Everybody wants to brag about being data-driven.
Sure, data should have a seat — but should it sit at the head of the table?
No, marketers need to be more than data-driven. They need to be outcome obsessed.
B2B is about emotion
If you want to be an outcome-obsessed marketer, then first there is a massive myth that we need to bust.
Sounding a little like the “no crying in baseball” line, this myth goes something like this:
There’s no space for emotion in B2B.
“I often hear it said that there’s no room for emotion in B2B marketing. But emotion and compelling storytelling is so much more important in B2B marketing.”
But is there really no crying in baseball?
That probably seems ludicrous to anyone who has ever been pegged by a fastball.
Well, in B2B, your competition may not be hurling knuckleballs at your head, but they are trying to outperform the features and functions of your product or service.
And, the truth is, it’s probably an equal playing field.
I mean, look at the products you use — would your company fall apart if you switched email clients, marketing platforms, or computer brands?
So in the absence of any meaningful difference in features and functions, how do you choose the best product?
So, if you obsess about the outcome of your marketing, then you’ll be obsessed with garnering the emotional response from your customers that sets you apart.
Who’s the hero?
Another big stumbling block that distracts marketing teams from the outcome they should be obsessing over is simple confusion about the clear story they need to tell.
Namely, who’s playing which role in the story.
If you ask marketers to imagine they’re in Star Wars with their customers, most of them imagine themselves as Luke Skywalker, not Yoda.
But this is wrong.
You’re not the hero in this story — your customer is.
They are the ones who need to embark on an epic journey to solve a pressing problem — and the galaxy is at stake.
“Your customer’s the hero because they’re the ones that have a problem to solve.”
The outcome-obsessed marketer wants to help the customer vanquish the forces of darkness through insight and wisdom.
You’re not Luke, you’re Yoda!
The 3 ingredients in outcome-obsessed marketing
Okay, with those considerations out of the way, how do we drive the results we are looking for?
What makes us obsessed with the outcome?
Turns out, it’s 3 things. And they all have to exist for you to succeed.
“Organized data, budget, and cross-functional aligned goals are the three ingredients you really need to work on, if you’re going to be really driving towards outcome-obsessed marketing.”
- Organized data
At the outset, we mentioned that data shouldn’t be the only thing steering your marketing ship.
But that doesn’t mean data is not involved in the navigation at all.
You need clear, organized, and actionable data to guide your decisions if you want to maximize your marketing returns.
You need to make sure you have the right data infrastructure, you’re collecting the right data, and you are interpreting that data correctly if you want to succeed.
- Budget and resource planning
It’s not enough to just steer your marketing ship in the right direction.
You also need to make sure that you can reach the destination in the first place, which requires the resources to fuel your journey.
But the fuel itself doesn’t matter. It’s just the destination.
So, instead of being obsessed with line items — like money spent on trade shows or consultants — you need to budget for money spent to reach your goal.
It’s all about project accounting.
If your goal is to penetrate a new market, that’s what you are allocating budget to — and that’s the route you take to calculate your return.
- Cross-functional, aligned goals
This is the hardest ingredient for most marketers because it’s not entirely in their control.
If marketing is a ship, then culture is a fleet.
And any good adventurer would want every ship in that fleet to have the same destination in mind.
The sales ship, the marketing ship, the development ship — they all absolutely have to want to land on the same shore.
The definition of success needs to be the same across your whole organizational fleet if you all want to reap the rewards of the desired outcomes.
And, in order to establish clear objectives across your company, you’ll need to establish clear metrics that translate between every department.
Remember the old saying: What gets measured gets done.
Actually, that may need to be a little more specific —
What gets measured together gets done together.