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In B2B content marketing, what you write about can be as important as what you write.
But there's a hell of a lot of so-called 'thought leadership' out there that isn't leading anyone's thought at all. That's because it isn't written from the company's true sphere of authority -- from the 'sweet spot'.
If you're committed to content marketing (as I'm sure you are) it's incredibly important to think about your sweet spot and keep your content inside it.
As content marketing leaps 'the chasm' and lands in Geoffrey Moore's back garden, more and more marketers are on the lookout for a B2B content marketing agency that can make them famous.
That's a good thing. But almost every B2B agency out there is hurriedly carving a new 'Content Marketing' sign for their front door.
So it pays to have a think before you get yourself committed.
As content marketing goes mainstream in B2B, it's becoming something of a religion. And like all religions, a lot of it is based on articles of faith that are handed down, tweet by tweet, until they're considered gospel.
To question them is to risk being denounced as a heretic and made to do any of those horrible things religions do to their heretics (many involving fire or flaying or feathers).
I'm not in the market for a flaying or a feathering but there's one article of faith that I'd like to challenge here.
The one that says, "Content marketing is not about you, it's about your customers. Great content marketing is as far from old-school, interruption-based, broadcast-style marketing as Jamon Iberico is to Pepperami".
Let's pick that one apart...
Your audience's opinions abut your content depends largely on their expectations, but few B2B marketers think about managing expectations around their content marketing.
i've rounded up ten recent infographics on B2B marketing and related issues, including funnel optimisation, marketing automation, and B2B in social media.
Where possible, I've added the infographics to this post in a readable size, but for others you can click on the image to see a larger version...
A planning vacuum means most B2B marketing progresses in fits and starts. Inertia kills momentum.
Ask a consumer marketer for a look at their marketing plan and you're likely to get anything from a 20-page powerpoint deck to a 400-page binder with tabs, spreadsheets, gant charts and dashboards.
Ask a B2B marketer for their marketing plan and you're likely to get a funny look and some awkward rationalisation. "Erm... we're agile here. Our market moves too fast. If we had a plan it wold be out of date in a week." Yadda-yadda-yadda.
There are so many ways to segment an audience and target your messages – by job title, industry, seniority, behaviour... But there's an important dimension that's often ignored by B2B marketers: psychographics.
How different prospects feel about things can guide your segmentation, offers and creative. The trick is to find ways to get your psychographic targets to identify themselves so you can market to their specific biases.
There's been a sea-change in B2B marketing and it's all about our relationship to revenue.
Here's why it's a good thing, why it's an inevitable thing and what you B2B marketers can do about it.
We thought we'd give the PPC ads in LinkedIn a go to promote our B2B Marketing Manifesto. Here are our experiences...
The value of a learning culture has bypassed most B2B marketing departments. They're missing out on a hugely powerful asset...
There's a never-ending dialogue about the difference between B2B and B2C marketing. For me, it's always been a bit of a spurious debate (the two clearly overlap on almost all dimensions). But one thing does seem annoyingly true of B2B marketing departments compared to their consumer peers: B2B departments don't learn.
Engaging. Compelling. Fun. Viral. All terms you don't think of when you think of B2B marketing, right? Well, think again. Or better yet, read on to learn how Cisco is making content fun...and even funny...and nevertheless sells million-dollars routers and other high-tech infrastructure technology.
Doug Wester, Cisco's director of strategic communications in Cisco's worldwide service provider marketing division shares all.
Q: How long have you been at Cisco and what specifically do you oversee?
Doug Webster: I’m a senior director of our service provider marketing team, and I’ve been at Cisco for 12 years now. I came in from an acquisition years ago. Now I’m in charge of or leading our go-to market marketing for our service provider line of business. When we do marketing, it’s through—any company that offers you broadband, television, phone, or mobile services. These are very big companies, some of which have over 100,000 employees. They tend to be global in nature, and because of their size, the overall link to the sales engagement can actually be quite long, oftentimes two years.
Are marketers including enterprise mobile applications in their media planning? Are deals to be done with big companies that have big B2B brands and their own micro -ecosystem? If you haven't thought enterprise yet, it's time to do so!
Look down from 40,000 feet and you will see two vertical channels for selling mobile phones: enterprise consumers and everyone else. The enterprise consumer acquires the mobile phone by purchasing the device from the market or receiving it from the I.T. department.