Why do some companies prosper – despite a terrible economy?

B2B Demand Generation | Growing a business in a terrible economy

“Job Growth Falters, Clouding Hope for Recovery” New York Times
“U.S. Worries Grow Over Jobs” Wall St. Journal

Those headlines, on the front pages of the New York Times and Wall St. Journal on Saturday, July 9, 2011, talk about

how bad times are and how few companies are hiring. It sounds bleak.

But the terrible economy is not hitting everyone equally. A few companies are growing fast and hiring quickly. In fact, those companies are hiring as fast as they can.

Who are those companies and why are they doing so well, despite bad economic news?

Here are a few of the really fast growers (and job creators):

  1. Marketo
  2. Salesforce.com
  3. Hubspot
  4. Eloqua
  5. Kinaxis
  6. F5 Networks

There are other examples too, but those six give us something to discuss.

Other than the fact that all five are business to business technology companies, what do they have in common? Here are a few things they all do:

  • Each invested heavily in marketing – (For instance, Marketo spends 80 cents for every dollar spent in sales.)
  • Each publishes great marketing content – especially content that is deeply relevant to buyers (based on buyer personas – especially Hubspot, Kinaxis, Eloqua and Marketo.)
  • Each uses a scientific approach to marketing – using carefully designed and measured processes, including social media.
  • Each continually refines and updates their approach. Marketing is ongoing and decisions are based on fact.

The lesson here for other business to business sellers is clear. If you want to prosper despite a bad economy, you need to do 4 things very, very well.

  1. Invest in marketing – particularly in strong marketing leadership (Do you have a Chief Marketing Officer?)
  2. Focus on content marketing – especially relevant content for buyers (Have you documented buyer personas and gained deep understanding of them?)
  3. Look at the science of marketing, especially using marketing as a revenue engine. (Have you spent time learning from sites like Find New Customers, MarketingInteractions and MarketingProfs?)
  4. Measure everything and continue to tune the approach (Have you watched the Marketo “Secret Sauce” presentation at Find New Customers?)

Seems clear to me. You have choices to make:

Complain about the weather or buy an umbrella. By the same token, in this changed world of B2B marketing, you can complain about the economy or you can do something about it. So take the money you’ve been using for sales and pump it into B2B demand generation. (Marketo spends 80 cents for every dollar spent in sales. How do the marketing and sales budgets compare in YOUR company?)

(Click on the image to review my review of the book, Launch by Michael Stelzner – filled with great marketing ideas.)

To learn about content marketing and a buyer-centric approach from a partner company of Find New Customers called Avitage, click the link below. Highly recommended!

A Different Approach to Content and Publishing

What do you think? We love comments and people who share. Just enter your comment below.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. He’s also the host of the B2B marketing show, Mad Marketing TV, sponsored by Act-On Software.

To learn about Jeff, please click Who is the Fearless Competitor?

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to rapidly grow revenue by transforming how they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or by emailing sales at findnewcustomers.com.

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