When is Marketing Accountable?

Few businesses have failed because of a surplus of customers. However, none has succeeded by losing customers. Even the great General Motors has been feeling the pinch now that the Japanese outsell them in their home market. We are engaged with a major client with whom we’ve enjoyed a fine relationship for well over a decade. Not long ago this client was taken over by a larger company. Understandably the new owners wield a razor sharp new broom. All processes are under scrutiny - streamlining saves money and a brighter future beckons.

In steps a new direct marketing ad agency. Highly aggressive, tops on pretty pictures, lots of flash, cute stuff for the web. Plus a new strategy for mining and maximizing database information gleaned from past marketing activities. And more.

As you know eti Sales Support is a specialist in sales lead generation, qualification and appointment setting. Plus all the before, during and after essentials.

Now we find ourselves faced with a sharp increase in the quantity of inquiries, many of which turn out to be badly off target.

In summary, the cost per inquiry is way down - as a result of offers which do not specifically reveal genuine need and or pain. The result is when we call to qualify them fewer inquiries are being converted to pipeline opportunities. The cost per genuine prospect is therefore seriously increased.

The company’s newly organized marketing department is enjoying the success of having lowered the cost per inquiry. Although they are aware of the drop in back end results they seem to be pouring more and more money into this strategy.

Sales management however, is disappointed. For while the number of inquiries are up, the number of qualified opportunities is down. With the result that sales volume will inevitably suffer.

The $64,000 question is - why isn’t marketing being held accountable for the poor quality of these inquiries?

Michael Falkson

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