Thursday, January 26, 2012

Delivering Breakthrough Marketing: Viewpoint, Value and Velocity

Most CEOs I talk to have a jaded, if not skeptical view of marketing.  While they recognize the importance of marketing to their long term success, they have a hard time understanding and measuring how well marketing is doing.  And while more mature organizations have a good handle on very well tuned marketing metrics and measurement, the question is still always out there.  With the advance in marketing automation, new channels of communication, and the avalanche of marketing data now available, marketing has evolved, in many CEOs view, from a black art, to a black science.

Hidden behind the dashboards and metrics lies a more fundamental problem.  In today's hyper competitive, global, instantaneous market, where buyers and consumers have nearly unlimited access to information and each other, the fight for attention and share has become a treadmill of constantly faster speed.  With the proliferation of social media, and competivite solutions in even the most specialized market segment, we need a new Breakthrough marketing formula to feed the machine.

Simply put, we need a new model for getting noticed and getting bought.  To achieve the highest breakthrough possible, we need to get great at Viewpoint, Value and Velocity. We need to move to Converged Viewpoint, Unique Value and High Velocity.

Viewpoint, Value and Velocity Converge to deliver breakthrough

Let's look briefly at each of these elements, what they are, and why they are needed.

Viewpoint is a framing of the market in the context of your uniqueness.  The uniqueness of your team, your capabilities, and your vision.  Some call viewpoint thought leadership, some vision with a capital V, and some brand. 

Why is Viewpoint critical? Without a doubt, we live in a world of data and information overload. But often overlooked is the aspect of information over-availability.  As anyone who use Google knows, the challenge is not in finding an answer or result, but it is in finding the right or most helpful one.   What does this mean for marketers?  Let's take a look at one small experiment.  In November of 2011, KJR Associates examined a sampling of companies from the Andreeson Horowitz venture portfolio; Here's a screen grab of that set:

We then examined the websites of each company and determined its "market category":
Finally, we did a Google search using the a quoted market category name and looked at the quantity of search results returned.  This is displayed here:

Market Categories
Google Search Result for Specific Results

So, as is clear from above, and totally consistent with our intuition, it's a CROWDED marketplace for products and ideas.  Even in very niches market segments, we have hundreds of thousands of results returned.  The ONLY way to be noticed in this market is to provide something different, a UNIQUE and RELEVANT viewpoint. 

In order to define Viewpoint providers must tap into the macro trends that impact their customers, as well as the discontinuity they offer to meet these trends.  In my related post on Viewpoint, I walk through an example of this process.

So while Viewpoint is critical to getting noticed, Value is critical to getting into the buyers shortlist.  Simply put, Value is defined as the intersection between your unique capabilities express as business benefits,  your customer needs, and the missing capabilities of your key competitors.   This is shown with a simple sketch:

This unique Value is then articulated in forms such as competitive positioning statements, messaging, market segmentations and product feature benefit charts.    Then when combined with Viewpoint, I can tilt the market in my favor.  This process is further discussed here.

With ViewPoint articulated and Value defined, the last piece of the puzzle is to deliver high velocity programs, those that deliver high quality leads across the buying lifecycle.  Marketing Velocity = DE**2, or simply put:  

Velocity = Delivery X Engagement X Experience

High velocity marketing is strong on message, meaning it effectively and creatively communicates Value within a powerful market Viewpoint.  High velocity marketing uses appropriate Delivery channels and investments that meet buyers whereever and whenever they are in the buying lifecycle. More and more so, this is about delivering compelling experiences, as I have blogged about extensively.  Lastly, high velocity marketing is fueled by high levels of interactivity and engagement.  Gone are the days of depending solely on complex whitepapers to explain solutions.   Vehicles like live demos, interactive assessments, and engaging video case studies are now a must. Velocity is further explored in this post.

In today's high velocity market, we need a new HIGH BREAKTHROUGH marketing formula to feed the machine. High Breakthrough Marketing is a product of Viewpoint, Value and Velocity, or V-cubedSo, in order to deliver with velocity, organizations need to define a unique Viewpoint, articulate customer driven Value, and execute high Velocity programs.   Without these 3 Vs, investments in marketing automation, content marketing and nurturing programs will deliver at best, mediocre results. 


  1. How about "V" for Veracity? Buyers are highly skeptical of vendor's claims and with good reason. That's why they turn to peers and other sources to help them make up their minds. SiriusDecisions 2011 B-to-B Buyer's Journey survey says "...the most-used research techniques by champions while making an IT purchase decision are search (26%), industry peers (23%), industry analysts (20%), work colleagues (20%) and social media networks (11%)."

    It's getting harder and harder for vendors to have HIGH IMPACT with their marketing no matter how right and tight the three V's because buyers are becoming immune to them.Try adding a 4th V, Veracity to achieve truly HIGH IMPACT.

  2. Tom
    I agree 3rd party can add validation, but think thought leadership needs to start at home, that's why viewpoint is key

  3. Ken, great blog and I totally agree with your assessment here. However, these formulas might look a little different depending on the type of the organization. They might mean one thing for a large enterprise and something else for a start-up. The other element worth looking into would be the type of the organization - B2B Vs. B2C. Nevertheless, very well written with great insights. Thanks!