B2B Marketing Strategy

What a 1000+ record collection can teach marketers about creating the right message

Brett McGrath

Oct 6, 2021

What a 1000+ record collection can teach marketers about creating the right message

I’m a music junkie. 

My wife tolerates my addiction by letting my massive record collection be a part of our living room area. You might not think owning physical music in 2021 is necessary. I understand that perspective...well kind of. 

I consider the entire experience in my music consumption. The mountain top moment for me is when a connection is so strong between me and the artist that buying their record becomes a requirement. I’ve got plenty of stories that could fill up another podcast of bands I discovered in the bowels of the internet that would go on to be bands I’ve supported for a decade. It’s about the experience and the relationships that come from the music. 

I’ve always been a curious person. It’s never just been about the music to me. I want to understand the people and stories behind it.

That’s why I sat in front of the TV until my eyes bled in the 90’s watching VH1’s Behind the Music. The show offered context and stories behind albums that I had been listening to for years. 

They could never make enough episodes. It was like drinking from a firehose. I loved the episodes even about bands I couldn’t stand. 

Typically, I’m game for anything that stimulates my curiosity. 

I think it’s a big reason why I love marketing. 

I don’t just want to know what you are selling, but I want for you to share the story behind it. 

I’ll never remember your features, but I sure as hell will remember your product if it’s tied to a great story. 

My passion around music consumption inspires me to think about what's possible with the content that we create for our audience.

I turn off the tunes when I am meeting with the team and try to do as much listening as possible.

I’ve been impressed with our meeting cadence as a hybrid work environment. It’s not overwhelming, but just enough to stay connected and plugged in to what’s going on. 

The last couple of weeks have been pivotal in the growth and development of our team. 

Many challenges that our business is facing came to the forefront and we’ve found ways to align around solving them. We’ve all been running 100 mph, but had not updated pricing, packaging, and positioning since our product launch.

Here’s a breakdown of the main priorities of go-to-market team members: 

We all have a full slate of activities, but all understood that we needed to take the next turn on updating our message in order to build understanding earlier with our audience.

Jonathan hit me up on Slack and it said, “I need your help”.

He went on to explain that we needed an easier way for future customers to understand the value that we could bring to them earlier in our sales process.

My help was needed on messaging.

I put this priority to the top of my list and started working. 

I could share the updates right here, but that wouldn’t be helpful.

I leaned on my passion for music as I move forward in this post. Here’s my Behind the Music version of the process that I went through to organize our messaging around the Modern Day Marketer. 

Know exactly who you are writing for 

If it’s not music with me it’s sports. 

I’m from Indiana and it’s all about basketball. Indiana product and basketball legend Larry Bird once said, “First master the fundamentals”. 

You would think that understanding the person receiving your message on the other end would be normal, but it’s not in a lot of B2B circles. 

I can’t tell you how many times I get hit up in LinkedIn Messenger and email with someone prospecting into me who has absolutely no idea who I am or what I do.

The volume game sucks and unfortunately we are on the receiving end of it far too often. 

When I went into this messaging exercise 2.0 I knew exactly who I was writing to. 

The structure that I am building and the messages that I am creating are for the Modern Day Marketer. It’s the individual that I described when I wrote this blog post and it’s the guests that I am bringing on every week on the 3C Podcast

You don’t have to start a podcast to build a message that resonates.

You do have to do the work and have conversations to understand the gaps in your future buyer’s workflow where your product can be the solution that solves their pain. 

Your positioning should help get them understand how they can become the hero in your story 

The story that we are telling is about becoming a Modern Day Marketer. 

Through my investigation, conversations, and intelligence I understand that this is where the opportunity is with our message. There is a massive gap between true Modern Day Marketers in B2B and “me” centered marketers. It’s not black and white. There’s a grey area that many of us are in and I wrote about it last week to provide further clarity.

I think that most marketers aspire to break free from the shackles that are holding them back, but things outside of their control like ancient infrastructure and leadership get in the way. 

Being able to understand this helps inform and can help direct the words that you decide to use. 

The real talk with our V1 of our positioning is that it only took us so far in the sales conversation. 

We weren’t using the right words to help get our buyers understand that The Juice could get them closer to becoming a Modern Day Marketer by helping save them time and streamline their content distribution efforts.

Every Modern Day Marketer who I am speaking with on a weekly basis has some sort of content distribution problem. We have a unique opportunity to help with that problem and need lead with that in our message.

This theme continues to hit on conversations that I am having, in sales conversations, and with customers. Just open Twitter. Someone is talking about content distribution. That's opportunity to help and use our message as an olive branch into the conversation.

This is why we don’t operate in silos at The Juice. I can’t tell you how important it is for me to get access to Kate’s conversations. The ability to understand what’s working and what has given me the information that I need to go into this exercise.

A great story can lead to a better experience 

I can’t remember the last product demo that I sat through that I gushed over any of the features and functionality. It just doesn’t happen.

We are operating in an industry that is highly commoditized and everyone does the same stuff. Your competitors will argue that they do their stuff “faster” than you. Also, they’ll use words and phrases like “revolutionary” and “game changing” to make their stuff sound better than your current system.

Blah. Spare me. 

People don’t remember features and functionality. People remember stories. 

That’s why shows like Behind the Music hit music degenerates like me so hard. It uses storytelling to provide further context in a topic that we have interest in. 

I’ve had nearly 100+ conversations with B2B marketers in 2021. One of the most important items that I’ve learned through these interactions is that everyone is looking for help with creating a better experience for their audience. 

Modern Day Marketers are on a mission to destroy silos that cause friction between internal teams and they are trying to find ways to create consistent communication throughout their organization because they know it will leave a positive brand impression on their future customers. 

Considering storytelling alongside positioning exercises helps you become a better marketer. It’s not just about getting attention. It’s about maintaining that attention.

You know that feeling when you are on a walk and the chorus of a song that you love pops in your head and you start quietly singing the words by yourself?

The artist has done their job by creating a piece of music so memorable that it’s found placement in your mind and heart. 

Next time you are working on messaging, become an artist. 

Share the story behind your output and be focused on who it is for. 

You’ll create a group of fans who will read your newsletter, listen to your podcast, and read every article that you produce. 

It takes consistency and a lot of listening. You’ll know when you are doing it right because it will feel like you are creating music for the market that you serve.

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