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Marketers are builders of wealth, but when will they take the credit they deserve?

This post was a live commentary by James Obermayer on the SLMA Radio Program of Feb 17, 2010

I ask marketing managers at the speeches I give a simple question.

 “If you were accused of building wealth for your company could they convict you?”  Is there enough evidence to find you guilty as a wealth builder because of the products you have brought to market, the branding messages you have communicated and the demand you have created?  Can it be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Can you show management the money?

 Unfortunately, most people in marketing would have to search for that evidence and most would fail.  The c-suite will give marketers credit for product creation and introductions, that’s visible.  They might even admit that the branding message came from marketing.   No one would doubt that the web site, tradeshows, advertising, webinars, direct mail and email come from marketing.  But proving that any of this actually turned into a sale and built wealth for the company, ah, that is another matter.  

Let’s take the most visible opportunity to create wealth and that is creating sales leads and proving what turns into a sale and what doesn’t.  Marketing managers can now prove the value of their contributions by making sure that:

1. They spend money to create sales inquiries and qualified leads that turn into sales at a greater rate than their competitors.  That’s called market share gains. 

2. They can prove it by having the tools to prove it:  the best CRM and marketing automation programs that they can buy.

3. They predict the sales results before they spend the money.

4. They track every lead generating project and show the sales results.

5. They take credit for the wealth they create:  they report on the sales achieved.

That’s it, no more excuses, nothing about salespeople not following up, no more about sales managers who don’t buy into the CRM as a tool.  Wealth builders don’t let anything  or anyone stand in their way. 

So I ask our listeners, if you’re accused of building wealth for your company will you plead guilty and there will be enough evidence to convict you?   Can you show management the money? 

As surely as Jerry McQuire became a believer in that famous scene with Cuba Gooding Jr. in the movie by the same name, you have to make a transition from a timid manager to one who believes that he or she can produce wealth for their company.

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