Engagement Vs. Disruption in B2B Marketing

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

An unfortunate reality for engagement marketing is that a long-term strategy is a hard sell to a client that wanted results yesterday. Conversely, a flash-in-the-pan strategy is often an easy sell. 

But quick fixes are not viable long-term solutions. While urgency and execution may be needed up front, we need to think about both depth and distance for continued results over time. A solid marketing strategy should be seen as a marathon and not a sprint. Agility over long periods of time will always have a stronger ROI over a reactive focus on the now.

Goalie watching the puck in a hockey game.

So you’ve found your audience. Now what?

We’ve seen disruptive marketing technologies and tactics be the hero of the day for focusing on right now, but where does disruption get us six months (or even several years) from now? While evidence suggests a more far-sighted and robust approach may take longer to launch – and longer to show impact – it will maintain its own momentum for much longer once in orbit.

“Disruptive innovations occur so intermittently that no company has a routine process for handling them. Furthermore, because disruptive products nearly always promise lower profit margins per unit sold and are not attractive to the company’s best customers, they’re inconsistent with the established company’s values.”

Harvard Business Review

Think of focusing on where the hockey puck is going to be rather than where it is now in a hockey game. On offense, a solid slapshot technique doesn’t mean much if you’re just hopelessly chopping away at the ice because you don’t have the foresight to see where the puck will be to make the shot. With more coordination, coaching, and teamwork, the offensive line becomes more efficient and effective, increasing their shots on goal (conversion rate).

A forward-thinking marketing strategy is necessary for sustainable growth.

When Becky Kelly, director of solutions marketing strategy at Lumen, was looking to create an experience for trade show attendees, she was thinking long-term. She had a choice to do what they had always done and react to the need to build a compelling trade show booth that would be used once and forgotten. Or, she could innovate the process by integrating that trade show into her overall marketing strategy and create something compelling but long-lasting and agile.

“There is a huge cost and time efficiency in not having to recreate this interactive content from scratch for future sales and marketing programs and devices.”
– Director of Solutions Marketing Strategy at Lumen
Becky Kelly

By partnering with Kaon Interactive to create an immersive VR application that had extensibility and reusability, Lumen increased customer engagement by 400% with a value-based virtual experience and then kept delivering results. Engaging with their core customers and further pushing the envelope to new limits put Lumen on the map as the leader in global technology that they are. By aligning marketing strategy and tactics to the company’s values of scalable collaboration and amazing digital world experiences, she achieved the immediate impact of a successful event and so much more without compromise. Customers could experience for themselves who Lumen is and what they offer.

The long game benefits both the buyer and seller.

Being innovative for just today doesn’t work anymore, and there needs to be a long-term payoff for both the seller and the buyer. When your buyer’s needs change or your company’s offering changes, how will your sales and marketing content change with them? Your marketing solutions may be relevant today, but will they hold the same weight a year from now? 

How can you continually adapt without having to start over? 

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