When Sales Calls for Help, How Does Marketing Answer?

by Jim Berkowitz on August 20, 2009

Here are several excerpts from an article by Scott Richardson, cofounder and president of Longwood Software, When Sales Calls for Support, How Does Marketing Answer?:

Forrester Research’s Lisa Bradner, in a 2008 report addressing the marketing asset management (MAM) space, said, “As marketing channels proliferate and organizations go global, marketers no longer able to store images, sell sheets, and catalog layouts on a file share are beginning to realize the importance of marketing asset management.”

She went on to list what MAM could do for marketers:

  • Prevent duplication and rework. By capturing photos, videos, logos, and other creative assets in a central repository — and controlling how, when, and by whom these assets are used —  a MAM system can provide a single source of information that minimizes mistakes and enhances brand consistency.
  • Lessen dependence on outside agencies. For many marketers, “asset management” means calling the agency and asking it to burn a CD with the missing files. Thus, they hop from crisis to crisis, waste time, and become hostage to their suppliers. A MAM system moves those files in-house and allows users to search directly for what they need.
  • Enhance collaboration inside the organization and out. MAM systems can route work-in-process files to participants and approvers. In the meantime, the system captures comments and changes, reports project status, and provides email notification of project updates, reducing marketers’ dependency on emailing large files and hunting down project participants.

Marketing portals that manage all of an organization’s marketing and sales assets are a hot topic. Marketers see portals as an avenue to streamline communication between marketing and sales, so both departments operate more efficiently. The marketing portal is a destination where salespeople find the right information at the right time for each selling situation, and where each salesperson benefits from best practices and companywide expertise.

10 essentials to look for in a marketing portal…

An effective marketing portal should have the following 10 characteristics:

  1. Unites your electronic and print marketing assets in one system.
  2. Manages assets easily and from within the marketing department.
  3. Unifies access from multiple sources, including sales teams, brokers, and creatives.
  4. Gives salespeople solutions, not just data.
  5. Combines push and pull, including self-service and automated notification of new materials.
  6. Manages components and finished goods within the same system.
  7. Is reconfigurable for promotional programs, new products, and new marketing materials.
  8. Collects data continuously from the field through a self-service library, surveys, usage tracking, and submission of customer success stories.
  9. Protects the company from the risks attendant with using unproven vendors.
  10. Is a complete system, not just a Web site.

MAM solutions, implemented via a Web portal, help marketers more-effectively manage increasing quantities of marketing programs, materials, and assets — often on a global basis with a diverse set of constituents — yet do it all with decreased budgets and a lean staff.

And they may just be the best answer to a salesperson’s call for help.

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