More tools is never the solution | George Coudounaris, The B2B Incubator

What’s the one marketing trend that you wholeheartedly disagree with?

I think probably the main one is this completely unhealthy obsession that b2b marketers have with data?

I mean, I feel like it’s unless your computer screen looks like the opening credits of the matrix with all the green code falling down the screen, you’re not doing marketing, right?

And, look, I was guilty of that.

I have to say myself, but I disagree with it now for a couple of reasons.

The first is, yes, it is much easier to collect and wrangle big data sets. If they’re quantitative, like if you’re in Google Analytics, looking at a report there, for example, but the quantitative only really tells you what happened, it doesn’t really tell you why.

So marketers are just left guessing and forming hypotheses as to why.

And the easiest answer is to just say, Oh, well, let’s just throw some budget at it and test it and see how we go. But, but if we collect qualitative data through things like customer interviews, surveys, listening to feedback, self reported attribution, we can start to find out the why.
The problem is with that is, it’s a little bit harder to collate, and sort through because you’ve got all this qualitative data, it doesn’t really pack nicely together doesn’t look as pretty in a chart. So many marketers avoided.

Now the second, the second reason I don’t like this unhealthy obsession with big data is, the reality is for most b2b organisations is they just don’t have enough volume to make fast decisions off the back of quantitative data.

If, for example, you’re writing about a new topic, and you want to see if it hits a pain point for your customers, quantitatively, you might need to wait a couple of weeks for those visits to show up in something like Google Analytics. And you can go look at the average view time here, how to perform relative to others.

But on the other hand, if you have three to five people that will DM you or comment on your article saying, hey, this was so helpful, you know, you’re on the money straightaway, and you can keep making content like that right away.

So yeah, I guess they’re the two main reasons that I’m off that unhealthy obsession with with b2b.

If you could talk to all B2B revenue leaders in the world for 1 minute, what would you say?

Marketing can make a real impact on revenue of a business, but it’s not an on switch that people make you think it is.

If it were, then all you’d have to do is buy all the SaaS tools out there that promise you a 200% increase in ROI, I can head to the golf course let the machines do the work and be a champion.

But we know that doesn’t work, right. more tools, more tech, they’re never the solution.

So I really think that a long term marketing strategy that drives revenue that’s built on establishing trust over a really long period of time with people.

We need to continuously invest in activities that build that trust between us and our dream customers. And to build that trust, you know, we can’t just take a transactional approach and look at all our potential and existing customers as dollar signs.

Not every activity is going to have an ROI.

Just because you can’t track a marketing activity doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it, of course, provided it’s there to help your dream customers in some way, shape or form.

I would say marketing builds trust, it’s that trust that leads to revenue. But just like in real life, trust takes time.

Revenue leaders get off our backs and give us a little more time place.

What’s the most important character trait that helps you succeed in your career? Why?

I think first of all, everyone has different definitions of success.

I used to have a different definition of success. I thought it was for me, being the CEO of a company with 100 employees. That’s what I thought I wanted.

But to be honest, now, I just view it as doing something that I love with the flexibility of where and when to do it.

My litmus test is if for example, my grandma pops around tomorrow unannounced for a cup of coffee, if I’m too busy or too stressed to not drop what I’m doing and going and spend quality time with her, then I feel like I’m not succeeding.

To be honest, I think that the character trait that’s going to help me do that is probably patience.

Yes, I’m ambitious. But I believe you can grow a business sustainably without being stressed out of your mind if you’re just a little bit more patient, and you take a longer term view on growth.

The work that I’m doing now, I wouldn’t be doing in 5, 10 years, you know, maybe even 20 years time, and I think you probably have to have a bit of patience to do that.

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