Why is that marketers face resistance when pitching brave new ideas to their Board colleagues? This question puzzles me, as I go about my work and wonder whether it is because marketers haven’t got the business skills to sell their vision or whether it is Board directors who hire us, but then lack the courage of their conviction to be transformational in their efforts. Or is there a gap between the marketing experts and the business leaders, and what will it take to close it?
It seems to me, especially in the lack-lustre world of B2B marketing that we all need to up our game. The marketers need to embrace new ideas, experiment and be prepared to be bolder in cutting through the inevitable noise in their markets, and Board members need to expect from marketing teams a real drive on delivering more value into the business.
For example, we find ourselves in a world that is changing (through social media) more rapidly than ever before, and yet many service companies are in denial about the changes affecting them. It isn’t a question of when social media becomes relevant to service businesses. It is a question of how you will engage with it. And now.
The power has already shifted – from the organizations with services to push, into the hands of the buyer, who chooses what he or she is interested in, who to follow and who sets the terms for engaging in conversation with businesses that can solve business problems. Having a marketing strategy that is reliant on the old fashioned model of pushing ideas out will not be enough. In this saturated world of messages hitting us 24/7 and with social media channels taking off in the business sector, marketers beware. It is time to engage with some new principles of operation and it is your duty to figure out how these apply to the benefit of your business. Don’t wait for the Board to ask if you need to adapt to the brave new world – it will be too late. Lead the agenda.
The best will impress, by doing six simple things:
- Telling powerful stories that solve business problems
- Create active followings on channels that matter to their buyers
- Will engage in conversations with people that share what you have to say
- Will share content and knowledge openly and transparently
- Will promote simple ideas that integrate across all channels
- And demonstrate how much unlocked potential is captured, by following these guidelines
So the mission is clear – we must all work to drive up our skills, hunger for new ideas and drive them through, and if we do, then I am confident that we will unlock more business value.