Did you know? Our thought processes, our strategies and how we use our B2B tools need to change.
With increasing frequency, I find myself discussing focus as a key growth driver for B2B companies in 2013. Obviously, the term “focus” can mean many things to many people. For some, focus applies to operational efficiency. For others, focus relates to market segmentation. Some organizations, like the Institute for the Study of Business Markets, even offer extensive seminars on the topic. In this context, however, I’m referring to focus as it pertains to new business development – choosing the right customers.
I remember watching Terminator 2: Judgment Day when I was a kid. I was 10 or 11 years old, visiting my family in the Dominican Republic, absolutely amazed at the story playing before me (even if I were too young to fully understand it). What a concept. Computers that can think. Learn. Reason. It got me thinking. Will computing power ever grow to these levels?
When specifying commercial building projects, it’s a team effort among architects, designers, engineers, and contractors. They will work with the building owner or facility manager to reach the best solution for the project. It’s important to understand how each party works together, and what their concerns are, in order to reach each audience with the right message.
Traveling to as many trade shows as I do, I’ve seen exhibitors use every trick in the book to lure suspecting attendees to their 20x20s. Yet no matter how many exhibits I see, one tactic continues to disgust me like no other – booth babes.
I’m making my professional new year’s resolution a little early – I will blog once per week for the remainder of this fiscal year, posting on this forum for all to see. What topics will I cover? I honestly have no clue.
If you want to win in the NFL, there’s a lot you can learn from B2B. For starters, here are five important lessons that NFL teams can learn from B2B marketers.
Art galleries and movie theaters might help you stir a few B2B marketing ideas. But nothing beats your own manufacturing facility.
Are marketing directors getting what they want from their agency? Here are six key factors B2B marketers value most from an agency.
Technology may have blurred the lines between B2B and B2C, but at a fundamental level those lines are still there. And blurry or not, some of them aren’t going to be crossed anytime soon. Here are six reasons why B2B and B2C will always differ.
For many B2B companies it can be a struggle to align all four of the P's with the realities of a business-to-business marketing strategy. See how Motorola Solutions has evolved the thinking behind the model.
These four ruminations might just be what you need to bring your company to the social media front.
As B2B marketers continue to wrestle with the ROI of social media a recent survey indicates that it is being used by millennial B2B buyers to gather information, seek advice and comment upon the B2B buying decisions that they are making.
It is standard practice to present multiple options when working on a creative concept. After the research phase is completed and the overall strategy is developed, the creative team gets to work to figure out the best way to communicate that big idea. Naturally, the best ideas are presented to the client to show a range of thinking. Sometimes what you see is not what you expected, or sometimes it is just different. If you’re having trouble committing to a concept, ask yourself these three key questions.
I'd like to issue a challenge to the entire world of B2B. I'm inviting you to submit your list of B2B companies whose contributions changed the world in 2012. Submit your nominations as comments to this blog and provide a brief explanation (less than 100 words).
Unified marketing takes “integrated marketing” to another level. While integrated marketing is about tactics working together, unified marketing starts with the strategy and concept and drives all messaging and tactical decisions. Here’s how to try it during the 2013 marketing planning cycle.
A very common reality among B2B marketers is that their annual marketing plan is closely tied to their fiscal year budget. Read about how you can make informed decisions about B2B marketing budget allocations and marketing strategy using the data you have and pairing it with customer insight.
Are you starting to think about your marketing strategy for 2013? While identifying the next campaign or product launch comes first, don’t forget to organize how you’re going to create and distribute your plan. Here are some tips to keep your internal content creation process running smoothly.
Making sure that there is a feedback loop between your search strategy and your sales process can pay off big time when executed properly.
B2B marketing insight can go beyond ordinary researching of facts and figures and become a high-tech eavesdropping situation, “listening in” and experiencing the conversations of your customers and prospects. Based on an actual Godfrey project, here are six ways to get a better handle – through social media – on what customers and prospects are really thinking.
Earlier this month, RAGAN’s PR Daily put out a piece called “12 traits of highly successful people”. As I read it, I couldn’t help but think that many of these same principles (most of which ring so true) also apply to successful B2B organizations.
John Deere apparel. CAT® footwear. Armor All™ vacuums. All highly recognized brand names, but who knew they made these types of products? Well, actually, they don’t. They are products of manufacturers who believe in the potential of brand licensing. With the right pairing of license and product offering, manufacturers can bypass entrance barriers in a crowded marketplace through higher brand recognition, stronger customer preference and a perceived quality differential. But, there are considerations when choosing such a strategy…
Is it true that you can’t teach passion for marketing but instead must be born with the desire?
Valuable lessons can be learned by B2B marketers on the power of individual interviews from the Joe Smith Collection recently donated to The Library of Congress. The Smith collection includes 238 hours of poignant, revealing interviews of virtually every rock and entertainment star of the era.
In two previous posts, I suggested the Millennial cohort is moving into B2B management positions. New research from The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project sheds more light on how their tech-savvy, always-on nature may inform the B2B purchase decisions they are increasingly a part of.
As the myriad of interface displays and mobile devices grows, responsive web design can help design a website for the future---but it means you have to let go of how you approached the design process in the past.
Should your business create a Google+ page? We have the answer for you in this post.
Video is everywhere and consumers are embracing it. Over the past few years, we have seen the amount of time consumers spend watching video skyrocket. In B2B public relations, there are many ways to effectively integrate video into campaigns to engage your audiences.
In what seems to be a clear response to Google’s “Search Plus Your World”, Bing and Facebook have teamed up to include social search results.
A press release has always been seen as a platform to send a message, but in today’s digital world it is much more than that. Despite some claims that press releases are no longer an effective way to communicate, the opposite is actually the truth - a press release is the hub of activity.
Facebook® is now worth billions of dollars. But marketers are having a tough time getting dollar one from using social media. Let’s dig into why Facebook and other social media sites run into problems when evolving their business model from cultivating friendships (a.k.a., social networking) to growing cash crops.
The stats are all over the board regarding the B2B benefits of Facebook, with much of the feedback indicating a lag in Facebook popularity compared to other social media outlets for usefulness in B2B. Statistics aside, if you’re one of those in the “I’m skeptical about Facebook” camp here are several considerations that might help you rethink your position.
We have written about the importance of customer insight and unified marketing. For B2B and technology-oriented companies, it isn’t always easy to think beyond the product features. But here is one example of a marketer who is launching a new initiative to build the customer perspective into its global marketing organization.
Whether you’re a content strategy veteran or are just getting started, Margot’s new book "Content Strategy at Work" is a must-read for everyone. Read on to hear about Margot’s inspiration for writing the book and her thoughts on how b2b marketers can leverage content strategy with clients.
It's been hard to miss all the co-mingling of marketing and IT that has been taking place over the past few years. As the volume of work shared between the groups increases and the pace accelerates here are a few things to keep in mind to ease the integration.
There are plenty of statistics and information available on the growing trend of smartphone use. But some of the more recent moves from Google in the mobile space put a greater emphasis on its importance, particularly in the Search and SEO world. Here are five Google announcements worth noting.
According to Forrester Research, spending on email marketing, delivery, analytics, integration and creative will approach $2.5 billion annually by 2016, up from $1.5 billion in 2011, a compound annual growth rate of 10 percent. Since email is becoming more valuable in the B2B market, I encourage you to take a second look at your email marketing strategy and examine what your database of email addresses is worth.
Email marketing includes mobile email users. Are you meeting their needs or making these common email mobile marketing mistakes?
What kind of content do prospects and customers respond to most? Storytelling.
As B2B marketing efforts become more integrated, the line between paid, shared and earned media is becoming blurred. A successful marketing plan must incorporate all three, with focused messaging and strategic outreach. Find out what role PR plays in the overall marketing plan.
Today’s technology has so utterly changed the world of B2B insight that any organization can develop insight experts on marketing topics. This (hopefully) humorous post highlights the differences between insight efforts today and yesterday.
We must optimize PR efforts for search using tools and keywords that empathize with all audiences. Let's talk about SEO using a tried-and-true PR acronym, RACE. Fortunately, optimizing PR for search is a RACE you can win. Find out how.
This month’s collection of all things Social Media takes a step back to examine the tools of the trade.
B2B marketers are sometimes in a quandary about the validity of qualitative research, including, in-depth interview methodology. This post will be helpful in explaining how in-depth interviewing can produce valid results and may be a better alternative to traditional focus groups for deeper, richer insight.
Selling a movie like “Hunger Games,” which takes place in a futuristic dystopian society (the “Games” are an annual contest in which children fight each other to the death) is just as complex as completing a B2B sale. What can marketers learn from this movie’s success?
A visit to a large B2B company’s headquarters inspired the above question. Find out if your company has their headquarters on straight.
When writing website content for your global audience, consider the language you’re using. Make it easy to understand and translate by the international users. Here are some things to consider.
Events require a large portion of B2B budgets, but determining ROI is often overlooked in the planning process. Here are some tips on measuring success.
Millennials are moving onto B2B buying teams and influencing product and service purchase decisions. Are you in present in the right places to engage with them?
I was pretty blown away by South by Southwest. While it would be foolish to try and cram a week's worth of discovery into one blog post there are a couple of quick observations to be made.
We have found that Paid-Earned-Owned is simply a categorization tool that helps with content integration and can add value through repurposing valuable content.
For many B2B companies with the right strategy and access to data, determining ROI can be quite simple. This post shows you how to do it.
How can you utilize breaking events and viral news to your advantage? Here’s a suggestion from David Meerman Scott: Figure out how to get your message in the second paragraph.
Google recently released 40 new updates to its Panda release from earlier this year. The changes are part of a continued effort from Google to improve search quality (probably also an attempt to drive SEO experts insane trying to keep up!). Anyway, I’ve taken a look at all of the changes they outlined and I’ve taken the liberty of pulling out a few of the more relevant updates for you here.
This month’s collection of all things Social Media follows the masses to Pinterest and gets nerdy with connected devices.
Spokesperson training is critical for any employee that will speak on behalf of the organization and that training must include social media engagement.
Training for and completing an Ironman triathlon bares a lot of resemblance to the development and execution of a website project.
If we only look at your company’s “news,” we are going to miss a lot of great placement opportunities. There’s “news” – something inherently new, noteworthy or different that’s also timely. But there’s also “thought leadership” – valuable information, based on your own experience and perspective within the industry.
The world is stuck on the newest social media network, Pinterest. Here, I outline some starting points to explore the network and see if it’s a good fit for your B2B marketing efforts.
In the world of B2B communications, some dealers, distributors and sales people are using e-tablets as a communications tool, often for sales presentations. But in a technology toolbox crowded with smartphones and laptops, it’s hard to figure out the real value of e-tablets and digital readers. Are they just another digital gimmick -- or the most disruptive force since Gutenberg’s printing press?
A recent article in Advertising Age (“When CMOs Learn to Love Data, They'll Be VIPs in the C-Suite”) provides some empirical support for an idea we’ve strongly suggested in the past: Marketers need to support their decisions with data if they hope to play a serious role in their organization’s future.
This blog covers understandings and agreements, or social contract that should exist between an interviewer and respondent for a positive outcome and to an honor an implicit professional code of ethics.
Up until the end of the last century, most corporate identity guidelines were written like instruction manuals for minding the brand. Never do this; always do that. Use this grid and these colors (nothing else)...
Howard Stern knows how to re-purpose content. Marketers should take a lesson from his playbook.
I know what you’re thinking. “Sure, I know everyone’s using social media, but my company sells products that cost a ton of money and sales can take years to close. I can’t generate a sale, or even a lead, for any of my products using Facebook or Twitter.” If you’ve ever said some version of that to yourself, read this article to reframe the way you might want to think about social media for your business.
Why are you investing in a mobile app? Will this one offering make a difference with your target audience? Maybe you are expecting too much.
E-books have been getting a lot of attention lately and rightly so. E-reading devices are big sellers. Amazon and Apple have both expanded their support of highly designed and interactive content. We're releasing an e-book for Caterpillar that takes advantage of some of those things and takes product literature in a new direction.
A Regular Roundup of Social Media Musings by Anna Gerz & Mike Wilt
This month's collection of all things Social Media examines a collection of lesser known networks and the content that fuels our social habits.
More and more, we see B2B salespeople embracing social media to meet their personal sales targets. Marketing teams could learn a lot from salespeople (or their social media activities), just by asking a few questions (and spending some quality time surfing social media sites).
As a B2B communications professional, I’ve realized that being fully immersed in social media has taught me a valuable lesson: Less is more. One of the most important things we can take away from Twitter’s little blue birdie is the ability to write concisely.
In an interesting sequel to last year’s B2B research success story, primary research saves a client from a potentially damaging error in perceiving their audience.
After reading the excellent blog by my colleague Leanne Terpak on establishing KPIs, my thoughts returned to a topic I had raised earlier: If KPIs and the analytics they drive are so important, why aren’t we doing better with them? What is stopping us?
How do you know if your social media program is really resonating with your audience? Which tweets have resulted in conversions on your website? The following blog gives some tips on how to begin setting up an analytics strategy.
By now, you certainly have heard the term thought leadership around meetings or business dinners. It’s an up-and-coming concept in the marketing world, including B2B. It’s a radically different way of considering leadership – it doesn’t travel from top to bottom through the ranks, but outward to a whole industry— and it changes how people think.
Millennials are moving onto B2B buying teams and influencing product and service purchase decisions. Are you ready to communicate with them?
Customer Relationship Management has been around for quite a while now, and has been a key item in many B2B marketing strategies. It's lost a little of its sexy veneer— no longer the hot buzzword of a decade or so ago. Here are some tips on how to change your thinking, and your approach, to CRM.
How do companies go about creating a corporate social responsibility program? Here are a few simple steps.
With refreshed yearly budgets and objectives planned, now is a great time to establish new priorities and explore the possibility of thinking differently in your daily B2B work. I recently read a Fast Company blog post that discusses the notion of embracing the importance of accurate “small stuff”.
Last fall I had the opportunity to attend PR News’ Digital PR Summit in New York City. The one-day seminar was filled with information on social media platforms, how to include social media in B2B PR campaigns and how to maintain and build relationships with editors through social media.
Google just introduced “Search Plus Your World”. What does that mean for your B2B company?
To continue my series of blog posts on B2B web analytics basics, here we’re going to take a closer look at Key Performance Indicators and what you need to know about them.
Who is winning the smartphone wars? Apple? Android? Blackberry? With all the conflicting news about market shares of smartphones, what matters to marketers is what your customers and prospects are using and what they experience on your digital properties on their platform(s) of choice.
2011 was a whirlwind year for the world of digital marketing and communications. And through it all, B2B Insights was reporting live on the scene.
I had a healthy amount of skepticism when it came to eBooks. After working with a few of them, I’ve turned the page, so-to-speak, on the subject. If you’re a content creator or publisher, now’s a good time to look give them some thought.
There are some certainties to the typical January workday. There are no free treadmills at the gym, lots of leftover cookies floating around and my rationalizations such as "I'm not really breaking the resolution if I..." But I'm convinced there are a few B2B resolutions that are easier to keep.