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Brand Promise – A Critical Factor in Your B2B Marketing Success by Christopher Ryan

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Last week, I had the opportunity to present at a webinar titled Creating a Compelling Brand Promise. Thought I would share a couple of the highlights of this event, which was put on by my company, Fusion Marketing Partners. . We first defined the terms “brand” and “brand promise”.  A Brand = the place your company occupies in a prospect’s or customer’s mind when he or she thinks about you.  A Brand Promise = what you promise to deliver to your customers when they do business with you.  Your job is to make your brand and brand promise the same thing. Articulates the “primary” customer benefit.

10 Winning B2B Marketing Habits to Adopt in 2011

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It’s been a while since I have neglected to end a year without doing some type of planning and goal setting for my business (or whatever company I was working for at the time) and my personal life.  Like the saying goes, it’s hard to hit a target you don’t have, and goal setting is the best way to establish those targets. Perhaps you are equally committed to goal setting. Likewise, you have some areas that can benefit from the Japanese practice of kaizen, which stands for constant, never-ending improvement. You Habit 2:  Embrace your challenges. Cost to acquire a customer. Chris Ryan.

Manic Depressive or Social Media Maniac? – by John Leavy

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Clinically speaking, a manic depressive disorder is defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated mood. Some manic episodes include increased energy, activity, with rapid talking & thinking, followed by sustained periods of unusual, even bazaar behavior. That would describe some social media personalities. They don’t post to their blog or text to their friends or colleagues for weeks at a time. They don’t reply to messages sent to them nor do they participate in the community groups they joined with such enthusiasm. Suffered a grave illness? Not committed. Ongoing.

Five Characteristics of a Good B2B Marketer by Christopher Ryan

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A business colleague asked me what we looked for when recruiting new teammates at Fusion Marketing Partners.  Since we pretty much confine our services to B2B marketing, the question could have been, “What are the characteristics of a good B2B marketer?”  After taking a little time to think about this subject, here are my top five criteria: Understands pull marketing.  Most of our clients are doing some form of pull marketing. In other words, they want to use marketing techniques that attract the people who are already interested in what they are selling. Has experience with social media. 

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A Content Formula for Complex B2B Organizations

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

B2B Marketing and Baseball – by Christopher Ryan

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I’ve seen a number of blog posts and articles lately that use sports metaphors.  I think this is true because sports is a common reference point for Americans.  People who have no idea who their U.S. senator is or which ocean is on the west coast can name the  Super Bowl MVP and they also know who won the World Series.  So I got to thinking (always dangerous) about the many ways that B2B marketing is like baseball and some of the lessons we marketers and sales people can learn from the Boys of October.  Here are four: Continuous learning is vital to success.  That’s 53 years. 

The Perils of Perfectionism in B2B Marketing

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I just read an interesting blog post at BNET, titled, Perfectionism is a Disease, Here’s How to Beat It.  I liked the post because this is a pet peeve of mind and the subject mirrored a chapter in my book ( How to Create an Unstoppable Marketing and Sales Machine ) where I pointed out the dangers of perfectionism. . Perfectionism is one of those issues where a person’s strongest quality can also be their most glaring weakness. Perfectionists often take their work and themselves too seriously, certainly far more seriously than their co-workers or prospects.  One caveat though.

The Four Pillars of B2B Marketing Success by Christopher Ryan

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The Pareto Principle as Applied to B2B Marketing. According to our friends at Wikipedia, the Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule and the law of the vital few) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, Pareto observed that 80% of the peas in his garden came from 20% of the pods, and he went on to apply this formula to many other areas, including some that have more relevance to us B2B marketers. public relations, social media), even if you know they have a positive contribution. .

Bridge the Gap in B2B Marketing and Sales by Christopher Ryan

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Of all the talks and presentations I do about B2B marketing and sales, perhaps my favorite is called How to Bridge the Gap Between Sales and Marketing. This is a subject that resonates with both the marketing and sales audiences, as well as CEOs and business owners. We have some fun with the presentation but the message is deadly serious: marketing and sales need to be in alignment for the business to reach its potential. We talk about this in terms of two major objectives, synchronizing and optimizing B2B marketing and sales. So how do we know if a gap exists?

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.

The Role of Luck in Marketing and In Life – by Christopher Ryan

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As usual, I get many of my best blog ideas from reading what others write.  Today is a good example. Thus, when someone says to you: “You are really lucky that you landed that job”, the truth is that you spent a lot of time working your network and exposing yourself to quality potential employers.  When they say, ” You are lucky to have a great spouse”, the truth is that you kissed a lot of frogs (e.g. worked the network) until you found your life partner. . Likewise, it is important to do favors for others when there is nothing you need.  This stuff almost always comes full circle.  Chapin Jr.

In B2B Marketing Your Job is to Motivate – by Christopher Ryan

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Successful B2B marketing strategies are not those that are clever, win awards, sound really interesting, or get people to pay attention. All of these outcomes are good, but they are not the reason we marketers should spend so much time thinking about our creative platform. Rather, our goal is to drive action. That action may come in a one-step process—where the prospect sees the promotion and buys immediately, or it may be in a series of steps beginning with creating awareness; but in the end, we earn our keep by transforming prospects into customers. To increase knowledge. To make life easier.

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How Pull Marketing Overcomes Marketing Clutter – by Christopher Ryan

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I suspect that I am not the only one who is frustrated by the increasing amount of advertising clutter. Watching television has become increasingly painful as it seems to be little bits of content (entertainment) interspersed with dozens of commercials.  Talk radio is even worse, with 45-50 percent of the airtime devoted to the non-talk part (commercials, PSA’s, news, etc.). . To get away from radio commercials, we subscribe to Sirius/XM Radio. And like most households, the Ryan family has a DVR that we use to tape programs.  like to watch sporting events live, particularly football and golf. 

To Automate or Not to Automate Your B2B Marketing – by Christopher Ryan

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I just read an excellent article by Lauren Carlson titled Tailwinds for Marketing Automation Software. suggest you give it a read if you want to see the macro trends that are driving more companies to use technology to manage their marketing processes.  I’ve been in the B2B marketing business quite a long time and co-founded a marketing automation software company so I have seen many successful marketing automation projects as well as a number of disasters. . Leo Tolstoy begins his novel Anna Karenina with the observation, “Every happy family is the same, but unhappy families are all different.”

Are You Playing to Win in B2B Marketing? – by Christopher Ryan

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While confidence is important in any endeavor, it is especially true in marketing and sales. You must believe that you have the right product or service; you must believe that it offers real benefits; and you must believe that you are promoting it to the right individuals using the best marketing strategy. The economic trend may be poor. And yes, it is tougher to generate leads and revenue. You may have to work harder to produce the same result. But this is the time when leaders are made. Recessions do end and the economic pendulum swings from good to bad and back again to good.

The Rise of the Customer Marketer

Explore the changes taking place in customer marketing from the perspective of customer marketers themselves.

Deadly Sins of Marketing Copywriting

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As a guy that does a lot of writing in his job, both for clients and our own promotional purposes (books, articles, etc.), I am always on the lookout for easy-to-use reminders to make sure my writing and that of others at Fusion Marketing Partners is on target. Content is an important part of marketing strategy and writing produces content.  I came across the following post at: [link].  It talks about some important things “not do do&# in your writing. I don’t know the author (Bruce Coville) but his advice is excellent. The Seven Deadly Sins for Writers, from Bruce Coville. 1.

In B2B Marketing, It’s All About the Offer – by Christopher Ryan

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Assuming that you have a quality product or service, with a compelling value proposition, aimed at the right target audience, the marketing offer will be a key difference in your success (or lack thereof). So what do I mean by offer ? In simple terms, a marketing offer is what you propose to give to the prospect, and what you are asking for in return. The offer is the “What’s in it for me?” part of the marketing equation. How do you know if you have an effective offer? Here are the six criteria every B2B Marketing offer should meet: It works. It is targeted at exactly the right audience.

Why B2B Marketers Should Focus on Lifetime Value

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Too many B2B marketers have a shortsighted view about objectives. They may rightly be concerned with a campaign’s efficiency in generating leads or sales, and evaluate the results of each campaign in terms of the total amount of money spent and the short-term gain achieved. By contrast, the successful marketer knows that marketing is a long-term process. He knows that the true value of each new sale is not just the immediate profit received; it is in the lifetime value of the new customer. After calculating lifetime customer value, two things should become apparent.

Creating Different Social Networking Personas by John Leavy

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No one would seriously think of visiting the President of the United States in the Oval office in jeans and their favorite rock concert T-shirt. The Office of the President itself deserves respect. The different social networking communities on the Web have their own conventions as well. Think of socializing in LinkedIn, a business community for professionals. Some professionals are known to you while others are not. Think of meeting the boss for dinner at a fine restaurant downtown … formal … button down … reserved. Everyone knows each other and would be sharing stories and photos. LinkedIn.

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.

The Upside of Marketing in a Down Economy by Christopher Ryan

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We are all getting tired of talking about the poor economy. We want to quickly get back to the good times where jobs, prospects and customers were plentiful. But reality being the inconvenient thing that it is, we are forced to deal with an ongoing anemic economy that affects how we sell and how customers buy. The good news is that there are some benefits to be gained if we look at the tough economic times as a period for learning, growing and perfecting our craft.  . One of the downsides to a good economy is that it can lead to laziness. Sales were down and moods turned sour. 

Sales Lead Management: Are You a Victim of FTFU (Failure to Follow-Up)?

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This post involves one of my pet peeves in marketing: the tendency of marketers to spend money and time to generate inquiries and then fail to follow-up (FTFU) on these inquiries.  This failure can be fatal to the success of your sales lead management program. Two days later, I still had not heard from Justin and so I emailed my second choice. We’ll call this guy Paul.  Within half an hour, Paul sent me an email with all the details I needed.  We then had a quick phone conversation, agreed to his hourly rate and scheduled the first appointment.  Christopher Ryan. Fusion Marketing Partners.

B2B Marketing Lead “Phoenix” Reactivation Project by Christopher Ryan

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How to Generate Revenue from Your Dead Lead Pool. Most companies have a database of contacts that have gone stale.  We refer to these lists by different names, including the dead lead pool, lapsed customer list, or inactive database.  But whatever we call it, this group of people/companies often revenue potential.  In other words, the dead leads are not so dead after all and like the legendary Phoenix bird they can rise from the ashes to help make your revenue goals a reality. . Consider how people came to be in your inactive file in the first place. 

The Pros and Cons of B2B Marketing Outsourcing – by Christopher Ryan

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As a CEO or business owner, you have some tough decisions to make about your marketing and sales operations.  Traditionally, this has involved hiring one or more marketing personnel, and paying them a salary (sometimes with a bonus) as your in-house marketing department.  I worked in this model for two decades, earlier as a marketing manager and later as the marketing (and sometimes sales) department head. . In many ways the in-house model works well, but it does have its challenges. Outsourcing is much easier today for both the outsource provider and the client because of technology. 

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.

I Used to Be a Pusher – by Christopher Ryan

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Why You Need to Explore the Pull Marketing Model. Imagine the next meeting of the local B2B marketing group, and you stand up and say.  “‘I’m Chris R and I used to be a pusher.&#   Not a pusher of drugs of course, but a pusher of marketing.  Most of us who have been in the B2B marketing world for any length of time cut our teeth on the “push marketing model.&#   We made a living by tracking down sources of suspects, promoting to them relentlessly, converting a small percentage of these suspects into qualified leads (prospects), and then selling some of these prospects.

A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures by Christopher Ryan

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It is said that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  While this can be true, it is also true that a mere handful of words can have more power and impact than a thousand pictures. Words allow you to form pictures in your mind that are sometimes as real and vivid as the actual images they portray. This is why people often tell you the book was better than the movie. Words help you develop your imagination. Doubt the power of mere words?  Consider these examples: “Never give up.  Never, ever give up.” – Winston Churchill. Ask not what your country can do for you…” – John F. Words! Words!

Don’t Drop Your Drawers on the Web – by John Leavy

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The title “Don’t Drop Your Drawers on the Web” may seem harsh at first; the provoking title is really meant to get your attention. This post talks about not trusting every community site blindly with your personal information just because it’s popular or used by almost everyone you know. little vigilance is in order. Keep in mind, telling someone or a community of people, your location also lets them know where you are not. . Just because a community site profile asks for 10 or 15 pieces of information does not mean every instance on the form has to be filled in. For example: On Twitter.

Getting Noticed – in a Good Way – by John Leavy

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 . Let’s talk about being noticed in the social media community; being noticed without being obnoxious or looking desperate that is. Getting noticed in a good way is beneficial for business. Organizations work hard to position themselves as the experts in a certain field, the authorities, the go-to-guys, the ones-in-the-know. Here are some quick ways to begin to establish credibility in the social media stratosphere. Identify the influencers in your business sector and comment on their blog posts. Posts such as “Great post!” or “This information really helps me.” are worthless.

A Blueprint for Content Marketing Success

84% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend over the next 5 years but less than half have any real confidence such content investments are paying off, based on a recent CEB survey.

Don’t Major in the Minors in B2B Marketing – by Christopher Ryan

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I just read an interesting post from Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder and Publisher of Selling Power, titled How Much Energy Does it Take to Make a Million Dollars? The crux of the article is that it is not the amount of energy expended but rather the type of energy that counts. The same is true in marketing.  . Most everyone has heard of the Pareto Principle, which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes.  You see, it is indeed the little things that count. have to confess that I haven’t been the best at this myself. We do what we are good at.

What’s the Big Idea? Why You Need to Pay Attention to Your Brand Promise

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Lee Iacocca once said, “When the product is right, you don’t have to be a great marketer.&#   While I agree with most of the things he said, I think Mr. Iacocca got this one wrong.  In reality, even a great product or service has to be marketed properly to succeed. And it is much easier to do a good job of marketing if you have BIG IDEA. By that I mean a true competitive differentiation, and the value-add extra that makes what you offer unique and better than your competitors. Positioning is one of the most misunderstood, unappreciated, and neglected parts of the marketing process.

Outbound Marketing versus Inbound Marketing by John Leavy

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 .   “ In marketing there are those who satisfy needs and those who create wants. ” – Juan Carlos Castillo.  . There was a time when the housewife relished the thought of a salesman knocking at the front door; excited to see the latest technology for cleaning the floors. People actually enjoyed watching commercials when they first appeared at the beginning or end of their favorite television shows. Commercials never appeared during the show. Those days are long gone. Perhaps they’re so far in the past that many readers cannot even relate to these experiences. Reaches the masses. Costly.

Accepting Tradeoffs in B2B Marketing

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B2B marketing and sales is similar to the rest of life. You’d like to have it all. You want to eat everything in sight but keep your trim figure.  You want to race down the highway but maximize your gas mileage. You want to spend your business life on an airplane but remain extremely close to your family.  . In the real world, you are usually deluding yourself by believing you can have such contradictory things. The pie-eating champion and the marathon winner are usually not the same person. So what are the B2B marketing and sales equivalents of the failure to accept the need for tradeoffs?

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.

Why Your Brand Promise Must Be Specific – by Christopher Ryan

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In my book, articles and presentations, I often talk about the importance of a specific , compelling and differentiated Brand Promise to achieve success in B2B marketing and sales.  And although it is a B2C example, I think the following illustrates the point perfectly.   . It is almost guaranteed if you spend any time on Colorado highways you will experience one or more windshield chips. And if you don’t have them repaired, they can sometimes expand to massive cracks, and then you need a new windshield.  Okay, time to get it fixed.  Windshield replacement and repair companies.

Website Marketing – Do you Need to Tweak or Detail Your Site? – by Christopher Ryan

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At Fusion Marketing Partners, we get the chance to talk to a lot of companies about their Websites. Since we work with companies that depend on their Website as an important part of their B2B marketing and sales strategy, our ability to diagnose and find areas for improvement is very important.  And we rarely find a Website that can’t benefit from an upgrade. But But the question is, What is the scope of the project – is it a major or minor effort to whip the Website (and the company’s online presence), into shape? Does the Website meet its primary objective (e.g.

Sales Lead Generation – by Christopher Ryan

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I talk to a lot of B2B marketers and business owners and hear about the difficulties they are experiencing in sales lead generation and management. These companies have a crying need to get sales leads in large quantities to feed their hungry sales forces. While While every sitution is unique, there are four problems that we see repeatedly: . 1. Insufficient Insufficient quantity –  the sales process works well and close rates are high but there aren’t enough sales leads coming into the top of the funnel. Learn more about how we do this at the FMP  website.  .

Full Potential Marketing

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All of us want to achieve our full potential, for both ourselves and the organizations we work for. Yet many of us don’t reach even a fraction of what we can achieve from a marketing standpoint. So what is “full potential marketing&# and how do you make it part of our organizational DNA?  Having been an aggressive practitioner of B2B marketing and sales for over two decades, I think I can add some perspective. or “How come Oracle is ahead of us in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant?&#.  Nor did the fact that we were doing far better relative to the size of our resources.

The B2B Marketer's Field Guide To Customer Engagement

Leverage customer engagement and advocacy to drive brand, demand and profitable growth.