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When it Comes to PR, a 'Perception Gap' Exists Between Marketing & Sales; SHIFT Survey Reveals Split Over PR's Perceived Value in Sales Lead Generation
[January 10, 2005]

When it Comes to PR, a 'Perception Gap' Exists Between Marketing & Sales; SHIFT Survey Reveals Split Over PR's Perceived Value in Sales Lead Generation


WATERTOWN, Mass. --(Business Wire)-- Jan. 10, 2005 -- Sales and Marketing professionals are on different pages when it comes to the ability of Public Relations to generate sales leads, according to the results of a comprehensive survey conducted on behalf of SHIFT Communications, a fast-growing national PR firm. The report is based on interviews with more than 100 Sales and Marketing professionals in organizations ranging from the FORTUNE 500 to Silicon Valley start-ups.



SHIFT's Marketing & Sales survey, engineered by Launch Pad, a San Francisco-based company that provides analytical marketing services to leading technology firms, reveals surprising differences of opinion between key departments about the ability of PR to deliver sales leads. For example:

-- 37 percent of survey respondents who are in Sales believe "lead generation" is an essential function of PR. However, only 16 percent of Marketing professionals - fewer than half of the respondents from Sales - believe a primary goal of PR is to directly generate leads.


"This survey provides context for SHIFT Communications' on-going mission to prove the link between reputation and revenue, and the results serve as a screaming wake-up call to the PR industry," said Todd Defren, a SHIFT principal.

"Marketing VPs are typically tasked with hiring PR firms. They are also responsible for feeding leads to Sales, which makes it imperative that their PR agencies understand the connection and arm them with the proper ammunition," Defren noted. "Until this gap can be closed, 'Public Relations' will continue to be relegated to a tactical line item in the Marketing budget, rather than as a strategic source of lead generation."

The survey suggests that salespeople appreciate the importance of "reputation" to their sales strategy, and also that a PR program's tangible deliverables (articles, awards, etc.) can be re-purposed as marketing collateral that's more valuable than any other single marketing tool.

Other survey highlights include:

-- Only 30 percent of all respondents believe lead generation is a function of PR, yet 49 percent of survey takers said the best measure of Public Relations success is the generation of more or better sales leads. This clear disconnect means sales leads from PR are highly valued - and yet not expected by the majority of survey takers.

-- 74 percent of respondents believe PR and "word of mouth" are more effective than advertising at generating sales leads.

On sales teams and PR ammunition:

-- Sales respondents believe "article reprints" are as important as brochures for sales tools; marketing respondents believe brochures are more important than article reprints.

-- Only 45 percent of companies surveyed regularly provide their sales teams with information on competitive trends. Meanwhile, more than half of sales respondents spend 1- 5 hours per week searching for competitive information, while another 19 percent spend more than five hours: time that could be better spent on outbound sales calls.

-- 42 percent of Sales people said Marketing was doing a poor job of providing the sales department with "PR results that help our sales efforts." Even more surprising: 28 percent of Marketing people agreed with them!

Many marketing departments may be missing an opportunity by not capitalizing on the results of their own PR efforts through things as simple as providing Sales with reprints and regular updates on PR successes.

SHIFT, a high performance PR firm, commissioned the survey after noticing the varying degrees of value assigned to its services by sales and marketing. The company is committed to educating businesses about effectively utilizing PR to maximize sales lead development. For more information about the survey, please contact Parry Headrick, pheadrick@shiftcomm.com or 415-591-8402.

About Launch Pad

Launch Pad is an analytical marketing consulting firm with more than a decade of experience conducting strategic and tactical marketing for high-tech companies. Launch Pad uses a fact-based approach to develop or validate clients' marketing strategies, including segmentation, positioning, pricing, lead generation, and event management. Numerous Launch Pad clients have experienced successful acquisitions or IPOs. Past and current clients include Vermeer, Signio, Qualys, Verity, Quack.com, Sygate, Polycom, and Loudcloud. Launch Pad is located in San Francisco, CA. Contact Launch Pad at www.lpad.com or (415) 776-0645.

About SHIFT Communications

SHIFT Communications' high performance public relations and marketing communications services bolster clients' marketplace reputation and produce measurable results that directly lead to increased revenues. The independent agency works with both new and established companies competing in a variety of technology, business-to-business, and consumer markets. SHIFT Communications' offices are located in the Boston, MA, and San Francisco, CA metros. For more information, visit www.shiftcomm.com.

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