B2B Marketing Unplugged

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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.

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.

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.

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. Goodness. Just like that? Where do you think it went? . Darned Internet went and ruined everything. You don’t remember this time, do you?

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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.

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? 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. After all, nobody likes the Contact Us page.

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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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?

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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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

Other than probably not working all that well, these are both exemplary cases of Feature Puke.  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.  Let’s start with this ad. Nasty. The issue here is fear. Related Posts.

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.

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. Could you look into that? It is nice that she tries both my desk and mobile numbers – what a go-getter she is. Quite  a treasure.

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? 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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

Why Candy Crush is Eating Your Brain

B2B Marketing Unplugged

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. 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. Candy Crush is extremely habit-forming.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.”. 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.

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. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a system with a little tick box to record whether or not an apology has been uttered. Here is one of the best B2B product launch videos ever. And boy are they dancing in Wolfsburg this week.

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. I’m not sure what, but it seems as if they went into the kitchen for a long time and came out dressed as Miss Havisham and it all went to hell. Oh dear, poor Radio Shack has bought the farm. That’s the promotion bit of things.

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.

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.

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. This is why I think marketing ought to own CEM. Namaste, my friends.

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?

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.

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 like to start my Monday mornings with a visit to LinkedIn. Content is the fibre of your social media diet. It’s Visual. It’s Reviewable & Shareable.

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

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. 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. Maybe not.

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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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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?”, ” Not true. Linda has at least some of them locked in a closet.

The Agony of Defeat: Why Lost Business Reporting Isn’t Helpful

B2B Marketing Unplugged

No, they will tell you that the business was lost because the product sucks, the pricing is uncompetitive and the website is terrible. So the choices in Reason for Loss are usually something like Price, Product, Timing, Purchase Authority, Fit, Could Not Contact and, my very favourites, Other and None. Do you get the Win-Loss report? You really ought to get yourself on that list.

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. If you’ve worked in marketing for more than a week, you’ve committed an RAOM – a Random Act of Marketing.  It can take many forms. But these are not reasons for RAOMs, they are excuses. How will we know?

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Border Collies are Loyal; Customers are Satisfied

B2B Marketing Unplugged

This is where the technical teams sit down with the customer and discover that the thing the Squirrel said the product would do is not really what it can do. We have talked before about the vast distance that can exist between the person who decides to buy from us and the person who actually has to deal with our products. This is the Unreciprocated Love part. Customers are satisfied.