Company leaders from sales, operations and finance underestimate the amount of work required by marketing. The work required to execute at a high level is enormous. Marketing is constantly working to justify the amount of work it takes.
In some cases, marketing spends more time with internal buyers as they do the external buyers. Misalignment often starts with the lack of a complete strategy. Clarity begins with a clear corporate, product, sales and marketing strategy.
Developing a cohesive strategy educates the entire company on the expectations. A clear and complete strategy eliminates the “let’s just cut the marketing budget” attitude.
Educating your internal buyers is an ongoing process. Like anything else, if they don’t understand the value, they’re not buying. Start with a few internal campaigns to address some of the common misconceptions.
5 Common Misconceptions About B2B Marketing:
- Content creation is easy – the volume of content required by today’s buyers and sales teams is tremendous. Number of campaigns, number of products/solutions, stages of the buying process, the various forms of distribution, partner or channel related material, and on and on.
- Lead Generation does not produce quality leads – marketing continues to take the blame for a lack of evolution in many sales forces. “It’s not me, it was a bad lead.”
- Buyer persona and process maps are not necessary – the buyers are constantly demanding more at their fingertips and less from the sales team. Shifting the burden, in many cases, to the lead generation team. Marketing is continuously refining the market, account, and buyer segmentation. Consider these changes and the impact on the buyers:
- Changes in business strategy – new segmentation or different buyer personas
- Launching of new products/solutions
- Adding new partners
- Marketing ROI can’t be performed– at no point previously were you in a better position to measure the ROMI than you are today and it continues to improve.
- Social media is a nice to have – the number of channels required by marketing is constantly changing. The buyer demands continue to change making marketing one of the toughest jobs in the company.
5 Solutions to the Common Misconceptions:
- Content creation is easy – the devil is always in the detail. Create a content map by campaign. Highlight the time, frequency and alignment with the buying process and sales process. Sharing this with the sales and product teams will help them understand the volume of content. For an example of this, send me an Inmail.
- Lead Generation does not produce quality leads – this stems from a legacy conflict the sales teams struggle to overcome. “Marketing doesn’t know what to do with a lead. Just give it to me ASAP and I’ll let you know.” This is the cardinal sin for any LG team. Providing the leads too early or setting the scoring threshold too low is a mistake. If you do this once at the beginning you will continue to struggle.
- Buyer persona and process maps are not necessary – the buyer is changing constantly. The best practice persona updates are done monthly, with a corresponding buyer process map (BPM) update. Fall behind here and you’ll struggle to make the number in future quarters.
- Marketing ROI can’t be done – this requires best in class sales and marketing operations. A well-defined lead management and sales process are also essential. The ability to close the loop is the key. Tracking leads from awareness to purchase requires great process and reporting capability. This approach enables marketing to go beyond marketing attribution or influence.
- Social media is a nice to have – the right type of demand generation channel can no longer be ignored. Your competitors are either there or building the capability right now. To ignore these channels is a recipe for missing the number in the outer quarters.
Download How to Increase Marketing’s Contribution to 2015 Revenue report here. Complete the associated marketing assessment checklist. It should take 10 minutes. Completing the checklist provides areas of alignment, gaps, or gulfs. After completing the analysis you’re ready to develop or update your marketing strategy. Share your strategy with sales, product, finance and operations. If you’re interested in reviewing the report in more detail schedule a 90 minute 1-1 review here.
If you have any other questions, connect with me via a LinkedIn Inmail.