Posted by Peter O'Neill on January 25, 2011
It is January, 2015, and technology sales reps Reg, Xerxes, Francis, and Loretta have been to the movies to watch a rerun of Monty Python’s Life of Brian, probably one of the best film comedies of any time. At dinner afterward, they are reliving the scene where the commandos discuss “what did the Romans ever do for us” when one of their marketing colleagues stops by to say hello. After the marketing manager leaves, they continue their discussion.
Now there’s another point. Those people in marketing. What have they ever done for us?!
Well, they give us much better leads now.
Yes. Compared to before, they’re really qualified. I can certainly close my deals much quicker than I used to. To be honest, I didn’t even look at leads five years ago — they were a waste of my time.
Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that's true. Yeah.
And those contact profiles.
Oh, yeah, the contact profiles. Remember what it used to be like? We’d have no idea who we were visiting. Had to ask all those questions about family and hobbies. Now, before I see someone, marketing give me a full profile — I see their Facebook, I know how LinkedIn they are. I even see their last 20 tweets.
Yeah. All right. I'll grant you: Leads and the contact profiles are two things that marketing has done for us.
And the customer videos. I have a batch of net promoter customer videos here on my machine. I type in a keyword and it suggests which videos I should play. That always hammers home our message.
Well, yeah. Obviously the videos. I mean, the videos go without saying, don't they? But apart from the leads, the contact profiles, and the videos --
Return on investment data. All those TEIs make our job so much easier now.
And have you noticed how some customers seem to know more about our products than we do nowadays. They even know what other users have been doing. I asked a client where they get that information from last week; he told me that our marketing people had been engaging with them in a discussion forum. He didn’t even know that we could solve their problem before that forum engagement.
Ohh . . .
Yeah, yeah. All right. Fair enough: engagement.
And marketing tell us why people need our products. They describe the business outcomes and help us to really sell the story.
Oh, yes. Yeah . . .
Yeah. Yeah, that's something we'd really miss, Reg, if marketing left. Huh.
Yeah, and they certainly know how to keep order. Let's face it. They're the only ones who could in a place like this.
Hehh, heh. Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.
All right, but apart from the leads, contact profiles, videos, TEI, promotions, engagement, business outcomes, and public order, what has marketing ever done for us?
Oh. Peace? Shut up!
You can actually re-watch this classic scene from the film at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ab7mElJwvOs&feature=related. The scene above (well, their version), starts after 2 minutes into the 8 minute clip.
Is there anything else you think that these sales reps might be saying about marketing in 2015? We’d like your feedback, please.
Always keeping you informed! Peter
The script for Life of Brian is available at http://web.archive.org/web/20071002222808/http://www.mwscomp.com/movies/brian/brian.htm
Search Forrester's Blogs
The Four Social Programs Every Marketer Must Study »
Free Webinar Series
The Top Emerging Technologies To Watch »