Marketing, circa 1982

B2B Demand Generation | How the World Has Changed

(We congratulate the 28 companies who have downloaded How to Find New Customers in July 2011! – one a day. Have you read it?)

I was graduated from University of Notre Dame with a degree in marketing in 1982. I still love that school with all my heart – but they rejected my son. That was deeply disappointing.

The world was MUCH simpler then. Here’s what the world looked like then:

  • We listened to 8-Track tapes. At the end of the year, a new media called Compact Discs is introduced in Japan.
  • There were few TV channels. Dallas was the top rated show. No one had heard of cable TV.
  • There was no Internet.
  • There were no cell phones.
  • There was no Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter.
  • A brand new singer named John Cougar (now known as John Mellencamp) released “Jack and Diane”

If you wanted to sell stuff, you had only a few channels to consider:

  1. Broadcast TV
  2. Radio
  3. Print (Newspapers and Magazines)
  4. Yellow Pages
  5. Billboards

If you wanted to get leads for sales, you spent on ads, print media or hosted events. The choices were very limited. Marketing channels were simple.

Fast forward to today. What was once scarce is now overwhelming. I cannot count the times business owners have said “We’ve tried almost everything and nothing works.” Sorry, but you’re doing it all wrong.

The media choices are endless today. So what is the marketer to do? No company except maybe Google and Microsoft can afford to advertise in every channel. Jumping from one failed approach to another does not work.

Here’s what I recommend for you. Think Outside In.

Stop thinking of taking your products to market. Instead, put yourself in the mind of buyers and work back to your products and services. The number of choices shrinks dramatically.

Instead of guessing what channel to use, ask your prospective customers which channels they trust. Instead of guessing what information they need, ask them. Only by gaining deep insights into buyers can you determine the best ways to work with them.

You’ll find customers only use a few channels. That’s where you need to be.

Here in a nutshell is B2B marketing, circa 2011:

  1. Buyer personas
  2. Search marketing
  3. Content marketing
  4. Mapping the buyer journey
  5. Lead nurturing
  6. Lead scoring
  7. Metrics
  8. Continuous improvement

What do you think? We love comments and those who share.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. He has continually adapted and learned as the years passed by, becoming an expert in social media, demand generation and content marketing.
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 implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

2 thoughts on “Marketing, circa 1982

  1. Indeed, how things have changed – I graduated in the 1990s and the changes have been dramatic even from then. Gone are the heady days of the easy sale. Guess what – sales and marketing need to work harder and together, something they aren’t always great at doing. I often ask sales “how do you like to be approached about a consumer-based sale ie. a personal item” and then contrast this with how you need/want to be approached for the sales of a business related item. Think about it and then apply it to your customers.

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