Friday, August 4, 2017

What Does Marketing With Intention Mean?

“Marketing with intention” is a fairly new buzz phrase circulating among marketing professionals. What does it actually mean? How does it differ from the traditional approach to marketing?

Today’s technology channel marketer is responsible for all things marketing: corporate brand, website, social media, lead and demand gen, collateral, budget management, content creation, video creation, events, vertical-based marketing, vendor-based marketing, services marketing, managed services marketing, training (internal and external), etc.  It’s an overwhelming amount of responsibility—how can you be intentional when you’re always in reactive mode?

Marketing with intention is all about asking yourself and your team why you’re carrying out a given marketing activity rather than beginning by asking yourself what marketing activity is being carried out. If you start with the “what,” you’re limiting yourself to the first idea you come up with for driving inbound leads without really stopping to delineate why you’re doing it at all. If you start with the “why,” you’ll end up with endless ideas for the “whats,” and find yourself evaluating the marketing activities that best align with what you’re trying to accomplish, Kissmetrics explained.

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”
-Simon Sinek, reported by HubSpot

The ultimate result is successfully appealing to the people who share your beliefs, and can see that your products and services are in alignment with your core purpose and values as a business.

How Can Our Team Ensure We’re Marketing with Intention?

   First, define your intention! Many marketing activities are being requested by sales, management, and vendors who think they have marketing experience, but actually have limited expertise (sorry, but it’s true).  The reason there are channel marketers is for their proven experience in marketing. When asked to carry out an activity by other personnel, ask yourself:

·    Does the activity qualify as marketing with intention? What is the specific intent of the activity, and is it in alignment with our values? 

·       Is it targeting a particular market/vertical? 

·       What is the call to action? 

·       What is the follow-up plan? 

·       Can a nurture process be put in place? 

   Second, to market with intention is to have a marketing plan that aligns with the business goals, as explained above. If you plan on growing a particular vendor business by a certain percentage, then your marketing plan should reflect activities to drive that goal. If you plan on hiring 10 more people in the next year, then your marketing plan should reflect that goal, as well! Whatever the business goal, the plan is key to achieving it. With that being said, both the business driver and marketing plan may change as the year progresses, and that’s okay, as long as you have intent behind each goal and activity.

  Lastly, do you have the resources to execute? If you have no marketing resource, or only one marketing resource, intention goes out the window. There is no way to market with intention if your resources are limited—that goes back to being in reactive mode. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again: limited marketing resources who are responsible for all corporate, vendor, product, lead and demand gen, and social media marketing is WAY too big for one person to handle, no matter how good they are, and no matter how much you pay them. Effective intentional marketing needs planning, vision, and execution. Hire those third-party vendors you trust to help so that your internal resources aren’t burnt out. Besides, third party resources are considered an expense, and you can use MDF to pay for them.

Bringing It All Together: Do You Need Support for Realigning Your Strategy?

If you’re a marketer reading this blog, share it with your CEO/executive leadership! Sometimes, it takes an outside source to drill the message home. Happy marketing!

Strauser Marketing is comprised technology marketing experts with over 20 years’ experience in channel marketing. We help reseller technology partners manage, create, and execute marketing plans for all vendors, helping small businesses grow their sales and lead funnel.

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