Why B2B Marketing Is Just Sales at Scale
Unpopular opinion: Marketing is superior to sales.
Let me explain this with the 7-hour rule.
The 7-hour rule says that your prospects need to spend, on average, 7 hours with you and your offer before they are able to buy from you.
It doesn't matter if get those 7 hours with Marketing or Sales.
- You can do it all through Sales: You could have your SDRs find prospects, have multiple conversations with them, negotiate with then, and close them.
- Or you could do it all through Marketing: You show them multiple ads, send them email newsletters, they listen to your podcast and watch your videos, until they buy.
- Or you can combine the two: They spend 3 hours with your content through ads, videos, podcasts, and then they spend 4 hours with your salesperson who closes them.
Marketing is superior to Sales in the sense that it scales. It’s 1-to-many: They same ad can be shows to 1,000s of prospects.
Sales is superior to Marketing in terms of personalization. It’s 1-to-1: You can dial into that exact person who’s in front of you.
The goal should always be to try to do as much as possible with Marketing because it scales.
But that only works if you are good at it.
You need to:
- have a message that resonates with a high % of your prospects
- know how to distribute your content so that it reaches the right group of people (e.g. knowing how to segment people in your Facebook ad campaigns).
It's very easy in B2C because you're selling such low tickets (say $30) that you don't need to build a lot of trust and overcome a large barrier with people. So you don't need to get it THAT right.
But in B2B, you're selling complex, explanatory products with so many details and nuances that might differ for each prospect.
That’s why many B2B companies assume that it's impossible to scale this in any way and that everything needs to be done 1-on-1 by a salesperson.
But in reality, there is a lot of messaging that you can scale. You just need to do enough experimentation to figure out what messaging works.
That's where content comes in.
You can post different things organically, see how they resonate by looking at the metrics and understand what messages, taglines, and insights your customers want to hear from you.
Once you have those, you can scale that (e.g. with ads) for 1,000s of prospects to see it.
This way, you can use a scaled approach to get more of the 7 hours you need to spend with a prospect.
Initially, suppose you did 1 hour through Marketing and the remaining 6 through a salesperson, and now you can spend 4:3 hours via Marketing and Sales, respectively.