If you are like us, targeting small and medium businesses (SMBs) around the globe, you are likely spending serious cycles studying your marketing activities, spend and the corresponding results. And, in doing so, likely to be asking questions and testing your beliefs… Like the one I hear often – “Demand generation is more art than science.”

I’ll start off by acknowledging a few core tenets: 

  • You’ve got be clear about the few, key and compelling, messages that are most relevant to your target audience
  • You’ve got to have engaging materials that quickly and directly address the prospect’s buying needs and questions
  • There is plenty of room for creativity in delivering the above

That said, I’ll posit that it’s as much, if not more, about execution efficiency than about the creative. Without both, your efforts are likely to fail. Application/use of carefully designed experiments and measurement, quick and frequent analysis, ruthless application of Darwinian principles, rapid prototyping and iteration of ideas – since rank in the organization doesn’t always translate into better campaign ideas. (Remember that article on the endless meetings at Amazon (to determine where to locate the different content elements on their web page) that vanished when they started statistically testing placement?)

What does mean for the marketing professional of tomorrow (and for educators creating the corresponding curricula?) The first is the recognition that there are ways to continuously improve by borrowing from other fields (case in point – ICICI Bank’s use of the core principles of the Toyota Production System). The second is that a working knowledge of statistics is a requirement. The third is that an understanding of measurement techniques (e.g., web tools) is a critical job skill.

I’d love to hear from you if you have real life examples that either prove or disprove my position!

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