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Sunday Soundbite

Never mind more marketing, I need better marketing

Chris Field
Chris Field

“I’m all for innovation but I’d like the marketing I already use to work better rather than take a risk on a new technique,” said a prospect recently. They had spent two years investing heavily in two black box marketing solutions for account based marketing, that they described as pretty sexy, but now reported that they hadn’t worked at all.

I asked what they meant by, ‘they hadn’t worked at all’ and they said they hadn’t produced a single booked meeting or conversation starter. Surely something had worked, I asked. And what they said was, the two agencies had provided insight into the target accounts, but had then not advised the client how to use it, or provided any tools for actually managing the account based marketing.

Who’s getting results from marketing?

Oh dear; like the consultant who tells you what you already know, uses thousands of words and billable hours to explain it, and then leaves you with the problem you started with.

The marketing industry is innovating at an alarming rate and this is spawning a new generation of black box ‘solutions’ that only require you to plug in and start getting value. Except that, in my world of working for tech companies selling to a small set of prospects, usually no more than 70 or 80, this automated approach simply does not work. They give you the management processes, which you probably do not need, but none of the ammunition or execution techniques.

You only have to read some of the marketing press to see that the marketing tech industry is really just having a conversation with itself, while the rest of us really want to know why conventional marketing techniques are not delivering. We talk to more and more prospects that say: “We are doing everything – PR, content, social, email (GDRP spoiler alert), events and digital – but it is just not working.”

Here’s how to make marketing deliver better:

Get back to the source, the prospect list and sit with sales to qualify out hard and early. Who wants to be well-known by lots of companies who then never choose you? Better to focus on a smaller set of well-qualified prospects.

Do deeper research on the remaining prospects. Free and paid for research is needed to do this properly. And once it is done, take advice from a broad set of people as to what problem the retailer has and how you can solve it.

Be specific; all retailers are struggling with digital transformation, so it’s no good expecting them to agree to a conversation just so you can tell them what they already know.

Work out the best strategy for engagement and take your time. Getting into an individual retailer depends on knowing what to say, knowing who to say it to, and persistence. And, I’m afraid some luck.

Ensure that all communications are tailored based on prospect insight and that subsequent communications are based on how they respond, or don’t respond.

Make sure marketing and sales go together on the same journey and support each other. Both want the same result so collaboration should be a given.

Time to face facts

Who said insight, not instinct is the key to ABM? Rubbish. You need both. And once everyone has the same insight, instinct is all you’ll have left. ABM is not a black box, it is hard work undertaken and executed by human beings.

 

Our passion at Fieldworks is devising and delivering marketing campaigns that work. Get in touch today, to find out how we can help your retail technology brand stand out in a crowded market. 

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