Essentially, the concept of Voice of Company is what companies are doing today – communicating messages about products, services, events and so on from the standpoint of the company. When B2B buyers encounter these messages on your website or in corporate marketing materials, they are entirely aware that these messages have been crafted by the company itself. So the viewer of such messages is at once on guard – wary of being manipulated by someone who so clearly wants to make a sale, do a deal, make some profit. It’s like a mousetrap with the mouse gingerly circling the cheese, expecting at any moment to be crushed by the snap of a deadly wire blade.
Don’t get me wrong. Voice of Company has its rightful place in the B2B buyer’s new world. Here’s where the company can provide useful information that makes the product’s features and benefits, specifications and model numbers clear in order to encourage and facilitate purchasing. B2B buyers like to be able to access such information. But that’s pretty much where it stops. For sophisticated and increasingly skeptical audiences, the rest of the verbal and visual decoration just doesn’t have the impact it used to. Not at a conscious level, at least.
As writers, we have all experienced that moment when we think to ourselves, why the heck am I writing this if no one is going to read it? And if your marketing department has been focused on content for basic demand generation, then your marketers have probably experienced that same thing. They’ve put a lot of time and energy into creating content with the hope of turning MQLs into SQLs, but unless the right people are finding it, all of that work goes down the drain.
B2B companies have had mixed experiences with blogs. In fact, we’ve seen countless blog deaths among our B2B clients. These unfortunate blogs were usually started by enthusiastic marketing departments keen to display a vibrant corporate culture—a more human side of the company—to stakeholders in an attempt to build trust and engagement. That’s a great aim, but there are many challenges and pitfalls Continue reading →
Offshore wind energy installation and service leader A2SEA takes a strategic approach to its integrated marketing communications, drawing upon tried-and-tested knowhow to arrive at its communication strategy. Part of that approach involves the use of “Must-win Initiatives”. Continue reading →
Offshore wind turbine installation contractor A2SEA stands as a great example of a company that grew from a commoditized, generic position to dominate its industry through the constant application of knowhow as a key differentiator. Despite this transformation over more than a decade, many of its clients and prospective customers still think, more or less, that the company just provides the vessels and crew to lift enormous structures into place far out to sea – and that’s something you can buy, well, from anyone, can’t you? A2SEA just wasn’t getting enough Return on Knowhow. Continue reading →
Knowledge-intensive B2B companies are a special breed. Unlike many simple consumer products that perform a straightforward function, their product offerings are often experts who can solve a wide variety of problems and take on greenfield challenges. Clearly communicating what the company can do, therefore, is difficult at best. Continue reading →
Our team spends a lot of time discussing business cases – real business cases, not “feel good” benefit-based stuff, but the ones with numbers on them. We’re keen to work out, for each of the customers or prospects we speak to, where revenue can be generated and/or savings can be made by putting knowledge-sharing campaign platforms in place.
At the center of it all is a concept we call “Return on Know-how” (ROK). OMG, you may be thinking, another word dreamed up by marketers. And that’s what it is, for sure. But there’s a real point to it, too – and it’s a goodie: What potential gains or savings are hidden in the know-how of your subject matter experts? What can be done to unlock this potential? Continue reading →
If you have been a returning reader you will know that we are big on the ongoing changes in B2B buyer behavior and how most B2B companies have yet to follow suit and create a communication strategy to match the changes. But how can you actually do that? One way is by establishing a respected and credible Voice of Industry. Continue reading →
Many B2B companies focus their activities on that most holy of events, the product launch. The entire company tends to run like mad toward each launch just as small boys playing football all swarm around the ball, leaving the remainder of the playing field practically empty. It’s a costly affair, and one upon which the company’s sales and organizational energy can be highly dependent. But this kind of traditional, explosive product launch is quickly becoming a dinosaur.