Shadow Marketing is when salespeople in large organizations do their own marketing independent of the tools provided to them. For example, they may use their own email automation system instead of what their company provides for one reason or another.
Having been on the front line of sales in large companies for more than two decades, I’ve seen many salespeople take things into their own hands when it comes to automation or strategies to reach their customers. They have to because it could mean getting paid or not getting paid.
Shadow Marketing isn’t a bad word, in fact it’s encouraged at some level because out of the box thinking is necessary to be successful in reaching clients.
The flip side is when salespeople get too caught up in what their company provides and if it doesn’t work, their morale and motivation takes a hit.
I see too many salespeople frustrated with their company’s field marketing. They are always saying that marketing doesn’t understand the needs of their clients and only cares about marketing nationally. There is a lot of truth to that but they are looking at this completely wrong.
It’s a blessing and privilege to have an organization provide content, email scripts, sales plays and contact databases. Small businesses don’t have them but wish they did. These resources cost more than you would ever think.
That said, you have to get on the offensive and take control of your marketing strategy because you are the only one that truly knows the needs of your clients and territory.
If you rely on your marketing organization to set the strategies for you, you will lose.
Examples of shadow marketing – sales blogging, linkedin outreach, hoot suite and email automation, connect leader, sales blogs like this to name a few things. These all give you an edge, an opportunity to reach your clients more effectively and build your personal brand at the same time.
Shadow Marketing is sometime necessary to execute an omnichannel strategy.