Heart surgery is much like…

Businesses aren’t like Kevin Costner’s baseball field. You can’t just build it and wait for customers to come. You can have a nice building, a flashy website, a solid sales team, and a top notch service or product and still be sitting in your office twiddling your thumbs. Customers are not going find you. There are too many competitors, and too many shiny sparkly things to look at. You cannot afford to let them to generate demand because they never will – even Coke and McDonalds increase their marketing budgets year after year. You must reach out to let them know who you are, what you can do for them, and how badly they need you. (None of which they may be aware of.)

Old school marketing says direct mail, cold calls, strategically placed ads, networking, sponsorships, and partnerships are among the gold standards.

Those tactics are the gold standard and should be employed, but in today’s digital age, you’ve got to reach out of the computer and grab your prospects by the collar, or at the very least gently tap them on the shoulder.

Think of it like heart surgery: the gold standard is cracking open your chest to expose the entire muscle for repair; it works, and it’s the way it’s always been done, but infection rates are high and recovery time is long. Or opt for three small incisions that will allow your surgeon to operate via cameras and really tiny instruments, reducing recovery time, infection rates and really unattractive scars.

Old school marketing is cumbersome, clunky and sporadic. New demand generation and marketing automation tools organize, contact and rank your prospect database. Demand gen tools watch your prospects behavior, and let you know when it’s time for a human to intercede. How nice is that? Demand gen tools work with you as you shake hands at a meeting, it’s shaking electronic hands. Twice the work, same number of hands.

Should you only use a demand generation tool? Absolutely not. Think of it as another employee, working just as you are.

Just as there’s more than one way to skin a rabbit, there are many more than just one way to market your company or product. So don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You’ve got to push information out as well as pull prospects in.

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