The Importance of Woozles in B2B Marketing

The role of brand in enterprise B2B marketing can be a subject of debate (my friend Maureen Blandford even wrote a book “Branding Doesn’t Work in B2B“). With complex buying processes, multiple stakeholders, and a high touch sales process, how important is a brand? And what does that have to do with a woozle?

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Woozle’s live in the hearts and minds of Pooh and his friends. And most importantly, woozle’s change behavior in the Hundred Acre Wood.

Like a woozle, your brand Read more of this post

TV Really Is Easier to Measure than Social Media

KMart’s CMO made waves recently by saying TV, and other traditional channels, are easier to measure than social media.

Social media proponents responded, defending social media’s measurability and highlight the data social media provides. My favorite was this tweet from Jay Baer (who I have a tremendous amount of respect for and I don’t disagree with lightly).

http://twitter.com/#!/jaybaer/status/93742009034084352

The problem is, most social media measurement is myopic. Read more of this post

Thought Leadership Marketing is an Oxymoron

Thought leadership is a common marketing topic, but unfortunately thought leadership is not a common outcome of marketing. Part of the problem is that thought leadership marketing has lost all notions of actual thought leadership.

Gartner defines thought leadership marketing as “the giving — for free or at a nominal charge — of information or advice that a client will value so as to create awareness of the outcome that a company’s product or service can deliver, in order to position and differentiate that offering and stimulate demand for it.”

The problem is, knowledge of what a product or service can deliver or its differentiation does not establish real thought leadership. Read more of this post

It’s Not Rational, B2B Marketing Needs to Get Emotional!!

This post was sparked by a spirited, and at times emotional, debate during the #bizforum chat on Twitter yesterday evening. Thanks to @samfiorella for instigating and @chieflemonhead, @MaureenB2B, @PrashSabharwal and @josepf, among others, for a spirited discussion.

B2B buying is complex because the products are complex. Evaluating B2B solutions is hard, and the final decision is not made with absolute knowledge it is the right decision.

I submit as Exhibit A: the numerous regrettable ERP and CRM investments that have been made by large corporations.

In B2B, buyers are incredibly knowledgeable, but they simply cannot be certain. To confidently proceed, they must believe they are making the best decision. At its heart, it is an emotional decision. Read more of this post

Five Marketing Changes You Need to Make

CardsIf B2B marketing isn’t dead, it is changing very quickly. But the real change isn’t the marketing, it is how marketing has evolved in response to the evolving buyer.

The biggest factor driving the changes in today’s buyers is the accessibility of information technology has enabled. This change has turned demand creation upside down. In the past, your prospect held the budget cards and you held the information cards. Through the sales and negotiation dance, the cards were slowly revealed one at a time, with you and your prospect jockeying for advantage through the entire process. Read more of this post

Three Principles for the Future of Marketing

The TunnelIn the future, marketing must be valuable. But that isn’t enough.

Earlier this week, Michael Brenner outlined the future of marketing, drawing from last fall’s future of advertising article in Fast Company. It is a great perspective. The question is, how do you accomplish it? How do you, as Michael said, “create communities of customer advocates and evangelists”?

There are three principles to excel in the future of marketing that Michael presented and create the advocates and evangelists Read more of this post

Five Keys to Creating Content that Drives Awareness

StartCurrent marketing wisdom says content should be mapped to buying cycles. Yet according to a study from MarketingProfs and Junta42, 78% of B2B marketers say awareness is an objective of content marketing.

Question: Where is awareness most valuable in the buying cycle?
Answer: Early stage research and creation of a consideration set.

Question: Would it be better if prospects where aware of your company when they started the research process?
Answer: “Well, DUH!”

It is time to step back from planning content for the buying cycle and focus on Stage Zero Content. Read more of this post

Three Reasons Advertising Isn’t the B2B Branding Answer

Ahh, brand. You want a strong brand, right? A strong brand opens doors for sales. It puts your company on the short list.

The Problem: Advertising will not create this brand. Not today. Not in B2B.

Read more of this post

Has Your Passion Been Lost In Your Marketing Process?

Tomatoes in Seed Starting AreaI had not spoken to Lisa in a year, and only a handful of times ever. So imagine my surprise when Lisa greeted me and then said “you grow Momotaro tomatoes, right?”

Wow, that is making a connection. That is what relationship marketing should be about. Connecting on a common interest and common passion. That passion is what B2B marketing is missing. As personal relationships in your business are replaced by machine-personalized communications, your passion has been lost.

Lisa, who runs Our Little Farm and Nursery, a small local business that sells, among other things, vegetable starts, immediately found something we have in common, and she is passionate about it. In the spring, she grows more than 100 tomato varieties alone for sale as starts at their small farm and local farmers markets. Her passion is clearly reflected in what she does.

In B2B marketing, you build relationships around Read more of this post

Are Your Company Values a House of Cards?

House of CardsCompany values cannot be merely said, they must be lived. Lived by every single employee of your company, internally and externally. Prospects and customers experience how you live your values in every interaction.

All it takes is one misstep for the perception of your company and brand to unravel. If employees are not living your values, including internally, it undermines all of the effort that has gone into creating those values.

I experienced this earlier this year. A vendor inadvertently forwarded an internal email chain. And it was damning. Read more of this post

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