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B2B marketing as media: Six ways to think like an editor

Reputation to Revenue

What's actually going on in your industry, market, company, etc.? Eloqua hired Jessie Noyes  as a corporate reporter a few months ago to "cover" the marketing industry; I'd love to see more companies take a similar step.  . B2B marketers in great numbers have jumped on the content marketing bandwagon and embraced the idea that marketing needs to be more like media. Who got promoted?

Customer references and solutions marketing: Building blocks for business impact

Reputation to Revenue

Along the way, I've been able to review a number other programs with companies widely acknowledged as reference management leaders while also review industry data and talking with a batch of vendors, consultants, and program managers. B2B marketers focused on high value solutions know that customer evidence is like gold. Great products may sell themselves based on features or price.

Build 54

Four levels of B2B content sharing: Publishing isn't everything

Reputation to Revenue

It shows up regularly in surveys on the obstacles to social media success; it came up repeatedly in the group of manufacturing and distribution company marketers I had the privilege of working with last week in ISBM's workshop on B2B social media. Indeed, there are four levels of content sharing that B2B marketers should include in their social media mix. Four Levels of Content Sharing.

Sustainability best practices can guide social media too

Reputation to Revenue

Listening to Hampson recount the impressive strides Capgemini has made in reducing the company's environmental impact, though, I couldn't help but think about how relevant his lessons were for B2B social media, as well. As Hampson notes: "Lots of companies flounder with this, think they have to do everything even if impact is low or not  aligned to major business objectives.".

B2B Loyalty, The B2C Way

Find out how consumer loyalty principles can help B2B companies reward, recognize, and engage their customers

Social media and thought leadership: The virtuous circle for B2B marketing

Reputation to Revenue

Viral leverage:  Your customers and prospects trust independent experts far more than company spokespeople, as Edelman's Trust Barometer  shows every year, and gaining their support is far more likely to trigger social media sharing than anything you do directly. This all seems fine, but I think it's far too limited a view. Make sense? What do you think?

HP backs solutions rhetoric with org change and investments

Reputation to Revenue

Far too often, companies talk the solutions talk but fail to walk the walk. As a result, we see companies promoting "solutions" that are really just bundles of existing products and services, launching marketing programs that neglect real customer needs, and falling back on the old feature-function approach to sales that customers long ago rejected. HP and other big tech companies all have tens of thousands of products and even so-called solutions. Clearly not every company has HP's deep pockets. Walking the Walk. But you need to know what matters to clients.

Why is customer-centric marketing still more talk than action?

Reputation to Revenue

Michael Shrage’s recent Harvard Business Review post, Great Customers Inspire Great Innovations , got me thinking: Why, amid so much evidence of the power of customer-centric business, are so many companies still mired in inside-out operations? Busicom, a scientific calculator company, for example, commissioned Intel [in 1969] to design a chipset for its new programmable calculators.

The four engines of B2B marketing success

Reputation to Revenue

Relationship Engine: B2B marketing rises and falls on the strength of the company's relationships with customers, prospects, partners, and market influencers. Solutions Development Engine: Like many B2B companies, my friend's firm has a long history of successful products, satisfied customers, and productive partners. Four Engines for B2B Marketing Success . What do you think?

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Collaborate with industry influencers: marketers must creatively build advocacy and content amplification outside the company as well. customer/stakeholder goals of my company, and what do I need to make. company sales rep, it becomes even more vital that both groups understand the buying process from. There will be more companies developing SLAs between sales and.

Two cheers for Eloqua's Content Grid

Reputation to Revenue

Don't get me wrong: I'm a huge proponent of companies and marketing organizations getting much more serious about creating and executing integrated content strategies to support marketing and sales. Indeed, I make a decent part of my living these days helping companies make this happen. Nice job, folks! It's all the fun thought leadership and social media stuff. What do you think?

Four steps to strengthening B2B customer connections

Reputation to Revenue

Big company CEOs are struggling mightily, as the IBM report notes, with "the complexity of operating in an increasingly volatile and uncertain world." In this context, and especially from a B2B perspective, close customer connections are essential to: Gain deep insight into customer wants and needs. Isn't this just Marketing 101? Well, sort of. The CEO imperative makes sense.

Lessons from IBM's CIO community program

Reputation to Revenue

They can provide deep insight into both their own companies and emerging issues in your markets. They And most of these companies struggle mightily to make these programs work and gain substantial value from them. Initially an annual event, IBM is working to build more of an ongoing community with this larger group of CIOs from top global companies.

Master narratives and framing the debate with B2B marketing

Reputation to Revenue

For example, technology and consulting companies pushing Green IT need to worry about the larger debate about the value of going green. The company defined a new way of thinking about the role of technology in a whole host of social and economic issues. Politicians understand this the best. It's critical with B2B marketing, too. Accenture does this with "High Performance. Delivered."

TL in 4D: Four dimensions for thought leadership success

Reputation to Revenue

My own recent review of 72 corporate members of the Institute for the Study of Business Markets , for example, found that only 24 of these manufacturing, industrial, and technology companies even had a link to thought leadership content on their home page. Content tends to overemphasize company promotion and underemphasize customer and market evidence. .

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Collaborate with industry influencers: marketers must creatively build advocacy and content amplification outside the company as well. customer/stakeholder goals of my company, and what do I need to make. company sales rep, it becomes even more vital that both groups understand the buying process from. There will be more companies developing SLAs between sales and.

More evidence that give-to-get is the key to success

Reputation to Revenue

You see it in companies that persist in spending more on promotion and pitch than on interaction and collaboration.  It's pretty much a cliche to say that marketing today is all about give-to-get. You provide customers and prospects with new ideas, new experiences, and new connections in order to earn their attention. The executives in the survey are saying "help me."  not sales pitches).

Reengineering the white paper, part 1

Reputation to Revenue

Our basic idea was that, although white papers have flooded the Web for years, and more and more companies are investing in them to help demonstrate expertise and thought leadership, the reality is that most of them are pretty bad. The first and biggest mistake companies make, we argue, is treating white papers primarily as writing assignments. Photo by kevindooley.  .

Aren't we past random acts of "selling"?

Reputation to Revenue

  Sigh -- another random call this morning from a telemarketer on behalf of a large tech company:  Caller: "Hi, this is [name] from [company name] on behalf of [tech company]. Given the high-priced enterprise applications this company sells, I'm guessing not! Me: I'm with a small consulting company. noticed you downloaded some research. 30 or 60 days ago?

Rite Aid impresses with active customer service

Reputation to Revenue

But how many companies are reaching out and touching their customers in a a true service-oriented fashion, not to sell new products or services but simply to improve the customer experience?   Yes, the better companies bend over backwards to respond to problems (although most companies still don't). Little things really do add up. Today, though, I caught the next wave.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Collaborate with industry influencers: marketers must creatively build advocacy and content amplification outside the company as well. customer/stakeholder goals of my company, and what do I need to make. company sales rep, it becomes even more vital that both groups understand the buying process from. There will be more companies developing SLAs between sales and.

The power of video: Outsourcing reality show illuminates the buying process

Reputation to Revenue

pontificate about what companies need to do to market and sell high-stakes services. About a month ago, the good folks at the Outsourcing Institute asked me to contribute some  "lessons" for services marketers based on their web-based reality show, The Transaction. No cash involved, but it sounded like an quick PR hit for me while helping out a great organization. 

Bad service blowback - United Breaks Guitars

Reputation to Revenue

Lots of companies are still nervous about participating in social media; they fear negative comments, among other things. The reality, of course, is that if you're providing lousy products or service, the bad comments are coming anyway, and with an ever larger megaphone. Four days after posting the video, and 1.3 Obviously the damage is done. Thanks to Marketing Pilgrim for the pointer.

Blog as hub, site as spoke

Reputation to Revenue

For readers at small companies or consulting on their own, the idea of the blog as hub is nothing special. What about larger companies? Larger companies also want to demonstrate expertise, maximize search, and minimize needless site maintenance. But big companies are too complicated to boil it all down to a blog, right? With the blog as a hub." blog makes perfect sense.

Words and meaning: The power of alignment

Reputation to Revenue

For companies that have taken the time to work through a solutions lexicon and taxonomy, however, the benefits have been substantial.  My old company ITSMA has been in the forefront of this work in the IT sector, and my colleagues and I at Solutions Insights have continued to work with clients in similar fashion. Pricing? Client loyalty? To which I can only say, Amen.

The hard questions about social media for B2B solutions providers

Reputation to Revenue

It's still pretty new for a great many companies, but the combination of legitimate success stories, overwhelming hype, and the desperate search for new ways to reach customers when the old ways work less and less has convinced all but the most recalcitrant among us that social media is at least worth a try. The skepticism about social media for B2B is pretty much gone by now.

YouTube as corporate home page?

Reputation to Revenue

Embedded links in the main video connect viewers to additional company information, including a cute video thanking the Obama family for naming its new dog Bo after the company's initials. BooneOakley, a North-Carolina based agency, has gotten a lot of attention in the last few days by essentially shifting its corporate site to YouTube. Modernista! What do you think?

Acid test for social media: The lunch lady blog

Reputation to Revenue

Tac Anderson at NewCommBiz  just posted the true test for companies working in social media: Will they let the lunch lady blog? Tac says he often poses a question to audiences when he talks about social media: You talk to a CEO on a flight and ask him about his company's recent poor results, and get one answer. Whose answer do you believe? Photo credit: specialkrb.

New research and paper on "Four Steps to Solutions Growth"

Reputation to Revenue

Over the next several months, we'll release a series of short, research-based perspectives on how companies can improve performance in their solutions businesses. It outlines four initiatives companies can take to accelerate solutions growth through the rest of 2009 while also repositioning their organizations for longer-term success. Reorienting value propositions and messaging.

Put everyone in marketing? Yes, and with a social spin

Reputation to Revenue

What about tapping the social web both internally and externally to rapidly crowdsource new market ideas and opportunities, as  companies like IBM , Dell , Cisco , and others are doing with innovation jams and webstorms? can strengthen the company immediately." Harvard management guru Rosabeth Moss Kanter last week suggested: "In a Recession, Put Everyone in Marketing." Great.

Smarter marketing at IBM: Big Blue's latest green consulting launch

Reputation to Revenue

Pardon me for talking about IBM yet again, but the company continues to impress me with its ability to ride the green wave with intelligent and high-potential offerings. At a time when so many companies and marketers are obsessing over which tactics are most likely to deliver short-term revenue, broader strategy remains absolutely essential. Heather Clancy at ZDNet.

Carrotmobs make my night

Reputation to Revenue

Jujst a year old, the company has already launched two interesting social power ventures: 1 Block Off the Grid (1BOG) brings neighbors together to purchase and install solar panels collectively, negotiating hefty discounts and keeping a share of the savings. Triple Pundit almost always brings a smile to my face, and for that reason is one of my favorite blogs by far. What do you think?

The continuing rise of Account-Based Marketing: Four keys to success

Reputation to Revenue

We were going great guns at ITSMA with research, workshops, an ABM Council, annual ABM awards, and, of course, direct consulting and training to help companies get started and succeed. Not surprisingly, the research also found that companies investing more in ABM and paying more attention to program metrics are achieving greater results. Over the last 10 years, more and more B2B firms have invested in account-based marketing: treating individual accounts as "markets" and devising focused campaigns just for them. Don't skip this step! Is ABM here to stay? What do you think?

The lure of cheap content, continued

Reputation to Revenue

Now comes news that more mainstream media companies are themselves falling prey to the lure of cheap content. I wrote the other day about the lure of cheap content in B2B marketing. A few weeks back, I also wrote about the potential of marketers taking a journalistic approach to marketing.  According to AdAge , major publishers including Thomson Reuters, Hachette Filipacci, and Cox Newspapers are outsourcing article production to cheap content mills that pay freelancers as little as $5 per article. Aargh! know times are tough for the media, but really folks. This ain't the way forward.

B2B 2

Can corporate journalism work?

Reputation to Revenue

What's new, he says, is that the decline of mainstream journalism means that companies increasingly are going to forgo pitching stories in hopes of coverage and just start publishing themselves. Even before social media, smart companies have worked to bring  their message directly to customers and others through thought leadership and other publications without the filter of earned media. As traditional journalism jobs and news outlets decline, companies will step in even more to tell their own stories and take up the slack. To some extent, this isn't that new. Well, maybe.

Six steps to differentiating your solutions

Reputation to Revenue

Over at Solutions Insights , we've spent a lot of time with companies that do this the right way (as well as many that don't!). Aargh! Six weeks to launch, and so much to do. The solutions management folks have spent months putting together the new offering, and now we've got about 87 things to do to get ready on the marketing side. Press release.internal webinar for the sales team.customer presentation.special briefings for the top account leads.white paper.update the public site with descriptions.collateral for the trade show. The real challenge, of course, is getting anyone to care.

Winning with thought leadership: Six lessons from IBM and Deloitte

Reputation to Revenue

Although few companies have committed to thought leadership investment at anywhere near the level of IBM and Deloitte, the basic lessons from their winning initiatives are totally applicable to any B2B firm that needs thought leadership.  The Risk Intelligent Enterprise Deloitte's Risk Intelligent Enterprise  program also addresses some meaty concerns: how companies should think about risk at the most strategic level. B2B marketers know they need to invest in thought leadership, and many have indeed invested more during the last few years. How should we promote it? Stick with It.

The new, new marketing: Health tech coalition may point the way

Reputation to Revenue

The buzz in marketing is all about social media, with Twitter as the flavor of the month and maybe even a tipping point in getting laggard companies to finally take the promise of social media seriously.  Certainly the hype can get tiresome, and there are huge strategy and organizational questions that companies have to face with social media, but I think we're well past the stage of wondering whether there's real gold in those hills. Those days are long gone, even if many companies are just now dipping their toes into the water. I'm all for it, of course. responses.

Learning from Gen Y

Reputation to Revenue

You've got to pay attention to my personal-professional agenda as well as my company's. MediaPost , one of my favorite sources. launched a new blog recently, Engage: Gen Y , and the first few posts are already capturing my attention. Today's post  suggested five simple rules for "snagging consumer 2.0" and they are well worth pondering even in the rarified air of high-end B2B solutions, where Gen Yers are still mostly consigned to support roles outside the orbits of purchase decision makers.  The rules are these: Authenticity Trumps Celebrity. Niche is the New Norm. Consumers Own Brands.

12 Noteworthy Examples of B2B Companies on Instagram

KoMarketing Associates

So, what does this mean for B2B companies? This is the key element I am referring to: Instagram allows companies to tell their story without any interruption. As I previously mentioned, Instagram is a key social media platform for B2B companies to start and/or strengthen their brand storytelling. Instagram is a social media platform unlike any other. Microsoft. HootSuite.