Don’t Major in the Minors of B2B Marketing – by Chris Ryan

One of the worst ways to spend your day as a B2B marketer is to “major in the minors.”  By this, I mean spending your time on activities that have little or no impact on results. 

As I write this, it is snowy in Colorado.  There are three trucks in our company’s parking lot, scraping snow and sanding the pavement.  They have been going at their business for at least an hour and I am impressed by how clean (and sandy) they have made the parking lot.  But there was only about an inch or two of snow and no one had any trouble driving or walking on the lot.  In other words, they spent a lot of time and energy on something that had only marginal value.  I wish they would keep the freeways as clear as our parking lot, but their efforts were definitely overkill. 

Likewise, we marketers can spend gobs of valuable time on marginal or unproductive activities.  Here’s a nifty idea for you to change this quickly.  Begin by breaking down your work day/week activities into the following buckets. Then start shifting your time towards more productive pursuits.   

Bucket 1: D Time – Those things you do that add little or no value. Examples include: surfing the internet, personal email, personal social media, and office gossip.

Bucket 2: C Time – Routine tasks that need to be completed even though they add only small value.  Examples include doing reports, business email, low-level press announcements, and keeping departmental financial books.

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Bucket 3: B Time – Activities that add a good amount of value.  Examples include: creating content, lead generation projects, optimizing your website, meeting with sales counterparts, business social media, competitive research, strategic public relations, and lower-level partner meetings.

Bucket 4: A Time – Activities that add a great amount of value.  Examples include: branding and positioning your company, speaking, meetings with large customers, business strategy, meeting with press or analysts, and meeting with strategic marketing partners.

When I completed this exercise, I was surprised by how poorly I was allocating my time, especially since experts claim that an “A” activity can have 200 times the positive impact on your business as a D activity.  Yet we often skip A and B-level tasks because we are too busy with the D and C activities.  You can double your effectiveness while putting out less effort if you major in the majors (A and B activities) instead of majoring in the minors (C and D activities). 

Christopher Ryan
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One comment

  • Scott M February 9, 2011   Reply →

    Great article! This was very informative.

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