In yesterday’s post, I talked about the first of five steps that B2B marketers need to take to grow the link between marketing and the business leadership.
There is a real need for good marketing out there. And in my experience, it is possible to grow the link between marketing departments and the businesses they serve. It takes time, care, and proof of delivery to create trust. It requires a brilliant and dedicated team of marketers committed to the cause and it requires the preparedness of a few business executives to go on the journey to provide air cover. I think there are five steps that B2B marketers need to take to grow the link between marketing and the business. Time for step two!
We need to work at the strategic bits of marketing. If the business is to sit up and take notice of marketing, then marketers need to offer value and challenge on topics that matter to the business: where is the growth in the market? Where is the best margin to be made? What have our competitors missed? That means that marketers need to be the experts on the market. They need to have an accurate view of the universe of their market and who is playing where within it. That means data analysis and market research. If the marketing team already manage the relevant database and research tools, then it’s a matter of getting them analysing what they have rather than just administering them. If the marketing team does not control the assets, it’s about building links with those who have. This step also means getting out and meeting clients and hearing what they have to say. At PA Consulting Group, I introduced the practice of getting the marketing team to acquire client testimonials as a means of getting them out into the market. At EY, I asked the marketing team to conduct customer satisfaction surveys and win/loss reviews. At O2, I had the marketing team run client advisory boards that delivered insights to shape strategy, offers, and campaigns. And don’t forget the one advantage of being the event and programme organisers is that marketing have an opportunity to meet clients at events and programmes too. So change your marketers’ responsibilities to include contact with clients. The business is more likely to trust a team that is offering them advice based upon knowledge and experience that the business itself values.
So this must be step two in the re-build of trust between marketing and the business: we need to work at the strategic bits of marketing.