Five Characteristics of a Good B2B Marketer by Christopher Ryan

A business colleague asked me what we looked for when recruiting new teammates at Fusion Marketing Partners.  Since we pretty much confine our services to B2B marketing, the question could have been, “What are the characteristics of a good B2B marketer?”  After taking a little time to think about this subject, here are my top five criteria:

Understands pull marketing.  Most of our clients are doing some form of pull marketing. In other words, they want to use marketing techniques that attract the people who are already interested in what they are selling. This is a much more effective (and cost effective) approach than traditional push marketing. I recently wrote a blog post about pull marketing that you can reference here.

Has experience with social media.  Social media is a low-cost way of generating awareness and leads for B2B marketers.  We need to help our clients establish and implement social media programs using such tools as blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.  Too many marketing consultants do a poor job at their own social media promotion.    

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Is numbers-focused.  B2B Marketing is about a lot more than clever slogans, creative design and slick materials. The best marketers know how to quantify and track every part of the process, from initial awareness, through inquiry generation, to driving sales opportunities and revenue. When you can’t measure these components, you are considered to be an expense.  When you can measure these components (assuming the numbers are good) you are considered to be an investment.  It is always better to be considered an investment than an expense.

Understands the relationship between marketing and sales.  The point of marketing is to enable more revenue to be generated.  This is true whether the sales model is Internet-based, channel based, or via a direct sales force.  If you are interested in sales and marketing alignment, we have a great white paper on the subject at the Fusion Marketing Partners website that you can download here.   

Knows how to deal with people.  Marketing is a people business, and regardless of whether we are dealing with customers, prospects, partners or colleagues, we need to know what motivates them to action.  For this reason, I prefer to hire marketers who are willing and able to get away from headquarters and go to where the true action happens – in the field.

Christopher Ryan
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  • Andreas Pazer December 10, 2010   Reply →

    In this modern world, the one strategy that is just as important for experienced entrepreneurs as it is for the first-time entrepreneur is Business to Business (B2B) marketing. Equally important, is for those business people to identify ways to provide value to their customers, whether they are other businesses or regular customers. If you plan on your business focusing primarily on B2B commerce, then you need to have a good blueprint laid out as a map to guide you towards prosperity.

  • Suzanne Smith December 10, 2010   Reply →

    Great post! I particulary appreciate the “knows how to deal with people.” B2B business lives on the ability to build relationships with the many participants in the buying process, particulary decision makers. In a world where 20% of your customers make up 80%+ of your revenue, B2B sales and marketing professional have to master the art and science of having meaningful business conversations – and marketing has budget to fund it!

  • Christopher Ryan December 13, 2010   Reply →

    Great comments. Andreas is correct that a “blueprint to prosperity” is a good way to view B2B marketing planning and process. And there is no doubt that Suzanne is spot-on by suggesting that marketing’s has an important role in facilitating meaningful business conversaions (with the key word being “meaninful”).

    Chris Ryan

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