Every company is different, but in our work with high tech companies, we have seen and helped three distinct camps or personalities: The Rain Dancers, The Skeptics, and The Gamers.
Each of these perspectives, in its own way, is a blocker to scalable growth. Knowing yours and your leadership’s mindset can help you overcome and capitalize on it. Here are some of the ways we break through the psychological barriers:
The Rain Dancers
“We’re lucky. We already have all the work we can handle.”
Rain Dancers, these humble and growing companies, believe that “If you build it, they will come.” They have worked hard to get their business off the ground, but they lack a proactive plan to get to the next level.
Problem: This way of thinking limits the ability to forecast and create strategies for deliberate and profitable growth. It makes employees order-takers. When work flows in, the discipline of developing and nurturing a pipeline is half-hearted, if it occurs at all. When the rain stops or slows, it’s hard for this company to move fast enough, leaving them at risk of layoffs or cut shifts and eroding profits.
Solution: Find the correlation between activity and results. Identify your best customers, their commonalities, and where they came from. Begin some focused marketing activity to attract more customers like them.
“Marketing is fluffy B.S.”
Skeptics believe marketing can’t be measured and therefore must not work – and certainly won’t work for them in their narrow industry. They focus on the product, not the problem their product solves. They’re a personal favorite of ours because, well, we’re skeptics too.
Problem: Sales are limited to those with a burning need for exactly what you sell, when they can find you. A skeptic’s deep mistrust for marketing can cause paralysis, missed opportunity, and smaller deal size.
Solution: Conduct an experiment. Treat it like you approach other challenges: hypothesis, test, measure. Create a campaign, for instance, that involves email marketing, banner or pay-per-click ads, a web landing page and strong call to action like “Download a White Paper.” All of these are measurable. Do it deliberately and quickly (don’t let this run more than 6 weeks). Look at your numbers and decide which activities were most successful.
“We can, so we do.”
Gamers have a do-it-yourself approach when it comes to marketing. They enjoy the game, but using their time and energy in this way comes at a cost.
Problem: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. At some point the DIY marketing approach has a high opportunity cost and slows time to market.
Solution: Focus on the score. Spend your time on the activities with the highest ROI: leading your company. Measure and guide vs. trying to do everything yourself. Start by defining the challenge. How many new accounts do you need to meet your objectives? How many leads?
Everyone comes at marketing from their own perspective and philosophy, but it can be a barrier to speed and growth. Sophisticated, scalable companies use an integrated marketing strategy that can progress independent of its leader.