This guest post is by Mark Britton of Crimson. Mark is from the “it’s all about the revenue” school of marketing with a 10 year track record of B2B technology sector success to prove it. He is now the Marketing Manager for Crimson, a successful Microsoft Gold Partner specialising in Microsoft Dynamics CRM particularly in the recruitment world.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my chosen profession of marketing but there are too many marketers out there who do their best to reinforce the stereotype of a flaky dreamer, pondering over which shade of red to use in their logo.
The Professional Services sector might call what I do business development, charities would call it Outreach, but I’m proud to say I’m a marketer and here are the top 5 things I think every professional marketer should be delivering for their company.
1 Developing a Compelling Value Proposition
A value proposition is what you sell to your clients, is more than just your offering and building one is the most important job a good marketer can do to make a big impact on their firm’s bottom line. Without it, all the fancy campaigns in the world won’t save you. A powerful question to answer is, “What result do I uniquely guarantee to deliver better than anyone else?”
Also remember it’s not what you provide but also how you provide it that counts. A restaurant with great food but lousy service is doomed to fail; a positive client experience is crucial.
2 Creating Unique Selling Points to help your firm stand out
Guess what a client will use to decide which supplier to buy from if they cannot choose between them? No prizes I’m afraid: always the cheapest. So providing strong USPs will help you win new clients, keep existing ones and protect your margins and, in my humble opinion, the challenge of delivering USPs rests firmly with the marketer.
Some might think it would be impossible to create one feature or offering that is unique and they would be right however, by combining a number of them together it is possible to make anything stand out from the competition.
3 A Salesperson in Print
Copywriting – or the art of persuasive writing – is one of the greatest skills I’ve been fortunate enough to discover. While many marketers and advertising agency staff are frustrated artists seeking to entertain and wow, true marketers understand that words (be they in display advertising, website pages or a sales letter) are like having a salesperson in print.
Direct response advertising using persuasive copywriting is about making a connection, overcoming objections and, crucially, eliciting a response. The fascinating science of direct response advertising has been studied for over 100 years and I can’t think of a better place to start than reading books by famed copywriter Drayton Bird. Robert Bly has a book specialising in business-to-business copywriting, too. The grandfather of the subject is Claude Hopkins and his book Scientific Advertising can be downloaded for free here.
4 Articulating your Value
Good sales people are charming and fun people to be around, but few in my experience are able to translate their mastery of the spoken word into print.
This is where a good marketer can take the baton and contribute to a winning team. In today’s socially connected online world, the written word has taken on a new and powerful dimension. A good marketer should shadow sales people in the field and study the objections sales people are faced with to avoid the ‘ivory tower syndrome’ that blights most poor marketing.
5 Show me the money (perhaps my favourite)
Bringing in a steady flow of qualified leads makes every business grow and run smoother, be it through cross selling or new business.
If you know a marketer in the business-to-business world that harps on about brand building, run a mile. Brand building should always come second to a solid lead generation machine. In B2B marketing your brand is primarily built through one-to-one relationships and how well personal promises are kept. Therefore, true brand building doesn’t happen until you have the leads to begin with.
If your marketer can’t demonstrate how they’re delivering the right type and number of leads, put a rocket under them. If that doesn’t work, fire them because that is what you should be paying them to deliver.
Connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.