The dictionary defines a manifesto as a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives. It seems to me - as it does to the good folks at Velocity Partners - that this is an excellent time to set out a new B2B Marketing Manifesto. After all, as they point out, there has never been a more interesting, exciting or challenging time to be a B2B Marketer than right now…
But they - with equal accuracy - also observe that there has never been a scarier, more exposed time to be a B2B Marketer than right now. How can we reconcile these apparent contradictions? To get the full picture, you’ll have to download Velocity Partners’ B2B Marketing Manifesto for yourself by clicking on this link. But I’d like to share a few of their conclusions with you as a taster.
All Bets Are Off
You see, as the manifesto points out, the traditional rules of B2B Marketing have been erased and rewritten. Your potential buyers don’t buy the way they used to. Your sales people don’t (and can’t) sell the way they used to - and your competitors don’t compete the way they used to. That’s assuming, of course that you can recognise your competitors, because your prospects have never had more options.
On the other hand, and as I’ll be pointing out in my session at the Funnel 2011 Conference in London on 1st November, the playing field has never been more level. In what Velocity Partners refer to as “Midget Power”, the size of your marketing budget no longer defines how much impact you make. Smart, nimble start-ups are regularly able to run rings around established vendors.
Can You Pass the Micro-Second WIIFM Test?
All it takes is the ability to abandon the traditional B2B marketing mind-set and embrace the potential of the tools that are now available to us all. Everything we do has to pass our prospect’s WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) test - and it has to do so within the first few micro-seconds of their attention span.
If you’re not interesting and relevant, you’ll have lost them. And your prospects will never come back. It’s the reason (as if you needed one) why you have to invest in identifying with your prospects and with their aspirations, hopes and fears. It’s why investing in ideal prospect profiles and thoughtfully crafted stakeholder profiles and buyer persona is such a critical and essential foundation for great B2B marketing.
6 Key Staples
Velocity Partners identify 6 key staples of B2B Marketing - and make a compelling case for every one of them.
- Content Marketing: converting your insight into campaigns that change people’s minds
- Analytics: measuring everything that moves in your marketing (and the stuff that doesn’t)
- A/B Testing: backing your hunches with real-life data - and responding accordingly
- Lead Nurturing: cultivating your prospects until they are ready to take the next step in their buying journey with you
- Search: getting found using the terms your prospects use when they go looking for answers
- Community: hanging out (and contributing) in the places where your prospects go for trusted advice
I hope that’s whetted your appetite, and that if you haven’t already done so, that you choose to download the manifesto today. There’s much more good stuff in it, and not a little provocation. But isn’t that how progress is driven?
Once you’ve digested the manifesto, please share your feedback. Have Velocity Partners nailed it? Or there are other things that you would include in your own personal B2B Marketing Manifesto?
Oh, and one more thing. Don’t forget to check Funnel 2011 out. I reckon that the organisers are pulling together an absolutely knockout agenda. It’s a great opportunity to see just how far B2B marketing has evolved.