B2B Marketing Unplugged

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Three Reasons Customer Experience Management Fails

B2B Marketing Unplugged

As we let simple product or service issues go from inconvenient to horrible to rage-inducing, we double down on the mechanics of making our customers go away instead of looking for the emotional salve we ought to be offering. If you have nothing better to do sometime, pour a nice glass of wine and curl up with Arizona State’s Rage Study. Now that’s fun. We focus on the problems. All good.

Why Your Website is About to Become a Lot Less Important

B2B Marketing Unplugged

So we pried them out of the Productivity Prevention Department’s purview and hired webmasters, who became web managers, who became digital marketers as the skillsets changed. My agency suit friend, Marc has very sore feet this week. You see, he’s been making the rounds of the holiday parties. Sometimes two or three on the same afternoon or evening. We loved them because they were all ours.

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

B2B Marketing Unplugged

For years now, we’ve been whining about how much more educated consumers are about the products and companies that make them. They managed all of this without the help of a sales person, and economies grew, products were sold and life went on. There are a few statistics that are used to torment marketers. Goodness. Just like that? Where do you think it went? . Neither do I.

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Lend a Hand or Shut Your Facebook

B2B Marketing Unplugged

We have discussed in this space how marketers can chuck their colleagues in customer service under the bus by setting all kinds of unrealistic expectations about products and services. Darius has a cool job. He’s the marketing manager for a rapidly growing logistics company that serves the food industry. That’s right, my friends, he had a Porcupine in his social feeds. It gets worse.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. Don’t just talk about your product or service. time for B2B marketers to let go of their obsession with perfect production. Define your business strategy: products, prospects, distribution, sales and. develop a highly productive online lead generation system.

Content and Karma and Pandas, Oh My

B2B Marketing Unplugged

For example, pages for products that don’t exist anymore can redirect to their extant counterparts; blogs by executives who were perp-walked out in 2010 can redirect to related posts by their replacements. For example, if a product or service is no longer available, put a friendly invitation (with a link) on the page to check out its replacement. Your job is to do a bit of a makeover.

Why Your Contact Page is Terrible

B2B Marketing Unplugged

You let the Productivity Prevention Department or some designer dude handle that mess, didn’t you? I suggest it’s kind of our job to let that conversation happen and to help it happen quickly and productively. Chat is two to three times more productive than live phone calls, and for most people it’s a reasonable substitute for voice. Good job. Well, except for the new business.

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

B2B Marketing Unplugged

“Where else could we demo the product? While there is always merit in handing out a keychain and showing off a new product, you can’t really justify 50 big ones for that, can you? If you have a new product to show off, a trade show is a terrific place to do it. Do not confuse visibility and product launches with lead generation. Sales squirrels ignoring you?

Is Your Competition Making Stuff Up? Good.

B2B Marketing Unplugged

But some bored product marketer hit on the idea that if 300 is good, 600 must be twice as good and 1,000 must be something you can charge a bunch of money for. Diamonds aren’t particularly rare but the supply is tightly managed by the handful of companies who mine them (DeBeers accounts for about 75% of the production), so the price stays artificially high. It’s all about potential.

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B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. Don’t just talk about your product or service. time for B2B marketers to let go of their obsession with perfect production. Define your business strategy: products, prospects, distribution, sales and. develop a highly productive online lead generation system.

Only You Can Prevent Feature Puke

B2B Marketing Unplugged

We’ve all sat through endless pitches where some nervous rep breathlessly takes us through every, single feature of a product without ever really telling us what it does, why we might need it and how it might be helpful. Right things, though, are not to be found in the minute details of your product specifications; they live in the higher order of the value proposition. Nasty.

What Did Your Brand Ever Do To Deserve Bad Photos?

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Marketer #2: Say, our products are kind of hard to understand, so we’ll need an abstract image that conveys connected things with other connected things with a globe. 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.

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Awareness Plus Fatigue Does Not Equal Consideration

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Yet there we are, day in and day out trying to dislodge fantasy hockey leagues and Candy Crush to make the case for our product to be on the list of things our potential customers are supposed to care about. Last week we talked about the incredible number of calories marketers waste trying to trick people into forming some awareness about our products. They just don’t.

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Distance Between Decision-Makers and End Users is Key

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Beyond the obvious stuff of budgets, products and scale, the mechanics of B2B marketing are not all that different from B2C, but there are a few strategic things that make it a lot more complicated, and one of those is the distance between the decision-maker and the end user. Here’s the whole article. In the consumer world, the distance is pretty short. Here is my helpful diagram: .

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. Don’t just talk about your product or service. time for B2B marketers to let go of their obsession with perfect production. Define your business strategy: products, prospects, distribution, sales and. develop a highly productive online lead generation system.

The End of Valued Customers

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Your application is always a treat to use, but is there a way we can turn off the in-product reminders to buy the modules I have repeatedly reminded Amanda I am not going to purchase any time soon? Dear Valued Supplier, Thank you for your quarterly newsletter. I should also thank you for the unsolicited copy of your annual report – my, that’s a bruiser! Could you look into that? Ever.

Three Reasons Customer Experience Management Fails – Part II

B2B Marketing Unplugged

What about the ones who get a mostly accurate bill each month or whose product ticks along without much trouble or the ones who are too busy or too weary to bother complaining to you directly? I mean how are you making it an impossible idea that they would consider replacing your product with anything other than a new one of the same? Reason #2: We focus on the problem. Uh oh.

Stop Letting Your Customers Talk to Strangers

B2B Marketing Unplugged

From this you will know who has what products, who is located where, which group calls a lot, how long have they been customers, and all that, cross referenced to satisfaction scores, net revenue, lifetime value and other important metrics. Assign one to the product people, one or more the Customer Abuse team, perhaps someone to help the Keebler Elves a little.

Your Customers Are Way More Efficient Than You Are

B2B Marketing Unplugged

And, having recovered that, don’t know their password, account number or product model. If they are just too lazy to read your hundreds and hundreds of technical updates and product notices, they will spend another good, long time, searching for access to a real human. I just love sitting in the quiet zone on the train. Now, it’s difficult to argue in public at the best of times.

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

B2B Marketing Unplugged

When you called this customer, how well did they understand our products and brand? 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. How did you know?

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Why Candy Crush is Eating Your Brain

B2B Marketing Unplugged

A habit-forming product must scratch an itch and, the really successful ones must keep creating the itch and offering the only solution to relieve it. A trigger is an internal or external cue that prompts the user to reach for the product. product is the brass ring of consumer technology.”. I am worried that Candy Crush is eating our brains. Trigger. Action. Variable Reward.

Getting Commitment Requires Primal Selling and Quiet Marketers

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Then money is shifted, things are put in bags with tissue paper or stuffed into shipping boxes, contracts are signed, hands are shaken, bottles uncorked, production lines started up. If you love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning, here is the video. Being dazzled by the finish line is not limited athletes: Sales Squirrels and marketers do it all the time. Happy day. They just will.

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Six Ideas for Getting Your Social Media Off the Ground

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Redbubble is having good, clean fun with their product label and demonstrating the enormous value of continuing the conversation with the customer, even after they have our money in their matching socks. Patty’s company recently lifted some of its restrictions, and now allows most employees to access the web from their desks. Stop assuming this is actually new. Lines must be drawn.

Brand Loyalty Begins with Giving a Sh*t

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Awareness, it seems to me, is lately about interrupting people long enough to think about your products or brand. I think a far better way to build awareness is to build a compelling enough product or user experience that people give a sh*t organically and do your bidding for you in the form of recommendations, testimonials, great reviews and saying nice stuff on social media.

Conversations Matter

B2B Marketing Unplugged

This festive stuff is the product part. They jumped into the personal computing market early and with decent products and then something happened. 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. That’s the promotion bit of things.

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?’ She quite effectively kicks that old touchstone, brand relevance, to the curb, noting that it’s now the very minimum we bring to a customer amid the clutter, competition, commoditization of our products and ubiquitous customer consciousness. it changes everything.”.

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Marketing Automation, Meet Customer Communication

B2B Marketing Unplugged

The product management folks will admit to owning the “User Experience”, but probably spent their last two-day offsite working on their mission statement to include some drivel around “putting the customer at the centre of our synergistic, design-driven, visual language platforming”. I can assure you I’m quite well and the post was less rant and more dramatic set-up for this week’s missive.

Stop Apologizing, Start Measuring

B2B Marketing Unplugged

In my experience, there’s a little drop down list with things like “incomplete shipment,” “billing error”, “dissatisfied with product” or “resolved” to choose from. You’ll hear talk about the product that “never” works with Android, the warehouse that “always” mucks up the orders, and the location that “regularly” runs out of some necessary item. Such fun. We train for this stuff.

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

B2B Marketing Unplugged

This is the pool of customers to which you return every time a Sales Squirrel needs a reference, every time a P-Cuber needs to check off that they have checked up, every time the media call looking for someone who will support the drivel in your latest product announcement. We just aren’t good at it. If you are a B2B company of any size, you have at least one of these programs.

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Why Marketing Needs to Fix the Customer Experience

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Like good party hosts, we’re able to move through our customer base, talking about our products and services instead of apologizing for them and filling up the save queue. When we aren’t on the defensive, we can ask for ideas about making our products better and we can test messages and features and pricing. We can chalk up at least a bit of this to the value of the brand itself.

Ask Customers What They Want to Say, Not What You Want to Hear

B2B Marketing Unplugged

It appears they were leaving for a competitor that offered longer hours and better products, but the respondents didn’t want the staff at their branch to be penalized for the lost business so they entered Pants-on-Fire territory to cover up the reason for leaving. Here’s a riddle: what smells a bit like a barnyard and gobbles? We marketers love to gobble data. My goodness. The disconnect?

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Social Media is Not the Telex Machine

B2B Marketing Unplugged

In a few places it sits in Productivity Prevention (remember what a great job IT did when it owned the website?). About a thousand years ago, when I took my first job in the corporate world, my boss’s secretary gave me a little tour. We saw the Corporate Overlord floor , we saw the typing pool (yes, those were real). Dolores” , the secretary whispered, “is the Telex Operator.

Your Customers Want to Talk to You

B2B Marketing Unplugged

It goes something like this: I have a question/problem/complaint and I would like to share that with the company that sold me the product. They want to ask questions, they want to find out how to use our products, they want us to live up to the promises we made when we took their money, sometimes they want to complain and sometimes they want us to know how much they value our products.

Why Content is Social Media Dietary Fibre

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Your Sales Squirrels will need to be reined in here: a new product is not necessarily news so be sure you give them plenty to say to support the value proposition, otherwise they’ll be inclined to blast feature lists all over the place. I can’t think of a week recently that I haven’t seen a random invitation to check out someone’s new case study or click to view their latest product video.

Still Using Bad Photos? You Need the Other High-Res

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Again, we want to go to our personas and see what they tell us about how our buyers and customers view success in the context of our products and services. Back in May we looked at (and mocked) the silly world of stock images , particularly for business marketers. All of this despite the new-found appreciation for all things design-driven. Resonant images work very, very hard.

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Four Things Marketing Can Say “Yes” About in 2013

B2B Marketing Unplugged

But we know releases about every account win or product update are bad media karma. A strategic “leak” to the Productivity Prevention Department should produce an under-employed project manager who can spin this thing like a well-sugared toddler for most of the year. You’ve got to love January. Those plans you’ve been revising for months are finally in motion. Go ahead.

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Just Because It’s Content, Doesn’t Mean It’s Good

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Suddenly, corporate marketing departments lost control of the means of production (sorry, Karl). Our days of lavish production values on corporate videos ended in a Songified mush of video for its own sake. It must have been about June when Linda called. “Do you know a good B2B writer?”, ”, she asked. ” Not true. We’ve been cranking it out for years.

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Eight Rules for Lead Generation Events

B2B Marketing Unplugged

The product they were showing off was of only marginal interest to me, and of no interest to most of the other people they invited from my company. Here is what I found while I was tidying up my Evernote the other day: I feel a cold darkness about to descend. These guys managed to violate all of the rules I subsequently made up for events like these. Rule 1: Use an experienced event manager.

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No More Random Acts of Marketing

B2B Marketing Unplugged

Just in case nobody told you, the thing marketing is supposed to do is solve problems like not enough customers, a lack of awareness about a product and pricing that causes eczema. In my experience, this is an excellent question to lob at the person shoving beer cozies, radio ads or products named after fruit at you. It can take many forms. How many calories are involved?

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