Why Your Marketing Is Probably Focused on the Wrong Things

Are You Wasting Your Time with Research?

A research report from Forrester Research recently reported that, for the last 10 years, B2B marketing expenditures have increased faster than revenue growth. In other words, there’s a big gap between marketing investment and sales performance and there’s a lot of money disappearing into it.

This got me thinking, and I believe the reason for this gap lies in the fact that many marketers focus on the wrong things. In my opinion, the job of a marketing department is 1) to bring in qualified leads and 2) equip their sales team to move those leads closer to making a purchase.

However, if you look at many of the "success" reports that come out of most marketing departments, they tout things such as increased social media activity like LinkedIn views and Retweets, attractive brochures, colorful tradeshow exhibits and website metrics like views and traffic.

This, I believe, is a mistake. Yes, many of these items contribute to overall brand-building, but many of the companies I work with simply don’t have the budgets for brand-building. Their money is better spent on marketing that leads directly to a sale.

The secret to better marketing—the kind that produces real ROI—lies in creating persuasive materials that move people to action. These provocative materials un-teach and re-teach your prospects. They provide them with new, important knowledge that changes their thinking. Persuasive marketing materials move your prospects to see the world through your unique point of view.

Research from Earnest Media says 58% of prospects disengage because sales reps are unable to help them solve business challenges. That means marketing that is totally focused on helping prospects address their challenges is the way to close the value gap and get prospects to believe in the brand and view you as knowledgeable, helpful—and influential.

Test yourself: Grab your nearest brochure, visit a page on your website or take a look at one of your recent marketing emails. Ask yourself: Did this material help my prospects address a business challenge? Is it influential? Or is it merely descriptive?

I think you’ll find the more you can move away from materials that are descriptive and toward materials that solve challenges and influence, the better results you’ll see.

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