B2B Marketing Unplugged

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Three Reasons Customer Experience Management Fails

B2B Marketing Unplugged

If you have nothing better to do sometime, pour a nice glass of wine and curl up with Arizona State’s Rage Study. The most recent edition is from 2013 and it tells us that almost $76-billion in revenue is at risk thanks to “extremely” and “very upset” US households who called to complain about something. That’s a lot of dough, Lords and Ladies of the Spin Cycle, and that’s just consumers. All good.

Why Your Website is About to Become a Lot Less Important

B2B Marketing Unplugged

My agency suit friend, Marc has very sore feet this week. You see, he’s been making the rounds of the holiday parties. His agency has hosted a few, then there’s the ad club, the marketing association stuff, his clients’ parties and his suppliers’ lunches. Sometimes two or three on the same afternoon or evening. And don’t get him started on the client dinners. You know you thought about it.

Why We Need to Shut Up and Let Our Customers Buy Something

B2B Marketing Unplugged

There are a few statistics that are used to torment marketers. We’ve all had some chief something or other office sneer that 50 percent of advertising is wasted. We’ve all had that business of how much more it costs to acquire a customer than to retain one and, since June of 2012, we’ve been dealing with the apparent end of solution selling. Goodness. Just like that? Where do you think it went? .

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Lend a Hand or Shut Your Facebook

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Darius has a cool job. He’s the marketing manager for a rapidly growing logistics company that serves the food industry. Since he joined two years ago, Darius has updated all the collateral, made some nifty sales tools, cleaned up the web site and put the company on the map with its own Facebook page and Twitter account. That’s right, my friends, he had a Porcupine in his social feeds.

Lead Generation Checklist

You spend a lot of time, energy, and money doing lead generation to capture leads but it's how you manage them that makes the difference between success and failure.

Content and Karma and Pandas, Oh My

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Last week we looked at the inconvenience and embarrassment of poor website housekeeping , and the uncomfortable truth that all content is findable and that is not always good news. Here’s the disturbing flip side of that coin: while all content may, ultimately, be findable, some of your best stuff is probably invisible and that, my friends, can knock you way, way, way down in the search rankings.

Why Your Contact Page is Terrible

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Last week we lamented the deplorable state of most About Us pages. This week, it’s time to pick on everyone’s least favourite page, Contact Us. Marketers, pay attention here: I know you went and found that swell stock photo of tin cans and string. I know you came up with the perky “We’d love to hear from you” copy at the top. Good job. After all, nobody likes the Contact Us page. I know, I know.

Pssst. Trade Shows Suck at Lead Generation. Pass it on.

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Sales squirrels ignoring you? Here’s a fun way to get their attention: tell them you’re cancelling all the trade shows next year. Now count backwards from ten after you click send and stand by for the howling, the outrage, the pleading. It will sound something like this: “How will we ever make quota?” ” “The quarter is doomed!” Select all that apply. Uh oh.

Is Your Competition Making Stuff Up? Good.

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Is there anything prettier than a well-merchandised display of bed and bath linens? I mean, what can beat the crisp, pretty sheets in their perfect little packages arranged by designer, colour, size and thread count. It’s all about potential. For just a few minutes you can imagine that your bedroom will look like something in Dwell instead of a depressing mix of unmatched sheets and dog hair.

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B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.

What Did Your Brand Ever Do To Deserve Bad Photos?

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Marketer #1: Hmmm. Time to update our corporate website again. That swell webinar we went to said we should use more images on our web pages and printed materials because humans are beginning to lose the ability to read. Marketer #2: I know, let’s go get some stock photos to make our site appealing to Millennials. We sell to businesses, and those businesses are full of people who work in teams.

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Only You Can Prevent Feature Puke

B2B Marketing Unplugged

If you want to have fun at an otherwise dull wedding or corporate event, try to sit next to a professional event planner. When they aren’t trying to plan their own events, they can be found sitting in the back of other people’s events dishing out the catty remarks that make the back row so much fun. They can’t help it, and marketing folks can’t help being equally bitchy about bad marketing. Nasty.

Your About Us Page Isn’t About You

B2B Marketing Unplugged

What’s on your About Us page? I’ll bet you don’t even know. When was the last time you looked at it? Did you get the summer student to write it eight years ago? Did you put that fun 5,000 word history of the company commissioned three CEOs ago? God help us, you didn’t put your mission, vision and values up there, did you? This includes your About Us page. . So what should we put there? Now stop.

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The Fish in the Barrel Don’t Like it When You Shoot

B2B Marketing Unplugged

We marketers just love a captive audience, don’t we? We like them strapped into pressurized metal tubes at 35,000 feet with nothing to look at but a tiny screen or a drooling neighbor. We like them squished into subway cars, bouncing off each other in mosh pits or looking for a familiar taste far from home. I put it back. Even Jennifer wouldn’t stand for that highway robbery. at a football game.

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How to Leverage Content Marketing to Power Your B2B Marketing Automation Funnel

Generate more leads. Better leads. Engage customers, increase upsells, boost revenue and save precious time -- these are the benefits of marketing automation. And content fuels it all.

Awareness Plus Fatigue Does Not Equal Consideration

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Consider this: most people don’t give a sh*t about whatever it is you are trying to sell. They just don’t. There is only so much room in any given brain to give a sh*t about stuff, and you’re up against stuff like Game of Thrones, videos of Russian car accidents and, for B2B, dialing into conference calls wearing only a dollar-store tiara. That is some serious competition. Related Posts.

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Distance Between Decision-Makers and End Users is Key

B2B Marketing Unplugged

One of my favourite business writers, Geoffrey James , once wrote that B2B selling is “not only different from B2C selling, it’s massively more difficult …”. Here’s the whole article. When we look at the marketing side of B2B, I’m not sure it’s any more difficult than B2C, but I suggest it is considerably more complex. In the consumer world, the distance is pretty short.

The End of Valued Customers

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Dear Valued Supplier, Thank you for your quarterly newsletter. It showed up in my email just yesterday, minutes after the monthly statement, and not long before the important reminder about the scheduled maintenance you’re doing this weekend. I should also thank you for the unsolicited copy of your annual report – my, that’s a bruiser! Could you look into that? Quite a treasure. Ever.

Three Reasons Customer Experience Management Fails – Part II

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Last week we looked at Customer Experience management (CEM) and the three reasons I think we’re doing it wrong. Reason #1 was forgetting that at the beginning, middle and end of all customer experiences is emotion. Reason #2: We focus on the problem. I think car dealers have figured this one out. If you were very lucky, someone had put a dying TV in the room tuned permanently to Welsh cartoons.

The B2B Demand Gen Marketing Playbook

To build integrated, data-driven programs, demand gen marketers need diverse, compelling content at every stage of the buyer's journey.

Sometimes Marketing Should Whisper

B2B Marketing Unplugged

I don’t know about you, but I’m about hoarse from all the yelling I’ve been doing lately. What with radio, OOH and a bunch of SEM stuff, I’ve been screaming for quite a few weeks now. No complaints: the leads are coming in, but sometimes marketing can be just as effective when we don’ t interrupt people only to yell at them. I think these stickers are the smartest damn thing ever. But I don’t.

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Stop Letting Your Customers Talk to Strangers

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Are you a self-starter with an eye for detail, a passion for great customer service and unresolved hostility issues? Have I got a job for you. In our final look at the miserable set of misaligned processes and emotionally empty engagements that pass for customer experience management, it’s time we define a customer communications function once and for all. I think it belongs on its own.

Your Customers Are Way More Efficient Than You Are

B2B Marketing Unplugged

I just love sitting in the quiet zone on the train. No marimba ringtones, screaming babies are but a distant menace and nobody feels the need to talk to me about hockey. Imagine my disappointment last week when I jumped on a crowded train and had to sit in the noisy bit. The sole comfort was the very interesting argument the couple behind me were having. But it wasn’t either of those things.

The Thrill of Victory: What Marketers Can Learn from the Win Column

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Were you successful in getting your hands on the win-loss report from sales? Don’t feel too bad about it; that sort of information is not something sales people share freely, especially the loss part of it. This week I want to talk about the importance of the good news bit of their report. I think you’ll find, however, they are a lot more forthcoming when they have landed a tasty bit of business.

A Content Formula for Complex B2B Organizations

Content Marketing is essential for anyone who wants continued success and growth.

Getting Commitment Requires Primal Selling and Quiet Marketers

B2B Marketing Unplugged

There is a video making the rounds lately of a runner who, finding himself well out in front in the final bit of the race, decides to ham it up a little with the crowd and, you guessed it, fails to notice the competitor who sneaks up and crosses the finish line first. If you love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning, here is the video. This is the most heart-breaking of phases, I think.

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Why Candy Crush is Eating Your Brain

B2B Marketing Unplugged

I am worried that Candy Crush is eating our brains. I used to worry that email was eating our brains; now I’m pretty sure it’s that horrible game. My evidence is based on rudely peering at other people’s screens on the subway and the fact that 93-million fellow humans play it every day, driving about $2-million bucks in daily revenue while they’re at it. Candy Crush is extremely habit-forming.

To Everything Spin, Spin, Spin

B2B Marketing Unplugged

I very much doubt there is a marketer in North America who has not attended a presentation by someone who worked on the first Obama campaign. To be sure, it is a compelling case study and a warm tale of the power of message over whatever that was the McCain campaign was doing. It covers a lot of ground in a very short space and leaves brand marketers with 9 things to ponder. You need your geeks.

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Six Ideas for Getting Your Social Media Off the Ground

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Patty’s company recently lifted some of its restrictions, and now allows most employees to access the web from their desks. The reason you did not hear the great cheer that arose is because, of course, they had been accessing it with their mobile devices for years and really didn’t notice. “Even the sales guys are only tweeting about basketball.” Which is why lines must be drawn.

Six Key Steps to Successful Marketing Automation Adoption

Selecting a Marketing Automation platform can be a daunting task. With so many options out there, your success with Marketing Automation depends on selecting the platform that best fits your needs.

Brand Loyalty Begins with Giving a Sh*t

B2B Marketing Unplugged

I think marketers spend a lot of time and calories talking to people who really don’t give a sh*t. We like to call this awareness building –the first stage in our Journey of Unreciprocated Love. Awareness, it seems to me, is lately about interrupting people long enough to think about your products or brand. When people do this to one another we call it stalking.

Conversations Matter

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Oh dear, poor Radio Shack has bought the farm. To be honest, I thought they’d gone to Retail Heaven years ago, but apparently they struggled on far longer than I would have thought likely. Brands live (or not) at the intersection of experience and expectation, a location good marketers know well. That’s the promotion bit of things. This festive stuff is the product part. Back to the party.

There Are No Emergencies in Marketing

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Joan is frequently late for lunch, which has a fair bit to do with her busy job managing social media for a large bank. There are a lot of urgent things in social media. On a recent day, she huffed into the room looking more frazzled than usual. “Sorry, had a Code Red on Twitter,” she said. Well we certainly can’t be having that. “What did you do? Call in her line of credit?

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Marketing Automation, Meet Customer Communication

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Thank you to all who wrote and tweeted your deep concern for my emotional well-being following last week’s post. I can assure you I’m quite well and the post was less rant and more dramatic set-up for this week’s missive. Judging by some of your comments, over-communication with customers has struck a cringingly familiar chord. Good marketing automation is a subtle thing. For real. Sic transit.

8 Ways to Create More Effective Lead Generation Programs

Explore key areas you should focus on with your content syndication strategy in order to help you get the attention of your target audience and build trust.

Why Meaning Matters More than Noise

B2B Marketing Unplugged

“When everything you do is framed by the question ‘is this product or service worthy of my customer and why?’ it changes everything.”. If you know Bernadette Jiwa , this line will feel familiar; if you don’t know Jiwa and her work around helping brands tell their stories, this book is a great place to check out her refreshing worldview. That customer’s story changes because the business exists.”

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Stop Apologizing, Start Measuring

B2B Marketing Unplugged

There are a thousand reasons to be happy you don’t work for Volkswagen just now. One of them is getting to avoid being part of the orchestra accompanying its Dance Apologetic over the emissions software thing. And boy are they dancing in Wolfsburg this week. Customers are about to get gift cards and a big fat sorry letter. Such fun. VW isn’t the only one apologizing lately. We train for this stuff.

The Hidden Costs of Content Marketing

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Hey kids, want to shoot your leads right to the bottom of the funnel just like that? Tired of whiny sales people who don’t know how to close? And what about the mess and expense of those darn client events? Well put that behind you and mix up a big ol’ batch of content batter. But wait, there’s more. If you order today we’ll throw in the Infographic-a-matic for free. That’s right, for free. Phew.

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It’s Time to Kill Off Your Dreary Customer Reference Program

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Gentle friends, we have spent a great deal of time over the years discussing the generally terrible way we approach almost everything to do with our customers. From the Customer Abuse departments to the save gates to Being Creepy to the ineffective measurement of misery , we have generally come up lacking, both on the B2B and B2C sides. We just aren’t good at it. Many go north of $1-million.*.

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Why B2B Content Strategies Are Paramount for Generating Quality Leads

Generating demand and ensuring the consistent flow of high-quality, actionable leads is what makes B2B marketers successful.