One way we keep our fingers on the pulse of B2B marketing is to look at job postings. We see what skills and experience businesses are looking for, which clue us in to the goals they’re aiming to accomplish. Then on the flip side, we keep an eye on available marketing talent to fulfill those needs. But too often there’s a serious disconnect.
The thing we see most are job posts describing enterprise-level goals, complex campaign integration and demanding KPIs that ask a single person to wear the hat of copywriter, graphic designer and web developer (not to mention media planner, project manager, publicist, etc.) It’s a big ask, and it’s their prerogative to seek — but the compensation offered is a joke.
Where does this misalignment come from? Clearly, the value placed on marketing for many organizations is just plain off. Executives know better than anyone, you get what you pay for. So if you’re only willing to pay for entry-level marketing capabilities, what results do you really think you’re going to achieve?
And I’m not knocking young marketers. Many are savvy — even driving the latest trends. But if you think effective marketing strategy is as simple as posting to social media (since everybody does it, and “kids” do it better than anyone), why invest more than the minimum? Think again.
You get out what you put in
Traditional B2B companies are especially guilty. Not to shy away from being blunt, it’s often older men who “don’t believe in marketing.” (Disclaimer: I’m a guy myself and the gray has landed.) Having worked in those situations, I know this line of thinking well. These companies often lump “sales and marketing” together in both roles and departments, where sales is the golden goose, and marketing is an afterthought — only getting lip service when they need something “prettied up.”
Then, when sales is spinning its wheels, struggling to convert the same stale leads, the top of the funnel is deserted like the city center during lockdown. (Because we can always blame COVID.) We shrug our shoulders and wonder why.
Cheap can be costly
Who do you think fills the top of your sales funnel? Who cultivates those leads and prospects and kicks them over to sales? Marketing, yes, we know how it’s supposed to work, but that’s other industries, right? Not mine.
False. The X factor here is marketing strategy, and it’s the key element these businesses are missing. Strategy is what underpins your marketing plan and gets carried out through numerous tactics you deploy to achieve the desired results.
Since many companies scoff at marketing, what they’re really saying is they haven’t integrated a true marketing strategy into their process. Instead, they are shortcutting this work by doing the bare minimum, addressing mere tactics that aren’t driven and supported by a larger, more comprehensive strategy. Ultimately, tactics alone are doomed to do very little.
So it goes... You check in with your marketing coordinator, the likes and follows and replies are meager. Yet you tell them to keep at it, and the cycle continues — a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Prepare to face the consequences
My apologies to any clients who assume I’m thinking of them as I write this. No, I’m not throwing shade. Since you're working with Ridge, you've obviously seen the light! This is directed at the companies whose job posts appear in my inbox—a marketing veteran for over 15 years, only to see a pay scale that’s totally out of whack with the requirements.
It speaks to the question of marketing value, which comes from marketing strategy, which drives your organization’s growth. If anything that I’ve described sounds familiar (and maybe you are short on strategy after all) contact us. We’re happy to hop on a call and discuss exactly what kind of value we can provide.