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Marketing IS in the Middle: Adam Shapiro

Everyone is in sales, especially marketing or at least marketing is in the middle of the business operations and sales.  Adam Shapiro is a long term sales leader and has spent the last couple of years building out market, product positioning and sales execution models for companies as the President of MS Strategies.  Adam also blogs at Sales Reform School, so check him out, since as a Lawyer turned sales leader he writes some interesting stuff.  Adam provides some interesting views on why Marketing is in the Middle in his thoughts/feedback below.

What marketing roles have you had and in what markets?

I am a sales and marketing process consultant.  For the past four years, I have helped my clients translate their brand and marketing message into conversational tools and processes for collateral, web sites, and one to one conversations.  Most of my clients provide technology tools or services to their customers, but I have also helped consultancies and  more service-oriented businesses.

When you look at your career in marketing, what discipline/component have you found most interesting/challenging?

Most interesting to me is that so many successful people are “intuitives”; that is, they go about their careers working from the seat of their pants rather than a process.  This works well until they have to expand their responsibilities to others within or outside their teams.  Knowledge transfer, coaching, managing, etc. fails because there is no “playbook.”

What do you feel the most important component of a successful marketing gig?  (Product, Brand, Positioning)

Integration with other teams that are stakeholders.  Too often, marketer’s efforts are either unappreciated, underutilized, or in the worst case, miss their mark because sales, customer service, product management, etc. were not involved or considered.

If you could design the perfect corporate environment for a marketer to be successful what would that be?

Sales, marketing and product management are on the same page about what the market needs or wants and how the company’s offerings help with those needs or attain those goals.  There’s a feedback loop between business teams so marketing plans are embraced and there’s follow through when input or output is necessary.

How far is this from reality?

Close for my clients; not so close others.  That’s why I am in business.