There are seven problems I find so rampant in B2B companies that I suspect they are infectious—passed along as marketing people switch companies or work with contagious agencies.
Here are the diseases, their symptoms, probable causes, and suggested treatments.
Glitzitis refers to companies that produce gorgeous ads and collateral pieces that fall flat because they aren't based on solid analysis.
When we conduct focus groups for clients to test messages with their target buyers, we always test their competitors' key messages or positioning as well. I used to assume that companies spending millions of dollars on advertising and expensive collateral vet the relevance of their proposed messaging with their target audience. It was a shock to see how off the mark many of these messages are.
Mark Twain said it best: "It ain't what you don't know that will hurt you. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."
Sales trainers use a research study conducted years ago by Xerox to remind salespeople that their effectiveness declines after roughly 18 months. The reason is that as salespeople become more confident of their assessment of the prospects needs they spend much less time questioning and listening to their prospects.
The corollary for marketing professionals is this: The effectiveness of marketing professionals declines as their confidence increases if they don't take the time to properly test their gut instincts.