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Branding Archives - IntegratedB2B
Opinions, best practices and research into B2B marketing strategy and practices

The Big Bang Theory of B2B marketing

Standing in the center of the B2B marketing universe, you can be forgiven for having the distinct feeling that the job of the B2B marketer, already large and complex enough, is expanding at an alarming rate. Core skills and disciples, once easy enough to grasp and maintain, are moving further away from you at an accelerating rate, on their way, like the distant galaxies in Stephen Hawking’s famous Big Bang theory, to one day disappear completely from sight. Continue reading

How to lose a B2B sale in 4 ways… and how not to!

Like all relationships between people, B2B relationships require trust and credibility to work.

In fact, we could liken a prospective B2B buyer to a sophisticated partner who is well-educated, has high expectations and is generally intolerant of mistakes. And like in all relationships, there are certain behaviours that strengthen bonds, and critical mistakes that turn people off.

Take your website, for example. In B2B, missteps can sow enough seeds of doubt in the minds of potential or existing customers to make them lose faith in your brand, question your professionalism, or simply click away from your site. Once you lose that credibility, it can be as hard to get back as convincing a cheated-on lover to trust you again. And the result of lost credibility? Lost sales.

So what can you do to make sure you hang onto B2B prospects?

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Get in the Habit of Consistently Creating Content With These 7 Steps

Habits don’t form overnight — especially the good ones. Just think about how long it took you to start flossing your teeth every day (and chances are you’re not all the way there yet). For the average person, it takes about 66 days for a behavior to become habitual, and even then, that’s doing it daily.

You can imagine how difficult it can be to get in the habit of creating content. Yet the benefits of doing so are numerous. Companies that blog at least 11 times a month get almost three times the traffic as those that blog only once a month. Content also contributes to three times more leads than online advertising.

If that isn’t enough motivation to pick up a content habit, I don’t know what is. Here are seven steps to jumpstart your efforts: Continue reading

The price of poor language

Are you confusing your customers with second-rate English? For example, did your company recently win a price? Are your people competent, and (by implication) not skilled? Are your writers to your webpage loosing you credibility with spelling misstakes, joiningwordstogether and split ting others, or not using all the write words – making the text that little bit to hard too read?

We all make mistakes sometimes. Especially if we’re writing in a second language. But if your organization has put blood, sweat and tears into creating an innovative product or service that stands head and shoulders above anything else on the market, doesn’t it deserve high-quality promotion? Shouldn’t messaging about what you stand for and what you offer be communicated clearly and professionally? Continue reading

Telling B2B stories: Mention the war!

Whether it’s your cup of tea or not, British comedian John Cleese owes a small part of his fame to the phrase: “Don’t mention the war”. And I’m reminded of that phrase every time I hear a B2B marketing or communication department agonizing over what should or shouldn’t be said in the public arena.

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No shortcuts in B2B marketing

Recently, while visiting one of our customers in the UK, I saw a fascinating sign on a building next door to the customer’s own offices. I was struck by the boldness of the claim – particularly given how unimpressive the sign’s visual idea and execution was. The effect, in my mind, was to create something academics call cognitive dissonance. And that’s a certain something many B2B companies do all too often.

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Marketing fights Sales – and everyone wins!

What’s the purpose of B2B marketing? Ask the question of any attentive marketing student and they’re likely to reel off a description that somewhere, somehow, involves increasing demand for the company’s products. But marketing is also about managing demand, too, which may actually require reducing demand – or moving demand away from particular products in a company’s range. That said, it still seems counter-intuitive to create marketing or sales materials aimed at putting a dent in sales…

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Losing the marketing race? Keep your eye on the right ball.

As a CMO, have you ever had to stand by and witness a smaller, more aggressive competitor win the marketing race against your own, market-leading company? And yet be able to do little about it?

Toward the end of 2013, I met the CMO of a medium-sized company at a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was (figuratively) pulling his hair out over being caught, as he saw it, in a competitive situation that he and his team were almost powerless to influence. And he was having difficulty seeing a solution that could support top management’s strategic objectives. Continue reading

Updating your corporate identity? Read this first…

Imagine your company’s new brand expression is the Sydney Opera House. Designed and built by the professional architects you hired to replace your tired old building, the new structure is a thing of beauty. It’s visionary, one-of-a-kind. It looks great. And it’s memorable. In fact, your employees and customers are already complimenting you on a job well done. But will your Opera House still be impressive 12 months down the track? Or will it have become an eyesore that will have management wondering whether it was worth spending all that time and money?

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The secret to communicating with multicultural audiences

The United States is a more culturally diverse nation than it’s ever been before. Together, cultural minorities comprise nearly half of our overall population: 56 million Americans are Hispanic, 34 million are black, 20 million are of Asian descent, and 45 million have roots either in the Middle East or Eastern Europe. The numbers are growing daily.

For businesses, these figures are tremendously important. If your communications strategy is culturally homogenous, you run the risk of alienating a large share of your audience. But it’s challenging to run a campaign that resonates with people from different cultural backgrounds. Continue reading