I’m speaking at a local event this week and it has forced me to research my chosen topic, even though I have spent the last 20 years in the industry. B2B marketing is a special animal and anyone that has engaged in it will tell you it’s a much more difficult and complex type of marketing than the more traditional B2C.
I belong to gr0ups and associations that tailor to marketers, but we B2B folks seem to be the ones swept into the corner…that is until we’re needed to land a multi-billion dollar sale! See, B2B marketers typically work with larger product scopes or even project-based sales. These types of sales can take months or years to complete (In that time a consumer product could run its entire life-cycle!) and demand that we “cater” to a variety of targets and decision makers. My contention is that B2B marketers don’t sell a prospect but rather entice those prospects to “commit” to a channel partner or particular rep. Our job as B2B marketers is to position ourselves as the spouse and not this week’s date!
I’m amazed at all the research around B2B that simply reinforces the fact that it is more challenging, without any roadmaps drawn for success. I’ll focus this week on both I think; we need to understand the differences between the two, but we also need to concoct some recipes for achievement!
I was listening to the radio and heard mention that the recent recession ended in 2009. This is the typical sugar-coated White House version of reality, but it really ticked me off! I’ll believe the recession is over when unemployment is under 5%, GDP exceeds debt and my house is worth more than it was in early 2006!! I’m thinkin’ that’s probably 4-5 years away at best!
If you look at it from the typical American’s viewpoint, you can’t help notice that this will be a 10-year minimum crisis. Most middle-class citizens are heavily invested in their homes, and many of us made the mistake of treating them like living, breathing 401ks…investing most of our earnings into the home we live in and banking on the year-over-year returns.
This all got me thinking, and got me pissed at the same time. I’ve been looking for inspiration for a new book and I think I’ve got it. My contention is that the recession is not over, it didn’t start in 2006 and in fact America has been in steady (sometimes steep) decline since JFK was shot on Dealey Plaza. Think about it…we were crowned the world’s super power in 1945-6. Our economy blasted off and remained the global leader until the early 60s. Since then we’ve:
- Fought and lost the most unpopular war in the last 1000 years
- Eroded our manufacturing base starting with the Automobile and continuing with the Steel, Consumer Goods and Technology industries.
- Let our nation’s infrastructure (once the envy of the world) go to shit. Take a look around at our bridges, roads, power plants, etc. – it’s downright scary!
- Enacted so many social entitlement programs that we’ve become a nation of takers. Nearly 50% of Americans are on some government assistance program. If you’re bad at math, that means those of us who are not, are supporting ourselves and the at least one other citizen.
- Finally, we’ve become such politically-correct pussies that when we do notice all the above our first notion isn’t to raise holy Hell until the problem is fixed…no, we concern ourselves with which special-interest group will be offended by our frank words, and how we will protect ourselves in what has become a litigious America.
Yes, I’m pissed and you should be too! When will I start writing? About 20 minutes ago!
OK, here we are again at the beginning of another new year. Every 12 months it’s the same for me, I make some resolutions…some are kept; some are not (OK, most are not!). But this year is different! Yes, I hear you pessimists in the background mumbling about the same lame excuse and justification…but really, 2012 is different.
How so? I’m making an entire list of resolutions…here we go!
- I will update my blog regularly. I now have a book out there and people may actually want to read periodic ramblings from my demented brain.
- I will get back in the gym. Actually, never left of my own accord; surgery last October put me down for a few months.
- I will read a book a week. Not all that hard unless my ADHD is kickin’ in.
- I will keep my email inbox clean. Nothing pisses me off more than 200 emails left unread in my inbox. But of course my procrastination leads to the overflow…which in turn pisses me off even more!
- I will tweet. ’nuff said.
- I will live within my budget. Fat chance, but I’m putting it in writing anyway.
- I will cleanse my Facebook friends list, and put more thought into who I let in.
- I will drive my econobox car more and leave the Earth-destroying SUV in the garage (notice I’m not selling the damn thing…baby steps)
- I will read my daily message from a spiritual source. No clever line here…still wary of personal Armageddon.
- I will begin another book. It’s long overdue.
So, there we have it, not one but 10 full resolutions. My goal is to stick to as many as possible – how’s that for non-committal?
Have a happy, safe and productive 2012…we’ll see you back here soon!