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Three key questions differentiate go-to-market strategies October 12, 2007

Posted by Elana Anderson in Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Product Marketing.
Tags: , , , ,

In my last post I kyboshed the blanket generalizations that we – the industry – have created with the acronyms B2B and B2C. So what then are the key differentiators that enable us to break down the marketing problem into a more manageable morsel? I’ve been talking with friends and colleagues about this recently. Here’s my take – at the top level now (I don’t want to create another blanket generalization) – on three key questions that drive marketing strategy, tactics, skills, and technology requirments:

1.       What are you selling? Product vs. service.

2.       How much thought does the buyer need to put into it? Low consideration vs. high consideration.

3.       What is your sales distribution model? Direct vs. indirect. 

Why do these questions matter?

If you are a marketer at a large company, they probably won’t help you that much (this isn’t rocket science after all). For you, the answers are a given — something you already inherently know and take into account when you are defining your strategy. But, keep reading the blog, I’ve got ideas coming for you too!

If you are a marketing services or technology provider, on the other hand, these questions are something you need to consider. I’ve talked to tons of you over the years and I think that you tend to put yourselves in artificial B2B or B2C buckets (and then get pinned there) because it’s easier to do so. IMO, you’re selling your company short and you’re limiting your growth.

Consider these questions in the context of how you are serving your clients. Maybe your clients today are all high-tech software companies today. Peel back the onion… Your clients are selling a product, likely a high consideration one, and the lion’s share of them probably fall into a direct OR indirect sales model. Why am I so sure of this? Well, the marketing strategies, tactics, skills, and technology required to serve these clients are different than they would be for clients selling through an indirect sales model.

So, my recommendation…

When you are developing your strategy for growing your business, don’t assume that the next logical area to focus on is “other B2B (or B2C) categories.” (remember, as a Forrester analyst, I heard many of you say this). Think about categories that have similar marketing requirements – regardless of whether they are B2B or B2C – and use the three questions to guide your thinking.



1. Bruce Temkin - October 12, 2007

Elana: Great to see your new blog. I’ve missed hearing your sage advice to marketers since you left Forrester. Also, thanks for the shout-out on your bloggroll.

2. Joeie - January 27, 2012

You’ve got to be kidding me-it’s so tranpasrnetly clear now!

3. umnaqzdo - January 28, 2012
4. vuvbvrq - January 30, 2012
5. Faith Peters - February 12, 2023

Great reading youur blog

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