Tuesday 2¢: Useful, Different and Decision

With other people’s words of the year ringing in my ears as everyone plans 2024, this week I consider three: useful, different and decision – what are you picking?

If we boiled down modern content marketing to one word, it would be “useful”. The contemporary cool marketing kids, provide content to help buyers with their needs, jobs to be done, and aspirations.

Do the same for brand marketing, and it would be “different”, that we are distinct and can be picked.

Then, when you cross the hall to sales, the word of the year, month and quarter is “decision”. Preferably a favourable one, and if not, a quick one. Speak to any salesperson, and they’ll share that a quick “no” is second only to a “yes”. A quick no means; move on and put resources into a more likely “yes”.

Useful, different and a decision.

Of these three, we pay the most attention to being useful and working a prospect toward a decision. Brand and differentiation, not so much.

The watchwords of many B2B marketing teams when assessing our messaging is “What does XYZ competitor do?” and we don’t stray too far from the norms of the category, the mealy words and the imagery of everyone else: leading, innovative, data-driven, AI-powered, check, check…. check.

But being different is useful, and being different helps with a decision.

The immediate job to be done by the buyer is to choose.

If we genuinely want to help the buyer, we must be different. Looking the same as our competitors makes their job harder. But we are scared to do that as that big fat bit at the top of the funnel needs filling.

We’d rather not lose a contact than not win them.

However, remember that sales thing about decisions, that a quick “no” is second only to a “yes”? It’s the same here. Our marketing should be that first filter to finding our people, allowing us to be more for them. We must get comfortable with our product not being for everyone.

Different. It’s useful for a decision.

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