Scandinavia’s no. 1 international B2B marketing blog

David Hoskin

I've helped B2B companies create and implement international marketing and communications strategies since 1999. I've been fortunate enough to work with some great companies and highly talented individuals during the years. But the game's changing fast. Although my aim is always to create pragmatic solutions that produce measurable results, there are always new challenges to overcome. I studied engineering and music and I have an Executive MBA (with Distinction) from Henley Business School, University of Reading (UK). Today, I'm a partner at B2B marketing agency cylindr and BBN International. Here on Integrated B2B, I want to share my personal opinions and perspectives on the changing face of B2B marketing. I hope you join in the conversation, too.

The renewed importance of thought leadership in 2020

Thought leadership at a distance

No-one would blame you if you were to rapidly re-evaluate your marketing priorities in 2020. We are facing an unprecedented rate of change that will surely affect the way business will be done in the future.

But already now, I believe a new foundation for business is being established. Let’s face it. Even at a time when digital communications is the norm for most, many have still relied on face-to-face meetings for effective collaboration or to truly seal a relationship.

Out of necessity, however, this belief is currently challenged, and many are already adopting – and beginning to cope with – a new reality.

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Keeping a close eye on your communications

While we are all adapting to doing business and maintaining close relationships with our stakeholders from a distance, there are, of course, some factors that make connecting and communicating with people challenging.

But maintaining transparency and compassion through communications can help you stay top-of-mind for customers, clients, partners and employees alike. How can you ensure this?

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It’s time to reconsider your strategic value proposition

In the current business environment, which brings a new level of difficulties to almost every business, sales teams are having to look closely at their company’s strategic value proposition. Does it reflect the current strategy? Is it the right fit for the customer? Does it align with current buyer behavior?

Now is the time to re-evaluate. But when speed of reaction to market dynamics is the essence, there’s no time for a protracted process. What’s needed is a rapid, pragmatic approach.

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Big thought leadership ideas for big industry

“There’s a seat for everyone at the Thought Leadership table,” says Morten Floee Knudsen, Thought Leadership Content Manager at global engineering company FLSmidth. In a highly competitive market with discerning buyers, thought leadership is an important tool in the B2B marcomms toolset.

“People can be intimidated,” said Morten Floee Knudsen, when I asked him about thought leadership as a marketing mechanism in heavy industry.

“The idea of spending resources on creating or sharing inspiring, thought-provoking content that does not talk about your product and won’t sell products tomorrow can be a scary thought. But raising issues and debating broader industry challenges show that you care, that you take ownership of the market, and that you speak the same language as your customers.

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Where to next for content marketing?

At BBN, we’re embarking on a journey to update the content marketing toolset that has guided successful content marketing programs for B2B companies the world over.

Content marketing for B2B companies requires a well-planned and coordinated effort. Success comes down to being able to choose the most suitable approach, within the limitations of budget and resources, from a multitude of content marketing disciplines.

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