A fine painting is best observed from a distance because you gain unique perspective when you can take in the whole picture. As we are all challenged to do more and more in our jobs, sometime this big picture perspective can be lost as we concentrate on accomplishing all of the details. No one faces this challenge more than marketers who are being bombarded with new media options and tough ROI metrics. But taking one step back and challenging our perspective on our marketing programs is essential to make sure that you are getting the best performance out of your marketing investment.
Perhaps the biggest perspective issue facing marketers today is how they view their prospects. Up close we think of them as leads – names and addresses that match a key demographic, but the key to unlocking response from these targets is to understand that they are people trying to get their own jobs done as quickly and completely as possible. Success lies in your perspective and here is a quick test to uncover your views. When you develop and fund marketing programs, do you A) create plans based on your company’s sales cycle or sales blueprint, or B) create programs that consider how your prospects buy and the obstacles that they face when moving through their buy cycle?
If you are like most, you probably answered A, and in many respects it is completely understandable why you would. After all you are creating plans that are focused on helping the sales team close business. Sales can be a vocal group and can be quite specific on what they need …they also are very good on letting you know when you don’t live up to their expectations. The challenge that you will face with this perspective is that the web has changed the balance of power and placed it squarely into the hands of prospects. Your prospective customers now have access to a much broader set of information and peers through the web. It is time to start thinking about their perspective so that you can make your company and its products more useful. This is one of the primary reasons why companies are once again implementing educational campaigns. They know the power of pushing the sales cycle aside to think about how they can insert themselves into their prospects’ buy cycle. Today’s successful marketing programs must be designed to insert your company’s expertise and knowledge into the buyers’ search for information. When you are a part of that loop you are a part of the consideration set. Focusing exclusively on what your sales team wants and not on what your customer wants is a sure recipe for marketing disaster. So take a step back and drink in the big picture. I think you will enjoy the view.