We live in the digital age, an age in which the customer drives the majority of the buying process via online research before ever speaking with a salesperson. B2B marketers know that having a robust online presence is the only way to remain competitive in the marketplace. And with the increasing pressure to demonstrate how marketing contributes to the company’s bottom line, CMOs feel pressure to demonstrate significant results.
In an interview with CMSWire, Blair Christie, the former CMO at Cisco, echoed the importance of developing a robust online presence by sharing some of the many ways that marketing is playing a role in driving the company’s strategy. Cisco, like many B2B companies, is leveraging its website and online presence, stepping up its content marketing play, integrating a sales enablement platform, getting very targeted in social media efforts, ensuring content is served up in an engaging format across all mobile devices and utilizing various types of content to increase customer engagement. All of these efforts are intended to optimize the buying process and customer experience.
And yet, with the lion’s share of the B2B buying process taking place before a potential customer ever speaks to a salesperson, one crucial component of a successful marketing strategy that is often missing is the development and deployment of a clear, compelling and consistent Corporate Messaging Platform.
Without a clear, compelling and consistent message, your corporate story and positioning becomes fragmented, diluted and misinterpreted by prospects and customers as they travel through the buying process and customer journey. The results are devastating: limited audience engagement, less-than-stellar ROI on sales / marketing investments and confused prospects / customers.
When asked about her pain points as a CMO, Christie commented …
“My biggest challenge right now is prioritizing. There are so many things where marketing can play a significant role in driving your company’s strategy, but you can only do so much. So, we need to figure out how to prioritize on where we make the most impact.”
So, ask yourself this question: Isn’t your corporate message the one thing that has the single largest impact on lead generation, sales effectiveness, converting new customers and building lasting relationships with the customers you already have?
If your answer was yes, shouldn’t clear, compelling and consistent messaging be at the top of your priority list this year?