplace, by and large, technical wizardry is most effective when it is invisible. It communicates the results the customers and prospects are interested in rather than how it achieves these results.
Strategic marketing helps the engineers and product development people understand that just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should do it. It translates the wants and needs of customers in an evolving marketplace into the kinds of specifics on which successful and profitable products and services can be built.
Strategic marketing ensures that the expression of an organization’s internal vision and culture meshes with where prospects and customers are going, not just where they are or have been.
Strategic marketing is the organization’s lookout, peering beyond the everyday trenches of economic survival. It looks to where the next battle for market share will be – as sales fights the current one.
No company can survive without transactional sales.
No company can look to a prosperous future without strategic marketing.