CMO Council Gaffe

Like many other people, I have given the Chief Marketing Officer Council permission to send me their newsletter and typically enjoy getting emails from them.  Usually I find the information relevant and useful in my line of business.  However, I recently received a promotional email for a new report from the CMO Council and based on the copy I thought it was a free report (I skim mostly).  In fairness to the CMO Council the copy didn’t say “free” anywhere but it didn’t say there was a cost associated with the report either (see for yourself).

Dear David,
Companies, on a global level, are struggling to integrate critical demand generation functions, often fueling a harmful rift between sales and marketing groups. This is one of the revelations in Closing the Gap: The Sales and Marketing Alignment Imperative, a new global survey of more than 500 sales and marketing professionals from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMOC) Council. The report goes on to emphasize that  companies still lag in their ability to integrate and align sales goals with marketing activities, thus reducing the overall business performance of their organizations.
The Sales and Marketing Integration Audit reached out to a wide cross-section of marketing, sales and channel management professions worldwide. Key findings showed that: 

  • Less than 20 percent of respondents see their sales and marketing organizations as extremely collaborative; most felt the two groups had intermittent relations and interactions.
  • In looking at ways sales could add value to marketing messaging and communications, survey participants felt engaging strategically with customers to better understand issues and needs was the most valuable contribution.
  • In contrast, two of the most important roles marketing could play in optimizing sales performance were fielding campaigns that generated and nurtured leads and opportunities, as well as providing customized value-selling content and presentation materials.
  • Among those who have Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications, only 13 percent view the application as highly valued and widely deployed, while 42 percent see growing acceptance and adoption.
  • While 50 percent of those surveyed said they had pretty good or extensive visibility in to customer accounts and business activity, the other 50 percent said they had trouble finding customer account data, did not have enough information, or none at all.

The 50-page report delivers detailed findings with accompanying graphs, pictograms and charts, along with insight into what value each of these critical functions is looking to reap from their partners. As more executives are being held accountable for process and sales optimization, bridging the gap and aligning sales with marketing is a critical imperative versus a luxury of company culture.

To download the full report, please click here.


Donovan Neale-May
Executive Director
CMO Council

So I clicked on the link and was sent to a CMO Council Promotional Landing Page where I was asked for too much information (for a first date).  If I provided my contact information (which required a telephone number), I could get a summary of the report for free or I could pay to get the full report.  The form even asked for my email.  Didn’t they already have it?

I don’t begrudge the CMO Council for trying to make money, but this approach is shameful, particularly coming from a group calling itself the CMO Council.  I might have expected this from the “Selling Council” but from the CMO Council I expect a more innovative approach.  This in the old school category.  It takes longer for some to catch on.

Here are my thoughts…

1. The copy should have been absolutely clear about what was free and what would require a fee (and much shorter copy)

2. The landing page should have provided a teaser excerpt of the report summary

3. If the teaser caught my interest, there should have been a way to download the report summary with minimal registration information (ideally an email address only - since they already have that).

4. If I found the report summary to be compelling, give me a link to buy the full report.

Since the registration form required a telephone number you know what was going to happen next - a sales call.  There is no other reason why it was required.  And if I downloaded the free report summary, the call would have been to sell me on the full report.  I wasn’t ready for all that yet.  It’s too much like speed dating.

So how many people are clicking through from the email and then bailing when they see what’s required in the registration form?  Only the CMO Council webmaster knows for sure (assuming she reads the site analytics).

David Daniels

David Daniels

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