As I mentioned before, non-marketing people tend to view marketing as this expensive, monolithic necessary evil, dominated by wasteful "Madison Ave" style marketing, i.e., advertisements, logos and slogans.
In a nutshell, Marketing=PR=Ads=Marcom=Branding.
This is far from the truth. Understanding the basics of marketing and whom to hire for marketing help, is critical for CEOs and technologists to understand.
I just got off a webinar about lead gen in today's economic environment. I was pleased to see several process-oriented and metrics driven marketing recommendations, including:
need to be revenue focused, rather than # of leads focused;
marketing taking greater responsibility for pipeline management;
measuring, testing, refining every step of way through pipeline;
identified information and activity overload problem;
A few key points still missing, IMHO.
First, in today's environment, business needs to be profits-focused, not just revenue-focused. This is a critical distinction. An expensive advertising campaign may add more leads to your pipeline, some of whom eventually buy. You've increased revenue, but hurt the short-term bottom line. (Arguably there may be longer-term benefits from raising "awareness" through advertising.)
Second, this may just be a language thing, but I'm guessing not. Marketing and sales professionals continue to talk about the "sales process," e.g., the necessity to create activities and produce collateral that "nurture" customers through the sales cycle. Despite the fact that this webinar correctly identified information overload as a problem, the end recommendations still pushed for "getting all the information the sales team needs into their hands." Step back! This is classic reactive marketing and emblematic of VP of Sales (& Marketing) driven marketing.
Key question to ask: what is the buyer's process.
Third, "who is the prospect" was asked at the end of the webinar, when it should have been slide 1. Even if your company was able to handle multiple segments before the economy tanked, you need to reassess to determine what are your profitable segments now. See point 1.