Marketing Vs Sales Vs Technical

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There’s a war going on out there…It’s brutal, it’s relentless and, like all wars, there’s always the potential for casualties. 

Let’s set the scene.  At any given time, legions of professional e-marketers gaze intently at their target audience through the finely-tuned sights of their opt-in mailing list.

With their trigger finger poised in eager anticipation, they unleash their precious marketing payload with laser-sharp accuracy towards their quarry.

The binary hordes are released – every email bearing news of compelling ‘value propositions’.  Each one has a specific destination, a destiny to be fulfilled and an outcome to be realised.

Meanwhile, dug deep in their bunkers, IT Managers and IT Administrators await … They know their ‘enemy’ well and keep their primary defenses in a high state of alert.  Together with sophisticated filtering software to protect their networks, the technical teams form a formidable line of defense against the onslaught of both inbound and outbound email.  After all, email’s just email, right?

No matter.  With strategies, tactics and policies firmly in place, mailing lists primed and mail servers ‘locked down’ – so it begins.

Friendly Fire
Incredibly, the adversaries described above are actually on the same side and are simply playing out a scenario that is very common within many businesses.

 
On one side are the e-marketers along with their comrades-in-arms – the sales teams, while the other side is composed of those charged with maintaining the overall well-being of the company IT infrastructure.

And this, despite the fact that – according to a recent survey by email marketing specialists, e-media, less than a fifth of IT managers actually declared any hostility towards email as a mass marketing medium. In fact,43% of IT Managers actually felt positive about it!

Flak From All Sides
As if this wasn’t enough for e-marketers to deal with, they’ll frequently be involved in a two-way tussle with the sales effort for primacy in who is the dominant dynamic in driving company revenue streams.

A sales force will rightly lay claim to persistent, highly-focused endeavour emanating from slogan-filled hives of ‘sharp end’, ‘front line’ activity.  Don’t marketers, by comparison, sit around sipping cappucino while admiring their latest creation? 

Marketers on the other hand, will justifiably label themselves as the company ‘think tank’. A breeding ground where innovative persuasion techniques are born and nurtured that identify, reach and motivate prospects into becoming warm leads.  Doesn’t this just leave sales with the ‘straightforward’ task of closing the deal?

All Together Now
It’s clear that there’s a disconnect between the wants and needs of the sales and marketing effort (ie. those who create, define and close business opportunities) compared to the vital role played by those who keep company networks secure and available.

This imposes a considerable challenge to the folks who control internal operations – after all, isn’t outbound email messaging as mission critical as IT systems security?

Business success can be gauged in a number of different ways but ultimately a balance sheet will reveal everything you need to know.  To this end, all parties – sales, marketing AND IT – need to work together to produce a mutually desirable outcome which means a collaborative approach to e-marketing delivery.

Delivery Best Practice
There is evidence to suggest that marketers do not currently seek advice from their own IT department on how email delivery can be assured.

In fact, the following statistics make for sobering reading when you consider that, according to e-media’s survey 80% of IT departments will filter out messages with trigger words, 64% will not allow content such as images, multimedia files, active script or hidden text while 75% employ blacklists/whitelists and 51% use Sender ID or Sender Policy Framework (SPF).

Furthermore, it was discovered that a tiny minority of IT systems (just 3%) have no form of spam filtering at all.  For an emarketer, this represents an extremely small window of opportunity indeed regardless of the size of their mailing list.

Finally, only 3% of IT Managers felt that campaigns were delivered by the IT and Marketing departments together, even though 8% of marketing respondents claimed they were.

This is where e-marketers need to get cute.  Without meaningful dialogue with their IT people they are, to all intents and purposes, doing little more than generating internal ‘spam’.

Meaningful questions need to be asked between all parties however.  Such as, Who’s responsible for the email campaigns?  How is spam dealt with?  How are blocked emails managed?  And what considerations need to be made to accommodate modern, content-rich email such as video?

And while the salespeople may feel like casual observers in all this, it’s entirely in their interests that the process of email delivery is as smooth and seamless as possible.

It’s always good to have options
With e-media’s findings pointing to the fact that only 15% of email marketing campaigns are currently outsourced to specialists, it’s clear that marketing, sales and IT departments would greatly benefit by adopting a best practice approach by working together rather than against each other.

If this isn’t practical, then serious considerations should be given to outsourcing emarketing campaigns to specialist email marketing companies who are experts in this niche area.  That way, significant, tangible and measureable results can be achieved – all without a single shot being fired!

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