The Marketing Guy

Rooting for Good Marketing Since 2009

The Name of the Game is Execution

Given the crowded marketplace that most companies compete in today, there are no shortage of competitors touting the same features, functionality, and customer benefits to prospective buyers. Great marketing is often done around the edges, when you can notice a seam, a forthcoming trend, or developing theme that you take advantage of first and establish a leadership position.

But even that lasts for only so long. Take Apple and the iPad for example—as revolutionary as the tablet has become, the market will soon be flooded with new offerings (including, one must assume, something from my esteemed employer—fingers crossed!) which offer user benefits and features that, on first glance, make all the products look and feel pretty similar.

This happens a lot in B2B marketing as well. A company will notice an emerging trend and if they’re smart, they’ll take advantage of the trend quietly so as not to draw attention while they have the opportunity to themselves. But eventually, an industry analyst will write an article, a blogger will post a news item, and a new job posting will appear online that gives a sign as to the opportunity the company is seeing.

As marketers this can be a frustrating experience, when a competitor sees the same opportunity you did and comes into your market with the same value proposition, benefits, and feature set. And in markets where there’s no clear dominant leader (let’s leave the tablet market aside for just a minute), what determines “who wins” the market is often not about marketing anymore, it’s about execution. Are you able to close more business than your competition? Are you able to position yourself as “the inevitable winner” in the market? Can you demonstrate not just feature superiority, but “evidential” superiority?

What often fuels marketing success is not what the product or service actually does, but the benefit that the product or service actually brings to the user—and in turn, how your product or service brings more benefits than the competition. Often times as marketers we do a great job a pipeline loading, driving awareness, and a lot of the marketing activities at the beginning of the sales cycle. But increasingly customers are making purchases not on the basis of which company has the best airport advertising, but on who else is using the product with proof points that the product actually does what it purports to do.

The marketing battle today has increasingly moved to the trenches, and the ability to repeatedly execute is now key to a successful product strategy. It’s a great time to look at how you are executing with your product line-up as well, and determine how improving your execution can improve your marketing capabilities.


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