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.
Branding workshops 1/3 – Big Ideas and picking winners
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.
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
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
DEME CEO: Innovation key to competitive advantage
Recently, I spoke with Belgium-based DEME Group’s CEO Alain Bernard to find out about why innovation is so important in a competitive B2B market. He talked specifically about the need for the offshore wind industry to facilitate true innovation through greater collaboration.
Belgian DEME Group is one of Europe’s largest marine engineering conglomerates. CEO Alain Bernard has seen it grow from a specialist dredging company into a highly diverse maritime business covering hydraulic projects, services to oil and gas companies, installation of offshore wind farms, environmental activities and more.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?
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)
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.
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
What the B2B CEO really thinks of marketing
The role of marketing in B2B companies is often debated. For every story of marketing’s contribution to growth, there are probably another two or three of marketing fighting tooth and nail for budget, resources and, not least, mindshare from the B2B CEO.
After years of being part of this debate, I decided to find out what the B2B CEO and executive management really think about marketing. Over the last several months, I’ve conducted extensive research into understanding their opinions.
There is a growing amount of research into marketing’s contribution to performance at B2B companies. But while the academic research is fragmented, really only touching the surface, the practitioner research often seems to be a celebration of marketing and, indeed, quite removed from reality.
Like it or not, reality is the CEO. No matter how good the B2B marketing department thinks it is, it won’t get far without his or her blessing. Continue reading