Shannon Kavanaugh

Shannon Kavanaugh

It might take 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in anything, but through the magic of the Internet, 10,000 hours fits nicely into a 10-minute slot.

Today we’re chatting with Go-to-Market Strategies’ esteemed president, Shannon Kavanaugh. Go-to-Market Strategies offers tips, toolkits and training for sales and marketing professionals who believe if you’re going to aim, you might as well aim for greatness. Mediocrity isn’t a fun target, especially when you hit it. Keep on reading if you’re curious about how blogging, mentoring, “A-Ha” moments and ferrets fit logically (no, really) in the same interview.

Why is Go-to-Market Strategies so focused on mentoring? Can’t we learn on our own?

Mentoring provides something that other resources do not… a relationship. There is an exchange of ideas and information — someone who has depth of experience helping the inexperienced partner learn and grow.

Books, magazines, training classes and such all have their place, but mentorship provides a translator as to how those resources apply by adding practical real-world experience to the equation.

“It came to me in a dream!” How important is it for a marketing strategy to include everyone, not just one person who had an “A-Ha” moment?

Including key players from every group is very important. Our methodology ensures that each team weighs in on the plan. If you don’t have buy-in from your organization at each phase, executing the plan becomes exponentially more difficult.

Inspirational moments are important. But those can come from anywhere in the organization, which is why all-inclusive is the best approach to building, and realizing, your plan.

No one wants to fall behind, but is it smart to shift strategies like a ferret whenever something new and shiny appears?

My advice is to build a solid marketing strategy and follow it. Why? Because it’s the foundation on which all decisions are made, including whether to chase something new and shiny.

In marketing, opportunities can come out of nowhere and pursuing them can absolutely be the right course of action. How would you know this? Because you put a well thought out marketing plan in place and all of your subsequent decisions can be weighed against the plan.

It is fine to go after the new and shiny, if you understand exactly what it means to your overall strategy and goals.

How does a company discover their best customers? Aren’t they just the ones with the fattest wallets?

The best customers are the ones that keep coming back and recommend your products/services to others. Sometimes, they also have fat wallets, too! But having a fat wallet does not necessarily translate to being the best customer. Many fat wallets come with fat overhead in order to serve them.

Understanding why your customers choose you — not why you think they buy from you — is key to developing more just like them.

Many times we work with companies who feel very strongly about why their customers are buying from them, but when we ask customers directly we find out their reasons are very different. Understanding the customer’s perspective is key to discovery.

Who should be blogging these days?

Those who have something unique to say! Blogging is a fantastic method to provide valuable content. It also allows bloggers to express themselves in their own voice under the umbrella of their organization. The best blogs are those that amplify the brand with a unique and relevant point-of-view.

They can give a behind-the-scenes peek into why the company offers what it does or take a newsworthy topic and explore it within the context of the product or service offered.

Words on a page are great, but how will anyone ever find it?

Content marketing most definitely requires a formal strategy, but the overarching theme should be repurpose, repurpose, repurpose! Prospects and customers are doing more research on their own, finding content they need online and they are doing so at all different phases of their buying cycle.

For the content marketer, the challenge is producing content in the places where your audience is looking for it. So creating a plan for how you plan to distribute the content once it’s created is important. Repurposing or rewriting is essential to keeping up with the demand.

This is why, again, strategy cannot be overlooked. Understanding what content you have already created, what needs to be created, who is the best colleague to create that content, how often it needs to be published and where it should be published cannot be executed without a plan.

Shannon Kavanaugh saves the world from bad sales and marketing strategies on pretty much a daily basis. Keep up with her insights by following Go-to-Market Strategies on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you very much for sharing your time and expertise, Shannon.