Everyone Needs a Plan, Even The Beatles
Imagine this studio session.
Over there is John Lennon, one of the most distinctive voices of our time and a blistering guitarist. Over on the other side of the studio is George Harrison, the so-called “quiet” Beatle, whose songwriting and musical phrasing has few equals. On the drums is Ringo, the heart beat of the band, ever steady and lyrical. Then there’s Paul McCartney, a musical savant on par with Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, on piano. All players are ready to play.
Ringo counts it off: “One Two Three FOUR!” and they are rocking.
But it sounds terrible. Why?
Paul croons the chorus to Eleanor Rigby, John jams out to Helter Skelter, George noodles with an Indian groove and Ringo bangs out the back-beat to Sgt Pepper. They are in their own little worlds. They are all doing their own thing.
If you could focus your ears on each individual player (and filter out the others), he’d sound AMAZING.
But as a whole it’s just a bunch of noise.
Instead, give the boys from Liverpool a particular song to play…one that they all know…one they have played before…such as “I Saw Her Standing There” and, this time, when Ringo counts it off–“One Two Three FOUR!”–the band creates MUSIC.
A lot of sales and marketing departments function this way. Individually, each department and its individual contributors can accomplish amazing things. Close deals. Generate leads. Write a good email. Create an effective media buy. Manage a search and social media program.
But if everyone is in his or her own little world (aka “silo”) it all amounts to a bunch of noise.
Extend the analogy to B2B and you will see that the “song” is a strategy. A plan of some kind, even a simple editorial or marketing calendar that gives the contributors something to follow. Together, when working off the same song sheet, sales and marketing as well as other departments can make MUSIC.