If you read the title of this week’s blog entry, I am betting your first answer back to me was “As-If!” In B2B marketing, being connected is key – and we have all become addicted to our little tethered friend who keeps us connected to our clients, our team, to everyone. And I for one could never say “No!” completely – and I promise, that’s not what I’m proposing. However, if you can cut the tether at appropriate times, such as before a meeting, it can mean the difference between keeping and losing a client.
True story: A good friend of mine, Ken, had just walked into one of his first sales calls back in the ‘70s, and he was feeling pretty righteous about his plaid polyester Haggar suit, new Cross pen and shiny Samsonite briefcase – not to mention his perfectly puffed out “Brady Bunch” hairstyle.
There was a great article on Huffington Post last week that the “M” of MLT Creative passed along to me (thanks @billymitchell1!) called “Marketing in Today’s Digital Culture.” The author, Patricia Martin, writes from a B2C perspective, but much of what she explains is relevant to B2B marketing as well. This section in particular hit home for me:
As I watched a preview last night for the new show “Undercover Boss,” which debuts this Sunday on CBS, one storyline really got my attention, because it reinforced a practice we’ve seen to be a success many times here at MLT Creative: Excellent service sells. It’s as simple as that. Addictive service brings customers back.
When I saw this video at a recent American Marketing Association meeting, it was evident that the relationship between the marketer and the consumer has changed and continues to change at an exceedingly marked rate.
You don’t stand a tinkers chance of producing successful advertising unless you start by doing your homework.
– David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertising
With B2B marketing budgets being stretched as far as possible today, and then pulled a little more, this quote from Mr. Ogilvy has never been more important. Knowing where your client lives doesn’t cost you much, just your time and enthusiasm.
When was the last time you did a deep dive on your clients’ needs, wants and expectations? Are they receiving your messaging and coming away with the correct impression? Are you making assumptions in your creative direction based on out-of-date research? If any of these questions strike a chord, here are some simple steps you can take to true up your knowledge base:
My sister Kelly, who shares my title on the West Coast, has a quote in her e-mail signature that often gives me pause.
The quote embodies my experience with highly creative people, those in my family and especially those at our Atlanta B2B marketing firm. Spending time around either group allows me to witness the various ways ideas are generated.