Marketing is a challenging job, but the good news is you don’t need a bigger budget or new technology to succeed this year.

But you will need to change: new year, new you!

With ChiefMartec estimating that there are now over 11,000 martech products in the marketplace, marketing has been truly mechanised. Yet, the human touch remains fundamental to ensure leads become customers, and processes convert. Incidentally, that is where business opportunities are being lost.

Just weeks into 2024, the demand marketing challenges marketers are facing are already being highlighted more than the solutions for success, with 53% of marketers stating they’re struggling to meet their pipeline goals. But the truth is, they can be overcome with the most basic of tactics: teamwork—the one thing that’s never kept pace with the changes of the industry.

A mindset and culture change will unlock results that, for some, have become increasingly elusive. Marketing and sales aligning on goals and workflows, with transparency and constant feedback, fortifies the pipeline and ensures campaigns don’t fail.

Teams that don’t talk, don’t hit targets.

LinkedIn unearthed a troubling stat last year, a secret marketing and sales have been concealing under the commotion of criticism. Just 16% of B2B teams are aligned.

It’s a stat that left the industry shuddering, but it shouldn’t. That crack in working culture has exposed an enormous growth opportunity for teams and, it costs nothing.

With just 5% of buyers in-market at any one time, targeting is already tough, so teams simply can’t afford to work as individuals. They must take joint ownership of entire outcomes and work towards single KPIs. LinkedIn found buyers already exposed to marketing were more likely to connect with sales. In one industry, financial services, it spiked 56% when executed within 30 days.

CFOs are now on board with the buying journey, making sure every penny spent makes sense. As a result, sales and marketing teams must unify and speak the same language, to tell a single story to the CFO in order to get that new budget line item approved.

Marketers need to get better at marketing, and selling themselves internally, to get what they need—Transmission found half of CFOs were only “fairly” confident in their CMOs to make effective budget decisions—to better inform sales and hold them accountable. They need to ensure their internal processes reflect their external: build awareness and engagement with sales and then help sell the solution.

Sales need to understand the entire buying process, not just the parts that involve them. By understanding the nurture, they can nail conversion. Teams on the same page make less mistakes and more compelling pitches to CFOs.

To secure a pipeline of performance, teams must finally put to bed the ‘Marketers are from Mars, Sales are from Venus’ mentality; stop fighting over budget and internal attribution by working against each other. They must work cohesively before campaigns even begin—informing viewpoints before problems occur—during, and after. Balance brand versus demand and play the short and long game simultaneously. It's all hands-on deck, all the time.

Aligning on metrics safeguards measures from becoming false finish lines where teams check out of campaigns, and adding options around conversion-attribution ensures budget is spent only where it is needed.

A ‘where did you hear about us’ field on your contact us form is needed to ensure the buyers’ journey is being accurately mapped and not skewered by a single channel, such as search. Clicks don’t always reflect origin, and search can simply be the end action of a buyer informed elsewhere. Teams need to help the CFO make the right decisions by ensuring the right data is always in front of them when securing budget for additional marketing channels and tactics.

This year is all about teamwork and that should excite CMOs and CFOs, because change will elicit immediate results with zero spend. And it must happen.

The playbooks of old don’t compute in the digital era where less and less is being done in person as buyers want a hands-free experience, yet expect it personalised and tailored to their needs. They want better service.

Combined insights are what relationships will be built on and will become the nucleus of all deals. Sales are customer sounding boards and marketing an industry thermometer. That knowledge—not free drinks, meals and swag—will unlock new business. But it will take a team effort to close it.

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