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Being Charlie

That set the tone for our conversation. Although Kaufman resists being pinned down about his life or work, I found him playful and accessible. His message is that he has no message. His movie has provoked comparisons to Franz Kafka and Lewis Carroll, but he reminds me more of Larry David, who with "Seinfeld" created a TV series "about nothing."

Being Charlie

To me, "Being John Malkovich" is the satiric ne plus ultra of the headline that became addictive to slick-magazine editors in the '90s: "It's Frank's World, We Just Live In It." (The headline has been used for everyone from Sinatra to Regis Philbin.) Kaufman conceded that what he was doing "is sort of parallel to that. A lot of it comes from the idea of not wanting to be yourself and being envious of other people. There is for sure the idea of looking out in the world and feeling you don't deserve to be there. How do you come to feel you have as much right as anyone else to be on this planet, when you have a barrage of information telling you that you don't have a right to be here, or that you have to change yourself to be allowed to be here? I took each character and on an instinctive level explored how they would react to that anxiety."

It's ticklishly apt to have Malkovich read Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" into a microcassette recorder while studying the text at his home; the air of deluxe ennui suits his apartment. "I knew I wanted Chekhov, and I went through a bunch of his plays to find lines that would be both overwrought and silly-sounding. I also like that Lotte is learning the lines through Malkovich's eyes" -- thus giving new meaning to the concept of two people being on the same page. And Kaufman set one scene during a run-through of "Richard III" because "I liked the idea that Malkovich would have to rehearse in a hump." Naturally, it also aided Kaufman's convoluted erotic story line to hear Richard pondering the wonderment of his twisted wooings.

So tonight, the annual broadcast of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" on ABC prompted a measure of reflection. I began thinking about being like Charlie Brown in a Lucy-driven world. You'll recall that the opening of the show begins with Lucy promising the trusting Charlie that this is the time that she will do as she says. She will keep her word. He can run with confidence toward the football. She will hold the ball in place. He can barrel straight ahead and launch that pigskin as sky high and far afield as his ability will allow.

Usually I don't care to discuss the sales and marketing divide because, quite frankly, it's boring. It's a tired issue that many people seem to have given up on, deciding that it's just the way things are. It's like being Charlie Brown in a Peanuts cartoon--when all he hears is blah, blah, blah. However, after reading a related Forrester study and witnessing some recent changes myself, I feel compelled to say that I believe things are finally evolving in the relationship between marketing and sales. The new reality is that these two functions are starting to collaborate out of sheer necessity forced on them by the buyer.

Granted, marketing and sales collaboration is not an overnight adjustment. But there are techniques that, when applied, can help to effectively implement the automation and processes required to drive such collaboration. At LeadLife Solutions, we have worked with customers in making this adjustment. We've implemented some of our customers in phases, allowing sales to start seeing the new sales intelligence they're receiving for each lead, something that is coming from the nurturing that marketing is doing. They soon start to understand the scoring applied to leads and, in effect, start calling the "hotter" ones. Eventually, sales teams become accepting of the new reality--that genuine "sales-ready" leads are being sent to them while marketing is holding on to the other leads that aren't yet ready to buy. Marketers also start to understand how automation helps them take responsibility for early-stage nurturing. They start understanding the power they receive from the tracking and interpreting of new digital behavior, something that gives both them and sales greater insights into the buyer. 041b061a72


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