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What Is Marketing Supposed to Do? Data from our Webinar with Robin Robins

Posted May 27, 2015by Nate Teplow


About a month ago, we hosted a webinar with Robin Robins, titled How To Use BDR Solutions To Attract High-Quality Clients, Boost Sales And Add Profitable Recurring Revenue Streams. During the webinar, Robin asked the audience “What do you guys think marketing is supposed to do?”

Participants submitted their answers to Robin’s question into the chat window and as a marketer, I found the responses pretty interesting and thought they were worth sharing. 

Here’s how the answers break down.

Answers: What Does Marketing Do?

After the webinar, I exported an attendee report to look at the responses and bucketed them into “categories” to get some aggregate data on what people thought marketing should be doing. If you run your own webinars, you should also consider how to collect actionable insights from your attendees.

Here’s what our participants had to say:


These all sound like pretty obvious (and reasonable) responses, but I think they’re limiting in terms of marketing’s responsibilities.

While the above are MSP responses, I think a lot of people get this question wrong – even marketers do too. Here’s what I think marketing should do: make the job of the sales team (and/or account management team) as easy as possible.

To clarify, this doesn’t mean that marketing should answer to Sales' every beck and call. The two teams should work together, but just because the sales team thinks more emails should be sent doesn’t mean marketing needs to do it. However, marketing should focus on activities that help make the sales team's job easier.

This could take form in a number of ways, whether that be building awareness for you company through social media, educating prospects on business needs via your blog, marketing to your current clients with onsite visits etc. The point is, the answers above too narrowly define what marketing does.

Why Make This Distinction

Right now you might be thinking, “OK Nate, thanks for the clarification…how is this going to change the way my marketing team works.” I can’t put my finger on one thing you should be doing differently, but it’s more a change in mentality.

A lot of companies think they need to generate more leads to grow their businesses. They’ll say, “Hey marketers, we need more leads. Find out how to get us more.” Instead, the real revenue opportunity may be marketing to the current client base for an upsell.

Or another example, say you think marketing is there to increase awareness, but in reality visitors are bouncing from your website at a high rate. Maybe you need more compelling content on your website, rather than a focus on reaching new people.

When you change your mentality from “Marketing is here to…generate leads” (or “make phones ring” or “increase awareness”) to “Marketing is here to help Sales hit their goals,” that helps you focus on the right priorities rather than be limited in scope and responsibilities.

So if you’re an MSP business owner, or even a marketer at an MSP, it’s important to think about marketing the right way. When you narrow the scope, you could squander opportunities and put too much effort into initiatives that aren’t paying dividends to you. Think about where the sales process is breaking down and/or needs help, and find ways to smooth out that process so that your sales team, and the company, can hit their goals.

CONTINUUM PARTNERS: Don't miss Robin Robins' keynote speech at Navigate 2015 in September!

See also:

Download the full webinar now!

Webinar How To Use BDR Solutions To Attract High-Quality Clients, Boost Sales And Add Profitable Recurring Revenue Streams

Nate's experience spans inbound marketing, content strategy, marketing communications and B2B lead generation. A proud Miami Hurricane alumni, Nate enjoys staying active, traveling to new places and performing A/B tests.

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