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

How to lose a B2B sale in 4 ways… and how not to!

Like all relationships between people, B2B relationships require trust and credibility to work.

In fact, we could liken a prospective B2B buyer to a sophisticated partner who is well-educated, has high expectations and is generally intolerant of mistakes. And like in all relationships, there are certain behaviours that strengthen bonds, and critical mistakes that turn people off.

Take your website, for example. In B2B, missteps can sow enough seeds of doubt in the minds of potential or existing customers to make them lose faith in your brand, question your professionalism, or simply click away from your site. Once you lose that credibility, it can be as hard to get back as convincing a cheated-on lover to trust you again. And the result of lost credibility? Lost sales.

So what can you do to make sure you hang onto B2B prospects?

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The price of poor language

Are you confusing your customers with second-rate English? For example, did your company recently win a price? Are your people competent, and (by implication) not skilled? Are your writers to your webpage loosing you credibility with spelling misstakes, joiningwordstogether and split ting others, or not using all the write words – making the text that little bit to hard too read?

We all make mistakes sometimes. Especially if we’re writing in a second language. But if your organization has put blood, sweat and tears into creating an innovative product or service that stands head and shoulders above anything else on the market, doesn’t it deserve high-quality promotion? Shouldn’t messaging about what you stand for and what you offer be communicated clearly and professionally? Continue reading

New report: B2B buyer behavior online

Marketing technology firm Software Advice has released a new report on online B2B buyer behavior, detailing business implications for inside sales professionals in 2014 and beyond. The folks at Software Advice run a highly tuned sales machine where fast phone followups are part of the model, so they know what they’re talking about when it comes to getting visitors to move down the conversion funnel. And for the hungry B2B marketer, there are a few pointers worth noticing.

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Is the B2B printed brochure dying?

Mark Hanley, president of Massachusetts-based consulting house I.T. Strategies, recently asked me for my opinion on the state of the market for printed brochures. Do printed sales materials have a future or are they on their way out? It’s a great question, and one which is brought up time and time again by marketers in meetings I attend.

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Losing the marketing race? Keep your eye on the right ball.

As a CMO, have you ever had to stand by and witness a smaller, more aggressive competitor win the marketing race against your own, market-leading company? And yet be able to do little about it?

Toward the end of 2013, I met the CMO of a medium-sized company at a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was (figuratively) pulling his hair out over being caught, as he saw it, in a competitive situation that he and his team were almost powerless to influence. And he was having difficulty seeing a solution that could support top management’s strategic objectives. Continue reading

Knowledge sharing platform for a knowledge-intensive company

A new thought leadership platform encouraging stakeholder engagement and subject matter expertise has been launched by a global B2B technology company. Continue reading

Content marketing – old wine in new bottles?

Effective content marketing is based on a genuine desire to help potential customers – and can, when implemented, lead to fundamental change in company culture. But old wine is old wine…

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Brian Walker of Hybris: If you don’t know your clients’ online buyer behavior, you will soon lose out

We’ve said it before: B2B buyer behavior is changing and it’s high time that B2B suppliers follow suit. In this interview with Brian Walker, former Vice President with research giant Forrester, now Senior Vice President of Strategy at commerce software vendor Hybris, we discuss the changing face of B2B buyer behavior and what B2B companies need to do to stay ahead. Continue reading

CASE STUDY: 9 ways to improve your B2B brand story with emotional branding

Case Study - Reson

[CASE STUDY] B2B is rarely considered sexy or even exciting, yet for B2B buyers, great solutions radically improve their day-to-day working environments and hold the potential to make or break their businesses. Why, then, shouldn’t it be possible to create a strong emotional connection with your buyers through B2B marketing and communication? After all, your services or equipment is part and parcel of their professional aspirations, challenges and ultimately their business’s success in the marketplace and beyond.

This case study offers 6 ways to check whether your brand story is off target and 3 takeaways for how to improve your connection to decision makers with emotional branding. Continue reading

Is consulting a necessary evil?

How would you feel if, in front of a staff gathering, a client called your company a “whorehouse”? That’s what I witnessed recently when attending a reception at one of Denmark’s largest organizations. Luckily, it wasn’t our agency whose name was being besmirched but that of a major global consulting company. Fair or not, and not exactly helped by the popular US TV show “House of Lies”, the consulting business has a pretty nasty reputation for overcharging and under-delivering – and making a sport of it. But I was still shocked to hear such open hostility communicated from management to staff about a supplier. Continue reading