Understanding Marketing Cycles

Most companies aren’t aware of their marketing cycles.

Let me explain:

Many companies are aware of their Sales Cycles: They know that it takes time from the moment a prospect says they want to talk to sales to the moment they sign a contract and become a paying customer.

You need to have multiple calls with them, they need to understand your product, they need to get internal alignment, you need to negotiate the contract, etc.

Especially in B2B, this can take months, sometimes over a year.

The same is true for the Marketing Cycle that happens before that: It takes time from the moment a prospect first hears of you to the moment they raise their hand and say “I want to talk to sales”.

Marketing Cycle = Never heard of you -> “I want to talk to sales”
Sales Cycle = “I want to talk to sales” -> Final decision / paying customer

But most companies assume that if they create the right content and the right ads, people will just read one of their LinkedIn posts or see one of their ads and immediately go to their website and book a call.

As if the Marketing Cycle takes a day!

Have you ever seen 1 post or 1 ad by a stranger on an expensive, complex product or service and immediately reached out to sales?

Before someone feels comfortable enough to raise their hand and say “I want to talk to sales”, there’s lots of things that need to happen before that.

- they need to get to know you
- they need to build some trust in you
- they need to understand what exactly you do
- they need to recognize the problem you solve in their own business
- they need to ask their peers if anyone has worked with you before
- they will probably already look at some of your competitors so they’re well informed on the first call, etc.

And similar to the Sales Cycle, this process can stretch out over months.

How long exactly? Depends on who you’re selling to, how expensive your solution is, how many decision-makers are usually involved, how differentiated you are from competitors, etc.

But mostly, it depends on the quality and accessibility of the information your prospects can find about you without talking to your sales people.

Do you have content explaining exactly what you do and how you compare to competitors? Do you have your pricing range on your website? Do you have an active LinkedIn and YouTube channel where people can get to know you and your way of working?

So remember the Marketing Cycle next time you set up a marketing campaign and want it to generate leads in the first month.