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August 22, 2023

I’ve Been Blogging About Sales & Marketing Since 2012… What’s Changed?

I was scrolling through my blog posts last week… and just for fun, I decided to go back to read some of my very first articles (written in 2012) to see how much sales and marketing have changed in the past 11 years. Guess what? Not much!

Sure, technology tools are more pervasive and capable today than in 2012, but the core fundamentals of sales and marketing are pretty much the same… and I can prove it!

In fact, here are some blog titles (links) from that year, in no particular order:

Size Does Matter: 4 Approaches to Growing Your Business

This is about the Ansoff matrix which looks at your client and product mix… a framework for managing growth that’s still relevant in today’s marketplace.

The Value of Patience

That it takes time for your marketing message to sink in and take hold… so don’t give up too soon. This is a concept that has never been more relevant, especially in today’s cluttered world.

Use LinkedIn for Engaging, Not Hard Selling…

This is an issue that’s still very problematic. In fact, I’ve written about as recently as just a couple of weeks ago!

Goal Setting Is Not As Easy As It Sounds…

That goal setting isn’t just about stating where you want to get to… but, more importantly, how you’re going to get there – the piece most people tend to skip over.

Enhance your Marketing & Sales Message for a Competitive Advantage

That is, stop telling prospective buyers what you sell… and help them understand what they’ll gain by buying from you. It’s about using the Feature-Benefit-Advantage framework.

Share Your Knowledge to Build a Competitive Advantage

This idea of sharing your expertise (through writing, social media and speaking) is a foundational element for all firms in the ‘knowledge business’ – like MR agencies – to build awareness, differentiate your firm and showcase your expertise. And it’s as important today as it was back in 2012.

Should You Specialize to Gain a Competitive Advantage?

Even then, I recognized the vast amount of ‘sameness’ in our industry, and how bringing focus to your organization could be of benefit. And that lack of differentiation throughout our industry still persists today.

Hiring Your First Sales Rep? Consider These 7 “Must-Dos” First…

Here we are… 11 years later… and the leaders in small-to-midsize firms are still making these same kinds of hiring mistakes. Or worse, not providing the management and coaching to help make those salespeople successful.

Get Out From Behind Your Computer!

Don’t hide behind email and social media. Schedule time to meet clients in person to truly establish and deepen relationships. Some of the most-read posts on my LinkedIn feed in 2023 were about my 1700-mile road trip to meet clients in-person.

And I could go on. So, there’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that the fundamentals of smart sales and marketing haven’t really changed that much. And the more we can come to understand and embrace those fundamentals, the more successful we can be.

The bad news is that I’m still writing about those same fundamentals. That is, it’s more than a decade later and too many firms are still making the same kinds of mistakes that were being made 10+ years ago. Only now, we’re making those mistakes faster because of all the technology.

If you want your sales and marketing to have an impact, then master the basics:

  • Understand sales and marketing strategies like establishing your ‘position’ in the markets you serve, building & maintaining awareness in those markets, generating and nurturing sales leads, acquiring first-time clients and retaining existing clients.
  • Learn how to create a simple, usable, sales and marketing plan to support those strategies.
  • Learn how to implement the most effective sales and marketing tactics… having a good website, email marketing, social media marketing, networking, content marketing and smart selling.
  • Measure what you’re doing to continuously improve.
  • In all aspects of what you do, know that the customer experience (CX) is key.
  • And that the cornerstones of successful sales and marketing are frequency and consistency.

To be fair, a few things have changed over the last few years… the buyer journey is a lot less linear than it used to be; in the B2B world, buyers would prefer a salesperson-less engagement; and some technology tools really can help you improve your sales and marketing (like ChatGPT).

But at its core, sales and marketing haven’t changed all that much in the last 11 years. In fact, given how most MR firms go about their sales and marketing these days… as an industry, we all have a lot of catching up to do.


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