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Is company culture blocking marketing ROI in B2B tech?

Posted by Mark Debenham - June 29, 2015

“A bad workman blames his tools.” But what if the problem doesn’t lie with the tools or how the worker is using them, but rather who they’re working with?

In our InTech report, which covers the state of B2B tech marketing in 2015, culture was twice as likely than technology to be the biggest barrier to return on investment (ROI).

Let’s look at the main ROI barriers for today’s tech marketer and how a shift in company culture can pave the way for better sales results.

What the stats say about marketers and ROI

Biggest challenges to ROI tech marketersAccording to InTech, published in collaboration with B2B Marketing, B2B tech marketers found the biggest challenges to connecting marketing investment to sales and results to be: discord over how ROI should be measured and the lack of communication between sales and marketing teams.

A lack of technology for measuring ROI, and the absence of processes for doing so, were seen as secondary concerns.

33% of marketers saw the ‘lack of collaboration between sales and marketing’ as their biggest challenge to delivering ROI on sales results, while only 16% cited ‘lack of technological tools’.

It’s the culture, not the technology, that needs repairing

While the InTech results show a pattern of cultural issues (strategy disagreement and poor inter-department relationships), as being bigger barriers than technological ones, the ways of fixing the former are more nuanced.

If a piece of technology isn’t working for you, then you fix it, replace it, or stop using it, but how do you change a company’s culture? It’s important to first understand what you’re trying to change.

Understanding company culture

Company culture can be generally understood as being the way people behave within a business. That sounds slightly vague and it’s tricky to define exactly what ‘company culture’ is, partly because it’s different for every organisation.

It reveals itself through a company’s website, such as its ‘About us’ webpage (mission, values and descriptions), and the way its internal and external processes are executed. Everything from how teams interact with each other on the inside, all the way to how the product or service is designed and delivered on the outside.

It’s how a company operates and why.

Sales and marketing work together for the better

In InTech 92% of tech marketers said increasing its ROI on sales was important to its company and 78% said they found that goal challenging.

Issues impacting tech marketers

Those two stats suggest a business need for both departments to work together, as well as difficulty in reaching that goal.

A marketing strategy must have strategic sales input and measurement must work back from the required sales results to provide an objective view of success. Without this, clarity around how your marketing department delivers a return on sales is difficult to achieve and measure.

Ceck out this blog for some tips on aligning sales and marketing teams for a better culture and ROI.

Shifting the culture towards ROI

A company’s culture doesn’t suddenly change each time a new employee joins the organisation or has a new idea, as it’s something that’s hardwired into a business. That’s not a problem though. Small culture shifts in the office can bring about big results, while maintaining the business’s identity.

The idea of company culture isn’t inherently good or bad, but it needs to be open to change for the business to grow, otherwise employees will shift the blame from their tools to each other.

Download our InTech research report for more insight and advice on ROI and the current state of B2B tech marketing



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