Three Poisonous B2B Marketing Metaphors

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    15-Sep-2014
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Three metaphors in B2B content marketing and how they can lead you astray. Content Marketing is guided by the language we use to describe our activities. So metaphors can really shape our thinking. Three in particular are widely used and can be misleading.

Transcript of Three Poisonous B2B Marketing Metaphors

  • THREE POISONOUS METAPHORS IN B2B MARKETING.

  • METAPHORS ARE POWERFUL THINGSTHAT HELP US MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD.

  • BUT SOMETIMESMETAPHORS STOP WORKING.

    AND LEAD US DOWN THE WRONG PATHS.

  • THIS IS ABOUT THREE METAPHORS THAT ARE CENTRAL TO B2B MARKETING.

  • METAPHORS THAT ARE BROKEN BUT ARE STILL BEING USED EVERY DAY.

  • ITS IMPORTANT BECAUSE PEOPLE TEND TO FORGET THAT METAPHORS ARE JUST METAPHORS.

    SO THEY END UP ACTING AS IF THE METAPHORS WERE TRUE.

  • AND THAT LEADS TO LAZY MARKETING.

    MARKETING THAT MAKES FATAL ASSUMPTIONS.

  • THE FIRST POISONOUS METAPHOR

  • THE FUNNEL.

  • IN SOME WAYS, THE FUNNEL IS AN EFFECTIVE METAPHOR. AFTER ALL

  • THERE ARE LOTS OF POTENTIAL BUYERS IN THE WORLD

  • AND ONLY A FEW OF THEM KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT YOU

  • AND EVEN FEWER ACTUALLY MAKE THEMSELVES KNOWN

  • AND EVEN FEWER ENGAGE WITH YOUR SALES PEOPLE

  • AND A VERY FEW END UP BUYING.

  • SO WHATS WRONG WITH THE FUNNEL METAPHOR? TWO THINGS.

  • REAL-WORLD FUNNELS BENEFIT FROM GRAVITY.

  • A FORCE THAT, IF YOU DO NOTHING AT ALL, COMPELS EVERYTHING PUT INTO THE TOP TO FLOW OUT THE BOTTOM.

  • THE B2B MARKETING FUNNEL WORKS IN EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE WAY.

  • THE FORCES ACTING ON PROSPECTS TAKE THEM AWAY FROM YOU, NOT CLOSER TO YOU.

  • B2B MARKETING FUNNELS SHOULD REALLY BE SHOWN UPSIDE DOWN.

  • WE NEED TO COUNTER THE NATURAL FORCES THAT DRIVE PEOPLE AWAY FROM US.

  • REAL-WORLD FUNNELS ALSO HAVE HARD SIDES.

  • THERES ONLY ONE WAY OUT.

  • B2B MARKETING FUNNELS DONT WORK LIKE THAT.

  • THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF WAYS OUT.

    AND ONLY A FEW THAT LEAD TO YOUR SALES PEOPLE.

  • SO IF YOU MARKET AS IF THERES SUCH A THING AS GRAVITY AND BELIEVE THAT YOUR MARKETING FUNNEL IS HARD TO ESCAPE FROMYOUR MARKETING WILL SUCK.

  • ASSUMING THAT PEOPLE WILL TUMBLE DOWN YOUR FUNNEL UNTIL THEY BUY SOMETHING IS JUST PLAIN WRONG.

    ITS JUST A METAPHOR.

  • THE SECOND POISONOUS METAPHOR

  • THE PURCHASE JOURNEY.

  • YES, PURCHASE PROCESSES ARE KIND OF LIKE JOURNEYS.

  • PEOPLE WHO END UP BUYING STARTED OUT REALLY FAR AWAY AND NOW THEYRE REALLY CLOSE.

    LOOKS LIKE A JOURNEY RIGHT?

  • NOPE.REAL-WORLD JOURNEYS HAVE SOME IMPORTANT THINGS THAT B2B PURCHASE PROCESSES DO NOT.

  • PEOPLE ON REAL-WORLD JOURNEYS START WITH INTENTIONS.

  • THEY KNOW WHERE THEY WANT TO GO BEFORE THEY EVEN SET OFF.

    THEY BUY A MAP.THEY PACK A LUNCH.THEY PEE THE KIDS.

  • REAL-WORLD JOURNEYS ARE SELF-MOTIVATED.

    PEOPLE GO PLACES BECAUSE THEY REALLY WANT TO GET THERE.THEY NEED NO EXTRA INCENTIVE.

  • IN CONTRAST, B2B PURCHASERS DO NOT INTEND TO BUY YOUR PRODUCTS.

    THEIR MOTIVATION DOESNT INCLUDE YOU (UNLESS YOU DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE THAT).

  • B2B PURCHASERS ARE GROPING AROUND IN THE DARK.

    THINKING ABOUT THEIR OWN PROBLEMS.

  • OCCASIONALLY, THEY STUMBLE OVER SOME KIND OF LUMP.

    THAT LUMP IS YOU.

  • THEY MAY OR MAY NOT INVESTIGATE THE LUMP.

    PROBABLY NOT.

  • IF THEY DO, THEY MAY OR MAY NOT GET IN TOUCH.

  • AND EVEN IF THEY GET IN TOUCH, THEIR JOURNEY HAS JUST BEGUN.

    MOST OF THEM WILL STILL WANDER OFF.

  • NOW YOU MAY CHOOSE TO CALL ALL THIS GROPING AND STUMBLING A JOURNEY.

    (I WOULDNT.)

  • BUT IN B2B, BUYERS ARE NOT HEADING YOUR WAY ALL ON THEIR OWN.

    THEY DONT HAVE A MAP.THEY HAVENT PACKED LUNCH.THEY DONT KNOW YOU EXIST.

  • ASSUMING THAT PEOPLE ARE ON A JOURNEY TO YOU IS A FATAL ASSUMPTION.

    ITS JUST A METAPHOR.

  • THE THIRD POISONOUS METAPHOR

  • THE FOLLOWER.

  • WHETHER ITS ON TWITTER OR FACEBOOK OR LINKEDIN OR GOOGLE+, YOUR FOLLOWERS ARENT REALLY FOLLOWING YOU AND THEYRE NOT YOUR FRIENDS AND YOURE NOT REALLY IN THEIR CIRCLES.

  • THOSE ARE METAPHORS.

  • IN SOCIAL MEDIA, THERES ONLY ONE WAY TO GET PEOPLE TO REALLY FOLLOW YOU AND REALLY BE YOUR FRIEND AND REALLY INVITE YOU INTO THEIR CIRCLES.

  • YOU HAVE TO EARN IT.WHICH IS A LOT HARDER THAN GETTING THEM TO CLICK FOLLOW.

  • YOUR FOLLOWERS ARE STRANGERS WHO HAVE GIVEN YOU AT BEST A MICROSECOND EVERY MONTH OR SO TO GET ON THEIR RADAR. THATS ALL THEY ARE.

  • IF YOURE BUSY COUNTING YOUR FOLLOWERS AND COLLECTING LIKES, YOURE IGNORING THE THING THAT REALLY MATTERS.

  • THE THING THAT REALLY MATTERS IN SOCIAL MEDIA IS EARNING A REPUTATION AS AN INTELLIGENT, CONSISTENT, ENTERTAINING SOURCE OF INSIGHT.

  • IF YOU CAN DO THAT, TEN OF YOUR FOLLOWERS WILL BE WORTH THE MILLION PHANTOM FANS OF THAT PERSONAL BRAND GURU WHO PUMPS HIS BANAL EFFLUENT INTO THE TWEETOSPHERE EVERY HOUR, ON THE HOUR. YOU KNOW THE GUY.

  • FOLLOWERS AND FRIENDS ARE METAPHORS.

    LOOK BEHIND YOU.SEE ANY EAGER FACES, AWAITING YOUR NEXT POST?I THOUGHT NOT.

  • LETS REVIEW.

  • FUNNELS ARENT REALLY FUNNELS.

    THEY DONT HAVE GRAVITY AND THEY DONT HAVE HARD SIDES.

  • PURCHASE JOURNEYS ARENT REALLY JOURNEYS.

    YOUR PROSPECTS ARENT SKIPPING DOWN THE YELLOW-BRICK ROAD TO YOU.

  • YOUR FOLLOWERS ARENT REALLY FOLLOWERS.

    THEYRE JUST PEOPLE WHO ARE DESPERATELY LOOKING FOR FOLLOWERS.

  • SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

  • IT MEANS YOU HAVE TO CREATE THE GRAVITY IN THE FUNNEL.

    THE FORCE THAT IMPELS PROSPECTS TOWARDS YOU.

  • AND YOU HAVE TO BUILD THE HARD SIDES THAT KEEP PEOPLE ENGAGED.

    MAKING IT HARDER FOR THEM TO WANDER AWAY.

  • AND YOU HAVE TO TURN THE LIGHT ON SO THEY SEE WHERE THEY ARE AND WHY THEY NEED YOU.

    SO THEY STOP GROPING AND STUMBLING AND START LISTENING.

  • AND YOU HAVE TO EARN THE REAL ATTENTION OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CONTACTS. SO THEY SIT UP

    AND TUNE IN WHEN YOU TWEET.

  • AND YOU DO ALL THIS WITH ONE EASY-TO-SAY BUT NOT SO EASY-TO-DELIVER THING DRUM ROLL

  • YOU DO IT WITH CLEAR, COMPELLING, INTERESTING, USEFUL, PASSIONATE, FUN, INTELLIGENT, ARTICULATE, BEAUTIFUL, LOGICAL, DISCOVERABLE, MAGNETIC

  • CONTENT.

  • CONTENT THAT HELPS PEOPLE DO THEIR JOBS, SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS OR SEIZE THEIR OPPORTUNITIES.

  • THATS THE ONLY THING THAT FILLS FUNNELS AND INCITES JOURNEYS AND INSPIRES FOLLOWERS.

  • SO DO MORE OF THAT.

    (AND LESS OF EVERYTHING ELSE).

  • THANKS FOR CLICKING.

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