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What are you reading for?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Fri 18-Jul-2014

There’s a very funny Bill Hicks sketch set in an American diner in which the gum-chewing waitress approaches him, leans over his table, sees he has a paperback open, and asks him “What are you reading for?”

Not “what are you reading”, but “what are you reading for”, as if reading was some form of unnatural act (unnatural acts being a subject that Hicks - as his fans will know - had more than a passing acquaintance with).

I was reminded of Hick’s sketch when I recently helped to interview a candidate for the Marketing Director position with one of my clients. I asked them what they read in order to get inspiration, and the answer disturbed me…

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Why the Sales and Marketing conversation should never be about you

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 18-Mar-2014

I was delighted to be asked by the founders of the admirably named Witty Parrot to contribute to their collection of 25 “Sales Productivity Tips from the Experts”, featuring a bunch of really smart people. The book has been a runaway download success - you can download your copy by following the link at the bottom of this article.

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Don Draper and the new sales 101

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 6-Mar-2014

If you ever questioned whether marketers could teach sales people anything about selling, I urge you to watch one of my favourite Don Draper moments. If the video isn’t displayed below in your copy of this email, you can reach it by following this link: http://youtu.be/5y4b-DEkIps

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Why B2B Marketing in 2014 must be about Content + Context + Conversation

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 9-Jan-2014

First, a tip of the hat to David Meerman Scott and Doug Kessler for inspiring some of the ideas in this blog. In Isaac Newton’s words, It is only by standing on the shoulders of such giants that I have been able to see so far. I only hope that I can add value to their thinking without tumbling to the ground in the process.

Content marketing has emerged as one of the key growth areas for B2B marketing in 2014. It seems like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. And yet, as Doug Kessler so eloquently explains, we are in the process of drowning in a deluge of drivel masquerading as thought leadership. It’s just that Doug didn’t use the word “drivel”. More on that later.

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7 Sales and Marketing Resolutions for 2014

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 1-Jan-2014

It’s that time of the year again. The start of a new calendar year often coincides with the start of a new financial year, but even if not, it still offers an invaluable opportunity to review the lessons learned from 2013, pause for reflection, and resolve to do even better in 2014.

I’d like to share 7 popular initiatives that many of my clients have resolved to implement (or in many cases, refine and reinforce) in 2014. I hope you find some of the ideas useful in establishing your own resolutions.

1: Clean up your data

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Why we all need to start with “why” - Simon Sinek’s TED Talk revisited

Posted by Bob Apollo on Sun 3-Nov-2013

Kudos to the folks at HubSpot for analysing just what makes Simon Sinek’s awe-inspiring TED Talk on “Inspiring Action” so effective. The presentation has been viewed over 12 million times - by far the most popular sales or marketing related video on TED.

I’ve shared the presentation with many of my clients and it’s proven to be a powerful catalyst for changing their thinking - often dramatically - about what they should be communicating, and how.

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A new definition for SaaS: “Sellotape assisted asset Sale” ;-)

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 20-Jun-2013

I attended the always-excellent Megabuyte Forum event in London today (if you’re a C-level executive in a UK-based technology business, you really should sign up). Amidst a stream of highly relevant insights into the state of the UK market (and some interesting projections about its future state) came one gem that I'd like to share with you - and then explore some of the implications.

Matthew Brockman of HgCapital rebranded SaaS - only partly in jest - as “Sellotape assisted asset Sale”, and I can see exactly where he is coming from.

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Why it’s time we stopped "weeing" over our prospects

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 26-Feb-2013

At an intellectual level, it’s easy to accept that our prospects are far more interested in addressing their issues than they are in the merits of our solutions. If the two align, then that’s all well and good and - hopefully - much more than a happy coincidence.

So why, then, do so many companies still spend so much time explaining what they (“we”) do and how successful they are as organisations, rather focusing on what they can help their potential customers (“you”) achieve?

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Should B2B marketing be employing more scientists than artists?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 21-Feb-2013

That’s the question implied by one of IDC’s recently published “Top 10 predictions for 2013”. Driven by a number of profound changes in both the business and marketing environments, they project that from 2013 onwards, 50% of new marketing hires will have technical backgrounds.

IDC logo 200They point out that the fastest growing job categories in marketing today include campaign management, marketing operations, intelligence/research, sales enablement, social media and marketing IT. Many of these categories hardly existed less than a decade or less ago.

Analytics and automation

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Introducing the 21st Century Sales Warrior's Guide to Mobility

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 6-Feb-2013

I’ve been involved in some way or another in helping companies to mobilise their workforces for the past 15 years, and there’s no doubt that the pace is quickening. I’m therefore delighted to have been invited by SAP to contribute to their excellent “21st Century Sales Warrior's Guide To Mobility”. 

It’s been a real pleasure to collaborate in the creation of the guide with a group of authors who I’ve long admired, including Dave Brock, Matt HeinzBob Thompson, and Peter Ostrow of the Aberdeen Group.

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