It’s now been about 3 years since I first learned about the Challenger Sale while attending attending an off-site marketing with PerkinElmer. A senior sales leader had a copy on hand and suggested I give it a read – so I did, and it ended up being one of the most valuable reads of my career.
Since then I’ve probably read the Challenger Sale maybe 4 or 5 times, and as I hear about the challenges that marketing teams have in developing content, I can’t help but think about how much more effective they’d be if they understood Challenger methodology.
For sure, a book with “Sale” in the title doesn’t sound like a “must read” for marketing teams, but once you understand the core lesson – that buyers value representatives and organizations that teach them something new about their business or industry more than they do anything else – it becomes clear that Challenger methodology is just as valuable to marketing as it is for sales.
Adopting Challenger Methodology in Content Marketing
We’ve all heard the phrase “content is king” a few million times by now – but for some reason, despite nearly every organization creating mountains upon mountains of content, many find that there content simply isn’t having the impact they expected it would. What could be going wrong?
If you believe in Challenger, and we do, the answer may lie in the fact that although you’re creating a ton of “thought leadership” content, you’re really only being successful and making others believe you’re really smart – not that they should buy from you.
To get someone to buy, your content needs to effectively reframe your prospect’s mental model, teach them something new, and then enable them to mobilize the others involved in the purchase decision on your behalf. That’s not an easy task.
The few companies that understand this are quickly using this criteria as a litmus test for their content, and are seeing results. If a piece of content doesn’t lead to their unique commercial insight, it’s not worth publishing – no matter how well written, or visually appealing it is.
The slideshare below gives a quick-high level overview of what CEB calls “Challenger Marketing”.
If you want to learn more – we’d suggest buying the Challenger Sale on Amazon, as well as the upcoming follow-up titled “The Challenger Customer“. If you’re an organization that that has adoped Challenger methodology, we’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or drop us a note to share how you’ve blended this into your marketing strategy.