A couple of years ago, I worked for a documentation software company. We made a clever software that saved doctors, lawyers and other important people like police lots of time when they were making documents.
My job was to reach new prospective customers in these large organisations with advertisements, content and experiences that:
1. Educated them about their problem
2. Positioned our products as the solution
The problem was, I was never going to fully understand every customer's problem or what they needed as a solution. I was in a small office in New Zealand and we sold to loads of different industries all over the world.
I ended up producing a lot of generic and boring stuff before I figured something out.
Industry expertise and in-depth subject matter knowledge are tools for opening doors and building trust. Without those, marketing and sales teams will struggle to provide value to prospects.
Without subject matter expertise, marketing doesn't work.
The way we solved this problem was that we, as the head office, worked with customer-facing teams to build the tools they needed to reach customers. We had to give up some of our leadership on small things like exactly how a survey would run or how a client audit was put together - but marketing was able to be the overall leader of the process.
Sales provided the customer know-how, our experts provided the industry knowledge and marketing provided the leadership and marketing capability to make it all happen.
Once we nailed this process, we replicated in each region. Our marketing was much more focused and our customers valued rather than avoided it.