What’s Your B2B Marketing Mission?


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whats-your-b2b-marketing-missionStart Thinking Out-Of-The-Planet!

As I drive to work in my Tesla, I can’t help but marvel at how this car works while I sleep. Software updates are typically done during the wee hours of the morning so that when I wake up and get behind the wheel the next day, I am driving an even better car. That’s the magic of this innovation…it only gets better every day.

As B2B marketers we often have lofty ideals and mission statements that frame the walls of our offices. We push our teams and ourselves to always think outside the box. What I have been experiencing with Tesla for over a year now has convinced me that it’s time for us to start thinking outside the planet! To embark on a mission that drives us to deliver not just the best product or service but to strive for something better than the best. It’s not impossible. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors dreams of what most would consider strange fantasies—colonies of humans on Mars, rocket ships that are recyclable, a fifth mode of transport (Hyperloop), and who knows what else. These ‘fantasies’ are in fact, very serious missions and each one is being diligently worked at in Musk’s different companies.

What goes on at Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity is fueled not just by innovation and imagination, but by the real, sincere desire to “make humanity a multi-planetary species and avoid extinction”, “make humans a spacefaring civilization”, “smooth the impact of rooftop solar on the power grid”, “allow high speed travel with relatively low power”, and so on. In Elon’s words, he started at a young age to think about “What problems are most likely to impact the world, the environment and humanity?” Everything he does and guides his enterprises to work towards is driven by the mission to resolve these key problems.

5 Tips for B2B Marketers…in the Trail of Musk

If you watch any of Elon Musk’s video interviews or read one of several interviews, you’ll notice that there are certain unshakeable principles the man lives by. (Not to mention, his indescribable modesty and humility which is so refreshingly different from many other media favourites and iconic business celebrities.) I have picked out just five simple, yet profound nuggets of advice that Musk offers businesses and entrepreneurs. For us B2B marketers, these tips are worth their weight in gold; if we can make a firm resolve to implement them into the way we do business every day, day after day.

  1. Think about what problems are most likely to impact your community of users, i.e. your target audience. Then make it your mission to find the best answers to those problems in a cost-effective, efficient and sustainable manner.

  2. Apply the concept of “Package and Synthesize TBD” (Technology, Business and Design). Make your technology, your business model and your design principles work together. Stop working in silos and collaborate (click to tweet this!). If you have taken the trouble to find talented people to work for you, then go a step further and work with them. When Elon is not traveling, it is common to see him walking around the shop floor at Tesla dressed like other employees. And it doesn’t stop there—he actively participates in brainstorms and internal workshops to ensure that his company is not just different, but better than the rest. He cautions that there’s no point in being like everyone else but it doesn’t help either to be different if you can’t be better.

  3. Boil things down to the fundamental truths. Get to the very basics of marketing, the first principles that are the foundation of why you are in business. “Then reason up from there instead of the other way around”, says Elon. I see a lot of this happen nowadays when the C-Suite is too caught up in analytics and complicated metrics. The poor CMO is literally, drinking from the fire hose when it comes to Big Data. What you really want is to determine the most desirable qualities your customer wants to see in your brand and then work towards delivering that brand experience consistently. Musk’s advice is, “Apply the rules of physics when you want to do something new.”

  4. Actively solicit and listen very carefully to negative feedback. Musk reminds us that it’s very easy to ask customers what they like about your product. “Positive feedback should be like water off a duck’s back.” Ask your customers what they don’t like—then work to make things better; a lot better.

  5. Focus on the details. For it’s the details that make a difference. At Tesla, the team is mandated to pay attention to every mm of the car. That’s how detail-oriented you need to be if you want to catapult your brand into a league of its own (and maybe land on Mars!). In one video interview, Elon was asked, “Why do car companies make ugly cars?” His response to that was that these manufacturers are stuck in their organizational mould—the mould of a legacy design—and they simply don’t make the effort to break out of it. It’s how many B2B companies function too; while “innovation” and “technology breakthroughs” are high up on corporate agendas, at the grass root levels, these organizations continue to do things the way they have always done. And then they hope to achieve different outcomes!

Let me leave you today with a few critical questions to ask yourself:

  • Can we as B2B marketers step beyond our company, our industry, our geography, our planet even and focus on a mission that will exponentially make life better for our customers?

  • Can we get uncomfortable and step into areas that others in our industry simply avoid because they are too challenging?

  • Can we get our heads out of the weeds and build a sustainable marketing strategy for the long term?

  • Can we take crazy risks from time to time, perhaps even expect failure, and then work like hell to win?

I know, all of this is easier said than done. But if we can acquire even a small percentage of this ‘fire in the belly’, or shall we say, ‘rocket fuel’ that propels visionaries like Elon Musk, we would not only deliver better than the best products but also create exemplary customer experiences akin to a trip to Mars.

What are some of the key B2B marketing initiatives on your organizational agenda this year? How do you plan to connect these KPIs to enriching customer experience? Let’s discuss this on my blog.    

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


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