Growth, Brand and Retention Problems? You Might Be Panic Marketing.

The B2B Panic Marketing Blog Series: Part 1

In this series Brand Llama will share some common causes of the all too pervasive problem of B2B panic marketing. We’ll also provide some tips and tricks to help marketers get refocused on what matters most for their organization.

Imagine that you’re at your doctor’s office demanding the latest medical procedure that you just read about on a blog. Your doctor knows your medical history and has a degree in medicine. She knows that this procedure is unnecessary and potentially risky for you. However, she acquiesces, cancels all of her other appointments for the day and performs the procedure—even though she knows that she’s putting you at risk and ignoring all of her other scheduled patients. Ridiculous, right? Well, in the marketing world, this scenario happens every day in businesses small and large. It is called panic marketing and it isn’t good for anyone.

“73% of CEOs state “marketers lack business credibility and the ability to generate sufficient growth”. 80% of CEOs simply don’t trust marketers at all, while 91% do trust CIOs and CFOs.”


Defining Panic Marketing

In order to discuss this all too common problem in many organizations, we must first offer a broad definition of panic marketing. To Brand Llama, panic marketing is just as the name implies—marketing teams that operate in a constantly reactive state. There are many root causes for this type of marketing and many reasons to fix it now. You might be panic marketing if:

  • Marketing and sales aren’t aligned: a sales leader emails your team saying “we’ve signed up to sponsor an event happening next week and we need marketing support.”
  • Your organization has shiny object syndrome: a senior level executive goes to a conference and hears about the latest / greatest buzzword in marketing. Then they want your team to start doing it now.
  • Your organization has a shaky top down vision: your organization doesn’t have a high-level strategy or goals to rally the various departments around (sales / marketing / product) so everything just does whatever they need to do to hit their department goals.
  • Your marketing team doesn’t have the clout to push back: marketing should be a revenue generator for your organization, even in a complex B2B sale, but do you know how to speak in a way that will get other leaders to listen?

“80% of Marketers Say They Are Overloaded and Understaffed.”


Why You Need to Fix Panic Marketing Now

  • Team stress and retention: nobody likes working in a constant state of chaos. Thoughts that the organization doesn’t understand their value start appearing. Employees are happiest and most engaged when they have clarity and meaning in their role, according to studies. Finding new employees is a significant time drain and expense to an organization. Ensuring that your team is happy and engaged can significantly affect the company performance.
  • Your organization is missing their numbers: marketing is part of your organization’s growth engine that is often overlooked. With specific and measurable ROI goals (eg. increased sales qualified leads, positioning an organization for an IPO or sale, expanding sales in specific accounts), marketing teams can have a significant impact on topline growth.
  • Inconsistency in brand / messaging: if your marketing team is in a constantly reactive state, there is no cohesion in what they are producing. This creates disconnected product and brand messages. In an already cluttered marketplace, it is increasingly difficult to find your share of voice. This can tank your sales numbers or make your sales team have to do more to close the deal.
  • Company frustration: leaders have heard again and again that marketing should have a seat at the executive table, but they still don’t believe it. Panic marketing is a major cause of executive frustration. It can then lead to marketing team layoffs, budget cuts, stagnant career paths and employee turnover.

While panic marketing may seem insurmountable and “the way it is here”, it can be addressed and changed. The remainder of this series will deep-dive into the above common causes of panic marketing and offer some tips on how to overcome each issue.

Next up: How to Stop Shiny Object Syndrome.