The Important Function Often Overlooked by Marketing Leaders
By Mark Yeager
As the role of marketers grows wider and deeper among technology organizations, it can be overwhelming for marketing teams to cover all of the functions that are expected of them. So among their many responsibilities, what is the function that marketing leaders should perform for their organizations, but often overlook? And why is it so important?
The Most Important Function of Marketers
From our experience working with hundreds of B2B tech companies for over a decade, we have seen the most impact when leaders carry out this simple function: Align the entire organization to who the buyer is and the problems your product solves for them.
As legendary marketer Peter Drucker once said: “…the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous…to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.” This is an interesting statement when paired with the modern statistic that 76% of marketers feel they know what their customers want, yet only 34% have actually asked.¹
In fact, HubSpot reports that over 40% of companies don’t listen to their customers at all ー a huge loss considering Deloitte’s findings that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable than companies that did not focus on the customer. When marketing leaders truly embrace this function of delivering a clear picture of the buyer, specific to how each department needs to understand them, the organization as a whole will see improved results.
Benefits of a Company-Wide Customer Understanding
So why is it important that your entire company, not just the marketers, be aligned on who exactly you’re serving as a technology provider? When every department shares a common set of truths about the customer, several things happen:
SALES TEAMS know who is most likely to buy and focuses their attention on ideal prospective customers, not just anyone that wants to see a demo. Persona profiles help to educate the team on who is buying and why.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT teams prioritizes features that matter to the prospective audience, not what competitors are doing or enhancements that seem like a good idea. Product leaders obtain documented use cases and feature ideas based on what buyers actually do with the product.
CUSTOMER SERVICE teams understand what drives the buyers and are able to escalate important issues and remedy small problems more efficiently. They can anticipate upcoming issues that might be tied to a future release because they understand challenges the end-user might face.
Without company-wide alignment, each department creates their own perception of who the buyer is, often based on individual experiences that don’t match the needs of the true target audience. When marketing fills the misinformation gap with buyer insights, the customer experience improves, which in turn improves the company’s performance overall.
Customer Understanding Earns Marketers a Seat at the Executive Table
An extra benefit for marketing leaders embracing this function is that true insights about the customer is something every executive team will listen to. It doesn’t matter who has the loftiest title or the loudest voice – data about what real buyers want is what will guide important decisions, but only when it is available and credible. Otherwise, titles and noise will continue to steer the company.
Marketers earn the privilege of sitting at the executive table when they center conversations around data that helps all leaders and their teams develop a clear view of buyers’ needs for each of their specific customer interaction points.
So, marketing leaders, if there’s anything you need to remember it’s this: the most important function you can do for your B2B tech company is ensure that all teams understand the buyer the way you do. Accomplish that, and the rest will come much easier.