I saw this Tweet from Scott Mersy (@smersy) yesterday and it got me thinking about the skills that marketers need to be successful in a buyer-driven world. This said, the idea translates to pretty much all marketing strategy and activities whether executed online or off.
#pink11 @theitskeptic : “we have tech geeks & process geeks. We need people geeks.” #itsm #socialIT
Obviously, this tweet was meant for an IT audience, but stick with me and let’s explore the impact of People Geeks for B2B marketing.
First – let’s define a People Geek from a marketing perspective. To me, this means:
An individual relentlessly focused on knowing the people (prospects, influencers, customers) their company serves so well that they could become great friends having engrossing, unending conversations that always provide mutual value.
Without this type of knowledge and skill, creating content is a crap shoot.
And, if you think about it, everything a marketing organization produces is related to content. In fact, I’d challenge you to tell me what isn’t related to content. Even analytics are based on what happens in relation to content.
But, back to the point. B2B marketing needs People Geeks to ensure that initiatives are designed to catch and keep the attention of the “people” the organization needs to build relationships with in order to do business—regardless of format, tactic or platform. I’d even go so far as to say that it’s tough to be a marketer today without being a People Geek.
The qualities and tasks of a People Geek include:
- Curious – a driving need to continuously investigate, learn about and cultivate all the information needed to truly know the people the company serves—now and as they evolve over time in the marketplace.
- Extrovert – the ability and willingness to participate in social activities with these people as opportunities occur. Even better, to create the opportunities.
- Conversational – the ability to respond on the fly by combining what’s known about the person with what’s relevant based on what your company’s offerings enable.
- Writer – command of the written word to produce a variety of interesting content based on what they know people will value.
- Patient – to pursue the interactions across the entirety of the buying process without pushing when the person isn’t ready.
- Helpful – the overwhelming desire to be generous with knowledge—whether or not the person buys as a direct result.
- Guide – the ability to allow people to lead/control their process while skillfully guiding them to the next steps in your story that they need to take based on their stage in the buying process.
- Collaborative – the ability to interface with others (sales, support, service, etc.) to both gather and share information that enables a comprehensive understanding of the creation of satisfying and successful interactions across the organization.
Finally, People Geeks need to be strategic in order to apply what they know about their “people” to creating programs that serve them as well as contribute to the achievement of company objectives.
Are your marketers People Geeks? Can you visualize the difference that could occur with your marketing efforts if they were?