Scrolling through my LinkedIn feed for 2 hours to find something I can comment on I’ve realized that most things people talk about are not applicable to selling complex B2B products or services that are actually hard to do – like changing business models, alignment, growth, etc.
Why is that? Why we don’t see more people sharing their thoughts about solving complex business problems?
This is what we’re gonna answer today. Or at least try to.
I’ve also asked people on LinkedIn to add their perspectives in the comments, so you’ll read a valuable piece of content.
Most people are driven by financial benefits.
And most people can not deal with complex B2B products or just any complex business stuff because of many reasons, maybe the most important being – they don’t know how. You really need to love it to be able to do it – it’s extremely hard and it requires having lots of hard conversations.
Not a dis against anyone, but a red light for a small number of people looking to hire someone to help them on a strategic level instead of just outsourcing someone to handle a part of the operational stuff.
It’s easy to sell personal branding, video editing, writing posts for CEOs, simple 500 words posts for link building, etc. I’m just being honest, it is waaay easier.
I can do the spray and pray tactics, send a message to 14400 connections and get.. Let’s say at least 40 clients that need this. Probably much more than that, but you get it.
I also see a lot of people following solopreneurs that share the way they do one thing, create an ebook or a course around it, sell it and think it’s applicable to larger businesses. That’s not the case.
And it’s not solopreneurs’ mistake, it’s a mistake people make in thinking they can apply that to everything.
Sure, you can learn the way you can implement that in the way you think about processes and scaling, but it’s much more complex and many times is not applicable.
We all need to stop and think about what we’re reading and trying to implement.
I admire those people that don’t have a need to solve complex business problems. For real.
It would be much easier for me. 🙂 I write fast as writing comes naturally to me. And I know I can sell that because I used to sell it in the past.
But no, that’s not what drives me. I think we, as people dealing with complex business problems, are all madmen.
I like to get inside the company, dig, think, test, and solve complex problems that really make a difference and achieve real results seen in revenue.
As Funky Marketing, we do produce great content, but we also do the distribution, and we have the whole framework that connects all of it. We have to, if we want to create demand and categories, win the existing ones by DAMing the demand, and we need to be able to close the existing demand that grows as we do the previous two things I’ve mentioned.
Let me break it to you – B2B companies aren’t crazy about creating demand as one would think by looking at LinkedIn.
In fact, most have no idea what it is and if they need it.
Most of the buzz you see is from marketers, and not even the marketers understand all of it:
👉 capturing demand
👉 creating demand
👉 DAMing the demand
Creating demand is damn hard and what can be seen here on LinkedIn isn’t a reflection of reality. Not every company can do it. Or should do it. The fact is that I don’t see many posts on LinkedIn or Twitter about DAMing the demand. Do you? I’ve seen maybe 3 since like.. Ever?
Not many posts on LinkedIn tell you that you need to start with research, analysis, and optimization, and then comes not to demand creation, but setting up the way you capture demand.
You do this to capture the existing demand. And only then you can go and create or DAM the demand if there’s a need.
Why do you do it in this order?
Because if you’re gonna start creating demand, you need to know how are you catching the existing demand. This means, that the amount of demand you’re catching is gonna be higher and higher in time if you’re doing a good job of creating demand.
So, talking about marketing – make sure you speak with someone who really understands it, not with someone who changes what he/she does as the wind blows and tries to sell on the current buzzword.
Creating demand requires serious work. And by doing this the way we do it, I can go to sleep with a smile. As a madman. For me, that’s all that matter. Maybe what I wrote is also the reason why more CEOs aren’t actively involved in comments on LinkedIn.
This is one of the reasons I stepped back from actively sharing thoughts and ideas on LinkedIn during the pandemic and never started again.
So much great content on B2B, but almost every post points to simple problems, simpler products, and services.
I’ve been trying to grow my network of those speaking about the real, complex problems behind the surface issues while thinking about how I can contribute best to this conversation.
LinkedIn doesn’t need another post about “how to do B2B marketing better”.
Ryan Forrest, Marketing & Customer Experience Transformation Consultant and Director of Strategic Consulting at BlueprintX, added.
My point is, in response to Ryan, that LinkedIn needs posts about how to do B2B marketing better, but based on experience and practice, and with information that not all the things are reliable to each company, and Ryan and I have agreed that the issues exist because the content doesn’t strike at the heart of the real issues or complexity. The same issues that were around 15 years ago are still here today despite there being a total overwhelm of information about how to resolve those issues. The difficult/complex things fewer people are talking about.
On the other hand, Timothy Rodman, Growth Marketing Manager at Rent Dynamics and the Author of Tim’s Top 5 Shares of the Week Newsletter, said that he had almost taken it as a sign of failure in the past that he hadn’t launched an ebook or developed a course based on what his team is doing (very successfully, might I add).
I also see that everyone is doing those and I’m afraid mine wouldn’t be a loud enough disruption. So I’m happy catering to the handful of engagers that find value in my posts.
I also set out to be a leader and not just copy what someone else is doing. I want someone to admire and copy what my team is doing!
And I also suffer from complex problem solver syndrome! I too find it so exciting how communication, SOPs, and automation can solve complex business problems and position a company to be more profitable. It’s becoming a game for me!
Michelle Heath, Founder & CEO at Growth Street, gave her perspective.
I sell strategy, not quick fix tactics. Strategy is hard work. There’s no other way around it.
You can skip it and just throw spaghetti at the wall and hope something sticks but hope isn’t a strategy. I don’t try to make it sound easy – I give snack bites of learning and advice to help CEOs think differently about solving their problems. It’s why I love what I do! For me, it’s quality vs. quantity. Giddy up! 🔥
Need help with your marketing campaign, strategy, or execution? Funky Marketing can help! From research to execution, we’ll help you get results. Check our pricing page to learn more.
Monica Moran, Marketing Manager at Edstart, said that she’d like to join the madman club as she loves B2B marketing, but agrees it is so damn hard.
It seems (fairly) easy when reading posts on LinkedIn – even if it relates specifically to B2B but I think it reflects the quality of some of the marketers on here. They can explain complex ideas and processes in a way that is easy to understand. And is simple to do. But simple and easy don’t mean the same thing.
And when you have to explain these things to civilians (non-marketers) – that adds another challenging layer to getting shit done…
Alan Hale, Consultant and President of Consight Marketing Group LLC said that most of the conversations are “look at me!”, or “I have grown Linkedin followers!”, or “look at the poor childhood I came from!”, or “I can coach you to triple your business!”.
Few baby boomer decision makers on Linked in, fewer still as CEOs.
CEOs are all about ROI.
Real financial discussions aren’t cited on the platform. It is still better than FB.
But sometimes you feel like you have to have a heart attack live on Loom to get any traction.
Ashley (Howard) Faus, Director of Integrated Product Marketing, Atlassian, added.
Any time people ask me about quick tips or what works on a podcast, I step back and give context. It’s not just one tactic or one channel, it’s a massive interconnected web.
I think your point about why CEOs aren’t in the comments as much is spot on. I regularly run out of characters in the comments because I’m trying to fit in all the nuances, so I can only imagine what execs have in their heads 😅
I had Ashley on the Funky Marketing Show to share her Thought Leadership Framework, and I recommend you take a listen.
Now, let’s end this piece of content with a bang. A lot of different thoughts, right? And a perspective that makes you think.
If we’re all more honest and give more context, we can elevate the entire B2B marketing profession.
For years, we’ve been sold a bill of goods when it comes to B2B marketing. We’ve been told that we need to be more like our consumer-facing counterparts and that the key to success is creating flashy campaigns and generating as much “buzz” as possible.
But the truth is, B2B marketing is a different beast entirely. It requires a different approach, and it demands a different set of skills.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we can admit that the B2B marketing profession hasn’t always been held in the highest regard. We’ve been seen as stuffy, boring, and inaccessible. We’ve been accused of being out of touch with the modern world.
But I think it’s time for a change. I think it’s time for us to be more honest about what B2B marketing is, and what it isn’t. I think it’s time for us to give more context to our work, and to show the world that we’re not just a bunch of suits sitting in a boardroom.
We’re smart and strategic, and we know how to get the job done.
So let’s start being more honest about B2B marketing. Let’s start showing the world what we’re really made of.