What is The New Communicator?
And why should you care?
In mid-2022, I attended an event in Bozeman, Montana. The event was structured around providing entrepreneurs–those who have already started businesses and those on the cusp of starting their businesses–ideas and support to grow their companies.
My role was to advise/mentor one individual business on product, market, communications and operations.
Then, we’d return to the larger group, with the entrepreneurs presenting their plan and responding to group questions and feedback.
Invariably, the conversation would turn to paid marketing and advertising channels and strategies, with lots of suggestions to put some round number ($1,000) in the market to test what works for their business and audience.
Why is the pay-to-play model dead?
Those early-stage companies and entrepreneurs are struggling. They are in the fight–what’s the saying about chickens and pigs?–with razor-thin resources.
If they’ve taken outside funding, there are likely some non-sales growth metrics already tied to those investments. Paid marketing and advertising might goose those short-term metrics, only to place a higher demand on expected future growth.
And the cycle begins–chasing vanity metrics that waste resources without bringing in near-term or longer-term revenue is like a blind duck chasing a ball, downhill.
Larger businesses fall into the same trap.
The only difference: those razor-thin resources aren’t so razor-thin (and are masked by layers and layers of politics and ineptitude).
The purpose of a business
The purpose of a business, in other words, is not to make a profit, full stop. It is to make a profit so that the business can do something more or better. That “something” becomes the real justification for the business.
“Make a profit so that the business can do something more or better.”
(I would argue today’s businesses are focusing on how they make a profit. An article for another day.)
Let’s focus on that one word, profit:
a financial gain, especially the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something.
In order to make a profit, we need to make some revenue
That revenue comes with associated costs
Those costs include accessing a paying audience
The larger the gap between our revenues and costs the better our margin
Our goal, as B2B marketing and communications leaders, is to access reliable and sustainable revenue streams in a cost-effective (ie, minimal) manner.
Traditionally, marketing and communications teams haven’t had to think about these types of tradeoffs. We were considered an expense center and that was ok.
Until it wasn’t.
The new approach
When it comes to B2B marketing and communications, a new approach is desperately needed. And thankfully, we don’t have to look too far to find a new way to communicate with our audiences.
With these two questions in mind:
How do we access reliable and sustainable revenue streams?
How do we reduce the cost to access these streams?
Let’s turn to two well-established solutions that are within our control.
This has always seemed out of reach for B2B marketing and communications teams. Our teams generally are focused on putting “butts in seats” (at some cost).
We then hand over those “leads” to our sales teams and walk away, focusing on the next big thing.
That’s not the case anymore–there are enormous opportunities for marketing and communications teams to play a bigger, earlier role in developing revenue.
And partnerships are the key.
Partnerships may already be handled by another department. However, there’s a big chunk of funding that partners can offer businesses to develop markets. Many times, these markets are in our very own backyards.
By developing these partnerships (and markets), marketing and communications teams have a closer opportunity to bring leads and real revenue to the business.
And that revenue isn’t short-term. It’s built around a relationship—a partnership.
One that will outlast algorithm changes, privacy updates and vague, unowned processes.
Marketing and communication programs are expensive. From labor to creative resources to tools. Costs can add up quickly.
And if there is no discernable, offsetting revenue, these programs can grow unwieldy and create distractions for the business’s purpose.
Before we enter into any project, we should first ask ourselves: “Can this be automated?”
And since not everything can be automated, the question will likely be filtered down to “What parts of this project can be automated?”.
Do we need to build some press? What can be automated?
Do we need to generate leads? What can be automated?
Do we need to add resources? What can be automated?
Our goal here is not to automate everything. It’s to automate the “taking out the trash” items that tend to take a lot of our time.
That extra time can then be focused on value-add activities (like internal communications and reporting) that better showcase how our marketing and communications programs are generating demand, building partnerships and creating revenue.
The New Communicator
Hi. I’m Wil. And I started The New Communicator in 2022.
(Although, and unbeknownst to me, I’ve been working on it my entire life!)
Given my experience, interests and expertise in marketing, communications, business development and technology, I wanted a place where I can write and express my thoughts in this ever-changing, digital-chasing, click-obsessive business-to-business world.
The New Communicator, hosted on Substack, will help me make sense of why businesses (and people!) communicate the way they do. And, provide some thoughts and insights into how we can learn from these examples to create impactful and magical marketing and communications programs.
All while focused on making a profit.
What’s a Business For? (link)
Profit, a definition (link)
I Built an Independent Women’s Podcast Network (link)
More about me here