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):
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.
- Invest in marketing – particularly in strong marketing leadership (Do you have a Chief Marketing Officer?)
- Focus on content marketing – especially relevant content for buyers (Have you documented buyer personas and gained deep understanding of them?)
- 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?)
- 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.)
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To learn about Jeff, please click Who is the Fearless Competitor?