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Communications Objectives and the Buying and Sales Processes September 14, 2010

Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Just for Campaign Managers, Lead Gen, Marketing Operations.
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How does our marketing communications objectives fit against the customer’s buying process or our selling process?  This is a weighty question that can be tough to decipher.  Here’s a handy overview with respect the selling into the B2B technology market.

An overlay of communications objectives to the corresponding stages of the customer's buying process and a company's sales process. Although generic, this graphic provides some relevant context for marketers selling to B2B.

I titled this graphic “Mapping Customer Perception” because that is our goal, ultimately.  Marketers strive to influence how prospective customers think.  To do that, we need to understand how and when to guide them.  First, they must be aware of who we are and the solutions we offer.  Then we want to hook them and engage them as they become interested.  Next, we need to build understanding and become a credible source of information.  And, finally, we want to entice them to take action and purchase our products and services.

In an ideal world those communications objectives would map directly to the B2B Technology Customer Buying Process.  For example, the best time to hit the prospect is early in their buying process, when they are doing an operational analysis or building their budget during the investment planning phase.  Once we’ve got their attention, we want to provide relevant content throughout the purchasing cycle.  If we can guide the outline of the RFP we stand a better chance of winning the deal.

Next, let’s overlay both those processes with the ideal  B2B selling process.  It’s no coincidence that the sales process is a reciprocal of the buying process: the sales rep wants to identify and qualify opportunities as early as possible.  They want to work with the prospect as they are establishing their needs in order to determine if there is a potential fit.  Reaching the “go, no-go” decision point prior to generating a proposal is preferred so that time isn’t wasted.   Sales will negotiate with prospects as they are selecting and making a final purchase decision.  The sales process doesn’t end there.  While the solution is being implemented, the able-minded sales rep will be following-up and conducting account management duties, all the while looking for opportunities to engage the next sales cycle.

If life were simple, these three processes would overlay nicely.  But life is like a Rubik’s Cube.  Each of these processes are not static, and they don’t always start at the same point in time.  That is why marketing is an ongoing processes, constantly creating awareness and offering opportunities for the prospect to raise their hand and engage us on their terms.  When they are ready.

Have ideas on how to make this graphic better? Let me know.  I welcome your input and feedback.

A new sales book that B2B marketers should read June 30, 2011

Posted by Mike Gospe in Just for Campaign Managers, Marketing Operations, The Marketing High Ground.
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I loved Kevin Davis’ new book, Slow Down, Sell Faster! The key here is simple: who ever understands the customer best, wins! Davis embraces this notion by pushing sales reps to really understand the customer, their pain points, goals, interests, priorities, and their buying process before making the sales pitch. (more…)

Get a free hour with Mike Gospe February 7, 2018

Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing.
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We’re celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Marketing Campaign Development! Thank you for being part of the MCD family of more than 100K views from marketing teams around the world.

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Interested in getting some feedback on your latest plans?

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During 2018, I’m offering a free 1 hour marketing consultation to the first 10 people who sign up. Contact me to schedule a video conference where we can chat about anything you like: launch plans, campaign strategies, blueprint creation, campaign manager coaching, navigating internal politics, whatever. It’s a free hour for you, and it’s an opportunity for me to say thank you!

Contact me to schedule your free consultation.

In the meantime, please enjoy my 3 most popular blog posts of all time

  1. Do we really need a positioning statement?
  2. Communications Objectives and the Buying and Sales Processes
  3. Building an “Awareness/Thought Leadership” Blueprint

Contact me to schedule your free consultation.



5 Marketing Best Practices Used by Marketo August 28, 2014

Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Lead Gen.
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In early 2013, Mary Gospe, KickStart Alliance’s lead generation and integrated marketing strategist, ran a blog post about 5 best practices used by Marketo to promote themselves. Because this topic continues to be relevant, I wanted to replay that blog post here.  Good stuff to consider in any marketing campaign. (more…)

It’s time for a marketing assessment — here’s what you need to know January 16, 2014

Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Marketing Operations, Marketing Persona, Messaging.
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January is the perfect time to conduct a marketing assessment. Take a moment to look back at last year’s plan.  How well did your marketing campaigns work last year? What worked well? Where were your surprises? What elements of planning and execution require improvement? Whether you decide to conduct your own assessment or hire an outside expert to facilitate the process, here are a few tips to get you started.

Win/loss analysis: 5 questions to answer before conducting interviews July 2, 2013

Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing.
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There’s a lot of information on win/loss analysis available online. This blog post summarizes the “best of the best” advice available. Read on to see 5 questions you should consider before embarking on your own interview process and analysis. (more…)

Personas, positioning, & messaging – a highly effective 1/2 day workshop May 8, 2013

Posted by Mike Gospe in Marketing Persona, Messaging, Positioning, workshops.
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Want to rally your marketing team? Marketing is a team sport, not a solo activity. This half-day workshop, which you can run yourself, will help align the team and unleash untapped sources of creativity and positive energy. Here’s how it works. (more…)

Leadership vs seniority — advice for grooming yourself or others for advancement within marketing September 14, 2011

Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Just for Campaign Managers, The Marketing High Ground.
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As an executive leader, I’ve always expected and valued my “senior” staff to think beyond the boundaries of their job description. The more senior a marketer becomes, the more imperative it is that he or she be able to help unite the organization with an integrated marketing plan, to help get everyone on the same page. That means learning how to manage internal politics to align the organization (both within the marketing organization, and with sales). It also means that they have the confidence and character to ask the tough questions, like: (more…)

What separates the best B2B marketers from all the rest? August 24, 2011

Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Just for Campaign Managers, Marketing Operations, The Marketing High Ground.
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If you’ve been navigating the marketing groups on LinkedIn lately, you’ve probably run across this thought-provoking question: Can you use ONE WORD to describe the biggest challenge facing B2B Marketing today? Answers vary wildly from “time”, to “noise”, to “myopia”.  All good answers. But I have a different take on this question. Instead, I wonder if there is one word that can be used to separate the best B2B marketers from all the rest.  As a consultant to high-tech marketing leaders, I spent the last 10 years working with B2B marketing teams looking for clues, and I think I found the answer. (more…)

The temptations of new marketing technologies May 10, 2011

Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Marketing Operations.
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Technological advancements will continue to offer new and innovative ways for people to communicate with each other and for marketers to streamline the business of marketing. However, if we aren’t careful, these innovations can become a distraction, causing us to take our eyes off of the customer. (more…)