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Fire vs. Water
by Andy
December 12, 2014

The other day I gave a presentation on relevancy and how to create it.  Before I dove into the heart of my presentation (making blogging easier), I gave my POV on B2B marketing and how relevancy can drive deeper interest and intrigue into what you sell.  I also discussed my perspective on the difference between sales and marketing – a question we marketers get all the time.

The analogy goes something like this.  If my client is water, my job as marketer is to discuss fire — how it starts, how it spreads, how it kills, the insurance ramifications, the financial ramifications, its toxicity, everything. Fire is a very bad, disruptive, deadly thing.

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“Wow, you know a lot about fire.  Sounds horrid.  How do I solve for fire?”

Let me introduce you to my sales team.  They’ll tell you all about water.

In the B2C space, where price is not too high or I’m not that disappointed if I purchased the wrong thing (e.g., wanted Diet Coke, not Coke Zero), it’s not the end of the world.  B2C messaging is less about showcasing the issues associated with obesity, but more about creating awareness and preference (there are plenty of valid, low-cal alternatives) and distribution (buy at Publix).  And oh by the way, it’s 0-cal and tastes great!  I can argue consumer marketing is closer to sales and selling benefits, rather than solving problems

Remember, B2B purchases have longer decision cycles, dramatically higher price points, and deeper ramifications if things go wrong. When you’re a perceived expert on issues or topics critical to the health and wellbeing of the category, there is a professional assumption you have some strong ideas on how to solve for them.  And, of course, you do.

As a B2B purchaser, I want to make sure I’m working with someone, or some company, that is perceived to know what they’re talking about. Relevancy helps create a higher level of confidence and comfort, which drives preference and margins.  And you don’t get burned.

2 Responses to “Fire vs. Water”

  1. Well said sir.


  2. […] topics, take the advice of TopRight partner Andy Montgomery of Montgomery Relevancy Group who says in his blog that if your product is water then the blogger’s job is to “discuss fire — how it […]

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