Fix Your Face: Brand Perception is a Team Effort, with Tara Pawlak, GetAccept

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SaaS Half Full Podcast Episode: Fix Your Face: Brand Perception is a Team Effort


The face that prospects and partners make when someone mentions your company says a lot about your brand. But who is responsible for creating brand perception? According to Tara Pawlak, Head of Marketing at GetAccept, it’s a responsibility extending beyond marketing into the sales org.

In this episode of SaaS Half Full, Lindsey Groepper speaks with Tara about the sales team’s role in carrying out brand and how a lack of alignment poses a danger to hidden stakeholders. Listen in as Tara shares insights on obtaining this alignment and advice on measuring initiatives indirectly tied to ROI.

What’s alignment got to do with it?

Google “sales marketing alignment” and you’ll get about 45 million results. We all know these departments need to work together to hit revenue targets. But what, precisely, should they align on?

According to Tara, customer success should be the great equalizer. All marketing initiatives and brand assets should reflect consumer needs, and no amount of A/B testing can determine what customers want. So, marketers need to have a frank discussion with sales about which assets and offerings are helpful and which may be fluff.

“I’ve been in organizations where it’s like, ‘Oh, marketing built all this nice shiny collateral or this presentation,’” said Tara. “And you get that glazed-over smile, and then you leave the room saying, ‘Okay, how many of them will implement the materials? Did it resonate?’”

The trick, Tara emphasized, is to foster a transparent, open relationship between sales and marketing. And the same logic should also be applied to the marketing team’s relationship with executive leadership.

“Not everything is measurable”

Some CEOs really understand marketing’s value proposition. However, when communicating brand goals to CEOs who don’t, Tara said marketers need to be extremely clear about what a marketing campaign can accomplish — and what it can’t.

ROI doesn’t provide the complete picture of brand success, especially when dealing with long-term awareness and sentiment. If facts and figures don’t accurately represent a campaign’s success, communicate this fact beforehand, Tara suggested. Level-set by asking executives about their expectations around marketing and demonstrate a vested interest by inquiring about historic brand successes.

At the end of the day, overcommunication is preferable to the alternative. Inviting CEOs to participate in marketing campaigns actively may even be beneficial.

“We have four co-founders, and they were doing all these brand activities themselves when they started GetAccept,” said Tara. “I think more CEOs should be heavily invested, whether for a project or one crazy idea. They need to be on the ground to get the details.”

Extend the water cooler chat

Finally, the secret ingredient to fixing your brand face: mission-wide cooperation. After all, sales reps and marketers aren’t always the only employees with their fingers on the pulse.

“I think there are a lot of smart marketers out there fighting the battle alone, and you should never be alone. So, find the people inside the organization that are go-getters, and that wanna be involved,” said Tara. “Yes, marketing can roll out this new tagline, value prop, or messaging house, but if they don’t believe it and think it’s accurate for their customers, it’s just gonna stop there. They’re not gonna use it. They’re not gonna talk about it. So involving every single team that you can in different parts of projects is super critical.”

To listen to more of Tara’s insights, listen to Episode 337 of SaaS Half Full.