It's One Story, Folks

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I came across this quote the other day:  “Spend sixteen weeks in the jungle and you being to question your own sanity, especially when you are the one goading everyone else ahead.”  Tahir Shah

Have you ever felt that you’re just slogging forward with no clear view beyond what’s right in front of you?  Or worse, you’re slogging forward and dragging nice folks along with you?

As a marketer I used to feel this way all the time. Managing the moving parts—people, budgets, processes, projects, programs, campaigns, vendors, systems, communications, dashboards, etc.—will always make it hard to keep focused on the big picture.  It’s still hard to optimize this moving balance.

But in many ways marketing has gotten easier just because a lot of what vexed me was the disconnect between marketing and sales.  About ten years ago the market began to see that marketing and sales are a continuum.  In SaaS this means that a lead becomes a deal becomes a customer becomes a renewal.  It’s one story over time, a single lifecycle whether it flows directly or meanders along over time.  Treating marketing and sales as a single operation improved the whole business of marketing, and CRM and Marketing Automation made it doable.

In IT the moving parts and contingencies are even worse.  Each project is packed with its own detail, each portfolio packed with projects, and there’s often functional siloes between this type of project and that type of project.

Why?  As with the marketing-to-sales example, if they’re part of the same cycle—essentially representing the life of an IT application from idea through retirement—they should be managed logically, as though they’re one big portfolio that shares common resources and core processes.  So you really can see the big picture, optimize, change course when you need to, and innovate.

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