In today’s highly competitive B2B markets, to be a leader, you must build and run a modern marketing machine that can be thought of like a race car.  In fact, market leaders need to be great at three things; Marketing Automation,  Content Marketing, and Messaging and Positioning.  These can be thought of as the engine, the tires and the fuel of the race car.

When you have a high performance engine, the right tires, and high test fuel, market leaders can achieve high performance with content that is relevant, programs that are efficient and results that are highly effective.  This is show in this simple drawing:

Let’s take a bit of a closer look at the intersections of each of these circles.   As we can see, if we want to achieve leadership, we really do need all three.  For example, with poor marketing automation, we are left ineffective and inefficient.  Without good content marketing processes and approaches, our go to market will lack efficiency and relevance, and without good messaging and positioning, our go to market race car will lose both relevance and effectiveness.

This diagram may seem obvious to some, and daunting to others.  As a consultant focused on Market Leadership, I’ll make three observations related to this, and look forward to hearing yours.

  1. If I were a CMO again, as I was last year in an interim role, I’d focus first on having the right fuel for the car, ie, building the best messaging and positioning I could.  Given that doing all three of these with excellence is difficult to achieve, I’d strive for excellence here first.
  2. Observation 2 – My next investment priority would be in building a well tuned marketing automation engine.  My reasoning for this is that before I tackle efficiency by optimizing and investing in excellence in content marketing, I want to drive effectiveness and relevance first.
  3. Observation 3 – Many organizations I see are highly efficient with their go to market efforts.  They have tuned the engine and have beautiful tires.  However, they are feeding their car with low test messaging and positioning, and fail to be relevant and effective like market leaders are.  It’s no surprise that the Content Marketing Institute’s September 2015 study entitled “B2B Content Marketing 2016 – Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” reported that the number one challenge identified by content marketers was “producing enough relevant and engaging content”.

How do we build the right race car and feed it with the right fuel?  Why do so many organizations struggle for years with nailing the right messaging and positioning and what cost do they pay? What does success look like?

I’ve written a brief whitepaper on this very topic, called 6x in Six Months, which outlines my thoughts on a road map for achieving market leadership and increased revenue, and briefly answers some of these questions.   If you’d like a copy, send me an email at with the Subject: 6x in 6  or schedule a 30 minute chat with me here.

Happy racing – Ken

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