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In the three-part B2B Panic Marketing series, MarketingProfs will share some common causes of the all-too-pervasive problem of B2B panic marketing. We’ll also share some tips and tricks to help marketers get back to what matters most to their business.
Imagine you are in the doctor’s office asking about the latest medical procedure that you just read about on a blog. Your doctor knows your medical history and knows that the procedure is unnecessary and potentially risky for you. However, she agrees, cancels all other appointments for the day and carries out the procedure.
Ridiculous, isn’t it?
Well, in the marketing world, hectic scenarios like this happen every day in all businesses; they reflect what is known as panic marketing, which is not good for anyone.
150 Fortune 3000 CEOs from 13 industries were recently surveyed. Only 34% said they had a lot of trust in CMOs. 38% of respondents said it was because CMOs have the wrong skills for the changing marketing environment, and 21% said CMOs have difficulty measuring the business results of marketing programs. — CustomerThink
Definition of panic marketing
In order to discuss this all-too-common problem in many organizations, we must first offer a broad definition of panic marketing.
For MarketingProfs, panic marketing is exactly what the name suggests – it refers to marketing teams that work in a constantly reactive state. There are many causes fueling this type of marketing, just as there are many reasons marketing teams may need to act quickly.
You might panic if …
- Marketing and sales are not coordinated: A sales manager emails your team saying, “We’re sponsoring an event that’s happening next week and we need marketing support.”
- Your organization has Shiny Object Syndrome: A senior executive goes to a conference, hears the latest marketing buzz, and wants your team to start that activity now.
- Your organization has a shaky top-down vision: The lack of an overarching strategy or goals for the various departments (sales, marketing, product) to gather around often results in teams doing whatever it takes to achieve their department’s goals.
- Your marketing team doesn’t have the clout to push back: Marketing should be a revenue generator for your business, even with a complex B2B sale, but do you know how to talk in a way that other executives will listen?
“80% of marketers say they are overworked and understaffed.” – Adweek
Why you need to resolve reactive panic marketing now
- Team stress and poor bonding. Nobody likes to work in constant chaos. You think your company doesn’t understand the value of marketing in such an environment. According to studies, employees are happiest and most engaged when they have clarity and meaning in their role. The search for new employees is a considerable expenditure of time and money for a company. Making sure your team is happy and engaged can have a huge impact on a company’s overall performance.
- Your organization lacks the numbers. Marketing, while often overlooked, is part of your company’s growth engine. By setting specific and measurable ROI goals (e.g., more qualified leads for sales, positioning a company for an IPO or sale, expanding sales in certain accounts), marketing can have a significant impact on sales growth.
- Brand / messaging inconsistency. When your marketing team is in a constantly reactive state, there is no cohesion in what it is producing. This creates incoherent product and brand messages. In an already crowded market, it becomes increasingly difficult not only to find your vote but also to claim your share. Inconsistency can lower your sales figures or cause your sales team to do even more to close a deal.
- Frustration of the company. Executives have been told repeatedly that marketing should have a seat at the executive table, but they still aren’t convinced. Panic marketing is a major cause of executive frustration. This can then lead to layoffs of marketing teams, budget cuts, stagnant career paths and high employee turnover.
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While panic marketing may seem insurmountable and simple “as is”, it can be approached and changed.
The rest of this series of articles will go further into the most common causes of panic marketing and provide some tips on how to overcome them.
Next up: How to Stop Shiny Object Syndrome in B2B Marketing
More resources on marketing strategy and how to avoid panic marketing
A Marketer’s Guide to Setting and Measuring Financial Goals | MarketingProfs Master Class
Revenue Operations: The new market leader in go-to-market
Creating a better audience experience: Oli Gardner on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]