It’s becoming increasingly urgent for B2B marketing organizations to embrace revenue responsibility and act as a profit center. But how your marketing team acts is just part of the equation. How you are perceived by others in the organization can be equally damaging to your ability to drive real results.
So in the spirit of Halloween, here are 10 festering perceptions of B2B marketing that, if you hear them internally, should scare you.
1. Marketing just owns the top of the sales funnel, the first half of the buyer’s journey
This mentality leads to constant friction between sales and marketing, and a lack of full-funnel ownership and accountability down the chain in your marketing organizations. Rather than split the pipeline horizontally, split it vertically. Create responsibility for sales and marketing across every stage of the sales funnel and buying process to improve accountability and results.
2. More leads are better
Quantity does not equal value, but many organizations are measured by the “up and to the right” chart each month of net-new leads. The more you perpetuate the “marketing of more”, the less likely you can focus on the real tactics and metrics that drive pipeline performance. Sometimes less leads, and better leads, are better.
3. Less sales content is better for sales
You may have seen the same stats I have indicating up to 90 percent of sales content goes unused. Unfortunately many organizations translate that into a need to deliver less content to sales. This leads to a significant watering-down of content that makes it far less relevant to far more of your prospects. The answer is more precise content for each member of your customer’s buying committee at each stage of the buying process. More precise storytelling means greater velocity and consensus-building among your prospects.
4. Budget = impact
Gone are the days when media budget equates to status among marketing leaders. Spend money if you need to, especially if it gets the right prospects profitably into your pipeline. But technology, content and process are replacing media as the coin of the realm for B2B marketers. Focus on pipeline contribution, not budget, as your focus.
5. Growth hacking & agile marketing is all we need
I’m all for improving your tactical marketing performance and making rapid adjustments to improve results. But agile marketing too often is promoted at the expense of having a dedicated strategy. And in nearly every instance, growth hacking simply means daily fire drills without ever establishing precedents and sustainable, predictable campaigns and results.
6. Traditional marketing methods no longer work
My favorite marketing book to this day is still Scientific Advertising. It was written in 1921 and is as relevant today as it was then. Traditional does not mean archaic. New doesn’t mean better either. World-class marketing organizations embrace the new and traditional without bias or prejudice.
7. Events cost too much money, are a waste of time & don’t generate pipeline
Our research this year has shown that events and trade shows are among the highest performers for B2B marketers. The longer your sales cycle, the more important they are at building awareness, trust, preference and pipeline. Yes they can take a lot of time and money to execute well. But cost and and time is all relative. Impact and results is what matters.
8. The more marketing technology, the better
Some companies do a fantastic job managing a highly complex ecosystem of sales & marketing technology. Unfortunately those companies too often are the exception to the rule. Many companies buy technology that looks interesting, that in a silo sounds valuable, but is rarely integrated and often delivers a fraction of its potential value to the organization. In too many cases, too much technology becomes a burden to progress and results. Choose technology wisely, integrate it fully, evaluate its impact regularly.
9. Direct mail is too expensive
Define expensive. Does direct mail cost more than shooting email out of a cannon? Sure. But with the right prospects is it worth it, can it stand out and differentiate you and get the response you’re looking for? Absolutely.