what we think

We don’t think of ourselves as know-it-alls, but we do like sharing our thoughts, experiences and POV from time-to-time. We are in continual learning mode and here is what we think, when we think it.

Joe McCormack on Profound Brevity

Dispatches from BMA14: a Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago [caption id="attachment_2049" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Joe McCormack presents at #BMA14[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_2050" align="alignleft" width="122"] Joe McCormack[/caption] Profound brevity. A crucial skill in business communications, a beautiful concept, one that I personally applaud, one that I hope more of us can attain.   One of my favorite sessions at #BMA14 was led by Joe McCormack, Managing Director, Sheffield Marketing Partners, and author of Brief. His point? Go deep, but keep it simple. We're all too busy for long-winded, blustery talk. No one's going to listen if you go on too long. People will tune out. Your email will be deleted.   There's a difference between superficial brevity, when you just don't know that much and therefore you have to keep it short; and profound brevity, when you know your subject so well, you're able to distill it down to the essential facts and talk...

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Emotions and the Customer Buying Process

Dispatches from BMA14: a Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   [caption id="attachment_2041" align="alignright" width="100"] Karen Walker, SVP of Cisco[/caption] Karen Walker, SVP of Cisco, presented on the art and science of creating emotional connections with customers this morning. As the b2b buying process continues to change, emotions are playing an integral role in the customer journey. Karen noted that nearly 60% of b2b buyers go to social communities to find information on a brand or product and nearly 85% use social media during the buying process.   A brand is really an emotional connection someone has with a product or service and surprisingly, b2b buyers are more emotionally connected to brands than b2c customers. This makes sense when you consider the risk, time, money and overall consequences involved in a b2b purchase.   What does this mean for marketers? Many things but the bottom line: we need to...

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Marketing So Good Your Customers Would Pay For It

Dispatches from BMA14: a Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   Jay Baer, author of the best selling book Youtility, kicked off the last day of BMA14 with a rousing discussion about useful marketing. He defined “Youtility” as marketing that is so good, your customers would pay for it. Pretty aspirational right?   Jay gave three great examples of “Youtility” in action:   1)   Columbia came out with a knot-tying app. They don’t sell rope. They could have come out with an app that helps you choose a jacket. But how useful would that be?   2)   In Montreal, leases all end on the same day of the year, creating a massive moving day. Ikea tapped into this by giving out free boxes around the town. Guess what? Their sales increased by 25%.   3)   Jay said his favorite example of Youtility is the app RunPee. The app tells you when the best time...

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#IamGenC

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago Yesterday, twelve young b2b pros capped off Day 2 of BMA14 with a fantastic presentation on Gen C. If you think Gen C is just another term for Millennials, think again. Gen C, also referred to as the YouTube generation, is not defined by your birthdate, but rather your mindset (yes Baby Boomers you can be a Gen C'er too!). The C stands for connection, creation, community and curation. The YP presenters painted a vivid picture of who Gen C is and how you can reach them. Here are a few highlights:   They create 100x more content than you can. So hand over the microphone and listen up! They know more about you than you think. So be found! They check reviews and with their peers before making a buying decision. What will they find...

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Watch Out, Kids! For B2B Marketers, Social Media is a Gateway Drug

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   [caption id="attachment_2012" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Gary Vaynerchuk presents at #BMA2014[/caption]   The Second City spoof performance on marketers was a tough act to follow today but luncheon keynote speaker Gary Vaynerchuk managed to be equally entertaining to most (and perhaps offensive to some).   The VaynerMedia CEO and co-founder, and notable author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, enticed the audience with tales, tips and tricks on breaking through to customers via social tools. Gary contends that most B2B marketers, agencies, and brands underestimate the power of social media and the role each channel plays in reaching current and potential customers.   Here are a few dos and don’ts when playing in the social sandbox:   DO: Escape 1996. Dump the old tactics and thinking and get on board with the tools of today....

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Tripling Down at #BMA14

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago    [caption id="attachment_1998" align="alignright" width="168"] Gary Vaynerchuk[/caption] Gary Vaynerchuk is a crazy F@&K.  But he speaks the truth. If you’ve seen him speak, you know what I mean.   I love one of his messages about tripling down on your strengths. Don’t waste time doing things you are not good at or not passionate about. If you concentrate on your strengths and passions, you will be fulfilled and probably be successful.   I guess I’ve tripled down on a few things, but listening to Gary made me think that I could do a whole lot more and will be.  In between all of his insults and F-Bombs, Gary’s message really hit home with me. Thanks. I will be tripling down more often now, starting tonight at our #bma14 happy hour.    ...

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Taking Marketing From a Cost Center to a Revenue Center

Dispatches from BMA14: a Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   More and more marketers are being asked to prove the impact marketing has on both the top and bottom lines. At BMA14 today, one of the 15-minute “Firestarter” sessions addressed the challenge of transforming marketing from a cost center to a revenue center.   [caption id="attachment_1987" align="alignleft" width="162"] Debbie Qaqish[/caption] Debbie Qaqish is principal and chief strategy officer of the Pedowitz Group and author of “The Rise of the Revenue Marketer.” She told the audience of 900+ b2b marketers what it takes to lead this kind of transformation. There are specific behaviors to address in order to affect this change, said Debbie, and she likened the transition to her own personal transformation through her passion for Crossfit and health and fitness habits.   The behaviors to transform marketing from a cost to a revenue center fall into five areas:   1)  Change management: Debbie...

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The Art of Social Selling #BMA14

[caption id="attachment_1976" align="alignleft" width="233"] #SocialSelling expert Jill Rowley[/caption] Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   Social selling expert Jill Rowley rocked the #BMA14 crowd this morning and discussed how we can do a better job communicating with prospects using social media. Her presentation was excellent as she kept emphasizing,  “It isn’t always about closing, it is about always being connected.”   The biggest change in the market is using social media channels to engage with your audience.  Stop trying to be a “quota crusher,” she implored sales professionals. Rather, connect with your audience in a meaningful way.  She supported this with a great stat: 78 percent of sales professionals who use social media to build connections outsell their peers.   She also reviewed a bit of research that shows that it takes approximately 8 cold calls to reach a prospect, and of those people reached, only 2%...

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Business to Business is not Boring to Boring #BMA14

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   When I was in college, all of the advertising classes were focused on the sex appeal of consumer marketing.  There wasn’t a focus on business-to-business marketing; I didn’t even know it existed.  Fast forward a certain number of years, and here I sit, attending a global business-marketing event – BMA14. BMA14 kicked off today with a huge statement – there are almost 1,000 attendees, making this the largest Business-to-Business marketing conference in the globe!   The presenters have been fantastic.  I’ve seen a variety of companies present, from USG to Airbus to Facebook.  I have learned so much, and one of the biggest things that I was reminded of was summarized by a quote from Beth Comstock, CMO of GE: “BtoB does not stand for Boring to Boring.” How right she is.   A few highlights that piqued my...

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Mobile Marketing Lessons from Facebook at #BMA14

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago If there’s any company to take mobile marketing advice from, it’s Facebook. As of last month, Facebook surpassed 1 billion active users on mobile— way more than their desktop version will ever get. CMO of Facebook Gary Briggs gave an awesome presentation at BMA14 demonstrating just how important mobile should be in our overall marketing strategy.   When Facebook first launched its mobile app it was fraught with problems. It was too slow, had poor quality (and low ratings and reviews) and it was unprofitable. Then they completely changed the way they did business.   Here are a few of the lessons Gary shared with us:   Make it Fast First, Facebook completely re-built their apps. Gary said speed was the most important thing to think of when building an app. Now the Facebook app is updated every four weeks, if...

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