B2B Campaign Failure And All Because You're Not Being Logistical About It!
There are many elements to a campaign. Leadership is number one. Everything else is number two.
-- Bertolt Brecht
Campaigning Like a B2B Marketing Soldier
Campaign is a military term. So is strategy. So is guerrilla. By the sound of it, marketers can be a militant bunch, using all these terms to describe what they do at work. Yet there is one military term that applies to marketing which slips from the lips of practitioners but rarely: logistics.
Marketers in general seem more eager to execute than to plan all the steps of their campaign launch. It is very demanding for a B2B marketer to work out the details of an operation along a chain of conceptual cause-and-effects or what-if scenarios that play out the trajectory of the entire campaign's success in the abstract.
But without these logistics no campaign could be said to have been intentionally successful, since no such B2B campaign could be managed for success without this premeditated chain of events.
Logistics is the science of planning and carrying out the movement of resources from one point to another to sustain an operation. Logistics is campaign management. Begin thinking about B2B campaign management from a logistics perspective and you will not fall into the trap of thinking that campaign management is whatever some marketing automation vendor tells you it is, based on what its product was designed to have you do.
Logistics comes also from the word logic. What is the logic of your B2B campaigns? When you rationalize your campaigns, you create their comparative advantage relative to those created by your peers outside and even within your company. If you simply adopt a "best practice" (best for whom?), you've embraced a cookie-cutter approach to doing your work. You want to be different without being wasteful.
Commoditize your campaigns and you will be indistinguishable from most other marketers or marketing agencies in the field in spite of your efficiency. Instead work out a custom logic for your B2B campaigns. Do it in such a way as to leverage whatever toolbox is already available to you, but apply a unique spin to the way you use those tools to produce what others couldn't do if they relied solely on what most everyone considers to be a best practice.
Too general? Not practical enough? Then let's get down to brass tacks.
How Do I Put My Custom Logic To Work?
Let's start with the difference between proactive versus reactive logistics. Begin with some historical information. What is the ratio of the number of B2B campaigns that you prepared for with ample lead-time vs. those that you had barely enough time to react to last year? How well did your average campaign perform in each case? Give yourself a letter grade.
Are you, for example, an 80:20 A/D performer? Or are you perhaps a 20:80 D/A performer? In other words, did you enjoy ample lead-time for 80% of your campaigns, resulting in the typical one in this group performing at grade A, with only 20% of your campaigns happening in a rush and performing at grade D? Or is it the other way around? Makes a difference, doesn't it?
Let's say you're the 20:80 D/A type. You get to set up proactively only 20% of all your B2B campaigns while they typically rate a D performance. But the campaigns that you only get a chance to react to and which represent 80% of what you do perform at grade A. You might be tempted to say, "What do I care about logistics? Most of my campaigns happen without much forethought. I just react to the opportunity and still I get great results." Yeah? For how long?
Can you sustain that performance under budget cuts or a market reversal? And besides, can you really say that you have no rationale for how you execute your grade A campaigns albeit reactively? Of course not! There is always a method to the madness. But the key here is both adaptability and sustainability. You react well to your immediate condition. But have you any staying power?
You may be very experienced at planning your B2B campaigns months in advance. You may be forced by your business to carry out a promotion or communication overnight. Either way, you must respond both efficiently and effectively to the case that is handed to you.
Your campaign logistics determine how appropriate a response that will be, and also whether its application to the situation is comparatively superior to that of your competition, which is what you need to build the case for keeping or securing more funding to go on campaigning and improving your craft.
Learn the basics of logistics
and you will be ahead of the opposition. Your B2B campaigns will not flounder. Your strategy won't run into frustration. Your guerrilla tactics will carry impact. You will know best how to manage your arsenal of marketing assets and succeed in your campaigning.
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