The 5 most common technical marketing collateral mistakes

November 24, 2011 § 5 Comments

Ever since the first quota was assigned, salespeople have been accosting marketing executives with breathless grievances such as:

  • I have nothing to give to my prospects!
  • We need a case study!
  • If I only had a White paper, I could make my number!

These pleas are often shouted out during ‘ambush the marketing executive’ sessions at kickoffs and other sales meetings. Naturally, marketing wants to help – after all, the sales team is marketing’s customer. But this often leads to misguided exertions, which wastes money and time and leads to a perception that marketing “just doesn’t get it”. This leads to even more frantic efforts, and so the cycle continues.

At Think88, I see many technology companies struggling with the same set of technical marketing challenges. Based on many years of experience, I’ve distilled these problems into a list of the five most common mistakes, which I’ll describe in a series of separate blog posts. Here’s the overall list and a brief thought about each one. Click on each point to see the more detailed posts.

1. Not having an overall marketing content roadmap. While everyone recognizes that it’s important, it’s often put on the back burner.

2. Not subjecting each marketing content investment to an honest ROI calculation. Let’s face it – effective collateral is can only be produced after analyzing weak points in the sales cycle and directly addressing them.

3. Cramming too much content into a single piece. Believe it or not, a 10-page paper isn’t necessarily twice as effective as 5-pager.

4. Not following a formalized content creation methodology. When budgets and time are tight, ‘just wing it’ becomes the motto.

5. Over reliance on internal staff. In these days of short staffing and pinched pennies, content creation is one of the first things to get put on the back burner. And failing to deliver content sets the stage for the next ‘ambush the marketing executive’ session.


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