Tag Archives: CEO

Are the 4P’s relevant anymore in building products marketing?

26 Mar

Internet Being Left Behind

B2B has changed – the 4P’s don’t apply

Most marketers today know or knew of the 4Ps. They are the traditional marketing mix–product, place, price, and promotion. But these narrow views are increasingly battling with the essential need to deliver solutions.

In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Richard Ettenson, Eduardo Conrado, and Jonathan Knowles outline how B2B marketers need to adopt a new framework focused on solutions, access, value, and education–SAVE.

Having heard Eduardo, the SVP of Marketing and IT for Motorola Solutions, present how they transformed their marketing and in turn their company by utilizing the SAVE method, I wanted to share some of the key points from their article.

In a five-year study involving more than 500 managers and customers in multiple countries and across a wide range of B2B industries, they found that the 4P’s model undercuts B2B marketers in three important ways:

  1. It leads their marketing and sales teams to stress product technology and quality even though these are no longer differentiators but are simply the cost of entry.
  2. It underemphasizes the need to build a robust case for the superior value of their solutions.
  3. It distracts them from leveraging their advantage as a trusted source of diagnostics, advice, and problem solving.

Eduardo explained how Motorola Solutions used SAVE to guide the restructuring of its marketing organization and its go-to-market strategies in the government and enterprise sectors. Along the way the firm identified three requirements for successfully making the shift from 4 P’s thinking to SAVE.

  1. Management must encourage a solutions mind-set throughout the organization.
  2. Management needs to ensure that the design of the marketing organization reflects and reinforces the customer-centric focus.
  3. Management must create collaboration between the marketing and sales organizations and with the development and delivery teams.

Notice how all three of his points begin with Management. This type of fundamental shift must be embraced at the highest levels. Eduardo contributes a lot of success to the fact his CEO fully endorsed and supported this new way of thinking.

It also won’t happen overnight, but as marketers its our job, now more than ever, to help drive the company in new directions and to shape our message both internally and externally.

The New Role of the Building Products CMO

12 Jun

10 Lessons from Greg Brown, CEO of Motorola Solutions

Recently I heard Greg Brown, the CEO of Motorola Solutions, speak at the Business Marketing Association International GROW! Conference. He spoke about his role as a CEO, which he defined as deploying capital and developing people, but spent most of the time talking about Eduardo Conrado, the CMO for Motorola Solutions, and what he’s done that helps define the new role of the CMO. Here’s what I learned from Greg that can help building product CMOs be successful:

  1. Make tough decisions and rally the troops.
    • As building product marketers, tough decisions are something we are all too familiar with as of late, however – we can’t forget the second part to this (which is equally important) – rally the troops. Our people are our most important asset and if they don’t believe in what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, your company cannot succeed in the long-term.
  2. Learn the business you’re in.
    • This may seem obvious, but far too many marketers don’t take it to the next level. Beyond knowing marketing, you need to know three things in the building products industry: technology, process and people. Especially in our business, people remain the most important element.
  3. Deliver on your brand promise.
    • Greg defined brand as the image you create and experience you deliver. As building product CMOs, you need to define that image, create it and ensure the experience is consistent. Transparency is key.
  4. Drive culture.
    1. As a building product CMO, you have the ability and the responsibility to drive culture. Culture can be defined as a lot of things, but I like how Greg put it – culture is what you do and how you do it. More and more as products and services are put on a level playing field, it is the culture of a company that makes a difference and creates loyalty.
  5. Decide your voice.
    • CMOs need to create the brand’s voice and be sure to use it in everything the company produces. For Motorola Solutions, their voice is defined as human, confident, clear and imaginative.
  6. Focus on ideas.
    • The building products industry is lean and it’s often hard to get away from what needs to get done everyday to focus on new ideas. To combat this, host a regular meeting with your team and talk. Don’t have an agenda, don’t have notes, just toss out ideas and see what sticks.
  7. Speak up.
    • You didn’t make it this far in your career by sliding by, but this is an important lesson and something to share with your team – silence means agreement. If you don’t say anything, you’re in. No pocket vetoes.
  8. Be innovative.
    • Beyond being innovative, foster an environment of innovation. Get people out of their comfort zones and have strategy meetings that focus beyond what’s happening today.
  9. Create leads.
    • As CMOs, this is the ultimate way to drive business for your company and make it easier for your sales team to sell more. Focus on getting new leads and nurturing them.
  10. Let your actions speak for themselves.
    • Don’t preach about what other departments in the company should do or complain about what your team could do with a bigger budget, do what you can and let the results of your actions show the rest of the company your impact.

Marketing is the integrated format that makes companies run. It brings together all parts of the organization – investor relations, public relations, internal and external relations – and enables them to work together. As a building products CMO, you are the core of the business and have the ability to impact the entire company for the better.