Before positioning their company as a ’thought leader’ for digital transformation, many of the B2B IT Brand Marketers need to transform their decision-making process first.
The flawed workflow and how to fix it
For field and performance marketers, the KPIs are clear. Right or wrong – at least there is an objective measurement process in place – from traffic volume to SQL, via ’net new leads’ – they are evaluating the initiatives based on a (or a few) unambiguous criteria. But the subjectivity comes with the domain of brand marketing. It’s not their fault that many of the brand marketers are still deciding the brand strategy of communication initiatives like we are living in the ‘80s! There is no logical, defined workflow to select a brand creative for them; it’s all based on gut feelings. The process is flawed on many levels – but most importantly, brand marketers need to realise – you are not your target audience.
I can whine and sob for hours, jotting down the horror stories regarding the aforementioned flawed decision-making process, but instead, allow me to list a few remedies brand marketers can implement to overcome the gut-feel bias.
Know thy audience
Check your LinkedIn connections. How many ITDM, CIOs you are connected to or follow? If the answer is obvious – start connecting and following as many as you can and regularly check your news feed to understand the content consumption and sharing patterns of your target audience. What sites/content do they consume and share? Which keywords and hashtags catch their attention? Repeat the process for Twitter.
Know thy product
Understand the underlying technology. If you are trying to select a creative for hybrid cloud – you need to have some understanding of what hybrid cloud is. Buy a cuppa for one of your product people and get a ‘simple English explanation.’ Plus, Google is there with you – always.
Do A/B testing
When in doubt, don’t try to guess – do A/B testing. Try out multiple creatives and keep what works. That’s one of the main reasons to start with digital. After selecting the right creative in digital – you can adapt it to other mediums.
Avoid HIPPO issues
If you can’t present and defend the creatives with logical reasoning – it’s always the ’Highest-Paid Person’s Opinion’ (HIPPO) that will be considered as the last word. I know organisational politics are hard to navigate, and some degree of compromise is inevitable. But you will have some chance of doing the right thing with logical reasoning.
What do you think? Are you ready for the logical transformation of your organisation?
About the author
Anol Bhattacharya is CEO of GetIT and has over 20 years of experience with hi-tech and telco clients in the field of B2B marketing strategy and consulting. Anol is a regular columnist on the topic of B2B marketing in various print and online portals and has given keynote addresses, and been a panellist, at major marketing conferences across the APAC region.