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Data helps bridge gap between marketing and sales offices

Companies have always desired to gain competitive advantages by better appealing to customers through strong direct marketing strategies, but this endeavor is one that's becoming more challenging every year. Part of the difficulty lies in the complexity of many businesses - for example, if you have one department for marketing and another for sales, you need to work to get these two distinct groups to collaborate.

Data is one piece of the puzzle when it comes to uniting these factions and getting them to build a brand together. If both sides have intricate collections of information about their customers and they're able to work with it together - adding to it regularly and thinking critically about how they can improve their practices - this will give any business a greater chance at success.

Fortunately, there's hope that with marketing automation, both sides can work effectively toward their branding and selling goals. According to the "Marketing Automation Benchmark Summary" report, released by demand generation company Ascend2, 45 percent of companies expect to improve marketing productivity through automation. In addition, 44 percent envision increasing sales revenue and 42 percent are eyeing better lead generation.

Elyse Dupre, associate editor of Direct Marketing News, sees this as a positive development as companies seek to fine-tune their branding strategies.

"Marketing and sales executives tend to view each other more as scallywags than shipmates, but both crews put their differences aside to find the same coveted treasure: ROI," Dupre recently noted. "Uncovering the booty is essential, and failing to do so can send employees straight to Davy Jones' Locker. As a result, many organizations turn to marketing automation to ensure that the journey to the loot is all smooth sailing."

Of course, in order to unlock the secrets of marketing automation, all companies need higher standards for data quality. Only with complete and accurate information can businesses better streamline the process of building fruitful customer connections.