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Corporate Visions, Inc., the marketing and sales messaging, tools and training company, has announced the results of a survey that polled more than 500 business-to-business (B2B) marketing and sales professionals worldwide regarding the alignment of their marketing campaigns and sales content development processes.

The data revealed that nearly three-quarters of companies do not have a formalised marketing messaging process for all employees to follow.

In the survey, respondents were asked how they would describe their company’s marketing campaigns and sales content development process. The results highlighted that more than 70 percent of respondents do not follow a clearly defined message development process within their organisation, while ten per cent reported they aren’t sure what their company does at all:

  • Everyone follows a well-established message development process – 28.7 percent
  • We have an established message development process, but it is not applied consistently – 35.1 percent
  • We have a message development process, but it is rarely followed because people are unaware or feel unaccountable – 13.2 percent
  • We don’t have a formal process for message development; we hire people and expect them to do the right thing, but it’s hit-or-miss in terms of execution – 12.2 percent
  • Honestly, I don’t really know what we do – 10.8 percent
  • Customer-centric messaging; we focus on our prospects’ story – 27.2 percent
  • Company-centric messaging; we focus on our own company’s story – 32.1 percent
  • Our campaigns contain an even mix of both – 40.7 percent

“The failure to follow a well-established message development process is causing many organisations to miss the mark when it comes to designing content and campaigns that resonate strongest with their customers and prospects,” says Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer for Corporate Visions.

“Company-centric messaging often leads salespeople into a competitive discussion focused on distinguishing their organisation from other vendors. As a result, prospects and customers tend to stick with their current status quo rather than making a decision to change.

“Customer-centric messaging, on the other hand, focuses on identifying customers’ and prospects’ unconsidered needs along with gaps in their current approach. This method is most effective, as it creates urgency for change that results in more closed deals.”

When asked how companies ensure consistency across their marketing campaigns and sales content, the results indicated only 34 percent provide ongoing coaching to help employees stay on track. Twenty per cent of respondents feel there is no process for ensuring consistency at all:

  • 58.3 percent depend on templates and tools to reinforce training and guarantee consistent messaging company-wide
  • 50.8 percent have provided training to their content creators and expect them to apply the messaging approach consistently
  • 44.3 percent depend on a brand guide to set parameters for consistency
  • 34.3 percent rely on coaches to provide oversight, quality control and feedback for content creators to ensure messaging stays on track
  • 18.7 percent believe it’s a free-for-all and everyone just does whatever they think is best

“These unsettling survey results demonstrate the urgent need for companies to develop a marketing methodology rooted in customer-centric messaging and underscored by a unified approach to message and content development,” says Riesterer.

“Implementing a consistent, structured methodology that focuses on identifying customers’ unconsidered needs and creating a buying vision that defeats their status quo bias will help marketers prepare their salespeople for the conversations that matter most. It will also give them the tools and confidence they need to convert qualified leads into real opportunities, which, at the end of the day, is the most important metric for demand generation performance.”.

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