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Market Alignment - What Is It & Why You Need It

By: Robert Hennessey

Market Alignment - What Is It & Why You Need It

Failing in aligning the marketing message with your target audience is the primary reason why most B2B sales lead prospecting campaigns fail.

Why because market alignment is the lynchpin in building customer rapport. If you do not create customer rapport and market alignment, there will be no sale.

A customer is sold or persuaded based on the rapport (a feeling of trust, confidence, and affinity) that is built by the communications messages you deliver. Having your marketing message and your target audience properly in harmony creates market alignment.

What is market alignment?

Market alignment is the process of creating a marketing message that is appropriately aligned, or in sync, with the target audience, the message is intended to persuade.

You may be familiar with the sales expression of describing a top sales professional as “he or she can sell snowballs to Eskimos.” In this type of sales example, it would be the exception to the rule of market alignment. In the expression, the intent is to describe a salesperson so persuasive they can sell something to their customer that they don’t need or would not be in market alignment with their target audience.

While a colorful way to describe an exceptionally talented salesperson, it is highly unlikely that such a gross market misalignment would be successful. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time you can count on the fact that even with good rapport if there is no market alignment, there is no sale.

Why is achieving market alignment necessary?

Understanding the importance of your B2B marketing message is essential to your business marketing success. Most B2B marketing campaigns fail because they do not focus on the importance of the marketing message.

Unduly influenced by consumer marketing, most marketers have a concern with the quantities of marketing messages, not the quality. Misunderstanding the importance of a quality message, coupled with that fact that 99% of marketing messages are capacities and capabilities focused leads to a lot of wasted money. The result of the lack of a quality focused marketing message rarely converts to an acceptable return on investment for every marketing dollar spent.

The Wrong Marketing Message - Capacities & Capabilities

Capacities and capabilities marketing is all about telling your prospective customers how great your company and the product or service you want to sell them. The problem with this type of marketing communication message is that your sales prospects could care less about how great your company claims to be and could care less the things you claim your products or services will do for them without having established addressed their problem first. The application of the wrong message is why most marketing does not generate the sales results everyone seeks.

All the B2B marketing messages your prospects receive are the same, and so their eyes gloss over. The first principle of good marketing is to differentiate your brand and to get noticed. However, few people differentiate their company in any meaningful way and do not understand the sales results they seek because they are sending the same unresponsive capacities and capabilities marketing messages as their competitors.

The Right Marketing Message - Customer-Centric Marketing

Your prospective customers are only concerned about their specific problems. What they want to know is do you understand their problem and do you have a solution that will work for them. Conveying this message is the essence of customer-centric marketing.

Marketing Message Alignment

B2B marketing message alignment is achievable only when two things are present in the communication exchange. First, initial rapport building exists between the buyer and the seller. Second, your sales prospect realizes that you understand their business problems and you have indicated a willingness and ability to help them solve their problems.

You must put your customer first and not your company or its products in the communications messages you are delivering to your sales prospects. It is not about your company it is about them. You will know when you have achieved the perfect message alignment you seek. When a sales prospect contacts you after having received your marketing message and says, "I feel as if I already know you, you understand my problem and want to meet you as soon as possible," you have achieved correct market alignment.

Differentiate your business from your competitors by having a B2B marketing message that is in proper alignment with your target audience. Marketing message alignment is critical to your marketing and sales success.

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