How Manchester United Revolutionized Sports Marketing
APRIL 3, 2014
Ask me which English soccer, uh, football team I would support and I would say Liverpool.
How social media muteness endangers your company: The crisis at McKinsey
JULY 29, 2011
McKinsey recently learned a difficult lesson about what happens when the world takes your thought leadership marketing seriously—and when you lack the ability to respond in the moment through social media.
9 attributes of the best thought leadership content
SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
Some time back, I blogged about the attributes of a thought leader. Lately, I’ve been talking to B2B marketers about the content delivered by these thought leaders and asking, What defines good thought leadership content? Here’s what I have so far. Surely, you have a suggestion that will get us to ten attributes? Visionary. It’s best to address a problem before customers realize that it’s a problem. Provocative. The best thought leadership pieces are bold and attack conventional wisdom.
6 Freaky, Funny, and Scary Abilities of Computer Organisms
JUNE 18, 2014
I intended to write this blog about some of the amazing, helpful, and scary things that robots can do today, but even a quick look at the information out there demonstrates that robot is already an archaic term, like calling a car a horseless carriage.
7 Inspiring B2B Marketing Campaigns
Must-See Examples of Marketing Success That You Can Replicate.
What the slow death of B2B publishing means for marketers
MARCH 4, 2011
This cartoon making the rounds online captures the frustration journalists have with their online plight--and reveals the opportunity B2B marketers have to fill the content gap. Marketers always struggle with what to do next. There so many channels out there and so little time.
Is “social media campaign” an oxymoron?
DECEMBER 2, 2011
If you had asked me a few years ago whether the traditional marketing campaign had any place in social media I would have scoffed. Just more evidence of marketing’s old-fashioned, ADHD-driven, love-’em-and-leave-’em approach. I would have had only slightly less disdain for the audience for these campaigns. Fly-by-night opportunists hoping to win your Facebook sweepstakes. Win or lose, after the contest is over, they’d ditch you as quickly as a toddler dispatching a fistful of broccoli.
Is ghost writing in social media right or wrong?
JUNE 18, 2012
This week, I posted the first of what may prove to be a series of controversial blog posts on the SAP community network (known to members as SCN). The posts won’t be controversial so much for the content itself (although I hope that that happens eventually) as for the way I’m presenting it. I’m going to channel other people’s ideas, not my own. You can read the entire post here. It introduces me to the community and explains what I’m planning to do.
The last of the anti-social marketing tactics
NOVEMBER 11, 2011
Taglines are the last bastions of a classic, one-way marketing messaging strategy, preserving marketing’s perceived right to tell customers what to think. In truth, customers have never listened, except in a few cases of companies with the budget muscle to pound the tagline into customers’ heads over and over again though mass marketing and TV. In B2B marketing, we’ve never been given the right to tell customers what to think, much less the budgets to pound a tagline into their minds.
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 five stages of social media grief—have you passed through them yet?
JUNE 15, 2011
Image via Wikipedia. Social media (along with skimpy marketing budgets) are causing a transformation in marketing to a degree that we haven’t seen for a lifetime. But in our rush to embrace the new, we haven’t taken adequate time to honor the painful transition we are experiencing.
How to measure influence in social media marketing
MAY 6, 2011
Image via Wikipedia. Measuring influence is the new obsession in the social media world—adding another layer of anxiety to the dark cloud of existential dread that is marketing ROI.
Does integrity make you a social media loser?
OCTOBER 14, 2011
In three plus years of tweeting, I’ve picked up what I perceive to be the general etiquette for engaging on Twitter. I’ve also done research asking B2B marketers how they engage and how they educate their employees and SMEs to engage. I’ve rolled all that up into an approach that I doubt constantly. I don’t seem to be alone. Lots of people seem to be having Twitter identity crises these days.
Four reasons to hate thought leadership
FEBRUARY 4, 2012
You may have noticed that I’ve changed the name of my blog. I’ve changed it for two reasons. First, because I’ve left ITSMA and joined SAP , where I will focus on marketing the good ideas of the many subject matter experts there. I’m going to share my experiences in helping to build an engine for developing and disseminating good ideas for SAP (with names changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike).
Customer Success and Marketing Alignment: The Key to Unlocking Customer Advocacy
Most B2B companies say the customer experience is a priority, but their teams are not prepared or coordinated enough to make this a reality.
Why Companies Must Hire for Potential, Not Skills
FEBRUARY 28, 2014
One of my former bosses said she literally fished my cover letter and resume out of the trash. Frustrated that HR wasn’t sending her the right people for a writing job, she demanded that they turn over the submissions that they had already discarded.
3 ways to link marketing to revenue without metrics
MARCH 18, 2011
I’m looking forward to our annual ITSMA spring road trip. This time, I’ll be speaking about how to tie thought leadership to revenue, starting in Santa Clara, CA next Wednesday, and in New York and Newton, MA the following week. Hope you can join us.
Eight attributes of a thought leader
FEBRUARY 18, 2011
Social media are growing up. The initial thrill of connecting to a bunch of peers that we’ve never met is giving way to the desire to get something useful out of those connections. Interesting research from Edelman shows that there has been a decline in trust in “people like myself” and “regular employees.” Meanwhile, trust in “credentialed experts” and “company technical specialists” is rising—we’re getting so desperate we even want to hear from the CEO.
4 Reasons Why Facebook Stinks for B2B Marketing
AUGUST 5, 2011
Recently, I was preparing a workshop on social media for an ITSMA client. The marketer in charge of the company’s social media effort gave me a clear edict: “Look, I don’t want you focusing on Facebook, okay? We don’t see the value of it for B2B and we want it off the table. Every time we talk about it, we have an endless argument that leads nowhere.”. Seemed a bit harsh, but I had to admit that I had been harboring my own doubts about the value of Facebook for B2B for a long time.
7 B2B Marketing Strategies You Need to Know About
As B2B marketers, we know that our buyers' needs are ever-evolving, but it's not just our buyers that are changing.
The prerequisite to effective social media: the idea organization
MARCH 25, 2011
At the first of ITSMA’s series of road shows this week in Silicon Valley this week (there’s still time to sign up for New York and Boston next week!) I confirmed something I’ve been hearing in my research on idea marketing over the past month: idea marketing requires a deep commitment not just from marketing but from the entire organization. Eric Wittlake makes this point in a blog post this week and I heartily agree.
2011: The year of personal brands
JANUARY 28, 2011
This is the year that the personal brand begins to do battle with the corporate brand. I think we need to let the personal brand win—especially in B2B. Featuring big pictures and bios of your subject matter experts on your website is a good start, but it is the equivalent of paid search. It’s relevant but still a step removed from the truly personal connection. We need the equivalent of organic search, where our people rise to the top on their own, independent of their corporate affiliations.
6 lessons on how NOT to market to customers
JULY 22, 2011
Here’s the kind of pressure that social media puts on us: After not posting anything to my blog in nearly six weeks, I feel compelled to offer an explanation. Isn’t that sad? Hey, but that’s how it is. Social media are like a school of sharks; keep moving forward or sink lifelessly to the bottom. Well, I have an explanation, or an excuse, and a damned good one at that. I broke my hip about four weeks ago (my bike slid from underneath me on a rainy morning on my way to work).
Why Brand Journalism Must Die
APRIL 10, 2014
There is no such thing as brand journalism. I was a journalist for 25 years, so I should know. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh here goes the burnt-out old journalist on a self-righteous rant about the sanctity of his beloved profession” (some prefer not to put journalism in the rarefied company of the medical or legal professions and therefore call it a trade; if you’d seen my SAT scores you’d probably agree).
15 things marketers should stop doing and thinking in 2011
DECEMBER 28, 2010
Here’s a list of things I wish we would stop doing and thinking as of December 31 st : Social media. Social media cause people to waste time at work. Companies have a long and pointless history of resisting new forms of communication. From Facebook to email to putting telephones on employees’ desks (remember, the telephone started as a “consumer” communication technology, too), companies think that every new wave is going to lead to gajillions in lost productivity.
Marketing’s golden opportunity in innovation
APRIL 22, 2011
Innovation is becoming more external to companies and more social. When Netflix’s internal engineers struggled to get more than incremental improvements in the company’s movie matching algorithm, the company put the problem to the internet and crowdsourced a 10% leap in accuracy (of course, it didn’t hurt that they offered a million dollar prize). Even funding for innovation is becoming more external and social.
How to write blog posts from a white paper
MARCH 23, 2012
If you’re a corporate marketer like me, no doubt you’ve been put in the situation I faced this week: you have a white paper that an external content person created for the company and now you need to make that content social. It’s an important part of social media management. Let’s face it, there are some B2B executives who wouldn’t read a white paper even if you threatened them with lima beans (what, you like lima beans? Eeewww!).
How do you know when you’ve reached the next level in social media?
APRIL 8, 2011
I was thrilled to run a social media workshop this week with a large B2B technology and services provider (and ITSMA member). The great thing about the experience was that this company is already doing social media. In other words, I didn’t have to spend any time defending the honor of social media and explaining why they should be doing it. This was all about the how. But even the how was different.
Flip My Funnel - Guide To B2B Account Based Marketing
As modern B2B marketers, we have been lucky enough to witness some of the most dramatic shifts in marketing strategies and technologies.
We need a chief marketing analytics officer
FEBRUARY 11, 2011
There’s lots of talk out there these days about the need for a technology guru within the B2B marketing department. Paul Dunay makes the case for one in this post, and Scott Brinker has been beating the drum for this for some time. Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but I wonder about the long-term need for a marketing technologist. In the short term, I think marketing has a lot of catching up to do in terms of technology.
Why salespeople should sell ideas: an FAQ
MAY 15, 2012
We all know the increasing importance of ideas in B2B marketing. But idea marketing doesn’t start and stop with marketers. For the program to be successful, those ideas must find their way into the hands of salespeople. And I’m not sure that salespeople share the same passion for ideas as we do. I think they need to be convinced. Please tell me if you think the following does the job: Relationships are what matter in selling. Why should I start selling ideas instead?
Social media’s Hallmark Moment: the Twitter Auto DM
MAY 13, 2011
I take a perverse pleasure in reading my Twitter DMs, 99% of which are of the automated variety, looking for the heartfelt sentiment that goes out to me and thousands of other close personal friends every day from people I’ve started following. I try to imagine the impulses that motivate the writers behind these parsimonious hanging chads of fake individualized attention. Technology is wonderful isn’t it?
How to make social media add up to thought leadership
DECEMBER 16, 2010
Back in the eighties, when newspapers were only beginning to disappear, I worked for a local paper in a very competitive (journalistically, anyway) part of the world: the moneyed, New York City suburban area of Fairfield County, CT (Greenwich, Stamford, etc.). Among the five different newspapers that covered the same turf as I did was the New York Times, which had a section called “Connecticut Weekly” on Sundays.
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.
Why Can’t Companies Be More Like the Iroquois?
SEPTEMBER 15, 2014
English: Flag of the Iroquois Confederacy, Hiawatha Belt Français : Drapeau de la Confédération Iroquoise (Photo credit: Wikipedia). If ever there was a cooperative organization that had less reason to endure until today, it is the Iroquois League.
Where is the utility in mobile apps for B2B?
DECEMBER 10, 2012
Mitch Joel has a nice post on HBR this week about bringing utility to marketing and social media. As is often the case, his advice pertains more to B2C than B2B, as I point out in a comment: “Utility” is a clear, succinct way of putting it. I am concerned about the B2B side of things, though, for complex technology solutions in particular.
How to get employees involved in social media: focus on ideas
MAY 20, 2011
Many marketers involved in social media management tell me that they struggle to get their subject matter experts engaged in social media. But focusing solely on engagement is the wrong goal. What we should be talking about instead is getting those experts involved in creating ideas. In an interview this week with Stephanie Tilton (thanks, Stephanie!)
I have seen the future of B2B marketing. It’s on Forbes.
NOVEMBER 7, 2012
I’m sure I don’t need to introduce you to Forbes’ “BrandVoice” program (used to be “AdVoice). The guy who manages the platform at Forbes, Lewis Dvorkin, (if he also created the platform he’s a freakin’ genius) recently wrote about its power to disrupt traditional journalism , citing my new employer, SAP, as one of the companies that sometimes get more hits for the stuff it posts than Forbes’ own journalism.
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.