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Why You Can't Let Non-Marketers Market For Your B2B Tech Company

Why You Can't Let Non-Marketers Market For Your B2B Tech Company

Posted by Nili M. Zaharony on Oct 30, 2014

Are you a marketer in the tech industry? Stop me if any of this sounds familiar.

  • “This blog isn’t technical enough!”
  • “It doesn’t give a good enough of a top level overview.”
  • Why aren’t you talking about [INSERT PRODUCT NAME HERE]?”

Sales don’t appreciate the work we do. The boss doesn’t get the inbound marketing strategy and finance has no clue what marketing automation is so they won’t approve your budget request for “Hubspot”!

Why aren’t marketers respected?marketing for non-marketers

Breath. We get it. It’s okay and you aren’t alone. I’ve worked with many tech companies, both veteran companies and fresh-faced start-ups. One of the biggest issues I’ve noticed is that a lot of marketers suffer from “too many cooks in the kitchen” syndrome (TMCITKS). TMCITKS means that there is an over-involvement of other departments in marketing’s work. Don’t get us wrong- cooperation is incredibly important…but sometimes you need to trust the marketing guys to market. Otherwise, what the heck are you paying them for?

Inbound marketing is a relatively new model. The traditional view of marketing puts great emphasis on cold calling and advertising. It’s not especially time or resource efficient and it’s worked for many companies for many years. But with the millennial uprising…the winds are changing.

The modern marketer needs to be part artist and part scientist. This can lead to the assumption that we’re a little bit spaced out and essentially full of hot air. It’s our job, not only to market the company but ourselves as well to make the company understand what it is we’re doing and why it’s valuable. For no other reason then to get the non-chef’s out of the kitchen!

A Classic Case of TMCITKS

We very recently enjoyed a classic example of TMCITKS. One of my colleagues was working on a project, and wanted to send a test release to the project manager (who was out of the country and unavailable). Not sure who could sign off on the campaign, the project manager’s assistant provided a list of people to survey. This list included the CEO, VP Dev, and a few more higher-ups. What ensued was frenzy of e-mails asking for alterations, adjustments, and tweaks, including my favorite requests…”It looks too small on my phone…can you make a version for all the main mobile OS’s?” and “I don’t want to scroll on my phone…we should be able to see the whole email on the screen” These requests, needless to say, were not coming from marketers. Such is life with mobile optimized content. What should have been a last check before general release turned into a weeklong nightmare of endless edits and convincing these people that their requests aren’t practical.

The Solution

To Marketers – take off the impossibly pointy shoes, use less gel and consider some less chunky glasses. Make sure that you can prove to sales that you are the reason they have leads to chase after, but be humble about it. Talk to the techies AND understand what they’re saying. Be a renaissance (wo)man.

To the Rest of the Company – Let the marketing guys do their work. Trust them. It’s in your best interest if they achieve their goals and they have their ways of doing it. You just need to give them the time, space, and resources to do so. If you’ve gone to the effort to hire a marketer or a marketing team, then you need to step back and let them do what they do best.

Convince your finance department that MA is worth it – Are you ready for marketing Automation?

The Hitchhikers Guide to Marketing Automation

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Nili M. Zaharony

Written by Nili M. Zaharony

CMO at Penguin Strategies. With extensive experience in B2B startups ranging from enterprise offerings, crowd-sourcing, and cloud analytics, her goal is to transform dry, complex, or technical material into valuable and marketable content.

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