How to Pitch a Marketing Person
A guide to understanding the relationship between sales and marketing and how sales can pitch a marketing professional in a way that suits both parties.
Us marketers are a fickle bunch.
Although our claims of being 'know-it-all' marketing guru's of the highest order are often misunderstood or at worse, misinterpreted, our endeavour to build and develop a brand or service as a promotion strategy can never be questioned.
What we can question, however, is the tools of our trade and how we use them. You see, the digital landscape is ever-changing, and with it, an avalanche of supporting platforms, software, products and services are thrust upon us at an alarmingly regular rate.
Because we are besmirched with a plethora of options that support the marketing effort in reaching customers and developing and nurturing leads for businesses, our narrowed mindsight needs your help.
Yes, Salespeople, we need you.
Advertising & Promotion, Content & Experience, Social & Relationships, Commerce, Data, Management and Sales tools and platforms are needed for the modern-day, digital-first, marketing professional to survive. But with hundreds and thousands of options of each marketing team to take, we need our eyes to be opened and drawn to what is essential for our own promotional needs.
We can do this, partly, via research. But if any marketing person tells you that they spend most of their time researching instead of driving a business forward, then you would be wise to ignore them. Our research time is better used to focus on competitor analysis and strategy.
It is, therefore, imperative for sales and business development teams to tell us Marketeers, what tools we should be using for our trade. That, Ladies and Gentleman, is your opening pitch - your buying signal if you wish.
So, how to pitch a Marketing Person?
Let us start with understanding the above. Don't be put off with someone telling you they do not need what you have to offer. The starting point is to understand that we shall always be open to new and innovative marketing solutions if you can justify the means of how the product or service works for the business in question.
Yes, research the person and company first. Use your own in-house marketing teams to analyse and judge if a business needs what you have to offer. This then becomes your golden nugget to hold on too. Naturally, if there is not a fit for your product or service, then keep it on reserve for a future pitch.
Next, try to understand the person who is responsible for the marketing of the business you are trying to pitch. They are not the enemy. Most are controlled by budgets and P&L strategies that can undermine their commitment to spending, but most are also charged with finding and funding new partner opportunities. Check out their LinkedIn and other social profiles to build a character profile of the person.
Be personable. No one wants to be called Dear Sir in an opening email or call. We have a name that should always be used. Plus stop with this constant question of asking if I'm the right person to talk to - your research should have already evaluated that question. Nothing annoys us more than being assumed to be the right person for you to pitch.
Don't be scared of a no. Most of the time, no is a quick and simple get out clause if the offer is not to one's liking. Instead, understand and evaluate why the answer is no and what can be changed to make your solution more appealing.
Don't use appointment setters. If you are not going to do your own dirty work...
Do your best to arrange a demonstration of your product or service. This is your main chance to impress and can indeed use the support of those around you.
It would be incredibly difficult to sell the service as an idea, so what the marketing professional needs to do is to gather the entire evidence of what you pitch to effectively pitch it themselves to company boards. So make this presentation all about the business you are pitching. No generic offers, please.
Talk to us like humans. We have souls, honestly. Understand that you are one of many pitches and therefore to remain memorable you need to have a personality. 9 times out of 10, we will work for teams that have personnel that we like. People buy from people.
Take advantage of video chat. Like most people these days, we are homebound. And like most people, we are going stir crazy. This is the best time to get talking so let's use the tools that Zoom, Google, Teams etc have to enlighten and enrich our otherwise laborious days.
Don't add me to an email list. GDPR was designed to control us, marketing people, so don't start with doing what we had to change a couple of years back. We shall happily opt-in to receive marketing newsletters that are relevant but let us make that choice. Scattergun email send-outs are so 1998. If I don't know you or are unaware of your business, you will likely end up in my spam box or be deleted without care.
Don't be a pest. Chasing anyone for an answer will ultimately mean it will be a no. Sending countless follow-up emails when it was stated the ball was in our court does no one any good. Patience is key, especially if your offer demands it.
Prove your offer. Finally, and most importantly, those in marketing will probably give in to a well-executed pitch if it proves what it offers. 97% of marketing is copied from something else, so if we can be shown how another business has succeeded with your offering, then we have something to bite.
Collaboration between sales and marketing is imperative. One can not exist without the other, so let's not fight. Let's embrace and understand what it means to do business with each other. Or not, I'm too busy colouring in any way.