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Case Study: Role-Based Marketing Links Sales and Marketing Across IBM Software Group

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Web Exclusive. This article is companion content for The New Language of Marketing 2.0: How to use ANGELS to Energize Your Market, by Sandy Carter. Visit ibmpressbooks.com/angels to learn more about this release and access additional bonus content.
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At IBM Software Group, one effective use of a Screaming Angel technique is the role-based approach to marketing with a focus on our 40 roles (see Figure 1).

Buell Duncan runs Software Group marketing, connecting the dots between five of IBM’s core software brands. But he views the focus on role-based marketing as doing more than connecting with the customer—he sees it further connecting sales with marketing. As Duncan explains it, “In connecting the sales and marketing organizations, we are introducing and adding role-based marketing. We are taking role-based marketing and not just identifying the individual roles and then lining up the value propositions, the content, the messaging, and the collateral for each role, but also connecting better with each of these roles and clients personally. We look at the sales force to give us the validation of whether we picked the right roles to help support their efforts and their territory. Do we have the right and meaningful targeted collateral aligned to that? Do we have the contact list that we rely heavily on in sales to get those contacts to be more effective in our marketing? So, role-based marketing is about more tightly linking the sales teams with the marketing organizations because together, they are far more effective and more powerful than if they are separate.”

Figure 1

Figure 1 Roles analysis and prioritization for IBM software group.

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