Getting Up Close and Personal

[Posted by Jeremiah Owyang]

I often advise my clients to keep blogs human, conversational, and in context for customers --it's the opposite of what marketing has been in the past.

Yet team blogs are a unique beast, it's a great way to show a lot of different types of ideas from different analysts, but at the same time, it's difficult to hear or see individual personalities. 

A reader recently mentioned to me that it was hard to tell who was publishing specific posts on our blog, so we're getting nice and friendly on each of our posts by showing our picture, and also spelling out who the author was, and a link to our related research.

Profile pics and links are great and all, but we're not done trying to write a great blog.  In the near future, we're going to find out more about what you want from this blog (as researchers, we love to get feedback) so we can continue to improve, so stay tuned for that.

We'd like to thank Corey Mathews from our web team who recently
refreshed the look of the blog, really a more energizing feel, thanks

Thanks again for reading, really, thanks!  We'll continue to share interesting content, and look forward to your reactions in the comments and from your own blogs.


re: Getting Up Close and Personal

Clean and simple new look with font/colors-nice!

re: Getting Up Close and Personal

Myrna thanks for the feedback

re: Getting Up Close and Personal

Laura Ramos celebrated her 8th anniversary as the B2B marketing analyst at Forrester by worrying about the death of B2B marketing. Her piece suggests a frustration with B2B marketers still in love with trade ads, trade shows and brochures and still at war with their counterparts in sales.She hints that their obsession with the top of the demand funnel ignores the reality of complex considered purchases which include larger teams of influencers and fewer decision-makers, require months of punishing interactions and requires the patience and the savvy of a chess master to close a sale. And while she points to a four "macro trends,"she misses some of the nuance that the best B2B marketers understand in adapting to a radically different marketplace. Let me address her trends in order.Commoditization. Open architecture and software-as-service plus marketing-resource-management tools shift the marketer's burden from the mechanics of distribution and cost control to the need for sophisticated CRM to drive prospect engagement. Now anybody can get the e-mails out, the brochures customized or the personal URLS deployed at affordable prices. What most can't do is use real-time data or incorporate intelligence gleaned by inside and direct sales guys into presentations and create a natural, logical back-and-forth sales conversation over time.A B2B sale is a ballet in time. Marketers need to understand the sequence of contacts and the prospect's expectations and internal process at each step. By understanding who does what to whom, we can orchestrate the messages, accelerate discovery, consideration, competitive analysis and surface the real objections to any deal earlier. Deploying customer-specific websites to store documents and traffic information help as do dedicated webinars or efforts to connect current customers with their peers in prospect companies.Consumerism Rules. Word of mouth matters. Industry peers wield the most influence in terms of brand awareness and often, brand preference. The web is an obvious tool to distribute relevant content, give access to user groups and peer-to-peer communities and to influence longitudinal conversations about trends, tactics and evolving technologies. This is where social media, blogs, RSS feeds and diagnostic tools or even viral videos matter.Everyone Hates Ads. Duh! Even though top management is often wedded to an ongoing balance of power in trade ads with direct competitors, the key to any successful campaign is to intersect prospective buyers in ways they trust to allow them to get the idea they need your product or service. Any campaign has to start with a feeling for what prospects read, what they trust, where they visit, what they opt-in for and who can influence their opinions. It makes the case for investments in natural search and pay-per-click campaigns and behavioral targeting and it reinforces the value of getting analysts like Laura writing favorable things about you.Globalization. Offshore production reduces the costs but rarely does it improve the targeting or the content of marketing campaigns. Moreover the smartest global marketers understand that 85 percent of the positioning, the process and the pitch are the same from place to place. Leading brands create shared service operations to optimize the value of art, graphics, intellectual property, web tools, demos and a wide array of collateral. They rely on local or regional players to address the remaining 15% and to adapt or translate product or service benefits to the local business culture and to keep the brands locally competitive.Laura take heart! B2B marketers aren't as sleepy as you think. We are embracing and using digital technology more frequently and more effectively than you might see even though we frequently have to fight harder internally to break away from old patterns and expectations.