Marketing departments continue to fail in their ability to generate revenue and qualified leads for their sales team.
Marketing is a staff department designed to support the sales department, which is a line department.
The marketing department’s goal is not managing tradeshow booth construction and magazine interviews.
Their goal is not creating 40-card deck overhead presentations.
Their monthly objectives should not be how many meetings they schedule with their PR firm.
Their monthly objectives and goal should be generating qualified leads for their sales team every day.
Anything else is a waste of time and money.
So, what is the goal of corporate marketing materials?
To generate new sales leads or convince existing sales prospects to move forward in their sales cycle with the sales team.
If that’s the goal, then multi-page, four-color marketing brochures are a waste of money! According to research, the most effective lead generation method is your web site.
Before we go any further, let’s talk about who your qualified buyer is. As I’ve discussed in previous editions, qualified buyers are senior executives that hold the title of Director, VP, or higher. Executives below these titles are professional lookers and, as a rule, do not have the authority to sign the purchase order.
So with that being said, when was the last time a Vice President of a Fortune 1000 firm or a President of a small company sat down and looked at your company’s eight-page corporate “position” brochure and read it from cover to cover?
They don’t have the time.
Many marketing departments are misguided to believe that if they cram every feature, function, B2B service and sales attribute they can into their marketing brochure, hoping something will intrigue the prospect to respond.
This is the “Mud Theory” of marketing. Just keep throwing information at the prospect until they respond. But, this is a waste of time and money for B2B firms. In most cases, these marketing methods fail because of the following reasons:
They are designed for executives who have the time to read the brochure from cover to cover — 99% executives are not qualified buyers. Although they may influence the decision, they are not the ones who ultimately sign the purchase order.
When these brochures are provided to a senior executive, there is so much information, the prospect just moves on to something that is simpler and more precise to their needs.
They usually don’t talk about how your product or service increases income, decreases expenses or manages the prospect’s risks.
So, don’t waste marketing budgets on multi-page, four-color brochure development for senior executive buyers.
Please, before all the marketing manager subscribers start emailing your objections to me or calling me late at night, think about what your job is all about. The goal of any marketing effort is to help your firm increase revenue. That’s it. So why create a beautiful, four-color brochure with lots of pages describing the greatness of your product or service and the rock solid stability of your firm if your qualified buyers will not look at it?
Now, if you email me saying you have complex B2B products and services and you need to get information out to your prospects on what your products and services do, I understand.
Remember, feature-driven prospects are professional lookers and they will read and save beautiful marketing brochures. In fact, feature-driven buyers are happy if you give them a 500-page manual that puts everyone else to sleep. Qualified buyers are usually senior executives and they simply don’t have time to read excessive corporate documentation.
Focus instead on your corporate web site. Make sure it is easy to navigate and does not have technical information on the home page. Senior executives should be able to scan your web site to find exactly what they need quickly. Prospects should also be able to immediately see how your product or service increases revenue, decreases expenses or manages their business risks.
The point is – don’t spend money on four-color, multi-page brochures if you plan on providing them to qualified buyers.
Instead, develop white papers and single sheet, four-color presentations that include technical information, vertical market positioning, case studies, client testimonials, and relevant information targeted to the technical influencer or the executive buyer. Then spend money on a company folder that will make your firm stand out. Make it a heavy paperweight of 120 pounds or more with high gloss finish, raised lettering and/or metallic ink. This will enable you to leave relevant marketing material with a senior executive without forcing them to filter the content themselves.
Additionally, you will need to prepare these documents so they can easily be downloaded from your web site.
Focus first on your web site — it is the #1 way to generate qualified leads. Then focus on creating smart marketing sheets such as white papers that get your pain repair out in front of the qualified buyer so you can sell.