Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Tim Hinds, Liz McMillan, Plutora Blog, Chirag Bakshi, Jnan Dash

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
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, m...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the technology industry and how do they see opportunities for other women in their area of expertise.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...