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Technology Marketers: Are You Running Outdated Pre-COVID Campaigns?

by Christy Ferguson  |  July 7, 2020  |  Submit a Comment

The Disconnect Between Sales Targets and Marketing KPIs

As marketing and sales teams quickly adapt to the global health crisis, the pace of change presents a risk of widening the divide between sales and marketing.  This leads to lower performance, including meeting sales, customer retention and new business goals. In fact, the majority of technology and service providers that Gartner recently surveyed, indicated they had already or would be making changes to sales targets.  Between April and May, marketers were evaluating changes to KPI’s, yet between May and June, the percentage of marketers measuring pre-COVID KPI’s has increased.  In other words, marketers evaluated making changes and decided not to change, while sales targets have already changed. This puts marketers in a position to have to “catch up” to sales and creates a disconnect between the teams.  And arguably more concerning, it creates a critical disconnect between sales objectives and the programs that technology marketers are running to sustain and grow business.

Marketing Must Catch Up to Sales

Marketing is squandering it’s opportunity to lead and instead chasing after changing sales targets.

Changes in sales targets may include addressing an expected decline in revenue, an increased focus on customer retention or an unexpected growth opportunity. In these instances, marketing targets must be adjusted and aligned to the new targets quickly. When sales objectives are changing and marketing teams are still pursuing pre-pandemic KPIs, campaign strategies will fall short of meeting sales targets.  This gap in alignment reduces the impact of marketing in getting new campaigns to market, creating an even wider divide for the company.  Not only is this a poor use of resources, but when campaign strategies fail to deliver, relationships between sales and marketing become strained. 

The Opportunity for Marketers

While an opportunity for marketing to elevate the role it plays in helping the business move through this disruption exists, the window is quickly closing.  In instances where the sales targets have already changed, marketing may have an opportunity to influence future changes. When sales targets are being evaluated,rather than lagging behind sales in shifting objectives, technology marketing teams should proactively suggest changes to both sales and marketing objectives based on engagement and marketing data. Teams must align on these new objectives quickly and marketing must prioritize adapting campaign strategies to meet the newly defined KPIs. This may require pausing or killing a campaign built for a pre-COVID-19 environment that no longer aligns with the overall business objectives. Or it may simply require shifting content to increase relevance to a new market. 

As technology providers and customers move to recover  from this crisis, it’s critical to ensure that all teams are aligned in understanding new business objectives and are implementing strategies and programs to achieve these shared goals. 

Gartner clients that want to learn more about how the global health crisis is impacting marketing and sales objectives and how to solve for it, can read our latest research.


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Christy Ferguson
Research Director
2 years at Gartner
14 years IT Industry

Christy Uher Ferguson is a Research Director on the Technology and Service Provider Product Marketer team at Gartner, where she advises clients on improving their demand generation programs, including their marketing mix, event strategies, content marketing and thought leadership efforts. Read Full Bio

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