Tuesday, February 10, 2009

presentation tomorrow

so tomorrow i'm chatting with the good folks at the Colorado Business Marketing Association (BMA), which, by the way, has nearly 700,000 google hits to its credit. way to go, guys.

they've asked me to speak to them about global re-branding. this is a topic about which i am completely jazzed, and i'd have no problem speaking for days on end about it.

the big disconnect with some folks is that they think B2B companies don't need to invest in "all that consumer stuff." i argue that it's precisely the reason we DO need to make those investments. B2B sales are, as we all know ...

1) are typically higher in $s (or Es or yen or RMB or pick your currency)
2) typically have longer lead times
3) can be fraught with more disasterous consequences if you screw up and pick the wrong partner (due to #1 and #2 above, but also because you've now put a company's products or services in place, and when those are either highly customized or very expansive or otherwise a PITA to change, people start to look at you funny and wonder aloud about the state of your 401K)

ANYWAY, i digress. the point is, "all that consumer stuff," which to me is codespeak for "brand building work that improves our awareness, preference, margins and marketshare" becomes increasingly critical when the sales are few and far between and when the switching barriers are high. people -- and it doesn't matter if they're industrial buyers -- cannot buy what they don't know about, and they won't buy what they don't find compelling, and they won't keep buying from a company that can't solve their problems and with whom they don't feel they have a good relationship. this is all really simple stuff but it's kinda funny how often we forget about these basic truths.

i intend to show the BMA group a very interesting video which has gone viral on the web. it provides current context for technology-based efforts -- cutting to the chase, it says we're behind before we even get started. and i'm sure the #s it references have already changed since it was originally posted. but still, you really should check it out.

i know i promised a diatribe on "bad marketing," and i promise that will follow soon.

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