Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Ferhat Hatay, Charlotte Spencer-Smith, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, SmartBear Blog

Blog Feed Post

How Does Your B2B Brand Reflect On Your Buyers?

Fun-house-mirrorI've been reading a lot of posts lately about making emotiional connections with B2B buyers, along with reminders not to forget their personal side. But this doesn't mean to start looking at them as B2C consumers - even though they are when they're away from the office. In professional mode, "personal" is a bit different.

And for all of you wondering - this does not mean that 2 dogs and a house in the suburbs is information that will help you.

Personal attributes for a B2B buyer are still related to the role they play at work. Some of the most basic questions of a personal nature that cross B2B buyers' minds include:

  • How will this decision affect my career?
  • Will this decision help save my job during the reorganization that will happen with the upcoming merger?
  • Will solving this problem help me earn a promotion?
  • Will this decision increase the value my company sees in me?

But when you look beyond those considerations, how does their perception of your brand influence their thinking? Is what they come across representative of the way you want your brand to be seen? Is their experience consistent across channels?

Could the way you represent yourself across channels be costing you business?

Below are a few situations to consider:

  • What will my peers and colleagues think if I choose them?
  • They're too hip and cool for our conservative culture. Will my executive team believe there is really enough substance?
  • They're really conservative - will they bring the innovative ideas I'll need in the future? Then again, I can probably trust them not to take a flyer...
  • They have some really smart people working for them - their blog is awesome - but every time the corporate Twitter handle Tweets it's about sports stuff or product discounts. Given how much the solution we're looking at costs, if my CFO ever sees that...
  • I asked a sales guy an industry question he couldn't answer yesterday. Today he sent me a link to a great thread where thought leaders were weighing in. It wasn't even produced by his company. I like this guy!
  • My friend just emailed me a link to a LinkedIn discussion where a gal at a company we're considering buying a solution from got defensive about something one of my colleagues posted. Uh oh...
  • I'm so tired of webinars that are really sales pitches. When they don't provide the value they promise on a webinar, will they deliver if you buy? It makes me wonder if they'd always be trying to upsell me if I became their customer.
  • Every time I get an email from this company I can't wait to see what they sent me. It's always great stuff. And if I can't use it, I know someone who can and forward it along. They make me look good.

Are any of these happening at your brand? Obviously, I've painted a picture that includes good and bad stuff. Even exagerated some of it to make a point. But this stuff actually happens. I've heard versions of most of these brought up in meetings. I've been forwarded links to stuff with WTF? notes from my clients and colleagues.

The truth is, social media and user-generated content and channel proliferation has created a version of reality that often reminds me a lot of high school. Operating in this environment is a lot like working under a microscope. But, if so, we need to adjust - and fast!

The truth of the matter is that you'll never be a fit for everyone. Making sure that your brand is aligned with your target markets is the best a company can hope for. Still a big task, but made more manageable. Putting buyers at the center of what you do also helps.

But this reality is also a rallying cry for working together. For breaking down silos and opening the lines of communication to help get everyone on the same page. Sure, they'll be outliers, but when each of us is by extension representative of the brand we're affiliated with, more thought needs to be given.

If the social media team isn't talking to the demand gen team who isn't talking to the web marketing team or the events team or the PR team and none of them are talking with the sales team - what are the chances that your brand is being perceived by your buyers in a way that's costing you sales?

When will we "get" it?

Step into your buyers' shoes and go take a look at your brand from the outside-in. Go look at all the channels through the experience your buyers will have. What do you think?

Are you inspired? Energized? Intrigued? Or are you disappointed, even alienated?

What one thing can you do today to shift the status quo?

Just take one step and then work on the next one. Once you recognize the issue, it's often taking that first step that's the hardest. You can do it. I have faith.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist of her firm Marketing Interactions, helps companies with complex sales increase and quantify marketing effectiveness by developing and executing interactive eMarketing strategies driven by compelling content.

Her book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, was published by McGraw-Hill.

Her articles and blog posts have been used for university ezines, published in CRM Today, Selling Power, Rain Today and Enterprise CRM News. Marketing Profs has incorporated her blog posts into a number of their "Get to The Point" newsletters.

@ThingsExpo Stories
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
WebSocket is effectively a persistent and fat pipe that is compatible with a standard web infrastructure; a "TCP for the Web." If you think of WebSocket in this light, there are other more hugely interesting applications of WebSocket than just simply sending data to a browser. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Frank Greco, Director of Technology for Kaazing Corporation, will compare other modern web connectivity methods such as HTTP/2, HTTP Streaming, Server-Sent Events and new W3C event APIs ...
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, will discuss how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from mil...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...