F*ck the 4 P's
The 4 P’s The 3 C’s
No one wakes up in the morning and thinks about your brand.
The glaring solution is to focus on frequency and dial in on your funnels…but you need to go a cut deeper. I was in a seminar that led me to believe that B2B really is behind B2C in marketing concept and if you are interested in developing a killer lead-machine, you can’t build your strategy based on the 4 P’s (Price / Product / Placement / Promotion) anymore. Instead, you’re going to focus on the 3 C’s - Demand Creation, Demand Capture and Demand Curation.
What does Demand Creation look like?
It looks like a focus on building preference for your brand. Driving 3rd party validation and building relationships with communities before you need them. Key focal points look like events, demos (freemium up-sell motion), full service solutions and quick integrations. Other low-hanging fruit includes smarter CTA’s, simplification of product messaging and literally just being authentic (because, realistically, it shouldn’t take any effort). The more you can underpromise and overdeliver, the more authenticity you build.
To create demand for your product all three speakers implored that you keep the core discipline of curiosity (market research) front and centre as you grow. Pull on the threads and quantify: tease out the emotional realities of your product. Put your people into your customer environments, have them lead conversation about the general context of the environment, their stack and even office to understand the emotional ramifications the customer has around the problem. This is in opposition to the common exclusive focus on UX.
What does Demand Capture look like?
It starts with attribution; First touch, last touch and all the midpoints. Map and know them all, but most importantly understand the caveats around first touch - that’s your first and largest opportunity to capture demand for your product. Following that, demand capture is all about you smartening up on your touchpoints. Be diligent on oft-forgotten activities like negative targeting and employ them across the board. If someone is signed up, stop the ads, only pouring spend targeting active users to cross-sell and up-sell...simple, but often overlooked.
To make this easier you simply need to think about things holistically and tell the broader story of what the channels are doing to understand that the strategy is 1/ effective and 2/ sustainable. For instance, it could be as simple as saying “in this month we’re returning $2 for every $1 out, average of $3 back on each dollar in this quarter and $x across the next 12 months. This allows you to push the pedal down, spend more until you see diminishing returns and your ratios drop. Although, be cautious to not just do a ‘little bit’ because you may as well do nothing. Think about people searching for the brand AND the category. Are people searching? Is it going up?
What does Demand Curation look like?
I think vertical-based strategies aren’t as effective as they were 3 years ago. Instead, go deep in a population (as opposed to chasing and wanting to own an entire vertical). I think in most cases it makes sense, to go big on a vertical…but if you’re selling to a broad audience then go big on a population instead rather than multiple verticals. Segment by geo or demo as your primary conditions rather than industry. Be obsessed with curating all of the demand that population…own it!
A learning that I have had, perhaps for the metric-minded reading this is that a SAAS’ revenue model should be governed by CAC payback to ensure that you are capturing/curating/retaining that demand sustainably. But don’t just set your limit and build a model for 12mo payback - instead include partnership payback (which is really >12 mo) along with the more difficult-to-attribute acquisition methods (even if they are only indicatively attributable). Convince your stakeholders to give you some leeway and look beyond CAC payback ‘by the end of the quarter’. Think little picture and big picture…look at activity at a daily view and at a 3-year view. Think of your sales plans and how many leads per rep make sense as opposed to lumping rounded quotas on them every month. Think of chasing enterprise customers upmarket and putting time into quality SMB customers downmarket - again, own that population.
WHAT YOU CAN ASK YOUR TEAM TODAY:
What are our customers emotions around the problem that we want to solve?
Where along our pipeline and marketing activities do prospects find the most value? (Map every Aha! moment)
What gates, measures, tools and actions can we put in place to optimise and spend as diligently as possible?
How can I develop a holistic view of our customer acquisition and measure when each facet will pay a return?
What do customers upmarket and downmarket look like in our population rather than vertical?