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IBM Asia marketer: ‘A sales-marketing hybrid should be the future for brands’

IBM Asia’s content head has called for a rethink to the sales and marketing roles due to lingering “resentment” between the two departments.

Sunny Harsha Panjabi, the tech giant’s social media and content marketing manager in Singapore, argued that a “sales-marketing hybrid” would be the future for brands.

Speaking during Mumbrella360 Asia in Singapore, he said: “There’s a rivalry – sometimes resentment – between sales and marketing. If you bring them into a room, then there’s a food fight and they throw their lunch at each other.

“Sales probably views marketing as academics and paper-pushers – giving out crappy leads that that they can’t follow up. Marketing probably sees sales as lazy and not willing to take up the slack. A sales-marketing hybrid should be the future.”

His comments about the two departments’ disparities were echoed by Sonia Gupta, the managing director of Accenture Strategy in Singapore.

She said: “The internal rate of change for a lot of our clients has been slow. Old ways to approaching sales and marketing continue to exist because that’s what made customers successful. But the path the purchase has changed so much.

“If you look at the number of chief growth officers over the past few years. I think the term growth has come about because there’s this disconnect between sales and marketing. Growth is harder to come by for CEOs – Asia is not what it used to be.

She added: “There’s a lot of experimentation. Everyone is trying to latch onto something new, but it feels very gimmicky. The big hump sales and marketing really need to cross is solving value; focusing on the big wins and incubating the next. Learning rapidly and making some wildcard bets. It really is a connected effort. What takes priority now is a lot of small-scale experimentation, which takes a lot of effort, but doesn’t really move the needle.”

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