BMA B2B Marketing Blog

Unleash Your Content in B2B Marketing

Erin Moloney - Thursday, June 30, 2011
One very informative and valuable session at this year's Business Marketing Association National Conference, called "BMA Unleash", was the "Unleash Your Content" session, which featured Andrew Bosman of Navigant Consulting, Bob Pearson (@BobPearson1845) of WCG (a marketing communications company), and Ben Edwards (@BenEdw) of IBM. 

Andrew Bosman of Navigant kicked off this panel with a presentation all about and the unique integration of social content the company has accomplished. Check out the "Insights & Events" section. This area of the site is a singular destination for the company's unique content and thought leadership. 

They use the pages within this section for email campaigns and other initiatives. "Direct marketing drives people to vanity URLs that end up being inside the 'Insights and Events' section," said Bosman. The Healthcare section also has many  jumping off points to key contacts, materials produced by them, news, whitepapers, newsletter and much more. The company also created vanity URLs for their experts, such as
The site is well-designed and logically laid out, even with all of the fresh content it has. Articles and landing pages drive visitors back to a central hub, and the site contains quick, digestible information.

I thought this site was a fantastic example of a company that is clearly empowering its internal experts to publicly demontsrate their thought leadership with frequent insights and perspectives in blog posts, white papers, etc... and then empowers those experts by attributing the work to their name very clearly and making it easy for visitors to directly get in touch with the expert who authored the content. The only concern I had when browsing was whether they are "advertising" their top talent to other companies. The easier you make it to reach the experts who work for you, are you making it easier for head-hunters to pick them off? Just something to think about.

Bob Pearson, CTO & Media Officer of WCG was next. Bob had worked at Dell and had formed their social media practices, which is pretty impressive. He is also the author of the book, Pre-Commerce: How Companies and Customers are Transforming Business Together.
Pearson shared with us three key Insights that apply to everyone:
Customers like to do 3 things online more than other actions:
1. Share ideas
2. Share product knowledge
3. Help peers with problems

Ben Edwards, VP Digital Strategy and Development, IBM, works for a company of 430,000 people. That's a tall order.
The company's mission is high-value integration of hardware, software and services into solutions at the point of demand of the client. And so Edwards' said that their mission of empowering the IBMer (IBM employee) to produce content is one of the most effective methods they have used to further the brand.
One of the challenges has been figuring out how to scale the mediation of experts, products, IBMers, etc. With that many people internally and the sheer volume of content that can be created, this challenge is no surprise to me. 

Edwards said IBM has followed the following three steps to help organize and prioritize their experts in company-based social media content: 
  1. 1. Identify who are the technical experts, business consulting experts - the right or best expert
  2. 2. Do they show up at their best through social media?
  3. 3. Serve them up publicly in the right context to demonstrate their expertise

These were just some of the highlights from the session, but overall it was chock-full of ideas and strategies for leveraging your company's internal expertise for great content that can be leveraged for sales support or lead generation practices, and it hit the nail on the head in terms of speaking specifically to a large crowd of B2B marketers in a language they can understand and get value out of. 

Seth Godin explains the new age of permission marketing in B-to-B

Erin Moloney - Friday, June 24, 2011
Seth Godin spoke at Business Marketing Association's national conference this year. The conference is called "BMA Unleash". Almost everyone is familiar with Seth Godin and his style of addressing things in society that are "broken" and how marketers and brand managers have a unique opportunity and often a responsibility to fix them. Seth takes his message about providing solutions to a whole new level with his latest book, Poke the Box. In this book, he talks about how social media and the Internet have changed the way that consumers are marketed to - and in fact, changed the ways in which consumers will allow you to market to them.

Marketing messages should be anticipated, personal and relevant. Marketers should be more focused on building "permission" online - we should be focused on earning the privilege of being marketed to.

We have a new responsibility to seek our people who want to hear from us. 
"Do you matter to your target? Earn the privilege," said Godin.
Godin used the example of a company called Cambridge Technology Partners, a company that, like mine, sells to CIOs. A colleague of Godin's who worked for CTP would seek out local CIOs and invite them to breakfast in 10-person groups. The CIOs who attended this breakfast each month spent the entire breakfast talking to each other about their problems. CTP helped this "tribe" stay aligned, stay connected. This is earning the privilege.
There was much talk about "community" throughout the week of sessions at BMA Unleash. Godin reiterated this sentiment when he said, "marketing management is now tribal leadership." Marketers should turn their brands into a movement. "CMO now stands for Chief Movement Officer," he said.
"Value is in finding new people who solve problems in interesting ways." And harkening back to his old mantra of finding unique and important solutions to problems that exist for the everyday consumer or the target market, Godin enlisted upon the audience of leading B-to-B marketers to, "Help invent the product that will sell itself."
BMA Unleash, and particularly the chance to see Seth Godin speak, was a unique, relevant and important conference for me as a B-to-B marketer, and I got to attend because I got quite a deal on the registration fee as a member of the national organization and a Saint Louis chapter member and leader. Find out how you can take advantage of this unique B-to-B marketing community in Saint Louis and nationally by becoming a member along with me. 

Adding Passion and Purpose to BtoB Marketing

BMA Marketing Committee - Monday, June 13, 2011

Many Business Marketing Association members went to BMA Unleash in Chicago last month. This is the annual Business Marketing Association National Conference. It takes place in beautiful Chicago - at a great time of year to go to the windy city - and the lineup of keynote speakers and sessions promised to be exceptional. The first day of the conference, our keynote speaker was veteran ad agency exec, Roy Spence.
Roy appears to have evolved a career for himself speaking to marketing and business leaders about passion and purpose, and his talks are particularly entertaining thanks to his sarcasm and dry wit. You can get a flavor of what it's like to watch Roy in the video below.
I took notes during Roy's talk, and here are the highlights:

Five things Roy has learned in business:

  • 1. Timid sales people tend to have skinny kids and live in trailers
    2. Bold sales people know there's never a no until they call security.
  • 3. Sales people rock. Consultants suck.
  • 4. Give the customer what they want, not what you want them to want. (Sam Walton inspired)
  • 5. In today's new world of are in the business of standing for something before you can sell anything.
Get out of the selling business. Get into the business of helping others to become successful.
Purpose-inspired relationships: There is no "them." It's only "us.
Vendor-client relationship becomes "confidant" relationship.
Add passion and purpose to what you get up every day to do, and it unleashes your full potential.
Purpose matters.
If you do not know exactly why your organization exists, long-term you'll be fighting products, promotions, people, pricing, but somebody else is going to walk in the door against you and talk about what his company stands for. My company stands for this purpose, we're relentless, and I'm here to make you successful.
Purpose is a definitive statement, Mission is how you do it, and Vision is seeing a time when you accomplish it.

BtoB Magazine also did a write up on Roy's speech. Find it here.