If you’re a small or mid-market B2B company, there is only one purpose for marketing: to drive sales. You can do this in four ways:
Effective marketing should be easy to measure. There are five key measurements for effective marketing:
Unfortunately, the vast majority of small and mid-market (SME) companies are experiencing the polar opposite of these results. Without realizing it their marketing efforts are actually thrusting them [into the commoditization trap], lengthening the sales cycle and eroding their margins.
The three main causes for ineffective marketing are:
1. Falling into the “We Do” Trap
What’s the ‘we do’ trap, you ask? Whenever you find yourself telling prospects or clients what ‘we do’, instead of collaborating with them or leading the conversation, you are in the ‘we do’ trap. This is a direct path into ‘the commoditization trap.’ When you are telling people what you do, you are making three critical mistakes:
Instead of spending time telling prospects all of your ‘we do’s’; focus on enabling them to understand the problems they have and what they must do to solve them. Then, the only ‘we do’ you’ll need to share is: “We do that.”
2. Focusing on awareness instead of engagement
Traditional marketing, with it’s focus on [branding, awareness and market share], does a tremendous disservice to SMEs. In today’s noisy marketplace, unless you have billions of dollars to blast your message, awareness is only valuable to the extent that you [earn, and re-earn, the attention of your desired audience]. This is especially true in B2B environments.
A B2B sale is complex, involves more risk and has less frequency of purchase than other types of sales. Today, businesses need to think of marketing in terms of cultivation. The job of marketing is to engage, provoke, educate and influence your desired markets. It must be done consistently and dynamically. Done effectively, a marketing cultivation program leverages your sales efforts.
When businesses fail to take this approach (and the vast majority fail), the result is far too much weight is put on the sales process. Sales organizations today simply don't have the resources or bandwidth to compete with the complexity and noise that their customers and prospects are dealing with. The impact of this is [the selling organization lose 30 - 70% of their effectiveness]. As such, sales costs get higher and margins get tighter.
3. Focus on broadcasting, rather than sharing.
Claim: We don’t drop calls. (from your cell phone company)
Claim: No-fee checking, (from your bank)
Claim: Easy-to-use CRM
Trust is at an all-time low. Companies have been lying to prospects for so long that they’re simply not heard. You’ve got a simple decision to make. Tell people you’re a rock star, or share and let them determine that for themselves.
[This is the power of content], and it’s under-utilized by the vast majority of SMEs.
There are five parts to building an effective marketing approach:
Imagine has several programs to support these efforts: