Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Ian Khan, Carmen Gonzalez, Aria Blog, Elizabeth White, Plutora 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
Every innovation or invention was originally a daydream. You like to imagine a “what-if” scenario. And with all the attention being paid to the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) you don’t have to stretch the imagination too much to see how this may impact commercial and homeowners insurance. We’re beyond the point of accepting this as a leap of faith. The groundwork is laid. Now it’s just a matter of time. We can thank the inventors of smart thermostats for developing a practical business application that everyone can relate to. Gone are the salad days of smart home apps, the early chalkb...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, representing a model of how to analyze rea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
CommVault has announced that top industry technology visionaries have joined its leadership team. The addition of leaders from companies such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Cisco, PwC and EMC signals the continuation of CommVault Next, the company's business transformation for sales, go-to-market strategies, pricing and packaging and technology innovation. The company also announced that it had realigned its structure to create business units to more directly match how customers evaluate, deploy, operate, and purchase technology.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
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.
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
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.
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...
Even as cloud and managed services grow increasingly central to business strategy and performance, challenges remain. The biggest sticking point for companies seeking to capitalize on the cloud is data security. Keeping data safe is an issue in any computing environment, and it has been a focus since the earliest days of the cloud revolution. Understandably so: a lot can go wrong when you allow valuable information to live outside the firewall. Recent revelations about government snooping, along with a steady stream of well-publicized data breaches, only add to the uncertainty
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
PubNub on Monday has announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring its sophisticated real-time data streaming and messaging capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform. “Today’s app and connected devices require an always-on connection, but building a secure, scalable solution from the ground up is time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. “PubNub enables web, mobile and IoT developers building apps on IBM Bluemix to quickly add scalable realtime functionality with minimal effort and cost.”
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...
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
With several hundred implementations of IoT-enabled solutions in the past 12 months alone, this session will focus on experience over the art of the possible. Many can only imagine the most advanced telematics platform ever deployed, supporting millions of customers, producing tens of thousands events or GBs per trip, and hundreds of TBs per month. With the ability to support a billion sensor events per second, over 30PB of warm data for analytics, and hundreds of PBs for an data analytics archive, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Kaskade, Vice President and General Manager, Big Data & Ana...
In the consumer IoT, everything is new, and the IT world of bits and bytes holds sway. But industrial and commercial realms encompass operational technology (OT) that has been around for 25 or 50 years. This grittier, pre-IP, more hands-on world has much to gain from Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications and principles. But adding sensors and wireless connectivity won’t work in environments that demand unwavering reliability and performance. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ron Sege, CEO of Echelon, will discuss how as enterprise IT embraces other IoT-related technology trends, enterprises with i...