That word failure. In this blog title; I’m levelling it at sales and marketing. “Give these poor overworked folks a break”, I hear you say. My perspective: pointing out failure leads to reassessment, and potentially success.
Geospatial sales & marketing .. a history
As we look briefly backwards, let me start with a statement.
Geospatial data and technology has for most of its history been targeted at GIS experts most of whom work in the public sector
Nothing too controversial there. Sales and marketing departments in the big GIS companies targeted GIS/mapping departments. That is anywhere that GIS experts were employed. These were folks who understood the value of location data and had been trained to use (complex) GIS software to provide answers to questions. Often, that meant a map. The buyer persona (using marketing vernacular) was the GIS manager. He/she understood the value and had access/influence over purchases.
For GIS sales and marketing, this strategy was a spectacular success. Vendors spoke GIS to a captive audience. Licenses and subscriptions ‘flew out the doors’.
But that was then. This is now.
Geospatial sales & marketing .. today
GIS is a niche. Built on the back of targeted sales and marketing. That niche focused on those in the ‘in-crowd’; the GIS priesthood. This is now a saturated market. That is a problem. Today the question is:
How do we convey the value of location data and technology to everybody else?
That is where GIS sales and marketing continue to struggle. And those in the emerging Geospatial 2.0 space remain challenged.
Repeating what was done in the past is a fail!
Yet I continue to see sales and marketing thrashing around, unable (or unwilling) to change.
So how do we turn geospatial sales & marketing failure into success?
The million dollar question. There are two critical areas:
1. Strategy – Revisit, review, update, fill in gaps. Too often we hear “We think this is what customers want” or “We think this is a customer problem”. Strategy is built out of an in-depth knowledge of problems and who has these problems. Your solution need target a problem. Too many strategists are too scared to pick up the phone. Planning is not a theoretical exercise. Something which, when completed, sits on a shelf gathering dust. Its a living, breathing, dynamic action plan. A solid strategy underpins all that sales and marketing do.
2. Sales and Marketing Execution – If your sales manager lives in your CRM, harassing sales staff on forecasting .. you need a new sales manager! Sales is now a consultative exercise. There are new highly effective ways to connect with potential customers, through sales prospecting. You will need a carefully constructed sales engagement plan. That requires collaboration; not a CRM fixation. If your marketing manager is focused on content with no clear understanding of your value proposition nor an in-depth knowledge of your buyer persona and their pain points .. you need a new marketing manager! The world of marketing has changed. Attention spans have shortened. Content is centred on stages of the sales funnel, the buyers journey. Old marketing methods no longer work.
The future of successful sales and marketing is moving location data and technology to the background. Understanding problems and telling data-driven stories is key. That requires geospatial thinkers. That means translators. Recognizing that need was why we set-up WhyofThere. To learn from failure and help provide a path to success.