It’s Halloween. The perfect time for exaggerated characters and larger-than-life personalities. You know, like some of the people you meet in Aviation, Aerospace and Defense Marketing. We invite you to join us this week for a little tongue-in-cheek fun as we outline the “5 Types of Sales and Marketing People You Meet in A&D.”
He makes enough sales to fly under the radar and doesn’t seem to report to anyone. He “networks” a lot, both on the road or on the golf course, but shares little with the team when he returns. His methods are a mystery and his contacts are untouchable. Any market information or intelligence is his and his alone. He hasn’t logged into your CRM since he grumbled through the mandatory training session. Generally jovial and easygoing, he’s in a perpetual feud with Marketing. If only he had more print mailers, brochures and polo shirts…
Why It Matters: Information is the lifeblood of modern marketing. The Old Dog’s inability or unwillingness to use technology is hurting the entire organization. What’s more, the lack of discipline and structure enable his behavior, making it possible for him to hoard information and avoid accountability for just about everything.
She started with the company 30 years ago as an assistant and worked her way to the top. Now, as vice president of marketing, she’s focused on protecting her turf. She can smile and joke with the boss — everyone else is greeted with an icy stare. People annoy her. Salespeople really annoy her. Saying “no” is what she does best. It never occurs to her that the purpose of marketing is to help sales, and delivering leads seems to be the last thing on her mind.
Why It Matters: No man (or woman) is an island, and sales can’t succeed without help from marketing. But because they are separate organizations, with individual agendas and goals, there is no sense of shared destiny, and no incentive to support one another.
He’s a jack-of-all-trades rogue salesman who has made himself indispensible to the organization. He’s always quick to help a colleague. He’s even quicker to share his opinion. Maybe it was that creative writing class he took in college, or that pirated copy of Photoshop his nephew gave him, but he regularly injects himself in Marketing’s review process. He can often be found standing over the shoulder of the copywriter telling her which words to use, or marking up the latest ad creative.
Why It Matters: He’s wasting time and resources, irritating his co-workers and not really adding value. The Change Agent thrives in an organization without clear processes, roles and organizational discipline. There is no mechanism for keeping him in his lane, so he runs amuck.
First he was an engineer. Now he’s a technical sales person. And that makes him a marketing expert — just ask him. He’s convinced data is all that is needed to sell any product, so he demands that huge swaths of your brochure, website, even advertisements are covered in detailed, highly technical specifications. He is quick to give you information you don’t want, but makes it difficult (and painful) to get what you really need.
Why It Matters: It’s dangerous to confuse technical knowledge and marketing expertise. As an advisor, Dr. Know is essential for accuracy, but allowing him to define marketing strategy or content is probably not a good idea.
He’s supposed to be running the organization, but he never stops running from one thing to another. Even if you have a strategy, don’t expect him to follow it. His focus is whatever fancies him today — tomorrow could be a completely different story. He changes direction on a whim and spends money on one random tactic after another. His team is frantic, frustrated and ineffective.
Why It Matters: If employees are confused and burned out, imagine how customers must feel. With no focused strategy or consistent approach, the marketing can’t be effective. At the same time, the team is wasting money on tactics that probably aren’t working, but there’s no way to know for sure because no one is collecting or analyzing data.
Does Any of This Sound Familiar?
As with any satire, there's a hint of truth which makes much of this sound familiar. While high-performing sales and marketing teams work together to achieve shared goals, a chronic lack of sales and marketing alignment can give rise to personalities and problems like these. If these people do sound familiar, take a closer look at your organization. Is it distinguished by shared goals and accountability, or finger pointing and blame? Are there clear processes and roles? Or chaos and confusion? Are decisions driven by data? Or do random opinions rule the day?
It’s very possible that separate organizations are preventing your aerospace and defense business from reaching its true sales and revenue potential.