Don’t Major in the Minors in B2B Marketing


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I just read an interesting post from Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder and Publisher of Selling Power, titled How Much Energy Does it Take to Make a Million Dollars? The crux of the article is that it is not the amount of energy expended but rather the type of energy that counts. The same is true in marketing. 

Most everyone has heard of the Pareto Principle, which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes.  But I bet you didn’t know that Pareto formulated this principle partly by observing that 20 percent of the pea pods in his garden contained 80 percent of the peas. You see, it is indeed the little things that count.

Whether we are salespeople, marketers, entrepreneurs or anything else, the idea is to focus on the activities that provide us the greatest return on our time investment and focus on these, while either letting the others go or outsourcing them to a co-worker or service provider.

I have to confess that I haven’t been the best at this myself. Like a lot of you, I spend major time on activities that only produce minor results (or none at all). The trick is to really understand the difference between time-filling and positive results-producing activities. Once you know this, it is much easier to make the right choices.

Why is it so hard to spend our time on the important things and eliminate the trivial?  I believe there are three major reasons we spend major amounts of time on things that have minor impact:

  1. We do what we know best.
  2. We do what we are good at.
  3. We are afraid of failure.  

In B2B marketing, the activities that produce 80% of the benefits are directly related to increasing brand awareness, generating inquiries, qualifying leads and helping the sales force meet its revenue objectives.  Learning about the newest and most effective strategies and tactics is also valuable, assuming you are doing this to benefit your current employer, and not just to enhance your resume. Reporting, meeting, reorganizing, begging (for budget or people) and socializing with the boss are not the activities that usually produce more of the results.  So spend less time on these things. 

By the way, much of the good stuff happens outside of the office. This is where you find the people and companies who will buy from you, partner with you, or recommend you. As a marketer, you had best know these people where they live, not as you imagine them.  Many a marketer has been transformed by getting an education from real life prospects and customers. 

When it comes to B2B marketing, we should all take Pareto’s advice and figure out which 20 percent of the marketing pea pods produce 80 percent of the peas and focus our efforts accordingly.

Check out some great ideas for where to put your B2B marketing focus 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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