The B2B Advocate’s Long Term Engagement – How long is too long?

I state in my outreach to new clients, “my engagements run 90 days to one year, maximum 18 months”.

At one year, the client has internalized my orientation briefings, we have assembled and pushed out several campaigns – or I do the pushing, solo.  Sometimes I upgrade a CRM with inbound automation, or set up cloud CRM with analytics matching and lead capture. All of these supporting systems are nothing special; I am not a sales automation guru, I am an advocate for companies who are not being heard.

I practice Active Voice Advocacy, writing posts and articles, creating simple diagrams or animations, if needed, and tracking the organic searches. My best work is done via direct outreach to potential partners, licensees, investors, and early stage client prospects. My work moves forward in parallel with my client’s internal marketing  – unless the in-place message or campaign methodologies are dysfunctional, and the product’s identity is at stake.  In these cases, a clean sheet approach is taken.

A year into the contract, I have sampled the sales channels and researched potential partner opportunities and competitors.  I refine the language that describes and differentiates the product – that language is worked into my articles and other channels. The goal is elevating a client to thought leader or innovator in the eyes of the sector’s trade press, analysts, and buyer constituencies. 

I can only try – and yes, it does help if a client actually has the goods – I do need something to work with.  Thankfully, many unknown innovators and true unrecognized thought leaders still languish in the Enterprise and B2B IT sector, and being able to play even a small role in their emergence is always a great honor.

At one year plus, I see diminishing returns on my services, but 50% of the time, I can go 18 months. Even with unlimited ideas and campaign variations, even standing in for the product manager for a while, etc.,  my true value is to create maximum momentum in the time span of less than one year. 

I think you see where this is going. I am never contracted to enlarge a company’s workforce; there are far less costly means of getting such sales and marketing tasks done. And, believe me  – I price  my service for best value, and my clients say I am priced below the market.