B2B Marketing and the Cheap Tchotchke Mistake

At a recent conference, I returned to my room to a bag full of tchotchkes from sponsors. Most went straight into the trash.

Filling my hotel room with cheap junk is not a good way to make me think fondly of you or your product.

When you are marketing a marketing service to marketers, the bar is even higher than it is for most B2B marketers. Your marketing will be seen as an indicator of the quality of your marketing service. [Read more…]

Does B2B Content Marketing Really Help Buyers Buy?

In B2B marketing organizations, content marketing aims to help buyers buy. Right?

Content marketing provides the information buyers need to determine the type of solution they need, develop internal support for a change, create a short list of providers and address objections, all while positioning your company as a trusted resource.

Wow, that sounds amazing. But is your content really what stood between a prospect and a purchase?

I had the opportunity to speak with Sharon Drew Morgen a couple times recently. Each time I came away thinking we can do so much more. [Read more…]

Three Requirements as Marketers, Agencies and Publishers Converge

In April Crain Communications, the publisher of BtoB Magazine, announced the creation of CrainsSocial, a new marketing services group offering social media solutions to marketers. This is one more introduction in a long line of changes that are blurring traditional roles in the marketing landscape.

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B2B Sales and Marketing Integration

Join #B2BChat on Twitter every Thursday at 8:00 PM EasternLast week Danny Hanssel (@dannyhanssel) us as the guest moderator and leader for #B2Bchat. Danny lined up a great set of provocative questions for the group on aligning B2B sales and marketing.

As always, the #B2Bchat participants shared a range of perspectives from both sales and marketing experiences. The variety of responses and the disagreements among participants on reporting structures, aligning goals and the best approach to training is its own additional insight into each of the questions. Clearly, sales and marketing have a long way to go in order to be fully aligned if marketers can’t even agree on the best approach! [Read more…]

Looking Beyond Sales and Marketing Alignment

In many B2B marketing organizations, marketing is expected to deliver leads and sales is expected to close. In a world of perfect sales and marketing alignment, marketing and sales have a common definition of qualified leads, the number of leads needed, when leads should be delivered and how the handoff from marketing to sales will function.

But is this really perfect sales and marketing alignment? A clear definition of roles and responsibilites with no overlap?

Adam Needles (@abneedles) makes some great points that call this into question [Read more…]

Is Your Business Ready for Marketing?

B2B Marketing: Get This Right FirstBusinesses turn to marketing to drive revenue, but are you really ready?

Before investing in marketing you must ensure other key areas of your business are ready first.

  • Your Product or Service. If your offering isn’t ready for the market, your marketing will not solve your problems.
  • Your Sales Organization. If your sales organization is not ready to sell your new offerings, your marketing will not solve the problem.

Sales Readiness

If marketing is driving demand for a new offering but sales is not ready to close on opportunities, the immediate impact of your effort will be lost. The impact doesn’t stop there, the lost credibility also hurts future opportunities. [Read more…]

4 Reasons You Need a Blog

Last week, Google announced an algorithm update. The importance of fresh content increased last week for 35% of all Google searches (announcement). This latest algorithm update doesn’t focus on the quality or source of your content, it focuses on the timeliness of it.

For B2B content marketing, here is the most notable aspect of this update: the importance of freshness is related to the search query, not the content. I often hear marketers say their older content is still relevant. However, if Google determines recency is relevant to the search query, that won’t matter. Your content will be pushed down in Google by more recent content. [Read more…]

Reducing Twitter Spam: Triberr’s Missed Marketing Opportunity

Let’s face it, Twitter has a spam problem, and over the last six months Triberr has been criticized as a source of that spam.

Triberr is a polarizing platform and automatic tweeting is Triberr’s lightning rod feature. Proponents applaud the easy exposure and traffic, detractors point to lower quality content being broadly shared and higher sharing volume. (For a great balanced review of Triberr, see Neal Schaffer’s (@nealschaffer) Review of Triberr.)

This week, it could have changed. On November 1, Triberr removed automatic tweeting. However, for all the discussion Triberr has created in the past, the silence that has followed has been deafening. No one is talking about the change and Triberr’s detractors are not even aware of it. [Read more…]

Your Customer Service Sucks, But I’m Still A Customer

Last week, my commute home was interrupted. I was frustrated when my train was behind schedule, and then taken out of service.

Not in Service Yellow Line trainMy reaction was similar to the reaction of those around me. “We are all late because your trains are running behind schedule, and your response is to kick us off the train and tell us to wait for the next one? Seriously, TriMet?”

The next day, it happened again. This time we were told there were too many trains. However, our train was nearly shoulder to shoulder. Saying there were too many trains, to those of us on the train, didn’t ring true. And it underlined that TriMet didn’t care about us, a train full of riders.

Over two days, we had an awful customer experience. The first time, we felt disregarded. The second time, we felt lied to.

But today, I am drafting this post on the train, living proof not every aspect of the customer experience matters. [Read more…]

Three Ways to Break Down Barriers to Strategic Planning in B2B Marketing

BarricadesB2B marketers often face internal obstacles to strategic planning. Common barriers I outlined in Removing the Barriers to Strategic Planning in B2B Marketing are not valuing strategic planning, not having sufficient time and resources, lacking alignment around a strategy and a lack of internal expertise.

Strategic planning has to begin by addressing these barriers. As long as these issues are not addressed, your company is not ready for strategic planning.

Breaking down the barriers will likely be a bigger challenge than planning. Below are three steps you can take to begin breaking down these barriers in your organization. [Read more…]