Accepting Tradeoffs in B2B Marketing


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B2B marketing and sales is similar to the rest of life. You’d like to have it all. You want to eat everything in sight but keep your trim figure.  You want to race down the highway but maximize your gas mileage. You want to spend your business life on an airplane but remain extremely close to your family.  

In the real world, you are usually deluding yourself by believing you can have such contradictory things. The pie-eating champion and the marathon winner are usually not the same person.  After taking some lumps, most of us learn to accept that life is about making tradeoffs in important areas like finances, family, time and energy. 

So what are the B2B marketing and sales equivalents of the failure to accept the need for tradeoffs?

  • Your sales department demands a large number of leads, yet insists that all the leads must be “qualified.”
  • Your messages are aimed at several disparate market niches, but you want to be seen as a leader in each.
  • You try to force early “lookers” into a sales process instead of a more appropriate nurture process, but you want a high close-rate.    
  • Your marketing is aimed at impacting only this quarter, but you want a healthy pipeline of future buyers.

You can surely think of many other examples that apply to your organization. In every case, it is wiser to understand the tradeoffs and compensate accordingly, instead of setting contradictory and thereby, unobtainable goals.  Too often, marketers agree to objectives that they know cannot be achieved, in order to appease an aggressive sales VP or CEO.  While this go-along to get-along strategy can buy the marketing department some time, it usually has a bad ending for all concerned.  Better to take your lumps early and fight to establish objectives that are reasonable and obtainable.

Learn more about how to set reasonable B2B marketing objectives at Fusion Marketing Partners.  

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christopher Ryan
Christopher Ryan is CEO of Fusion Marketing Partners, a B2B marketing consulting firm and interim/fractional CMO. He blogs at Great B2B Marketing and you can follow him at Google+. Chris has 25 years of marketing, technology, and senior management experience. As a marketing executive and services provider, Chris has created and executed numerous programs that build market awareness, drive lead generation and increase revenue.


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