The Josh Gordon Group blog
We get it, stories sell. They help customers remember key points even as they are overwhelmed with facts. When winning new business in the time before first sales contact this is critical as there are no salespeople to reinforce points made. But if the stories are only about your company and products they can sound like a sales pitch and be quickly forgotten. Stories that sell best describe B2B problem solving situations similar to those being experienced by customers. In short, the stories are about your customers, not you or your company. Our friend Jill Konrath explains:
In 1997 Steve Jobs returned to a failing Apple Computer to turn it around. His first job was to come up with a marketing strategy to reposition Apple from away from the recent product failure of the Apple Newton, low cost competitors, and widely publicized falling sales. In this rare video Jobs explains how a proposed “Think Different” advertising campaign could start to return Apple to profitability and success. Jobs references the “Got Milk” campaign and Nike branding as he explains how branding works and how this campaign will turn the Apple brand around.
You have to love Jeff Jarvis. Whether you see him as a brilliant visionary of the tech future, or as an academic with a well-read blog, he defiantly makes you think. In this short video he gives a vision of the new world of marketing where Google has turned the world upside down.
Josh Gordon will give an hour long talk for the National Assocation of Publisher Representatives on his thoughts on selling media to marketers. (What is a Linkinar?)
Conducting a survey is the process of taking a small, representative sample of a larger group to gain a better understanding of the group as a whole. When surveys are conducted on an ongoing basis they can become extremely important. Marketers take note: when done well, a series of ongoing surveys can become an important reference point for the markets they serve.
What is the downside to marketers shifting media dollars out of paid media and into owned and earned media? Matt Kinsman's team at American Business Media did a great job interviewing me in this video about this overlooked topic. In the intreview I refrence findings from our recent study, "Improving Marketing Effectiveness." Click on the picture below to see the video produced using the new, innovative Me!Box interface which blends video with posted content for a richer viewing experience.
Topics: B2B suppliers, content strategy, digital media, B2B marketing, non-customers, e-newsletter, social media, Josh Gordon Group, buyer/seller relatsionship, Josh Gordon, advertising, earned media, existing customers, noncustomers
Bought media: media you pay for like print ads and banner ads.
Owned media: media you own and control such as your company website, blog, newsletters or digital magazines. Your organization publishes these.
Earned media: exposure you “earn” by posting content on social networks, forums, and websites that you do not own. Examples are comments posted on blogs, photos shared on Facebook, or videos uploaded to YouTube. Here is chart from a presentation from Alex Wong that illustrates these three kinds of media.
Conventional wisdom says each of these media has different strengths:
Owned media is best for reaching your current customer base. Since your organization should have the most complete list of your own customers, publishing a newsletter or digital magazine to that list should provide the best coverage available.
Bought media is best for reaching new customers. The weakness of “owned media” is that it reaches largely people who are already customers or inclined to become them. Since paid media is purchased from a 3rd party publisher you will more often find customers of competitors.
Earned media enables your biggest fans to advocate for you. Every company has customers who, if properly motivated, will advocate for you online. While this is basically an organic process that you have no direct control over, smart organizations find ways to encourage this process along. Many mistakenly think that earned media is free. While there is no charge for posting content on most social media sites, the task of doing so requires staffing for the function, and adding staff is never free.
Earned, owned, or paid media. Which should you emphasize?
If your customer are heavily involved in social media, then earned media needs your attention. If you have not asked about your customers social media involvement in a year, you need to ask again.
If you sell a utilitarian product like car batteries, or commodity products like toothpaste or paper towels, paid media might be best. When was the last time you saw a passionate blog post or successful newsletter about toothpaste?
If most of your business comes from repeat customers, you need to think more about owned media.
Different media work best for different situations. Along those lines, I prefer skim milk in my morning cereal, but 1 or 2% % for hot coca.
See Alex Wong's entire presentation on slide share
As a persuasive element in B2B marketing, ideas are powerful, tangible, misunderstood, and underused. I loved the first few lines from Christopher Nolan's hit movie "Inception" because they dramatize just how influential ideas can be:
Some marketers have written off trade magazine advertising as yesterday's news. But a just-released study of broadcast technology buyers from the Josh Gordon Group found magazines and digital magazines among the most frequently used of all media.
Topics: B2B suppliers, B2B marketing, social media, Improving Marketing Effectiveness, iPads, LinkedIn, Josh Gordon Group, digital editions, digital magazines, trade magazines, e-readers, BtoB, Facebook, Twitter, engagement scores