Are You Playing to Win in B2B Marketing?


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While confidence is important in any endeavor, it is especially true in marketing and sales. You must believe that you have the right product or service; you must believe that it offers real benefits; and you must believe that you are promoting it to the right individuals using the best marketing strategy.

The economic trend may be poor. And yes, it is tougher to generate leads and revenue. You may have to work harder to produce the same result. But this is the time when leaders are made. You must think of yourself as not just a victim of economic circumstances but rather as a person who determines your fate by your own thoughts and actions. Whether your job is to generate leads, write copy, design promotions, qualify leads, or sell, a positive attitude will set you apart and give you a better chance of success than joining the doom and gloom crowd.

Recessions do end and the economic pendulum swings from good to bad and back again to good. But playing to win is just as important in good times as in bad. And not only is it important, playing to win is a lot more fun. But keep in mind that there is a difference between playing to win and playing not-to-lose. If you play not-to-lose it is almost guaranteed that you won’t win.

Even if you have the best attitude and take the right actions, you can’t always control the outcome. As they say, stuff happens to thwart even the best intentions. You will have to make many tough choices to get into the winner’s circle, and many more to stay there. However, it is much easier if your goal is to thrive and not just to survive. In any sport or business competition, if all else is equal, the person or company with the best attitude is the one most likely beat the competition and take the prize.

Vince Lombardi made the observation: “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”  Your place on the leader board will be determined not only by luck, or what you do, or what industry you happen to be in, but also by your attitude and expectations.  

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.


  1. Your second paragraph was the most important for me: this downturn, which some economists are saying might be “the new normal,” is going to inspire a whole new kind of hustle in the willing. There’s nothing like a whiff of privation to sharpen your capacity for reinvention. But you’re right — that hungry attitude should be a hallmark in good times AND bad.

  2. Great sports analogy. There certainly is a huge strategy difference between playing to win and playing not to lose that manifests itself in the details. Many of us have likely seen both scenarios in business. Playing win is certainly the right approach. Game on!


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