Mar 2, 2009

B2B Marketing Integration Framework

UPDATE: My B2B Marketing Integration Framework evolves. For an updated version please check out this post. Thx.

I’m a big believer in using frameworks and systems when marketing a company. But not any framework or system. Only the ones that are built based on experience, that have evolved based on trial and error and work in the field (with customers and sales organizations for example). The ones that have flexibility built in them, are simple to understand and act as a bridge between strategy and execution.

Over the past seven years I’ve build such a framework which I call, you guessed it, my Marketing Integration Framework (MI Framework). I use it to help me stay focused, prioritize and set direction.

This framework is used to set direction, establish priorities and align strategy with tactics. The outcome is to establish brand preference and generate business results.

The 6 ingredients are mixed together as we integrate branding and business development in to your company. An illustration and brief description are below.

Framework

Figure: The MI6 Framework

Branding

  • Today's B2B buyers rely on word of mouth and awareness as their primary means of establishing a list of prospective service firms. The goal of marketing is to establish a unique value proposition and over time brand preference. The brand defines your value proposition, your "elevator speech" and what makes you unique.

Offering

  • Professional Services firms, especially I.T. Services and Solution providers (aka System Integrators), need to bring to market compelling services and solutions. The goal of marketing is to clearly define what that offering is, why it is of value and provide proof that this is the case. The offering is a core component of your brands value proposition.

Business Development

  • Professional services firms must constantly develop new business. Translation, they have to sell themselves. The goal of marketing is to create conversations with prospects and clients and position the brand, offering and value as something worth considering for purchase. Alignment and sales enablement is critical. Business development is what generates cash and profit for your business.

Principles

  • These are 4 simple guiding principles, called the "4 Rs of marketing", that you apply on a day to day basis that help set clarity in terms of direction and priority. The goal of marketing is use these principles to keep you heads clear and stay focused on what matters in B2B marketing...especially for professional services firms.

Programs

  • Building a brand, developing an offering and generating business requires a programmatic approach. The goal of marketing is to establish a strategy and put in place tactical programs to implement it. This needs to be done consistently and over time. Programs generate results, build your reputation and your brand.

Systems

  • Having in place repeatable systems make it easy to accelerate execution and measure progress. The goal of marketing is to establish systems that help companies learn, improve, measure and execute in the areas of branding, offer and business development. Systems make it possible to do good things again..faster.

3 comments:

  1. you are indeed a genius. Keep it up chris :)

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  2. Thanks for the compliment. Although many people are and continue to contribute to this framework. I hope to learn from folks like you and other b2b marketing professionals. Marketing is starting to be viewed, again, as a strategic and tactical function in today's businesses. There is no longer room for marketing fluff and misalignment with sales organizations.

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  3. Very insightful post.I think you are hitting on a very key component of marketing in the new (information)age. B2B marketers are responsible for managing prospects much further down the sales funnel and the traditional lines between sales and marketing are becoming increasingly blurred. Prospects have everything they could ever need (and probably more) to learn about a company, it's products and it's customers experiences. Websites, webinars, social media - the list goes on and on. By the time I prospect agrees to poke their head out and engage directly with you they have most likely made up their mind and "self qualified" themselves indicating they are ready to be closed.

    The marketing action plan as you refer to in your post in many respects should be an extension of the sales plan.

    Very much looking forward to further posts on this exciting topic.

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