Thirty years experience

Today’s Dilbert strip got me thinking.

Much is made in business of the need for experience. Experience defines us, provides us with credibility and a customer base prepared to engage with, and even recommend, us.

But when is too much experience actually counter productive? When does too much time spent working in the niche negatively affect our ability to diversify and maintain business flexibility and agility? At what point does doing the same thing the same way begin to stifle creativity?

Only you can really know. If you haven’t wrestled with this thought and have failed to land or have lost contracts, maybe its time you did. The world has changed. Have you?

Is your marketing guesswork?

Hmmm. If your marketing isn’t grounded in research, insight and based on measurable objectives, this could be the perception that your peers, management, business partners and, worst of all, customers will have about you.

I believe that for every marketer with poor judgement, and a huge mouth saying good things, there are three marketers with good judgement and huge things to say. Which one are you? Which one do you want to be?

Just think about it: the loudest guy in the room is rarely the most respected.

The b2b social media challenge – is this you?

Change, by its very nature, isn’t easy. Humans are programmed to resist. So, convincing a manager or business owner of the benefits in moving from controlling and broadcasting your message to operating in a more engaging and sharing way takes guts and self belief.

Social media is in fact a horrible catch-all umbrella term. It does little for b2b marketers who work in professional markets, so it is best to start small and start focused.

Don’t waste time setting up Facebook pages and Twitter feeds if, for example, you sell valves and seals through an international distribution network (though over time having accounts aids search engine optimisation). Instead, opt for Linkedin to build your profile, join groups and forums and position as an expert in the issues that arise out of valve disfunction.

Consider submitting news and opinion releases and posting responses on prominent industry news sites. Over time this might provide opportunities to produce white papers and open up speaker opportunities using the latest webinar technology. With video accounting for around 50% of all Internet search, use YouTube to host a video channel dedicated to showing why your products, services and people are best in class.

This is all social media – relevant to b2b – but without jumping on the Facebook/Foursquare bandwagon. Taking a focused approach will give your business a more enriched online presence, placing it where your audiences are more likely to congregate. As importantly, it positions you as an innovative lynchpin to your organisation, as you enable the company to reach out to potential customers hitherto unreachable.

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