Over the past month, I’ve been putting together several industry assessments for a client. The intent is for these write-ups of targeted industries to give field marketing and sales insights into the most critical business and technology challenges for each sector. With these information “cheat sheets,” marketing and sales can, in theory, have more success generating leads and closing sales.
The tricky part was writing content that would have to last a couple of years, until the next iteration of the field materials would be developed. Since all but one of the industries is still struggling at the moment, I felt I couldn’t write about the “future” without acknowledging where we’ve come from. So, I made a number of reference to the economic situation of the prior two years, sometimes using the phrase “the Great Recession.”
The two client executives managing the project circled the phrase every time it appeared, noting in the margin, “Why are we referring to the 1930s?”
On a subsequent conference call, they repeated the question. I was stunned. I explained it was for 2007-2009, not for the 1930s Great Depression (duh). I explained the Great Recession was a new but common reference. Neither one had ever heard of it.
How can anyone pretend to be a marketing leader in a business-to-business environment while being oblivious to the macroeconomic environment?
How can marketing copy be written that proves your company understands not just a prospect’s technology needs, but the business issues that are driving – or maybe impinging – on those technology needs?
How can a sales executive meet with a prospect and be armed with only product slicks, rather than raw material for a good discussion that ties a client’s business pain points to his or her technology pain points?
This is what happens when marketers come to work every day, go heads down, and churn out inward-focused print ads and website copy that goes on and on about “them,” not “you.”
Become familiar with terms like “the Great Recession.” Do it, to keep us all from falling into a great depression.