What B2B Marketers Can Learn from The Dress

the-dress-312x192If you have an internet connection and working eyeballs, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a big debate raging about whether a certain dress is blue and black or white and gold. As with most totally insignificant things that appear on online, it’s gotten people really riled up.

It’s easy to make fun of the hysteria the dress has caused, but it’s highlighted just how much friction arises when two groups of people see the exact same thing in a totally opposite way. Personally, I didn’t exactly make that connection (in fact I was mostly just tearing my hair out wondering how anyone could think that dress was white.)

However, Evan Nissenbaum, one of our B2B Marketing Specialists (and creator of the meme in this blog post), immediately connected all this silliness with the dress to a Universal Truth: Sales and Marketing can’t ever seem to agree. And while the argument over the color of the dress is just a distraction and likely to dissipate after a few days, lack of Sales and Marketing alignent is an ongoing issue that can be truly destructive to business growth.

Both followers of “the dress” and Sales and Marketing need a single source of truth in order to resolve their differences. In the case of the dress, Wired has finally provided an extensive, scientific analysis proving that the dress is really blue and explained why all you confused folks out there are still seeing it as white.

When it comes to Sales and Marketing alignment, untangling the confusion doesn’t require knowledge of RGB values, but it does require a solid understanding of the science of Marketing. So often, Marketing and Sales speak a completely different language, mostly because Marketing is engaged in a flurry activity to drive high lead volume and collects mass quantities of data that will never mean anything to Sales.

Meanwhile, Sales is focused on selling into a finite group of accounts that meet a specific set of criteria. The result of this disconnect, as many of you probably know all too well, is far worse than a fight on Twitter. Our customer Iron Mountain found themselves in that very difficult situation, but fortunately they were able to find a solution. Their sales and marketing teams got together to agree on a target account list, and utilized our Account-Based Marketing capabilities to achieve a 219% increase in conversions while capturing more useful and richer data.

Basically, the point here is that while an argument over the color of the dress is likely to do irreparable damage to your relationship with your best friend or maybe even your spouse, your Sales and Marketing alignment issues are actually quite fixable.

In fact, when Evan isn’t busy creating hilarious memes, he’s busy helping other marketers develop their Account-Based Marketing strategies and start speaking the same language as Sales. You can chat with him on Twitter (about the dress, or Account-Based Marketing) at @EvanNissenbaum.