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The Three Most Important B2B Marketing Questions for 2016

by Gavin Finn  |  
January 5, 2016
  |  6,200 views

The senior VP of marketing at a successful global technology company recently held her fiscal year 2016 planning meeting at a rustic, isolated hotel in the mountains, keeping the focus on business, not pleasure, for her senior global marketing team.

Her intention was to center all of their B2B marketing efforts on performance rather than activities, outcomes rather than deliverables.

As the team settled in for the first session, her VP of US marketing asked: "What should we use as guidelines for making decisions about priorities?"

After that question, the rest of the agenda was shelved, and they spent the entire day trying to create a consistent framework to help make the choices for every decision based on the performance and outcomes strategy.

What are those guidelines for making choices and setting priorities in your marketing organization?


To achieve success in 2016, these are the most important questions for marketers to ask:

  1. What are the reasons our sales teams lose deals they should have won?
  2. What key value do we deliver that sets us apart from the competition?
  3. What are the driving motivators behind the decisions that our customers make?

1. Why do we lose?

At a marketing conference recently, I asked the attendees (marketing directors and higher-ups from large companies) to tell the rest of the audience what the No. 1 reason was for sales losses at their company—specifically, deals that they should have won, not deals for which they did not have a good solution. A surprising number of marketing leaders didn't know the answer.


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Gavin Finn is president and CEO of Kaon Interactive, a provider of interactive 3D product marketing and sales applications that help B2B marketers and salespeople consistently demonstrate and differentiate products anywhere, any time, on any device.

LinkedIn: Gavin Finn

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  • by Helen Lawson Tue Jan 5, 2016 via web

    Excellent article. Very solid advice, and the question of why customers don't buy when it's a fit is one I need to bring up to all my clients.

  • by Michael Tue Jan 5, 2016 via web

    Great post Gavin! If I had to reflect on what we could do better for 2016 I would use these three questions as a great start.

  • by Simon Lane Tue Jan 5, 2016 via mobile

    Nice article. One area you might like to consider is the fiscal element of your value propositions. That is, does your customer make MORE profit using your solution than the next best alternative. If you can't answer that question, then there's a good chance your customer can't, either. There's a body of knowledge in this area around the concept of Differential Value Propositions led by authors Jerry Alderman and Keith Pigues.

  • by Judy Caroll Fri Jan 15, 2016 via web

    Informative article! You said it very well. For a long time, I seek for answers that will enlighten me as a marketer. Thank you for sharing your amazing experiences and thoughts with us.

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