Three B2B Marketing Mistakes from Kim Kardashian’s Wedding

The Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries wedding made a big splash, but the lasting impact hasn’t been what the couple was likely looking for.

Sadly, B2B marketing sometimes includes some of the same mistakes. Here are three traps from Kim and Kris’s wedding that catch B2B marketers as well. Each of these problems is familiar, and examples are included with each mistake.

Empty promises

Kim and Kris’s vows were empty. The traditional “Til’ death do us part” should have been replaced with “Until the party is over.”

Similarly, B2B marketing often includes sweeping claims, but too often they don’t hold up to scrutiny or are controversial at best.

Consider Cisco’s claims about the benefits of a single vendor network and Gartner’s report stating companies can lower cost and simplify operations by using two or more vendors (coverage on Network World).

Lack of Commitment

72 days attests to the lack of commitment behind Kim and Kris’s wedding. Sadly, marketing often suffers from a similar lack of commitment.

You see this impact in social media pilots started without a commitment. The result is twitter accounts, facebook pages or blogs that have been abandoned or nearly abandoned by companies that were not committed to social media.

Consider Sitewire, an advertising agency in Arizona with a Twitter account (@sitewireagency) that has been updated twice in the last month. Or Modernista!, a Boston agency that closed in April. Modernista! made their social stream their homepage and the last post was mid-March, about 40 days before the agency closed.

A recent product example (outside B2B) is HP’s TouchPad, the tablet offering that was abruptly scrapped following a chilly reception by the market.

Lovely isn’t Enough

Your marketing may be lovely, beautiful or inspired, but is it lasting? Does it have staying power? Or is it just a flash, a campaign that is here today and gone tomorrow.

When marketing campaigns and company values and visions are not aligned, even if campaigns are superb, they do not have staying power.

A great example of this is Infor’s Big ERP campaign. In many ways it was an inspired campaign. Infor identified real pain points with Big ERP companies and highlighted them with a cheeky integrated campaign that positioned Infor as the alternative. (Video collage of elements of the campaign)

The problem? Infor IS a big ERP company (#3 in the market when the campaign launched) and they want to be bigger. After hiring Charles Phillips from Oracle, the campaign quickly went dark (coverage from

Your Turn

What other mistakes would you add to this list? Share your examples in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).

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