I recently met a friend for coffee. He wanted a moan about work. As a sales director for a large, global software provider, I was pretty surprised when he told me that his team hadn’t received one single inbound lead since he started the role 18 months ago!
It wasn’t hard to diagnose the problem. A lack of great marketing content. To sell to the c-suite these days, you need compelling content that teaches them something new about their business - not ‘me too’ sales messaging. The guys at CEB (those behind The Challenger Sale and The Challenger Customer) call this ‘commercial teaching’; at Man Bites Dog, we call it ideas-led sales and marketing.
The emphasis on ideas-led sales is exactly why the role of B2B marketing has never been so important. Only marketing has the tools, expertise and the time to surface new insight (drawing on experts within the business) and package it into compelling content (and campaign) ideas, both scalably and repeatedly. Marketers who do this best are in demand.
But thinking big is hard. 75% of B2B marketers told us that they’re not very good at coming up with great ideas. Ideas are often based on intuition alone, or pushed through by senior people in the organisation. And this is where the problem lies. Marketing initiatives end up lacking any real strategic focus and fall short when it comes to generating leads (in the case of my friend), or having any real commercial impact.
What marketing teams need is a framework they can follow to surface - and stress test - commercially effective campaign ideas in their business. At Man Bites Dog we use a 4D framework with clients such as Google, RSA and KPMG to do just that. The framework can be found in this ebook: No Idea? The Marketer’s Guide to Generating Ideas that Sell.
Before embarking on your next campaign, or next marketing initiative, invest time in coming up with a great, commercially effective idea in the first place. Don’t give your partners or salespeople any reason to moan!
This post is part of Man Bites Dog’s ‘No Idea?’ blog series on creating marketing campaign ideas that sell.