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
“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.
Shifting the perspective of your communications and taking on the role of an industry advocate can bring many benefits for your company. Offering customers valuable, objective advice on your industry can boost your credibility, website traffic, social media engagement – and give you better sales leads.
“Don’t rock the boat” seems to be an unshakeable rule in many B2B companies. Strangely enough, companies who adhere to the status quo are often the ones to be left behind when the boat is rocking at industry level. Ask Nokia or Sony Ericsson, for example, why Apple was able to not just rock but almost overturn their boats… Continue reading
It’s not that hard to write a blog post, a Tweet or an article, right?
All you have to do is think about what you want to say, structure it, then start tapping away at the keyboard. At least, that’s pretty much true if you’re a good writer and English is your native language!
Our Danish-based B2B clients, on the other hand, have an added challenge in comparison with competitors from English-speaking regions: producing high-quality English texts when English is their second (or even third) language.
B2B customer case stories follow a fairly simple format of explaining how a product or service solved a specific customer pain. But they don’t necessarily communicate that a company is innovative, or encourage customers to innovate with them. Yet there are good reasons why a repertoire of innovation-focused stories can draw in new customers or stimulate new ideas among existing ones. So why not use them to inspire innovation?
Today’s markets are increasingly demanding evolution, not just adequate performance. And employees are being encouraged to seek out opportunities for incremental or radical innovation. In response, businesses could take the opportunity to highlight case stories about creativity involving their products or services. Continue reading
Company magazines continue to consume a significant proportion of many B2B marketing budgets. Understandably so, as magazines can be a great way to profile the company’s achievements, internally and externally. But many companies have a long way to go before their content can easily be found and consumed online – that is, read, watched, listened to, or clicked on. No wonder it’s easy to question the business case for a magazine. Is it worth applying so much time and budget to a magazine if its long-term reach and impact is limited? Continue reading
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
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
I was recently privileged to hear marketing whizz-kid Thomas Webster talking about a project he had been brought in to advise upon for a knowledge-intensive B2B manufacturer. The project’s goal was to bring the company closer to its customers using content marketing. A Voice of Industry (arms-length content marketing) site had been set up, a budget allocated and the project was nearing the end of its first year of operation. But things weren’t going as well as the company had hoped. So Thomas and his team were asked to consult on ways to make the project work more effectively. Continue reading
There’s a particular value that your company will need to wholeheartedly adopt in order to compete for the attention of the today’s B2B buyers: the idea that, by helping others to achieve what they need to, you will be better able to achieve your own aims.
You see, what really drives today’s B2B customers is receiving help to achieve the goals that have been set by or for them. If you can be seen to help them, they’ll buy your products and services. Of course, the kind of help we’re talking about isn’t just about products and services. You can also help people by recognizing them or supporting their careers (for example, by promoting their achievements and widening their personal web footprints on your Voice of Industry platform). Continue reading