Accepting Tradeoffs in B2B Marketing

B2B Marketing Valley, unattainable goals objectivesB2B marketing and sales is similar to the rest of life. You’d like to have it all. You want to eat everything in sight but keep your trim figure.  You want to race down the highway but maximize your gas mileage. You want to spend your business life on an airplane but remain extremely close to your family.  

In the real world, you are usually deluding yourself by believing you can have such contradictory things. The pie-eating champion and the marathon winner are usually not the same person.  After taking some lumps, most of us learn to accept that life is about making trade-offs in important areas like finances, family, time and energy.

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So what are the B2B marketing and sales equivalents of the failure to accept the need for tradeoffs?

  • Your sales department demands a large number of leads, yet insists that all the leads must be “qualified.”
  • Your messages are aimed at several disparate market niches, but you want to be seen as a leader in each.
  • You try to force early “lookers” into a sales process instead of a more appropriate nurture process, but you want a high close-rate.
  • Your marketing is aimed at impacting only this quarter, but you want a healthy pipeline of future buyers.

You can surely think of many other examples that apply to your organization. In every case, it is wiser to understand the trade-offs and compensate accordingly, instead of setting contradictory and thereby, unobtainable goals.  Too often, marketers agree to objectives that they know cannot be achieved, in order to appease an aggressive sales VP or CEO.  While this go-along to get-along strategy can buy the marketing department some time, it usually has a bad ending for all concerned.  Better to take your lumps early and fight to establish objectives that are reasonable and obtainable.

Learn more about how to set reasonable B2B marketing objectives at Fusion Marketing Partners.


Christopher Ryan
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One comment

  • Barb May 27, 2010   Reply →

    If only B2B marketing were easy right? We can all wish. Tradeoffs are always difficult, but they are needed much of the time. While you may have to make sacrifices once in a while, one thing I don’t think should ever be ignored in B2B marketing is ROI measurement. ROI is essential in sales, marketing and many aspects of Business to business operations. If I had to recommend a way to measure marketing ROI for B2B’s, I’d recommend

    Anyways, thanks for the great B2B post (I shouldnt have expected any less considering the title of this site =)

    Thanks again,

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