What does B2B Marketing Have to Do with Downhill Skiing?

by Jennifer Beever

Basing marketing plans and campaigns on intuition isn’t enough anymore. Now with websites and measurable marketing activity through online content downloads and sharing, B2B marketers can to move away from an intuitive, creative approach to marketing and base their campaigns and plans on facts.

I liken counterintuitive marketing to one of my favorite sports: skiing. In downhill skiing, it’s true that you always have gravity. You are going to get down that mountain one way or another. But if you ski counterintuitively, you will get to the finish line much faster (and perhaps with a little more style).

Counterintuitive Marketing


When you ski, if your body is perpendicular to the slope of the hill, you go faster and you are more stable . Your shoulders and torso should be pointed down the fall line while your legs and skis angulate and do all the work to make those ski turns.

Intuitive Marketing


Skiers’ intuition tells us to hug the hill (this is true of mountain climbing as well). “If I just align my body with the side of the mountain and lean into it, I will be safe.” Not true! Often when you lean into the hill instead of maintaining that stable stance perpendicular to the hill, you will crash!

Unlike in skiing, there is no physical gravity in marketing. Marketing campaigns can fail big time, and you will never get down that hill to the finish line. Don’t go with gut feel. Go with the facts – do some analysis and research. Know who your prospective customers are, what they like and how they behave before you choose a creative theme for your marketing or topic for your online content. No more should you say, “We think this is the way to go, let’s try it!” Rather, you should say, “Our data shows us that this is the way to go, no matter what our intuition tells us.



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