Please allow me to take this opportunity to wish all of you who are celebrating Christmas, a wonderful festive break. The greetings above was created by our resident graphic genius, affectionately known as "Bill the Graphic" from a photograph I took myself of my local church - Le Basilique. Admittedly, persuading Santa to pose was challenging, so we improvised somewhat.
Ok, now to the business of the day - will sales and marketing ever get married? Of course not, no chance, ever. It is as likely as the considerably overweight girl with terminal acne and occasional bouts of uncontrollable flatulence being asked to dance by the local stud at the village hop.
Why? For virtually the same reason that sales will never marry the "pointy-heads" from the technical department, or the "sales prevention officers" in accounts. Chalk and cheese; day and night; black and white.
You see, whilst the unfortunate fat girl may slim down and find a pimple curing miracle cream, she will always think of hereself as unattractive - because she has always been unattractive and second best.
It is true that in the last two years marketing has enjoyed a new lease of life with the arrival of a proliferation of lead generation software - and then of course most forward thinking companies on the planet are creating "Social Media Strategies" which gives the marketing function something meaningful to be getting on with.
Meanwhile, the engine room of any company - it's forward line/offense is facing a daily battle to win business against a backdrop of shrinking markets, reduced margins and typically, increased quotas.
Marketing "personnel" do not get fired for missing quota - they don't have quotas. They don't operate at the frontline where the blood and guts are being spilled daily - they are more akin to the Catering Corps. There job is to provide support via a constant stream of - qualified - leads and opportunities.
I don't think this new lease of life is temporary. I do think that the marketing function will continue to grow in importance, and I am pleased about that. It was the same when psychometric testing became widely popular, and all of a sudden HR departments were created all over the place - someone in the company needed to be authorised to use the tests and as no-one else was remotely interested, it became an HR function.
So, in summary, forget any formal legitimisation of the relationship beween sales and marketing - co-operative co-exsitence is as much as we can hope for I believe.
(Exits stage left, in anticipation of slings and arrows from disgruntled marketing types)
More tomorrow ......JF