The Internet has changed how marketing is done. Most everyone is aware of this on a high level, yet when businesses set out to create a marketing and sales process, aligning to the new way things are being done gets messy.
The individual perspectives from members of leadership within a company are often what drives the success or failure of transitioning to modern marketing and sales methods. A great way to get your head around why it's often unclear in how to drive the change is by considering how it compares to the transition from horses and wagons to automobiles. Looking back from today’s perspective, few of us give this much thought. For those who lived it, there was a much more dramatic impact. Examining it briefly might help to guide you in taking your company through the process of layering on or transitioning to the marketing tactics available because of the Internet.
At the turn of the 20th century, the automobile arrived on the scene. Depending on who you asked it was either a great invention or the worst idea ever. Incredibly from our perspective today, there were cities and towns across the country that passed laws banning the use of them. Imagine life as a business owner during this time frame. Visionaries would see the benefit of being able to transport goods or even their sales people in more efficient ways while those who were humming along nicely with the current available transporation methods rejected the notion of investing in this new way of doing things. After all, they'd been successful without changing how they did much of anything up to that point, so why change it?
Perspective mixed with innovation can have a tremendous impact on whether a business is successful depending on how they approach it. People didn't just wake up one day and sell their horses in favor of cars and roads weren't upgraded overnight to make efficient use of them. The experience is similar to how things are changing related to how consumers buy and avenues businesses have to market and sell to them. If you're slow at keeping pace with the newest innovations, your ability to keep momentum generating qualified leads also slows down, taking a toll on your company's bottom line.
We're not the only experts anymore; our prospects/customers are now experts too because web browsers allow them to learn everything they (think they) need to know about a product/service before they've ever talked to a sales rep.
Switching to Cars when Horses are the Norm
So, just as business owners using horses and wagons needed to resize and reshape how they did business as the automobile industry exploded and the system of roads evolved, today's business owners have to determine their own scope of investment, time management, customer education and engagement dynamics in consideration of communication innovations.
- Which platforms, verbiage, graphics, slogans, campaigns and offers engage the largest common denominator of target audience pool?
- How can you leverage what you have - the success you've already built - while you work to evolve to the new ways of reaching prospective new clients and retaining current ones.
- What will it take for your business to reach people who may want to do business with you now that channels for getting information have changed?
It's easy to lose your way and never realize a structured system to navigate the changes if you take guidance from the wrong sources when it comes to what it will take to build a scalable marketing and sales strategy that will deliver results.
Realistically, there aren't very many B2B company owners we've encountered who can handle marketing decisions independently, while simultaneously remaining innovators and active players in their own business and brand development. The pace of change makes it impossible to stay current without someone who is focused on marketing strategy 100% of the time.
Scalable marketing is like the mindfulness version of it
If you're stuck in the past or overly agitated about the future - you're missing invaluable opportunities to meet your prospects right now. Perspective is everything when it comes to navigating from old marketing methods to new in a way that is efficient and grows with your business.
I enjoy reading books by C.S. Lewis and he makes an excellent point in “Mere Christianity” that applies very well to why some companies have such a difficult time implementing new ways of doing marketing. He often passionately debated Sigmond Freud and in his book he mentions that “when Freud is talking about how to cure neurotics he is speaking as a specialist on his own subject, but when he goes on to talk general philosophy he is speaking as an amateur”. The same can often be said of members of the leadership within companies when they start trying to apply their perspectives to new approaches for marketing and sales. This is the most common reason companies fail at getting results from innovative marketing tactics, they can’t let go of the steering wheel. They insist on directing the subtleties involved from their expertise of what they're in business to deliver or their area of specialty within a company. For some reason, the same logic they would apply to hiring an accountant or lawyer isn't always given to marketing strategy.
In order to grow, your business must do a good job of defining the steps and workflows for day-to-day function, including as they apply to the multitude of options available for how marketing and sales will be done. Oftentimes these workflows are outdated or were never there at all because there hasn't been clear direction for building or updating them.
As businesses realize they're falling behind the times, informed processes and perspectives for changing things are driving the difference between success and failure. How can you make sure you're successful?
What would Clyde Do?
To help gain the perspective for successful change, we’ve invented Clyde and the “what would Clyde do” series to teach inbound marketing and sales strategy. We're using common business marketing and sales scenarios from fictional accounts of real-life situations we’ve encountered with clients over the years. Through telling these stories, we'll show you new ways of looking at how you could structure your sales and marketing strategy to incorporate rapidly evolving technology.
You might be able to see yourself, at least sometimes, in Clyde’s actions and we hope you can relate to him. The objective isn't to point out your mistakes, it's to help you better understand what needs changed and why? Just like at the turn of the century it wasn’t “wrong” for someone to wake up and choose a form of transportation they were already familiar with, it’s not “wrong” to assume things about your marketing tactics today based on your own perspective. However, to refuse to make changes only because you don't fully understand how to use new methods can get you into serious trouble. If you conclude you have to change how you do things, you’ll either need to learn how to do it yourself or be informed enough to engage the right professionals to help you change it and Clyde can help!