ESPN's Monday Night NFL Countdown show has a weekly segment that I just love, called C'Mon Man! The show's commentators take turns pointing out some of the prior week's biggest mistakes and miscues in football. It's a fun, fast paced look at things gone wrong by professionals that should know better. So it got me thinking - what are some of the most common B2B Marketingmistakes that we see regularly - and that are done by professionals that really should know better? Here's my list:
- Marketing in a vacuum (meaning not involving Sales, or Finance, or IT, or Ops, in the process of designing and implementing Marketing initiatives). I've seen it again and again, and I have a theory why it happens so frequently. It's often Marketing's role to lead the company in new directions, and friction is a common result as we push people and systems to adapt to change. And as the change agent it is easy to feel like the pioneer, with arrows in our back. But we have to realize that some arrows may be self inflicted because if we'd take the time up front to bring the other parts of the organization along with us, the change we seek wouldn't be as painful - or take as long. C'Mon Man!
- Talking to ourselves - instead of the prospect. As marketing professionals, we eat, sleep and dream about our products and services. We are very, very proud (or should be) of our widgets and we want the whole world to know how fantastic they are. Only problem is that we use our words and our myopic focus to communicate it. When we speak from our Point of View, instead of our prospects', then we've lost the opportunity right out of the gate. C'mon Man!
- "Everything but the Kitchen Sink" approach. In our mad rush to make sure we have all our bases covered, we create a website, launch a blog, sign up for Twitter, and create a webinar series - along with a bunch of other seemingly imperative marketing programs. And then we devote too little resources to maintaining any of them. We complain about how understaffed we are and in the end are unable to show ROI on most of it. Disciplined refusal to bite off more than you can chew is tough - particularly with an anxious boss saying "what have you done for me lately"? But in the end, doing a bunch of stuff poorly will end up killing YOU. C'Mon Man!
- Falling in Love with your idea. Don't get me wrong - you're supposed to be passionate about what you do. But the endorphin rush that comes with falling in love with your newest, greatest program can drown out the signals that your slogan, or campaign, or promotion has serious flaws. That's why we test - to help bring the objectivity back to the process. And when we don't - when we think we have too little time, or too little resources to test - it's like when we fall in love with someone - before we have our friends weigh in....it usually turns out bad. C'Mon Man!
- Feet stuck in Concrete. This is the opposite of #3. It's when we are too obstinate - or too scared - to listen to our gut when it is screaming that it is time to change. When we find all kinds of excuses to do nothing other than what we've always done - even when it is not producing results. Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Is this your approach to your on-line marketing programs? C'Mon Man!!
Those are my top 5 - what are yours? C'Mon Man!!!
Oh - and by the way... GO SAINTS!!!