4 Problems Killing Thought Leadership Marketing

Chris Koch shared Four Reasons to Hate Thought Leadership earlier this week. He made some great points in his call to end the use of the phrase thought leadership, but ultimately I disagree with his conclusion. We don’t need to stop using the phrase, we need to start using it right.

The problem is thought leadership has become a catchall for any marketing that includes content. Unfortunately, looking back, it isn’t surprising that this happened.

Here are four of the underlying problems that created the situation. [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…]

Connecting Thought Leadership to Lead Generation in B2B Marketing

IMG_1202Many B2B marketers look to content marketing as a key part of establishing thought leadership. However, companies frequently expect the same content marketing program to capture contacts or leads as well.

The problem is, registration and thought leadership are at odds with each other. Thought leadership requires your point of view to be broadly distributed and recognized across a peer group, where it can drive discussion and shape opinions. [Read more…]

Inbound Marketing: A Square Peg in a Round Hole?

square-peg-round-hole-21Two weeks ago, I wrote Just Say NO to Marketing Advice. Inbound marketing is a great example of popular marketing advice and it may makes sense for most marketers. But it doesn’t make sense for all.

Most B2B marketers are not providing pure commodity products, even in commodity markets. Every company is looking to differentiate by meeting specific business needs. But as this story illustrates, that doesn’t mean inbound marketing or other modern marketing tactics are always good advice. [Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

B2B Marketing is Just B2P. Right?

B2B salespeople are looking to talk to people that influence or make decisions for business purchases.

Businesses do not make decisions. People make decisions on behalf of businesses. And outside of some trusts run by lawyers following the direction of legal documents, this has always been the case.

So why all the fuss about B2B being B2P (business to person)?

The problem with the current B2P mantra is you risk forgetting just who these people are. (Maybe not you, but some B2B marketer will). They are corporate decision makers, entrusted with significant budgets and their career opportunities may turn on the decisions or recommendations they make. [Read more…]

Thought Leadership in B2B Marketing [#B2Bchat Recap]

Why should companies invest in thought leadership? And just what does thought leadership mean anyways?

These and other questions were debated during a Twitter #B2Bchat on Thought Leadership in B2B Marketing on October 13, and I had the privilege of moderating the discussion.

Here are the key takeaways I took from the discussion. [Read more…]

Content Will Not Be King

Coronation crown of Louis XVNearly every marketer in every industry has heard the cry “Content is King“. Even the cover of Ad Age was emblazoned with Content is King last month, complete with a crown. Once a call for change and recognition of a new marketplace reality, Content is King has become conventional marketing wisdom.

The problem is, conventional wisdom is average. Following conventional marketing wisdom will not differentiate you.

Why is content king today:

  • Being customer-centric required moving away from creative executions as the primary way to deliver a message. Focusing on the customer requires providing something that meets their need, and content perfectly fits the bill.
  • Content marketing was not the norm. Companies embracing content marketing were able to provide unique value to clients and prospects.

Today, the situation has changed. [Read more…]

Your Lead Scoring Blind Spot: The Internet

Marketers have a huge blind spot when it comes to nurturing and lead scoring. It does not matter if you have built a sophisticated lead management and nurturing system, driven by content consumption, engagement and response. Your blind spot is there.

The problem is, you only see how people respond to your content and your offers. You only see what is happening on your own properties. Your blind spot is all the time potential prospects spend on competitor sites, on editorial properties, on topical blogs or discussing with peers.

[Read more…]

Modern Media Buying and Enterprise B2B Demand Generation

The current trend in digital media is to move online advertising to trading desks, ad exchanges or real time bidding platforms. These platforms provide access to enormous pools of advertising inventory and allow media buyers to cherry pick their exact target audience, based on a wide range of audience data available for targeting.

However, for enterprise B2B marketers, these approaches are not mature enough to broadly support demand generation marketing. The challenges these platforms continue to face are access to sufficient high quality inventory and access to data appropriate for targeting company sizes and roles.

Published market research differs on the relative importance on audience and context, however the research I have seen does not align with the typical B2B marketing audience experience.

The problem: consuming traditional B2B content used for demand generation requires a significant time commitment. Taking the time to dive into a whitepaper or watch a webcast imposes a major time requirement. [Read more…]