For a while, we have been speaking about the importance of leading with outcomes. In an environment in which it is increasingly the business that is driving many tech buying decisions, they had better be business outcomes! So it is with some dismay that I have started to see a new Tech Marketing 101 malaise…advertising “business outcomes” without getting any more specific than that.
Unfortunately, I am now seeing this in marketing copy almost daily. Nearly everyone is guilty of it at some time. I’ve seen from the largest and best known names in the industry, as well as by small, local providers. I’ve seen it crop up in taglines. Home pages. I’m anticipating “outcomes” candy now we’re back at live events.
Ruining it for everybody!
The provider marketers I speak with everyday all acknowledge that it’s getting harder to cut through the marketing noise and engage with their targeted buyers. That isn’t yet translating into more focused or meaningful messaging. And it certainly isn’t translating into many specific business outcomes and impacts being called out. Not yet enough for me, anyway!
So why is it a problem?
It’s a problem because if you aren’t specific, you aren’t relevant. If you aren’t relevant, you don’t engage. If you don’t engage, you don’t even get to start a buying discussion. Even if you can afford to create content that doesn’t do anything for you or your customers, you’re contributing to the noise that is overwhelming buyers. You’re making it harder for everyone!
How do we overcome the issue?
I’m sure it’s obvious – by narrowing down and being specific about the outcomes that we address.
That requires us to understand the job to be done – and importantly, the context in which that job gets done. We call this the Value Scenario.
Understanding the value scenario involves pulling forward some of the intel we’d typically do for a specific account to the planning and targeting stage, at the segment or ICP level.
As part of this process, understanding the buying jobs that stakeholders in the buying team (i.e., understanding the buyer personas) becomes really important. Then we can determine what’s really important for our target buyers and we become relevant. We also then know how to describe the specific outcomes that we can drive.
I see Value Scenarios looming large in all our future discussions of go-to-market planning and strategy. How much of this are you already doing? Do you know if you’re asking the right questions to get to the outcomes that matter to your target customers?
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