IQ to Automation = EQ to Engagement

Redefining six core questions of marketing so you can stop broadcasting and start engaging.

Marketing’s top priority should be customer empathy, or else your offering will always be ill positioned. To frame this marketing trend piece, the slide below is among the internet’s most popular for explaining EQ vs. IQ (photo credit the last formula). I will breakdown how each of these tradeoffs are part of this business trend: the customer’s movement to valuing corporate EQ over corporate IQ in B2B marketing.

1. Motivation vs. Technical Know How

The first question in marketing should not be, “How do we market?”

The first question in marketing should be, “What do customers want?”

There is a disconnect between the motivation of the customer and the perceived motivation of the customer. A recent IBM & Econsultancy study reported 81% of marketers report believe they possess a holistic view of their customer. On the other hand, customers report that only 37% of their favorite retailers understand them, and only 22% of the average brand.

When it comes to increasing your marketing EQ, economist Theodore Levitt offers simple insight into how to better relate to customer demands, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”

2. Reflective & Self Aware vs. Architecture Trade-Offs

The second question in marketing should not be, “How do we build our marketing infrastructure?”

The second question in marketing should be, “How can we add value?”

Brands that add value first create long-term brand equity. In B2B SaaS marketing, the job of the SaaS company is to make the potential customer better at her job. HubSpot is a great example of becoming an industry resource. To be a resource, you have to add value first. HubSpot has 380,000 email subscribers ‘but only’ 15,000 customers. HubSpot is very aware that they are adding value to more marketers than just their customers, and when we look back on this approach, marketers will call their investment in creating - and smartly distributing - quality marketing content ‘very wise.’

3. Relationship Management vs. Expert in [x] Technology

The third question in marketing should not be, “How do we become experts in marketing technology?”

The third question in marketing should be, “How will we deepen our customer relationships?”

It’s a privilege to have a line of communication to your customer. Seth Godin described this as “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” It’s a fine line between violating your customers’ trust and marketing to your customers, and success of walking this line depends on how well you set up your engagement marketing programs.

The reality is marketing needs to scale, but that doesn't mean you have to approach it in a generic, "bulk" fashion of old school marketing automation systems. With the right tools, you can approach personalized email communication in a scalable way. What's needed isn't necessarily relationships in the traditional sense. What marketers need to do is care. Care enough to take the steps to create positive relationships with customers in a scalable way. This is empathy. At the end of the day, every signup and customer has their own customer profile, their own engagement score, their own customer segment - all with the end goal of making corporate communication feel like it is coming from a real, live, breathing person.

4. Organizational Dynamics vs. Senior Architect

The fourth question in marketing should not be, “Why is our CMO the best marketer?”

The fourth question in marketing should be, “How do we create a marketing team that brings out the best in each other?”

Leadership can not devise an organizational structure on a powerpoint slide that accurately captures the dynamics between people. At the recent Marketing Operations Executive Summit 2015, LinkedIn’s head of global marketing operations Nicolas Draca said, “The way we communicate within marketing teams has to change.” Draca emphasized that having potential hires meet many future colleagues during the recruiting process improves internal communications. He said, “We have to agree on hires. It’s super-effective.”

In building your marketing team, instead of focusing on what each talent offers the CMO, focus on how each new talent could make everyone else on the marketing team better.

5. Socially Aware vs. Styles & Patterns

The fifth question in marketing should not be, “What bigger market trend are we capitalizing on?”

The fifth question in marketing should be, “How is our offering currently being talked about in the market?”

On, Trepoint CEO Bill Carmody put “Listen Deeply” as the #1 way for entrepreneurs to instill emotional intelligence into their marketing efforts. In his own words:

“Before investing in digital media, use any number of social listening tools such as Topsy, Hootsuite and Social Mention to understand what your audience is passionate about. You would never barge into a dinner party and hijack the conversation, so why would you want your brand to be perceived as doing the same thing via digital marketing? By listening to what people care about, you can formulate your strategy.”

By listening - I mean really listening - to what your potential customers are saying, you can understand their business challenges and goals. This positions your offering as an improvement to their current methodology.

6. Empathetic vs. Critical Thinker

The sixth question in marketing should not be, “How can we scalably manipulate my potential customer into buying?”

The sixth question in marketing should be, “How can relate to my potential customer so that she wants to buy from me?”

Critical thinking and analytical feedback is important, but it creates a level of scientist-and-subject-interaction that often can hurt your brand’s position during a buying cycle. Business Author Bo Bennett sees the art of selling “as the ability to gracefully persuade, not manipulate, a person or persons into a win-win situation."

If you know your customer - I mean, really know your customer - you will only suggest upsells that are very likely to make their business more successful.

Learn More about “The Age of Engagement Marketing.”

David Smooke Marketing Advisor

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