Marketing Partner vs. Proposal Machine
We have all seen the epic battles of people vs. machines. There are dozens of examples—Terminator, I Robot, and The Mitchells vs. the Machines. You would think the machines would conquer the world or be indestructible, but it’s always the people that win in the end (sorry if that was a spoiler alert). Much is true for your marketing department. Proposal machines may seem like a great idea on the surface. Proposal machines in your marketing department spew proposal response after proposal response, ensuring they follow the bullets needed to give the client what they request on the surface level. The machine does as it's told and serves as an obedient member of the team.

The reason people excel over machines is because they can think. They can provide a strategy for ways to win which machines can’t anticipate. When you treat your marketing team as an asset, you will realize the strategic value they can provide. Marketing is a very critical need for organizations to succeed, especially when teaming with operations. This partnership can take an average company and propel it into a great company.  

How to Gain Confidence as a Marketer
If you’re feeling like a proposal machine, how do you break out of that cycle and do so with confidence? Michelle Decker of 4240 Architecture says “Listen. Put your ear to the ground and ask questions to truly understand. Listen to the world, economy, your peers, your leaders, your consultants or subcontractor, suppliers, etc.—listen to their joys and pleasures, their pain points or biggest challenges, listen to their fears—and, most importantly, listen to yourself in knowing how you contribute to those positive and negative experiences. Once you can listen, you can inspire, motivate, and lead.” 

As a Marketer, your job is to sell the business to clients, but first, you have to understand the business and the industry inside and out. One of the best ways to gain a seat at the table is showing your worth, so the more you know about how your company and the industry operate, the better. A few ways to do this include meeting with subject matter experts (SME) from your company or within the industry, especially with your finance department so you understand how your firm makes money. You can also follow local and national construction publications to study patterns within the industry and the global economy. One thing SMPS can specifically help you with is becoming a CPSM. Study all the domains inside and out and reach out to fellow CPSMs to better understand the material. The more you know, the more your confidence will grow.

Start the Conversation to Meld Operations and Marketing
Do you think you deserve a seat at the table with operations? Do you think you can provide value to your company? Decker said, “We are essential functions and more effective together. It’s also more fun together. Put in the work to get there. Build trust with one another.” The best way to get involved after fully understanding operations is to speak up. Start a conversation with management and indicate your interest in being involved in strategic ideas. Speak up about wanting to partner more with operations to truly benefit the company. One of the best ways is to not only say you want to contribute, but show them. Give them examples, statistics, and creative solutions as to how you can help the bottom dollar. End the proposal machine cycle and be the hero of your company.