Integrating hunters and farmers


Author and Contributor

Bilal Hanouni

In a typical business, Business Development and Marketing are on the same team, but are they passing the ball around? Both departments work to achieve the same purpose, which is to expand and grow their revenues, but are they integrating and sharing their information?

A Bloomberg survey has shown that in most successful businesses, Business Development and Marketing play complementary but different roles. Doing so allows the business to organize the demand in a way that segments the customers with respect to preference. This would allow cutting costs on marketing by avoiding useless investments or investing in the same area twice.

 Business Development and Marketing can find harmony by taking a multidisciplinary approach where each department would be operational on a different but balancing role. The collaboration between the two can radically improve campaigns by creating more effective, targeted, and integrated campaigns.

 This integration is effective most in the professional services industry. When customers usually need a professional service, they actually need the expertise most. Marketing for a professional services firm could work for spreading customer awareness and familiarity, but what about credibility? That is the business developer’s job, to show the customer that what was being marketed about is totally true and that the service offered is trustworthy.

In a none-service industry, marketing strategies must be clearly differentiated since products do not demand a high level of trust such as in the professional services industry. In services, the professional firm has to have both personal and intellectual association with prospects. Intellectual connections support with existing in the market with the use of articles, websites, speeches, books and more. In parallel, come the personal connections, where they contribute to the prospects beyond what intellectual connections can offer. Personal connections allow prospects to have a human relationship where they would have a personal contact to refer to for purchases and personal assistance, as opposed to intellectual connections, which keeps the relationship somehow virtual.

In a nutshell, Marketing and Business Development contribute to different roles in a successful business. However, in the service industry, more integration of information is needed. Marketing’s main role would be like hunting the prospects, and the business developers would be the farmers. Marketing develops the intellectual connections and Business Development completes the puzzle by developing the personal connections.

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