Round Up Your Cowboys

Brand Management

Do you have cowboys taking it upon themselves to always create the latest and greatest sales materials or collateral? No matter the size of the company we talk with, marketing departments have always been challenged by working with cowboys, renegades, overachievers, etc… When asked why they don’t work with Marketing, some of the common reasons we hear include: “I can’t get what I need from marketing”, “Marketing takes too long to turn it around”, “It’s faster and easier to do it myself”, and “I can’t find anything in our company system so I just use what’s saved on my computer. 

There are several areas that need to be addressed here, communication, training, integrated system, and templates to name a few. For this story, we’re going to focus on a client who had a salesperson that needed a sales slick for a meeting he had with a top prospect. A member of the marketing team was visiting the sales team and happened to see a sales slick on a desk. They immediately noticed the logo was old, the font was off-brand, and the sub-graphics hadn’t been approved. Overall, in the eyes of the marketing department it was an epic fail. They asked the salesperson what it was, and to make things worse, they found out that the slick had already been used in the meeting. The marketing person confronted the salesman as to why they didn’t engage Marketing to get the slick produced, he responded with “I didn’t want to wait for it to get in the queue and be produced by Marketing and so I used a file I had saved on my computer.” 

Unfortunately this scenario happens all too often. Had the company communicated that they have a system that produces sales slicks in minutes, the salesperson could have shared his requirements and had it produced that day or been granted access to the template to create it himself with an approval loop. The result would have been a professionally designed on-brand piece that built the company and product brand, not the off-brand piece that reflected negatively on the company. The reality is that if you provide resources and make them easy to find and use, the “cowboys” will use it. For the most part, teammates aren’t looking to buck the system, but take the path of least resistance. Make that path be a brand system and let them shine.