A 7 minute read by Doug Norwood, President/CRO
Have you ever counted the number of software tools out there which are designed to purportedly make you a better marketer? I have and I can tell you exactly how many are in the market. Zero.
Marketing tools don’t make you a better marketer any more than power tools make you handier around the house. Can they make you more creative? No. Can they make you a better writer? Nah. How about more efficient? Yes! Can they insert life into a broken process? Absolutely! And therein lies the magic.
To be fair, I don’t personally know any software developers making the “better marketer” claim. But as buyers we rely on those companies to sell to us in a way so we can truly understand the value. So while we hope for improvement in our skill sets, we are getting something perhaps more critical. Process improvement.
Some people say “revenue can solve a lot of problems.” I tend to lean toward the belief that “process can solve a lot of problems.” I know of no company that has achieved long term revenue and growth success without a seasoned, proven process firmly in place for achieving results.
The tools and solutions are ubiquitous. From basic marketing automation to amped up social, partnership and influencer platforms all the way to full-on, blown-out marketing suites. You can’t swing a dead app in this business without hitting one. Yet, despite the broad innovation within the majority of these solutions, marketing still comes down to the fundamentals:
You have to be aware of your audience, be conscious and considerate of their time and be sensible in your approach. In other words... be mindful. If marketing identifies the need and selling satisfies the need, it’s only logical that mindful marketing begets mindful selling. Or at least it should.
Being in the agency business, we get a ton of inquiries from software companies pitching their solutions as an effective way to solve a problem, which will then catapult us to the fast lane of servicing our clients and whoosh! Success! All while creating a nirvana of benefits for our clients. Sounds pretty good. With Atlanta’s exploding tech industry we really do try to entertain as many demos as possible so we can be knowledgeable and fully prepared to act in the moment one of our clients states a need.
The vast majority of demos we sit through are mindfully executed. Yet, we did sit through one recently that had the eerie tone and foreboding presence of a used car sales pitch. The product itself was solid and seemed to have value. The demo, however, was somewhat perplexing and was made all the more curious when the messaging turned from marketing and selling the product to offering us the “Manager’s Special” if only we would commit to the deal that day. They put us on hold for seven seconds (literally, I counted) and came back with the offer. Apparently, the sales manager just happened to stop by the office before heading out west to open the company’s next big sales office. In those fleeting seconds he came to fully understand our business and grasped our vision so clearly he unflinchingly authorized a “buy now and get your first three months FREE,” deal. I wish I were kidding.
This company didn’t have enough confidence in their product to really raise the value bar. They heard our objections and immediately went to their deal-of-the-day close. That was a mistake and a lost opportunity. While the product was interesting, the company and the person pitching wasn’t mindful in their approach. They didn’t know us, our business or our clients and they took the lazy shortcut of a one-to-many presentation. Their approach thwarted our interest in the product and ultimately the opportunity to work with many of our clients.
So, will this ill-directed software company survive in the long run? I suspect they will. But a candid follow up conversation with them allowed us the opportunity to give them some very direct feedback about their approach. They seemed receptive to our insight but we may never know if it provided any real value to their process.
We hope it did. In our increasingly collaborative world, being mindful is a two way street.