Part one in our new series: The Road to Strategic Marketing
eCommerce websites easily eclipse flesh and blood salesreps in B2C models… Is the end near for the B2B salesperson too?
“Mike” has led and continues to lead most B2B sales efforts – especially in enterprise sales – where traditional maxims suggest that the only way to close a deal is to develop a relationship with the customer built around a deep and personal understanding of their needs. Traditional B2B marketing and sales structures not only support but reinforce this model, with marketing creating brochure-ware that nearly always focuses on the offering, and the only real diagnosis and understanding of the customer problem being led by sales.
Enter the rapidly accelerating innovation curve in marketing technology, which is quickly placing B2B marketers on the verge of realizing Peter Drucker’s lofty ideal:
“The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous… to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself. Ideally, marketing should result in a customer who is ready to buy.”
B2B marketers, thanks in large part to advancing technologies and the concept of “Big Data,” can truly start to realize this ideal, and crawl out from the shadow of tactically oriented demand-creators and brochure-builders. By taking advantage of targeted marketing, analytics and retention technologies marketers can once again become strategic assets within their organizations.
Of course, accomplishing this is no easy task. Over the next 2 months BAT will look at both the specific stages of marketing and sales engagement, and how you can harness the power of marketing technologies to transform marketing into a strategic advantage for your company as you deliver on Phillip Kotler’s promise to “find, keep and grow profitable customers.”
Watch this series for upcoming posts on:
- Getting to know your target customer
- Getting beyond the “list” with targeted display, partner and content marketing programs
- You’ve found the customer, now how do you keep them engaged
- Conversion is key – 5 ways you can use technology to boost conversions
- Your customer is in the pipeline, when should sales takeover, and more importantly, should marketing exit?
- Sales has closed the deal – can marketing technologies help to grow a customer?