B2B Marketers Need Big-Picture Thinking


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B2B Marketers are trying to learn how to use social media, content marketing, lead nurturing, personas and a host of other evolving means of attracting buyers through digital marketing. I'm all for it. I applaud your intentions. However, one of the things you need to do first is stop and think.

It struck me today that there are so many opportunities to learn about all these newer marketing tools that we can be fooled into putting the horse before the cart. On any day of the week a marketer can choose to attend a slew of webinars on one marketing topic or another.

I know. I give a number of them every month, as well as attend my fair share given by experts talking about subjects that interest me. I also download eBooks and white papers, read blogs, click on links in Tweets and watch videos. Yes, my name is Ardath and I'm a content wonk.

The problem is that we learn a little bit about a siloed subject. Just enough to make us dangerous. Especially while multitasking. Come on, admit it.

The thing is that when we get excited by something we learn, we want to go out and do something about it. I encourage marketers to stop and think about the big picture view before they choose to embrace tactics or components as stand-alone activities.

Here's a scenario that's not at all uncommon:

One of the tenants of social media is recency. Don't tell me about something that happened in 2006 when I'm dealing with the day-to-day of 2010. Not without a valid reason, anyway.

You say you're not. You point to all of your Tweets and Blog posts and show me how recent they are…how cutting edge.

But when I click on the link to your corporate website and visit your resources page with a healthy list of white papers, I find the newest one is dated 2006. You haven't posted a new customer story for over a year and the latest press release is from 2008.

Oops. Did you forget that everything online is now connected?

What message is that sending prospects about your company? Will they think your company loses interest? Doesn't follow through? Will they think you're in a down spin?

You've worked really hard on your social media efforts. You got my attention and I went to your website to find out about your fantastic company only to leave without seeing one relevant thing that backs up the street cred you've earned with me through social media.

Marketers need to stop and think about the big picture. We need to think about all the ways in which prospects and customers may experience our content and digital marketing efforts. We need to think about consistency, overall impression and possible paths to the experiences our audiences may have—regardless of how they find us or engage with us.

Big picture thinking can help us put the strategy back into our marketing efforts. eMarketing requires a different mindset than manual marketing. I know. It's hard. We want action. But in order for it to pay off in ways that help you achieve corporate objectives, marketers need to think about the impact of every activity in relation to all others. That's what will make all of your efforts pay off in spades.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist and the CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. She helps B2B companies with complex sales create and use persona-driven content marketing strategies to turn prospects into buyers and convince customers to stay. Ardath is the author of Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results and eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. She's also an in-demand industry speaker.


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