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

Branding workshops 3/3 – How to get great results

colleagues results fist bump ideas

It’s either a CMO’s dream scenario or his/her worst nightmare: The entire marketing department gathered in a workshop and told they should put all their branding ideas on the table – and that every idea is welcome. But how do you extract really useful concepts from it all while ensuring everyone feels their input is valued? How do you get results from a branding workshop?

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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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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

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

The CMO’s opinion isn’t always appreciated

When the CEO of all too many B2B companies sits down to decide on the three- or five-year strategy, a select group of executives are typically asked to front up with factual data and strategic opinions: The Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Commercial Officer and the Chief Operations Officer. Equipped with their inputs, the CEO usually feels he or she has enough information to formulate the strategy (perhaps supplemented with external advice). Then, and only then, the strategy is explained to the CMO. Continue reading

Is an MBA worth the effort?

Is an MBA worth the effort?

1500 hours of after-hours work. That’s what it took to complete my MBA. The only thing remaining now is graduation and the party! As valuable as the actual studies have been, in many ways, it’s all about the party. But more about that later.

Now all that hard work is over, I want to reflect on the journey. Why did I do it? Do those reasons hold up three years later? It’s probably too early to tell, but let me look into the crystal ball and see what the future may hold.

For others considering an MBA, this may help put some decision-making criteria into perspective. This is by no means a definitive list of what to think of if you’re considering an MBA when you’re well into your career. But I hope it does give some ideas to help make up your mind. Continue reading

What is a Marketer CEO? (Part 2)

What is a Marketer CEO?

In a previous post, I introduced several characteristics that define a Marketer CEO, as revealed in my study of marketing’s contribution to B2B company performance.

Continuing the discussion, I’ll explore more of these characteristics within themes of marketing performance and market strategy.

Marketing performance

With so much discussion among marketers about marketing metrics, you may expect this to be top of mind with CEOs, too. Marketer CEOs do have strong expectations of how marketing should perform, but perhaps not in the way you’d expect. Continue reading

What is a Marketer CEO? (Part 1)

My recent study of B2B CEOs revealed three types of CEO, each determined by their orientation towards marketing. One of these types, the ‘Marketer CEO’, believes strongly in the strategic impact of marketing.

For B2B marketers, understanding the views of these CEOs can provide vital direction that will better equip them to meet the CEO’s expectations and contribute most value to the business.

In the study, Marketer CEOs were identified by their own admission of their belief in marketing. Each of these CEOs was then analysed according to a number of parameters describing his or her impressions of the company’s capabilities and priorities. Continue reading