Agency, Content Marketing, Customer Experience, Sales

Gate the Content! Or: On Tenacious Remnants of Demand Gen 1.0

Full disclosure: I love the words “tenacious” and “remnant”.

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As part of introductions, I sat through a content marketing master class organized by a marketing agency in London some weeks ago.

regpageSide note #1: “Master class” usually means: “We’ll keep it short and therefore we’ll only be able to introduce the topic, without really increasing your understanding of any of it. But we serve great coffee and it will look great on your LinkedIn profile without really pulling you out of your social life, like real education would – so let’s just all sing along and be happy, shall we?”

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Content Marketing, Customer Experience, Event Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Automation, Marketing ROI, Online Marketing, Sales, Social Media

Marketing Activity Grid, explained (I): Introduction

Great plan!Last week at the B2B Marketing Forum in Utrecht, I shared the Marketing Activity Grid as part of my presentation. I got a number of requests to elaborate, so I am writing a couple of posts on the topic.

In this first piece, I will go in to the Grid’s background. Before I do though, let’s agree on a clear starting point: the goal of marketing.

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Competitive Strategy, Content Marketing, Customer Experience, Event Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Marcom, Marketing, Marketing Automation, Marketing ROI, Online Programs, Sales, Social Media

The Elusive Buyer; Building a Common Deal Trajectory in 5 steps

Pic-TrajectoryThe holy grail of marketing – any marketing – is connecting strategy, tactics, execution and output to the sales process. As with that other Grail, its hard to find. Building a Common Deal Trajectory is a great way to start the search, though – I will cover it in more detail and with recent examples in my presentation at the B2B Marketing Forum on 13 March in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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Customer Experience, Event Marketing, Marketing, Sales

SNUG, or 8 woes of customer marketing

MagicCircleTheaterMarketing to customers can be a tricky thing, if you don’t really know who you are talking to (which is not unusual among marketers, I’m afraid). You just don’t want to screw it up, do you? That’s why I joined the ServiceNow User Group (SNUG) UK meeting in London 2 weeks ago.

The UK SNUG is chaired by the ServiceNow champion within one of our enterprise customers in the UK and aimed at bringing our customers together to share experience and best practices. For marketing, a user group conversation helps to understand how to successfully market to existing customers, that is: without interfering with their business or the sales process.

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Communications, Competitive Strategy, Content Marketing, Marcom, Marketing ROI, Sales, Stories

Join me at the B2B Marketing Forum (13/3/14)

b2bmarketing

I am honored to be among the speaker line-up of the annual B2B Marketing Forum in Utrecht, the Netherlands, themed “Breaking the Walls between Marketing & Sales” (no, that doesn’t sound the least bit ominous!).

Here is the abstract of my session:

 

THE ELUSIVE BUYER; NEW CHALLENGES IN B2B MARKETING

Your organisation is selling complex solutions and services to business audiences in enterprises large and small. Current B2B demand generation models are still heavily dependent on email, paid search, optimized landing pages and telemarketing.

Today’s teenagers do not have email accounts, nor do they visit corporate websites or even Facebook. Instead of googling, they rather ask a friend. They are tomorrow’s corporate buyers.

So in order to keep connecting with prospective customers, we need a new mix. In this presentation, Kees Henniphof of ServiceNow will share a simple framework for enterprise marketing planning covering both traditional B2B marketing models and new audience strategies, including corporate narrative, content marketing, buyer journey mapping, marketing automation and lead2revenue analyses. Henniphof illustrates the approach with recent projects around IT industry events, account-based marketing, competitive programs and enterprise broadcasting.

Join me in DeFabrique on 13 March – we’ll have a chat over drinks afterwards!

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Blogging, Brand Management, Content Marketing, Event Marketing, Marcom, Marketing Automation, Marketing ROI, Online Marketing, Sales, Social Media, Stories, Webcast

The Perfect B2B Content Mix

MixerI don’t think business-to-business communications as a discipline was ever as exciting and challenging as it is today. The convergence of available platforms, data and social media effectively provides marketers with endless opportunities to find prospective buyers among both suspects and customers.

At the same time, traditional ways of informing, engaging and transacting with customers are being scrutinized. The overhead of traditional PR, direct marketing, events and retail drives a tremendous shift towards online and mobile engagement models.

We all know this.

The Shortest List
But it’s hard to find the right path in this landscape of endless possibilities, isn’t it? Which mix of vehicles, assets, platforms, programs – owned or sponsored – will generate the optimum stream of inbound contacts? I find that in todays online conversation, a million writers (usually agency reps or consultants) will tell you about the many millions of different things you can do to find and engage your audience; nowhere will you find a discrete list of stuff you can’t do without – a minimal set of things that should get you where you need to be.

So here is the list of things you cannot do without in your 2014 enterprise marketing mix:

For influencers, main objectives: education, value and timely interaction

  1. Solution-level blogs
  2. Solution-level webinars
  3. Relevant customer case studies (PDF, YouTube, SlideShare)
  4. Whitepapers
  5. Landing pages aggregating this content around specific topics
  6. Online testing, demonstration, comparison and/or ROI calculation capabilities
  7. Events (3rd party for suspects, owned for customers and prospects) to enable influencers to discover the offering and meet the vendor team.
  8. Database and telemarketing

For decision makers, main objectives: credibility and buy-in

  1. Thought leadership blogs and videos
  2. Branded editorial content integrated into relevant online and offline titles
  3. Events (3rd party for suspects, owned for customers and prospects, and to facilitate the prospect-customer conversation).
  4. Account strategy, access and relationship management at the C-level (a C-level program can never be marketing-only. It needs to be a joined effort with the sales leadership).

All of this has to be (a) continuously fuelled with crisp, audience-based content, (b) optimised for search and (c) 100% Social, Local and Mobile.

That’s it.

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