Building A Modern Sales & Marketing Machine

How Well Do You Really Know Your Customer?

Posted by Phil Harrell

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May 9, 2014 10:26:51 AM

iStock_000000299402SmallThe majority of Enterprise CMOs I meet with are struggling to transform their marketing teams from product centric to customer focused organizations. There is a world of difference between the two.  

The old marketing playbook was to produce lots of quality content about your product-for example white papers that highlighted the features and benefits of the product versus competitive offerings.  But that won't work any more since today we're in a buyer centric age where customers have access to all the information they need at their fingertips to do their own research and analysis on their own.  And there is a tremendous amount of clutter and information overload that marketers must contend with-how does one a marketer "cut through the clutter" and reach their buyer?

What CMOs need to do is to figure out way to have their organizations produce more thought leadership pieces and top of the funnel (TOFU) content that speaks to the challenges that their buyers are trying to solve.  Content that helps engage these buyers early in their buyer journey while they're still forming their requirements versus product centric content that is better suited to middle of the funnel (MOFU) and bottom of the funnel (BOFU).

But in order to write compelling thought leadership content, you have to really understand who your ideal customer is...who are you trying to reach with your content? What should keep CMOs up at night is that when they and their teams start trying to define their ideal customer, they will most likely realize that they don't really understand their buyer. They will have a very difficult time trying to build one persona that has universal attributes and is agreed upon by all the different groups within the marketing team.

In most marketing organizations that I work with, each group on the marketing team-database, SEO, email-has become silo'd and over time has formulated their own idea of the company's ideal persona. And so effectively each group pursues it own idea of what they think is the ideal customer, touches the customer and then tosses it over the fence to the next silo.  There is no consistency in message or of approach, which means a lot of wasted effort.   

It is time for you as CMO to sit down with your entire marketing organization and map out your buyer persona-to really dig deep into who your ideal customer is so that you can bring focus to your marketing efforts across your entire team.  Once this is done, then you'll need to figure out how to structure the organization to permanently break down the silos so that your organization can speak with one voice to the customer across all channels.


Topics: CMO/VP Marketing

Building A Modern Sales & Marketing Machine

This blog is for CEOs, Sales and Marketing Executives who are interested in transforming their sales & marketing machine to align with how B2B buyers buy today.

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