Creating the B2B Customer
Alan/Anthony's email newsletter on customer creation in the unique B2B space. Click on the links below to view recent issues.
"Value-Added?" See Picasso, Pablo — Summer 2007. There is an old story about the Paris days of Pablo Picasso, the famous Spanish painter, which shines a light on a much-used but little-understood phrase. True or not, the story goes like this.
After eating and drinking for hours at a café with a group of friends and patrons, Picasso was presented with the check. He was enjoying relative affluence at that point, but Picasso's momma raised no fools when it came to money. After looking over the bill, he took out his pencil, turned the bill over on the table and, with the puzzled waiter standing over him, made a remarkable drawing in the abstract style that had become world-famous. He signed his name to it, handed the bill to the dumbfounded waiter, and said, "Please my friend, keep the change."
"Sales" is to "Marketing" as "Fiber" is to... — Sring 2007. If you grew up in the USA, the title of this issue may revive unpleasant memories. (If you were educated elsewhere, this kind of infamous analogy used to appear in the SAT exam, which is used to judge high school students on their readiness for university.) Analogy questions asked students to make often incongruous connections. Is "medicine" to "illness" as "love" is to "treason," or is it as "law" is to "anarchy?"
Creating B2B Customers in Emerging Markets — October 2006. As broadband communications, the spread of English as a common language for international business, and the emergence of free trade continue to bring emerging nations into the Digital Age, new business opportunities have opened for a range of telecom, IT and related B2B service providers. This new, decidedly flat "trade route" is much less restricted by geography than ever before. However, it is restricted by missteps in marketing and customer creation tactics.
The Power of Accident — April 2006."Louis ("Satchmo") Armstrong was no accident. His genius inspired generations of musicians and made jazz a great American export and an industry that thrives today. But one accident in Chicago a long time ago set the stage for a chain of events that could not have been predicted."
In Memorium: Without the BS — December 2005. "He was a man who cut through the mind-numbingly dull jargon of business-speak like a laser. His "value-added" was his ability to see to the core of what it meants to be in business and to achieve the only goals worth pursuing in a business. For Alan/Anthony he was a mentor: a person from whom we borrowed - heck, stole - liberally as we shaped our own business mission over two decades. In fact the very name of this e-newsletter, which we push to your PCs, Laptops and Blackberries was taken from him. He was, of course, Peter Drucker, a writer, teacher and consultant specializing in strategy and policy for businesses and social-sector organizations."
Promotions for the Ages — September 2005. "At the end of June, the US Supreme Court issued what the press called a 'split decision' on the controversial topic of displaying the Ten Commandments on government property. In a case concerning two rural Kentucky courthouses, the Court ruled that the displays were unconstitutional because they had been set up in recent years expressly for the purpose of 'favoring monotheistic religion.' The other case concerned a 6-foot granite monument erected in 1961 on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol in Austin. The Court ruled in favor of that monument, saying that it presented a 'less blatantly religious statement tinged with secular historical and educational meaning.' No, this issue of Creating the B2B Customer isn't about the First Amendment. It's about the little-known story behind the story."
Spread Out the Offense - February-March 2005. "Now that its over, we can msafely say that Super Bowl XXXIX was Americas quintessential engine of madvertising, merchandising and mass cultural marketing a $2.4 million-per-minute juggernaut for introducing and reinforcing brands. They tell me it was also a football game."
“We Know Everybody” – January 2005 – Louis Zacharilla introduces you to a marketing director who doesn’t need to promote his company because “we know everybody.”
Subtle, Tactful and Persistent: Marketing Professional Services – September 2004 – Louis Zacharilla reveals the secrets of marketing “unmarketable” professional services including legal, medical and financial consulting.
Striving for Price Competence in a Competitive Environment – February 2004 – Liz Lynch discussed the difference between pricing competitively and pricing competently.
How to Trim Marketing Budgets in Tough Times - October 2003 - B2B executives want to know how to stop wasting money and start developing new business methodically and reliably, month after month, in good times and bad. Here are our top five ways to cut waste in marketing.
Five Secrets of Succcessful Networking - June 2003 - Liz Lynch is the author of 102 Secrets to Smarter Networking. It offers sales professionals practical advice on using informal networking to open doors, create relationships and make sales. We asked her to share with you her five top secrets to successful networking.
Frequency, Frequency, Frequency - May 2003 - "Frequency is a powerful idea that comes, unless you're a radio engineer, from the advertising industry. Let's say you hire the world's greatest advertising agency, with the world's greatest copywriters and designers. Based on the greatest marketing strategy ever devised, your agency creates an unforgettable ad that is, of course, the world's greatest. Then you run it exactly once in your industry's leading trade magazine. What do you get? The world's greatest bill from your advertising agency. And that's about it. To have any impact, you must run your ad many times in many different venues. People need to see it repeatedly for it to be effective. That's frequency."
Show Me the Money - March 2003 - "The venture capital lunacy of the late '90s is a thing of the past. Yet there remains a $40 billion overhang of investment capital looking for a place to go. So it's not surprising that many of our clients ask us how to go about getting money for their winning business plans or ideas."
Do-It-Yourself Brain Surgery! - January 2003 - The next time your doctor tells you that you need brain surgery, try to do it yourself. Facing a courtroom trial? Be your own lawyer. And if you need to fly to Europe on business, get in the cockpit and give it a spin! It is interesting to note how many business people immediately turn to experts for certain professional services - but outsource their marketing or new business development program only (a) after they have laid off everybody in marketing to save money or (b) when they're going down the tubes and need instant salvation. But in good times and bad, outsourcing key aspects of your marketing is not only more cost-effective, it is also far more productive.
Why Aren't My People Selling More - October 2002 - "Nearly everyone we know who sells a product or service says that the downturn in the global economy is making it harder to sell and create new customers. However, some companies sell effectively across the business cycle. They do better in good times and suffer less in bad ones, despite not having a charismatic CEO, a shady CFO or even a recognizable “brand.” In fact, we have a list of companies that are thriving right now. What’s their secret?"
How to Stay Out (or Get Out) of Trouble – August 2002 – “A few high-profile companies are getting into spectacular trouble these days for actions that range from the shamefully venal to the flagrantly illegal. But in 19 years of consulting with B2B companies, we found these kinds of shenanigans to be the exception, not the rule. Far more companies get into trouble — meaning slow or negative growth, sudden P&L disasters and liquidity crises — for one of three reasons: (1) Failure to communicate clearly, (2) Loss of focus on the core mission, or (3) Resistance to change…”
Six Keys to Successful Strategic Alliances – July 2002 – “About 100 years ago, the Western world gave up on the idea of arranged marriages. Instead, we invented dating. We engage in premarital sex. We move in together and see how it works out. What works in love also works in business. Strategic alliances can enable your company to access new markets, create new capabilities and plug gaps in your line of products and services — all with relatively low risk…But few companies succeed in reaping the full benefits of the strategic alliances they enter…”