HomeBlog Three Ways to Instill Critical Thinking in Portfolio Marketing

Three Ways to Instill Critical Thinking in Portfolio Marketing

April 10, 2015 | By Christina McKeon

  • Among b-to-b portfolio marketers, some are new to the job, usually from technical roles, and lack any formal training
  • Others have been doing the job for a long time and have become disconnected from the customer
  • SiriusDecisions has developed three frameworks that can help portfolio marketing leaders instill more critical thinking

One of the chief criticisms of school systems is that students are not being taught critical thinking. In a Cambridge International Examinations research report, 85 percent of the teachers surveyed around the world believed critical thinking was the skill their students most commonly lacked. Students are entering higher education and the work force without problem-solving and analytical skills, which results in a check-the-box mentality.

checkmarkWe see the same trend among b-to-b portfolio marketers. Some are new to the job, usually from technical roles, and lack any formal training. Others have been doing the job for a long time and have become disconnected from the customer and too internally focused. Either way, portfolio marketers fall into the trap of paraphrasing what product experts have told them instead of focusing on buyers’ needs.

SiriusDecisions has developed three frameworks that can help portfolio marketing leaders instill more critical thinking in portfolio marketing: 

  • Audience framework. The SiriusDecisions Audience Framework helps you start aligning campaigns and content to buyer needs and stop aligning to products or the organization. This framework requires a collaborative approach, where product, marketing and sales work together to identify and agree on target buyer audience segments and their needs. The process and output also identifies buyer personas involved in purchasing decisions and drives audience-centric go-to-market execution.
  • Persona framework. The SiriusDecisions Buyer Persona Framework aligns the organization around a detailed common understanding of target buyers and their needs. Portfolio marketers must discover buyers’ functional attributes, interests, buying behavior and interaction preferences, which ultimately helps improve messaging, content and campaigns. Defining buyer personas also requires the data provided by buyer interviews, which forces portfolio marketers to listen to the market.
  • Value proposition framework. There are five building blocks for a good b-to-b value proposition, as explained by the SiriusDecisions Messaging Nautilus: audience, need, assertion, outcome and distinction. Each building block needs to be constructed and tested with buyers before the value proposition is composed. This framework is a forcing mechanism that requires portfolio marketers to think through buyers’ needs and articulate the offering’s unique value to buyers.

The benefit of these three approaches is that they focus portfolio marketers on targeted buyers – who they are, what they need, and how to select and prioritize them. These frameworks encourage portfolio marketers become innovative critical thinkers and break out of the rut of copying and pasting into templates. This leads portfolio marketers to become subject matter experts and problem solvers rather than individuals who merely mimic the expertise of others in the organization.

Christina McKeon

Christina McKeon is the Service Director of Portfolio Marketing at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 20 years of experience in product and solution marketing, sales enablement, demand generation and social media. Follow Christina on Twitter at @ChristinaMcKeon.

Featured SiriusEvents®

Join Us at #SDSummit