Evolution of Marketing – Product Marketing – Solution Selling – Challenger Methodology
The first Era of Marketing: Product Marketing (features/functions/benefits) – Hi Mr. Customer, here is my product, here are the features, this is how it functions, and here are the benefits. Infomercials still use this concept to market their product. After a few minutes of communicating the features, functions, and benefits, they hope that the information presented will motivate you to call and order.
The Second Era of Marketing: Solution Selling. Solution selling is about matching the needs of a customer to a particular product. Through a series of questions, my objective was to find out what kept my clients up at night, what areas of the business were causing headaches. Once you are able to pinpoint areas of displeasure, it will be much easier to then present a product which provides a true solution to an area of need.
The Third Era of B2B Marketing – Challenger Methodology – Customers are so well informed because of the amount of data they have access to; they already know what keeps them up at all night: completed all the research, seen all the spec sheets, already know what they want.
Pre-Marketing Campaign Questions:
- What are we trying to accomplish?
- How are we currently doing, what is our Baseline?
- What will be our focus?
- New Customers?
- Current Customer Retention and Growth?
- Building Brand?
- Support Distribution?
- How can we measure our brand strength?
- How can we track sales?
The New Era – Challenger Methodology
- Monthly Tracking Optimized based on Monthly Performance
- You are either in Sales or Sales Support: Marketing is there to make sales successful!
- In The Challenger Sale, You don’t ask what’s keeping your customer up at night, you tell them what is keeping them up at night. The Goal should be to build trust by giving them something that will help them. Give your prospective client something that they want to learn more about. Content should be relevant to help the client.
- A Strategic Road Map is Important
- Accountability/Dashboarding will help track progress
- Understanding Social Media and how it can impact the sales cycle has and still is an ongoing challenge.
- Feed the Content for Self-Educating Buyers
- Challenges: In a technology-driven world, the technology is evolving quickly (Must be adaptive!)
- Vital business objective – Connect business with consumers using the latest technology platforms
Trial & Error
Even if you do all the necessary preparation, it’s nearly impossible to know exactly how people are going to react. Therefore, it’s a must to be agile. Agility and the ability to adjust on the move will allow you to alter your marketing campaign in hours vs days and weeks.
More educated buyers have different expectations:
- How is the product made?
- How will the product impact the consumer?
- More of value-based consumption.
Over the last few years, Social Media has become the most primary Communication Channel. Most brands did not know, nor did they care what people were thinking. A competition began between brands, who could tell the best story?
As marketing on Social Media has evolved, transparency has become one of the most important components of successful marketers. Consumers want to know what your company is doing, how your company’s making the product.
Therefore, it is key to be interesting to the buyer, give them something of value that is relevant to them. An example of this is explaining to your customer how your products are made and their impact on the environment.
Plenty of Key Performance Indicator (KPI’s) to help Manage a Marketing Campaign:
- # of people that come to the site
- # of people engage
- # of leads
- # of sales
Marketing should wear a Sales Hat
- Have a quota
- Love Making Money
- Unique Personality