Here’s a line that often gets me into trouble…
I do not believe that there is a huge difference anymore, when it comes to marketing. B2B and B2C used to be very different and complex beasts. While the complexity has not changed, both B2B and B2C really do have an entirely new way to think, communicate and connect with prospective clients (thank you, digital!). Yes, the complexity of the sales are very different. Yes, speaking to consumers against very specific individuals within an organization is different. Still the channels and opportunities (the ability to tell, sell and embody a new story) are closer than they have ever been. Because there are so many of them, it’s no longer B2B or B2C, but rather how each business builds their own, unique, defendable, marketing empires. True, if you’re in the B2B world and everything that you do has shifted to be process and procurement-driven, things are very different. True, you still have to create compelling content and messages to even be in the lot of businesses that may be called upon by procurement. So, in the end, it’s all about your brand, the stories that you weave, and your ability to map, track and connect with your prospective clients. That feels like it could be the story of a B2B or B2C opportunity.
So, how are B2B marketers doing these days?
Well, according to the B2B Content Marketing – 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America report, nearly two-thirds of B2B marketers have no documented content marketing strategy, and thirty percent say their efforts are effective. What will it take to move this needle? As an introduction to the 10th annual MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum (October 18 – 21, 2016 in Boston), and to help get B2B marketers back on track, the team a TopRank Marketing (shout out to Lee Odden) partnered with MarketingProfs (shout out to Ann Handley) and produced a really quick, smart and powerful eBook titled, How To Build Your B2B Marketing Empire From The Ground Up. The eBook is free (go and grab it!) focuses on four core areas:
- The three fundamental questions a good strategy should answer.
- The elements of an unshakeable foundation.
- The ideal characteristics of your marketing team.
- How to build your career to last.
It’s very exciting that the team at TopRank Marketing and MarektingProfs asked me to contribute this eBook (thank you!). I wrote about speed, slowing down and decision making (confused? Don’t be). I’m also very excited got be speaking on the last day (Friday, October 21st, 2017) at the 2016 B2B Marketing Forum. My topic will be: The New Business Imperative – 7 Groundbreaking Movements All Brands Need To Embrace. Here’s the abstract for this session: “Still worried about websites over mobile applications? Still struggling with content marketing and social media? There’s something happening — here and now — that moves way beyond this. Are you ready for messaging bots, live video, augmented/virtual reality, marketing automation, the uncoupling of the ’buy’ button, consumer’s voice as navigation, and the blockchain? If not, you need to be. Join us for this future-looking session where we’ll explore these seven technological movements and what they mean for your business today, tomorrow, and beyond. What may feel like science fiction, is now the new business imperative.”
Join me at the 10th Annual MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum and check out the eBook, How To Build Your B2B Marketing Empire From The Ground Up.