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Tuesday 2¢: Don’t Be Tempted by the Marketing Tactics Hamster Wheel, Focus

Tuesday 2¢: Don’t Be Tempted by the Marketing Tactics Hamster Wheel, Focus

Welcome to the Tuesday 2¢ . It’s Tuesday, the weekend is a distant memory and it’s time to let off some steam and give our 2 cents on a hot industry topic. This week Ian Truscott reminds us not to get distracted by those beguiling marketing suggestions and instead to focus on your audience - and he means your actual, viable audience...

This week I took to social media and shared this by Mark Ritson , the lament of many marketers and a fantastic way to start a Tuesday 2c. In an article reminding marketers and their executive colleagues that they are not the customer and to judge their work through the lens of their consumers, Ritson wrote this:

This is often a hard message to deliver, especially to senior C-suite executives who fancy themselves as “a bit of a marketing expert”. I’ve lost count of the number of times that these senior men – and they are always men – completely forget they are not in the gender, age range or salary bracket of the target segment but still wax lyrical about which campaign they prefer and what the marketing team should do next. This is not marketing, this is being a cock. An overpaid cock. An overpaid, incompetent cock.

I would disagree with Ritson on one point, I have worked in more progressive organizations where these helpful marketing suggestions are not the preserve of just the men, but it is incredibly easy for any of us to forget who we are telling our story to and we are seldom our own target audience.

For example, much of my sales and marketing experience has been primarily working for enterprise software vendors, selling to upper mid or enterprise sized companies with a minimum revenue in the hundreds of millions of dollars with thousands of employees. Organizations which would, frankly, dwarf our own, with processes and complexity in the buying journey which are entirely different to my experience or the experiences of the executives in those organizations.

Add to this that many of these executives get their marketing experience from being B2C consumers and the big budget, awareness grabbing campaign tactics which catch their attention, but unless you are selling cheap razors through the post (and not enterprise software) you are not going to win with a smart Youtube video “like those guys from dollar shave club”.

Yes, ideas from colleagues are good.

Yes, a cool video will help as part of the mix.

Yes, B2B buyers are just as human as B2C buyers and like video.

Yes, we all want to be as famous as those guys from Dollar Shave Club.

But a video is just a tactic.

And it is easy to get distracted by tactics.

And it is especially easy to get distracted by executives bringing you tactics.

And it’s very easy to jump on the marketing hamster wheel and start running with a tactic.

And most of us don’t need to be famous for our products to be successful.

We need to focus.

A tactic, whatever it is, whoever suggested it, is the bit of the iceberg we can see, the hard work is the plan, the bit below the water, and that plan should be extremely focused on addressing what Seth Godin’s terms as the “minimum viable audience” as opposed to the mass marketing which these executives have been inspired by. We probably don’t need to be famous.

What is the fewest number of leads we need to be successful? What is the fewest number of contacts we need to create those leads? And what is the fewest number of people we need to have heard of us in order to influence the market and make this happen? To use another Godinism, what’s the smallest 'tribe' we need?

Does it matter that my mum (or some random dude who a sales guy bumped into) has no idea who censhare is? No, my mum does not have an enterprise content management challenge with customer experience content locked up in silos in her PIM, DAM, WCM and ECM and a challenge responding to the consumer in real time, and she definitely doesn’t have the budget to solve the challenge, if she had it.

Does focusing on the fewest mean you are lacking the ‘to infinity and beyond’ ambition of any sales led organization? No, focusing means that we are more likely to reach infinity as we lean into the people who can take us there, and not my mum. We can do a better job of being helpful to our minimum viable audience.

I opened with Ritson’s article as an example of distraction, that we need to remember that we are not often representatives of our customer, but most importantly that we focus, and this focus falls on serving our minimum viable audience, and serving them really well.

Ian Truscott Ian Truscott

Ian Truscott has a passion for creating ART (Awareness, Revenue and Trust) for B2B software companies as a marketing leader and is a censhare alumni. Wanting to connect a like minded community and share something useful, he founded Rockstar CMO, a monthly digital publication, and is currently helping B2B companies create ART at appropingo.