The world of marketing is moving at the “speed of light” as Paul Greenberg would say.  Most of us feel like we are dogs chasing cars in the world of marketing today.  I own two greyhounds and as long as those cars were going 40 mph or less, they’d catch those cars.  But most of us aren’t greyhounds.  We feel more like the little toy poodle that wouldn’t have a chance against a slow-moving bicycle. My goal is to help change all the toy poodles of the world into sleek, fast-moving greyhounds.

Large, global firms have particular challenges in adapting to new marketing strategies.  Organizational structures and the challenges of working with many divisions, products and countries all work against a fluid and dynamic strategy.  But marketers today, especially in the biggest of firms, don’t have the luxury of taking their time to adapt.  The longer you wait, the more exponentially behind you will fall.  In a B2B services firm, the risk is greatest.  B2B services firms generally have very long, relationship-driven sales cycles.  The buying decision being made today has been in the works for anywhere from 6-24 months.  If you haven’t been engaging with them on their own turf in the social world, providing timely nurture information, and tracking their behavior for the past two years, you don’t have a shot at that sale.  So the efforts that you are putting off today to upgrade your marketing strategy is affecting you for years to come.

So where do you start?  I’d like to recommend a few good reads for any large company considering upgrading their marketing infrastructure and strategy as a starting point:

  1. CRM at the Speed of Light, Paul Greenberg – this is a hefty read but worthy of some attention for you operational folks who are trying to figure out your sales and marketing infrastructure.
  2. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, Chip Heath and Dan Heath – MUST READ for anyone making a significant organizational change to figure out how to make it stick.
  3. There is No Secret Sauce: A Strategic Guide to Social Media, Adam Metz – if you haven’t stuck your foot into the social waters yet, this is a great place to start.  You’re going to have to go there sometime – might as well start now!  I work with the author of this book – he’s super smart and I’m more than happy to make an introduction.