A formula for marketing success

Most B2B companies don’t have the patience to do actual Marketing. They chase numbers they can change quickly, not numbers that actually matter.

A formula for marketing success
Photo by Dan-Cristian Pădureț / Unsplash
Most B2B companies don’t have the patience to do actual Marketing. So marketers get forced to chase numbers they can change quickly, not numbers that actually matter.

— Chris Walker via LinkedIn

Demand generation advocate Chris Walker is prolific on LinkedIn. In a recent post, he discussed the shortcomings of a short-term view of marketing along with the benefits of taking a more balanced approach to the marketing function.

When you look at Marketing in a long-term view, you build infrastructure, process, talent, and other organizational capabilities that create a long-term sustainable competitive advantage that's incredibly powerful.

Competitive advantage. Does your business consider marketing a competitive advantage? What if it was your only competitive advantage?

We all think we have the best product or service, the smartest people, a unique view of the world.

But, really?

There are multitude great solutions, created by amazing people, that might have “changed the world” if not for unrealistic marketing investments and even less realistic time horizons.

To Chris’ point, we work in an era of demand for short-term marketing results because:

1. Not enough marketers understand the breadth and technical fundamentals of the function.

2. Those that do don’t have the time, skill, or sometimes willingness to educate their executives. Should we have to? Yes, it's our responsibility to our employer and to the broader marketing community!

3. The past decade or so, we let marketing technology (martech) vendors create what became a now widely held belief that everything can be measured—aka “performance” marketing—when the problems they claimed to solve were “made up” by marketers selling to unqualified marketers and executives looking for a quick hit.

4. We create an insane volume of inane acronyms that do nothing but confuse our conversations with executives (see #2). In fact, marketers argue among themselves about what this stuff means. Not a good look.

Here’s a simple formula I use to help explain what it takes to build a successful marketing function:

Results = Creativity * Money * Time

1. Creativity. Great creative and storytelling will always win. Always. The .01% of us that are creative geniuses (that ain’t me) no longer need money. All the tools needed to reach our audience are practically free.

2. Money. If you don’t have creative genius, you can buy it. If you want quick results, you can buy them—by investing *huge* amounts of money.

3. If you are short on creative genius and money, you have time. Just be aware that it’s the CMO’s head that hits the chopping block first.

Fortunately, most of us are able to leverage a combination of all three. Creativity * Money * Time. Being able to explain the correct weighting of each variable for your marketing reality is the work that needs to be done.