This week I met with the marketing leadership team of a successful and fast growing B2B technology company with a disruptive innovation. The purpose of the meeting was to understand their marketing goals and to explain our process for brand positioning and method for connecting website message, brand message and sales-ready messaging to the core value proposition.
It was a very interesting meeting. The company leadership recognized they are not addressing the need for mind-share development to enable them to move into new markets with their existing product suite.
Why Me Messaging
In other words, they are doing a great job messaging to their existing markets with “Why Me” product messaging and content and are effectively taking a larger share of the pie. However, they recognize they are largely invisible on the Internet to a new set of enterprise buyers who are focused on a higher-order set of problems and who use a different vocabulary to that of current users.
Why Change Messaging
This is where a “Why Change” message, coupled with opportunity and attuned to the buyer’s strategic imperative for change is required to get visionaries and early adopters to pay attention and to grow the pie. The opportunity to move into enterprise markets will enable the company to sell order of magnitude larger deals to customers looking to create competitive flexibility vs fulfilling the need for a single unit of their solution into a department that has identified the need.
According to Wikipedia, “positioning is the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization.” Further down on the same Wikipedia page is this statement, “An important component of hi-tech marketing in the age of the world wide web is positioning in major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, which can be accomplished through Search Engine Optimization”.
The marketers I met with are 4 year veterans of marketing automation platforms HubSpot and Marketo and mature in their understanding of demand generation and marketing automation and the direct link between quality content creation attuned to the buyers needs and goals and higher search engine rankings.
Mind-share is Linked to Search Engine Positioning
They understand that in order to achieve positioning in the mind of the buyer, they first need to achieve page 1 search engine positioning for the key-phrases their new audience is likely to be using….and this means generating quality content attuned to buyers needs and goals.
I didn’t need to sell them on the need for a structured approach to marketing messaging or the need for a messaging architecture to enable content creation across the company that resonates with what buyers are trying to achieve, -they are actively seeking it.
Product Training isn’t Enough
Similarly they recognize that their direct sales team is well equipped with product knowledge to respond reactively to growing demand, where the salesperson responds to an RFP, configures the solution, submits a pricing proposal and processes the order…. hopefully.
They admit they are poorly equipped to have a proactive “why change” conversations with enterprise buyers however. They recognize the need to equip the sales team with tools, training and a story to enable them to engage executives in “why change” as well as “why me” conversations.
What’s Wrong with this Picture?
There are many who might say that there is nothing wrong with focusing on their existing market and full speed ahead with sales and marketing. However with a disruptive innovation, I view the creation of mind-share in new markets as a marketing imperative in addition to those they plan to dominate.
Kodak is an excellent example of the “innovators dilemma” – they grew to dominate every segment of their highly profitable silver-halide film processing market and nearly went under because they failed to adapt their business to digital image processing.
Connect Buyers to your Big Idea
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