Skip to content

Archive for


Which social media network brings most success in B2B ?

Source : Flicker @cuppini

Source : Flicker @cuppini

2013 is almost there. What will 2013 bring? most probably another social media network.

Who knows, they come and go as Marcus Sheridan from @saleslion wrote about it on his blog. (by the way, I am a big fan of his work, check him out if you don’t know him).

Looking at the big ones, which ones will bring you the most success in B2B? I have seen many blog post about this subject: Facebook is better for this, LinkedIn is better for that. Twitter is only useful for this and that…

When developing a social media strategy, many companies start thinking which social media networks they should start developing. Developing means to create a presence, invest in time and maybe money to fuel that network with relevant content, and then organize actions to grow your follower base. Companies start hiring “conversation managers” that monitor the conversations, trigger the discussions, answer questions, be helpful where they can, and get the conversations going.

Should we do Facebook ? LinkedIn ? Whatever network ? 

It’s definitely an important question. And on the other hand it’s not an important question. It’s even a simple question.

I’ll tell you : it doesn’t matter. It’s not up to you or me to choose which network you will develop. If your customers are there, you better be there. It’s as simple as that.

But how do you know if your customers are on that particular network? Mmmm, difficult question, that much I agree.

Then maybe we should  jump on every network that sticks its head above the ground?

Should we be on LinkedIn?

hubspot-linkedin-graphicIn the case of LinkdedIn, there should be no doubt : if you are in B2B, you need to be on LinkedIn.

Almost all B2B professionals are on LinkedIn, using it for personal branding reasons, personal networking but also increasingly to find information.

Linkedin is changing from a pure B2B networking site, towards a site that is positioning itself as an information portal: updates from your contacts, the companies you are following, and more recently thought leaders like Richard Branson or Pete Cashmore.

Read more »


Content Marketing is not the task of Marketing

i want youAdvertisement overload and content overload are causing buyers to be blind for outbound marketing. Marketers these days are turning to content marketing as a way to break through the blindness and information clutter.

Because of the abundance of information out there, buyer behavior is changing. As Michael Brenner, @B2BMKTGInsider, one of my favorite marketers likes to put it :

“Buyers wait until they have completed 60-80% of their research before reaching out to vendors”.

Buyers turn to their “circles of trust”, on and off-line. Vendor information, social Media and word of mouth remain the major sources of influence to buyers according to the Buyersphere 2012 report.

Source : Buyersphere 2012

Source : Buyersphere 2012

The millennial effect, which describes the way the generation born after 1980 who never knew a time without internet and mobile phones, turn to social media networks for information and advice. People from this generation are slowly becoming the decision-makers of the future.

The shift of power to buyers

All these changes are causing a major shift of power:

  • from site centric to user centric: buyers where informed where they go, today buyers have access to information on-line and through their networks, where-ever they are.
  • from brand image to transparency: companies can no longer hide imperfections or bad behavior. They need to be open, authentic and transparent. If not they get heavily punished by the public opinion (see this Toyota case).
  • from the sales guy to the buyer: buyers these days often know more then the sales guy, because they have lots of sources of information before they buy. Buyers have very detailed and specific questions, which sales people or organizations will need to able to answer.

Read more »


Want great products? Start thinking out of the box

bic pensEverybody knows you should be listening to your customers. Give them what they want, right?

And we all think we are doing that: because we have sales guys in the field talking to customers. Because we have marketing people doing desk research, going to conferences, having discussions with customers and what not. And the management team is having important meetings with key customers, and key staff that are knowledgeable.

They know what your customers want, isn’t it?

And then what happens? We all jump into product brainstorm sessions, in which you have lots of people venting their opinions about what customers want. We use the input from sales, marketing and the management team to influence the product or service we want to create.

In the end, this is what you get: Read more »


SEO and Search are useless

Image source: Flickr, @anthonylkdking

Imagine you are perfectly happy with your solution. Imagine that you have a business in which the solution is providing you with a descent return on investment.

There’s no need for you to change.

Now imagine that you are a vendor with a solution that will provide more return than any other existing solution on the market.

You are creating comparisons, providing ROI tools, and doing all the right things to attract buyers with your content.

They are not searching

SEO will not help you, because they are not searching.

When they do search, you are there. But unfortunately, they don’t search, because they don’t need you. They are happy with what they have.

He/She’ll be blind for everything you have to say.

So what do you do?

The perfect world

If they are not searching, they are exploiting their current situation.

They are not aware that there’s something better out there, because basically they don’t have a problem.

But then the day comes.

The day they start being slightly unhappy, and realize that the world they are in, is not perfect. That the solution they have is not perfect.

That day they become receptive. They are willing to listen. And when they are ready to listen, you must be speaking.

When the day has come

Your buyer realizes that there is more out there. He want’s to know more. That’s the day he starts being receptive to e-mails, conference invites, whitepapers and webinars. Read more »


Putting a stop to Advertisement Blindness

Experiments have shown that online advertising and print advertising are increasingly less effective. We have become blind for advertisements.

The Benway and Lane experiment

The term “banner blindness” or advertisement blindness was coined by Benway and Lane as a result of website usability tests where a majority of the test subjects either consciously or unconsciously ignored information that was presented in banners.

They used eye tracking camera’s too monitor where people look on a screen. The experiment showed that we do see the ads, but we do not take them into account. Jacob Nielsen did a comparable experiment back in 2007.

We have become extremely well trained in filtering out everything we don’t want on a web page. And that even includes Google text ads.


Eye tracking camera’s monitor where people look on a screen. Banners and even Google text ads are not looked at.
Image source :

Read more »