If you’ve ever seen Shark Tank, it’s obvious that the shark analogy is about these investors with a ferocious appetite for seizing opportunity and new business. But a slightly more subtle analogy is that if an actual shark stops swimming, it dies. That’s not to say that seizing opportunity is equal to life itself.
To put it simply, if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards.
I’ve had a knack for integrating sales and marketing from an early age, starting multiple successful businesses and even cultivating a robust sales force. One thing I learned that’s not widely taught is that marketing and sales are two sides of the same coin.
A typical example is what often happens in the automotive industry. The marketing team is behind the corporate desk trying to take advantage of every opportunity to make the cars as appealing as possible. They run a beautiful ad at all the right times and places. You scan an article online and see one of these ads for a luxury sedan you’ve been eyeing at $299 per month. “Aha!” you say. “Because I’ve done my homework and calculated how much I can afford on my monthly payments, that’s PRECISELY the kind of deal I can afford!” So you amble over to the local dealership, chat with the nice salesman, take it for a spin around the block, and by the time you’re ready to sign the paperwork, you read the fine print – and then remember why you don’t like car salesmen.
“This is NOT what the ad said!” you say…calmly. Now you, the prospective customer, are mad at the salesman for his supposedly dubious tactics, and the salesman is mad that he’s tasked with giving the news the marketing team sort of dumped on him, explaining and apologizing for the red tape attached to the ad that he had no part in creating. That’s the never-ending tragedy of the communication breakdown still plaguing businesses.
When I ran an automotive sales team selling everything from modest electric commuters to fire-breathing tire squealers, the internet was starting to balloon into the largest information powerhouse it is today, and I saw a shift in the sales world. People came to my showroom floor practically writing research papers on MSRP rates. The customer now had the upper hand because they knew more about the cars than my salespeople.
All the cards were on the table and it shifted from a seller’s world to a buyer’s world. That’s when I saw the need for an agency with the abilities of a traditional operation, but doing more than churning out advertisements. The focus should be on giving clients the knowledge that allows them to focus on their expertise while maximizing future growth through partnership. This is how Wexler grew from marketing automation to integrating the aspects of both agency and consultancy. We don’t just sell you the seed; we guide you as you plant, grow and harvest the fruit.
Much like cultivating a superior football team, each player in this agency focuses their efforts on maximizing their specialty to create a cohesive, well-oiled machine with a common goal. Once that’s been established, we can constantly move towards that goal, even when we feel like we’re running in place. That is the philosophy of drive we look for at Wexler.
The world of marketing and sales can shift quickly in the information age, so once you stop to smell the roses, you’ve impeded your momentum. So as marketers, salesmen, consultants and analyzers, we always have to keep swimming.