About You

The fat has been cut, the whiteboard is worn out, and the recovery has yet to show up on your bottom line. Gray Suit Marketing has less an industry specialty than a client personality specialty. If you are eager for fresh eyes, immediate action, and long term advantage born of discipline, Gray Suit Marketing is ready.


Our most successful clients are marked by a certain outlook. They have an end-result orientation, the ability to make decisions, are comfortable with delegation, and respond well when reliable data suggests a path forward. If you are built this way, then we have suggestions for the challenges you are facing:

We’ve tried everything to drive revenue, what do we do now?

David Warren: Everything? Have you dug deep to reevaluate your core brand key messages? Do you have a guiding brand promise for your customer? Have you built those necessary emotional connections with your customers?

How can we get immediate revenue?

David Warren: If you’re not already getting immediate revenue, it time to take a very necessary break and look inward to the organization to find out what challenges are present in your marketing and sales cycle. Maybe your marketing materials need updating? A fresh design look? Keeping current with your competition is critical and will get you the cutting edge customers you need to drive not only immediate revenue, but sustained revenue.

Is social networking worth it?

John Driver: Yes. No. Maybe. Time will tell. The answer to this question is situational. If you are marketing scooters to the elderly, tweeting about your product on Twitter may not be the most efficient route to riches. However if your target market is Generation Y (born 1979 – 1999) and a prolific user of smart phones and facebook, social networking may be an excellent part of your marketing strategy.
There is no silver bullet in marketing. Social networking is a new marketing communications channel that can be used as a component of an integrated marketing strategy, but should not be viewed as a panacea or cure-all on its own. Like any tool in your marketing arsenal, it is only useful if you are leveraging it to influence or convert sales. Don’t do it just because everyone else is doing it. It is also relatively new, and the creators and consumers of social networking are deciphering, creating and changing its value daily. It is not however just a fad. It may morph over time, but it is here to stay.

Sales says Marketing is insufficient, Marketing says Sales people can’t convert.

John Driver: The tension between Sales and Marketing almost always starts at the very beginning. At the beginning of the fiscal year or quarter, most organizations plan their sales strategy independently from their marketing strategy. This causes trouble all year long because the assumptions, areas of focus, budgets, headcount allocations, goals and metrics are misaligned from day one. When the quarterly or yearly review of the results come in, everyone points fingers.
Sales & Marketing must think of each other as a team joined at the hips. This means they must agree before the fiscal year or quarter starts, on what each will provide and expect, to help the company meet its business objectives. This means agreeing to things such as: average sales cycle and average deal size by product, sales pipeline to sales ratio, sales territory priority, target titles in the customer’s organization, amount of pipeline needed by product. The list goes on. Agreement up front won’t eliminate the tension, but will reduce it greatly so everyone can focus on what is most important – the customer.

David Warren: It all starts with a rock solid marketing and brand base. Core key words and brand distinguishers drive sales. Marketing gives you the tools, if done correctly, and allows your sales force to go into the marketplace armed
and ready!

I don’t know what marketing is working and what isn’t

John Driver : Everyone needs to earn their keep these days, especially marketing. This is where tracking and metrics come in. To find out if your marketing is working, you need to track your marketing costs and tie them to the results they are generating. Marketing automation tools have become far easier to use and yet far more sophisticated in the past few years. We have better tools at our disposal now that can track a marketing lead and the cost to generate it. We can follow that lead through sales qualification, entry into a sales pipeline, and an eventual sale. The tools are out there. It simply takes the discipline to use them. With the proper tracking and metric processes in place you can fairly accurately answer the question: If I spend $1 of marketing, how many dollars in sales pipeline should I expect? Isn’t this how you know if your marketing is working?

David Warren: Try to view marketing as the essence of your company…the true core. It “has to” fundamentally work from inside before you go external. If all your materials and collateral truly tie back into that core messaging, and the messaging is reviewed every year or so for relevancy, then you will see results. All external communication needs to be sharp, consistent, and market savvy.

There is role confusion between marketing, public relations, and business development

John Driver: Confusion can be lessened if everyone understands their role in “sale funnel”. The sales funnel contains four primary stages: Awareness, Consideration, Preference and Action. These stages represent what your business is trying to achieve with a potential customer or existing customer at a given time. For example people who are unfamiliar with you or a new product you are introducing are in the Awareness phase. It is primarily Public Relations’ job to raise their awareness level and get them to consider you. Marketing’s job is primarily to get customers to consider and prefer your products and services. Business Development & Sales are more focused on getting customers to Prefer and Act (buy!) When the strategy, goals and tactics of PR, Marketing and Business Development are aligned with the phases of the sales funnel, role confusion can be greatly reduced and the three groups can work together more efficiently and effectively.

David Warren: Each component has its place in the sales cycle. First is establishing and keeping current the core brand, principles, and brand promise. Public relations can supplement and expand awareness of the brand’s benefits and current news about new offerings. That then leads to business development where you showcase all that’s been done prior, internally, to your prospective audience and customers.