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Sales and Marketing often leads to Sales vs. Marketing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Why? Well, how much time do you have?


Prior to co-founding Mortarr, a marketing platform for the commercial construction and design industry, I spent 22 years responsible for the sales and marketing efforts of a family-owned commercial millwork company. I was primarily focused on selling, forging partnerships with national brands across retail, hospitality, healthcare, and restaurant industries through endless cold calls, trade shows, and some serious mileage.


Things were slightly different on the marketing side. Okay, let’s be honest, very different. We did have a brochure, designed by yours truly (and I boast zero print layout or writing skills). And we had a website built, but once it was created, we checked it off the list for eternity.


Our install crew took most of the photos of our work for the longest time. Often, they would be taken at the end of our scope because that’s when we were done on the job site. But we didn’t even notice the leftover pop bottles and tools lying around or the dust still covering the millwork through all our excitement. We could envision the final product and knew it was a going to be a beautiful thing.


Eventually, as the tides of technology turned and the competition became too great to conquer on my own, I realized the need for marketing support. We hired a local agency to serve as our external marketing department. It was a game-changer. My ‘ah-ha’ moment if you will. They created our voice. They gave us brand continuity. They shaped our online presence, so when we were vetted, we could stand up against the competition. They forced me to showcase the beautiful ending of our projects through professional photography (the no-dust, no-empty-pop-bottle kind). I say “forced” because it was such an overwhelming feat. I had to hunt down or capture photography from finished projects all over the country.

Fireside Coffee Shop Design
Ecco Retail Design

We’d never done that before, but the back-tracking to catch up with visual representations of our work was so worth it. The painstaking process to catch up made me vow to keep up. They learned enough about us and our clients to create work that represented us authentically and resonated with each audience. One of my favorites was a series they created advertising our services to franchise owners of a nationally known chain of sports bars. They understood the flavor (pun intended) of this industry and the characteristics of these franchise owners. The feedback from this campaign was incredible, both in and outside the industry.

I know marketing and sales go together. They work hand-in-hand — they have to — but they are very, very different seats. I don’t know who created the sales and marketing title. I know it’s common, but it’s just not right. It’s like having a project manager and a payroll administrator in one seat. No one would do that. 


While both seats are results driven, sales is the closing of the deal. It’s face time with prospects. It’s that personal connection. It’s a numbers game. Marketing, on the other hand, is a process of creating interest in a product. It’s behind-the-scenes strategies. It’s the showcasing of beautiful work to captivate prospects. It’s the cultivating of those prospects. It’s the warm hand-off to the seller. Sales needs marketing and marketing needs sales, but the two must have a clear focus on very different things in order to be successful.


Commercial Furniture Design

If any of this rings true for you and your company, then it is worthwhile to look for a marketing person. Often, companies just don’t have enough resources for a full-time marketing person let alone a full team. And even if you do, how can you expect that person to have the combination of skills needed to pull it all off? They need strategic business sense, planning skills, graphic design, and writing abilities, not to mention the countless programs and subscriptions to make it happen. Typically, you’re lucky if you can find an individual that checks off one of those boxes, let alone all.


This is why I dreamed of Mortarr. This is why I co-founded it. I know first-hand the difference marketing can make for companies, and we want to share this concept with the masses. We want you to be successful, we want you to grow, and we want you to look authentically beautiful doing so. The commercial construction and design industry is no stranger to beauty — just take a look at what you all do for a living. One of Mortarr’s underlying themes is look great and be greater. While that drives us internally, it's also a goal of ours for you. Together, let’s change the way we do business.

Mortarr Co-Founder Amy Petersen
Mortarr Co-Founder Amy Petersen's Family
Mortarr Co-Founder Amy Petersen

To see more from Amy, or to just give her some digital high-fives, check out her LinkedIn.

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