Dear Client: I’d like to modify my answer

Dear Client: I’d like to modify my answer

September 08th, 2016
By GridStone

A few years ago, I met with a client who was extremely busy and was struggling with all the demands of his time. He asked me for ideas on how he could focus on marketing when he was so busy with his business.

My answer to him at the time was, spend a ½ hour on marketing every morning before he did anything else and to make it a routine.

But over the past few years, I’ve realized that my answer didn’t address the root of his question so I’d like to modify my answer.

1. Marketing is an integrated part of your business.

Marketing is not an add-on nor an afterthought. It should always be viewed in the context of your business as a whole.

CB Insights studied 101 failed start-ups and identified 20 reasons why the companies failed. #8 on the list was poor marketing – making up 14% of the failures. That works out to 1 in every 6 companies.

Marketing is as important as finance, management and business structure to a company’s success.

What I’d say today:

Tape the checklist below by your desk. Before you work on any marketing project, review this list and ask yourself – Am I:

  • Building awareness?
  • Educating customers?
  • Building relationships?
  • Providing value?
Successful marketing programs encompass all four of these and will ensure you are connecting with your customer base.

2. Marketing is a long term investment.

In the B2B space, marketing is about relationships and referrals. We aren’t selling hamburgers for a few bucks when someone is hungry. We focus on credibility, trust and longer buying cycles. We’re playing the long game and the investment needs to match accordingly.

What I’d say today:

It all starts with a marketing plan. But don’t let it sit on a shelf or leave it all to us – your marketing agency. Marketing is a partnership and you need to be an active participant.

  • Meet with your marketing team (internal and/or external) every month and focus on a list of the top 3 things you want to accomplish.
  • Don’t fall prey to the urgent, create a process to deal with urgent requests (some suggestions here) and stay focused on working your plan.
  • Deliver your top 3 important items every month and hold yourself and your team accountable to make that happen.

3. Marketing is about people and your prospects need to see you.

B2B marketing is about relationships and you aren’t going to make any connections unless you are front and center with your prospects.

What I’d say today:

Portion off a chunk of time each week to attend events, go for lunch with new contacts, attend conferences and tradeshows, speak on panels and shake hands. Create a sustainable program to build those relationships.

Even in this digital age, the personal connection still ranks highest according to TopRank Marketing which highlighted the most effective B2B content marketing tactics:

  • 75% In-Person Events
  • 66% Webinars / Webcasts
  • 65% Case Studies
  • 63% White Papers
  • 62% Videos
  • 61% Research Reports
  • 60% eNewsletters
  • 59% Blogs
  • 58% Infographics
  • 58% Online Presentations