Opinions, best practices and research into B2B marketing strategy and practices

Branding workshops 2/3 – Your next team-building event?

team sitting around campfire team-building

As the demands swirl around high-performing teams, it gets hard to keep the Big Picture in focus and easy to lose inspiration – particularly with the long-game nature of B2B marketing. Stepping out of the everyday and breaking the routine can be the antidote and team-building events can bring back some of the magic.

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Branding workshops 1/3 – Big Ideas and picking winners

neon slot machines in a row in a dark casino

I’ve run plenty of B2B branding workshops over the years. Big Ideas come out of them, whether they’re team-building or educational exercises for corporate marketing departments or brand creation/makeover projects of all sizes – but it’s all about picking the winners.

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Please, no more propaganda

The disciplines and craft of journalism have changed corporate communications – for the better. New opportunities to cut through the noise and engage an audience abound, partly because so many companies still seem to believe that bragging about themselves in buzz words is the best way of making sure their target audience will understand the value of their brand.
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What’s a B2B visual identity worth?

Recently, an industrial client asked a question I had never considered before: What is the value of a company’s visual identity? The request came as part of an acquisition process, and he was involved in discussions aimed at determining this value, partly as a component of the acquisition price, and partly to assess whether to continue with or drop the acquired company’s visual identity.

While coming up with a definitive answer to the question is probably beyond any consultant’s capability, I was able to help him think about the issue – and some of those insights are shared below… Continue reading

Powering up your value proposition

Is it time to get clearer on exactly why customers should prefer your company?There can be many attributes for which a product, service or entire company wants to be known: Fastest, cheapest, best quality, most features, most reliable, perfect for a specific situation, trusted, great customer service and more – the list of possibilities is endless.  Continue reading

How to flesh out your B2B buyer personas

Know your personas

Buyer personas have been used for years to help marketers hone in on what causes purchasers to make positive buying decisions. They are basically character sketches that lay out your target prospect’s background, demographics, objections, challenges, hobbies, and interests. B2C buyer personas are relatively straightforward. What does your target prospect do for a living? How does he spend his time? What car does she drive? Where do they work? But, that is not the case for B2B.

B2B buyer personas are a tad more difficult. Now you have multiple people in charge of buying decisions, usually stakeholders or board members. So, how can you possibly create an accurate persona when you’re trying to nail down several different personalities, lifestyles, and habits? Continue reading

Customer centricity: The ‘easy’ way to better business performance

Make it easy for your B2B customers

In a B2B environment that is becoming increasingly competitive, there is growing interest in what actually drives business performance.

I was recently presented with some research by Professor Moira Clark of the Henley Centre for Customer Management, which concluded that making it easier for customers to do business is a sure-fire way of improving the bottom line. This takes the notion of customer experience one step further, and she claims that more companies are beginning to bring this line of thought into their strategic planning.

Essentially, it’s about having a customer-centric approach, and the research suggests that customer centricity in B2B drives business performance. The great challenge facing B2B companies, however, is how to change the business to become more customer-centric. For many, it may seem an unrealistic task. Continue reading