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Three Poisonous B2B Marketing Metaphors

Three Poisonous B2B Marketing Metaphors

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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.

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.

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Three Poisonous B2B Marketing Metaphors

  1. 1. THREE POISONOUS METAPHORS IN B2B MARKETING.
  2. 2. METAPHORS ARE POWERFUL THINGS THAT HELP US MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD.
  3. 3. BUT SOMETIMES METAPHORS STOP WORKING. AND LEAD US DOWN THE WRONG PATHS.
  4. 4. THIS IS ABOUT THREE METAPHORS THAT ARE CENTRAL TO B2B MARKETING.
  5. 5. METAPHORS THAT ARE BROKEN BUT ARE STILL BEING USED EVERY DAY.
  6. 6. IT’S IMPORTANT BECAUSE PEOPLE TEND TO FORGET THAT METAPHORS ARE JUST METAPHORS. SO THEY END UP ACTING AS IF THE METAPHORS WERE TRUE.
  7. 7. AND THAT LEADS TO LAZY MARKETING. MARKETING THAT MAKES FATAL ASSUMPTIONS.
  8. 8. THE FIRST POISONOUS METAPHOR…
  9. 9. THE FUNNEL.
  10. 10. IN SOME WAYS, THE FUNNEL IS AN EFFECTIVE METAPHOR. AFTER ALL…
  11. 11. THERE ARE LOTS OF POTENTIAL BUYERS IN THE WORLD…
  12. 12. AND ONLY A FEW OF THEM KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT YOU…
  13. 13. AND EVEN FEWER ACTUALLY MAKE THEMSELVES KNOWN…
  14. 14. AND EVEN FEWER ENGAGE WITH YOUR SALES PEOPLE…
  15. 15. AND A VERY FEW END UP BUYING.
  16. 16. SO WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE FUNNEL METAPHOR? TWO THINGS.
  17. 17. REAL-WORLD FUNNELS BENEFIT FROM GRAVITY.
  18. 18. A FORCE THAT, IF YOU DO NOTHING AT ALL , COMPELS EVERYTHING PUT INTO THE TOP TO FLOW OUT THE BOTTOM.
  19. 19. THE B2B MARKETING FUNNEL WORKS IN EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE WAY.
  20. 20. THE FORCES ACTING ON PROSPECTS TAKE THEM AWAY FROM YOU, NOT CLOSER TO YOU.
  21. 21. B2B MARKETING FUNNELS SHOULD REALLY BE SHOWN UPSIDE DOWN.
  22. 22. WE NEED TO COUNTER THE NATURAL FORCES THAT DRIVE PEOPLE AWAY FROM US.
  23. 23. REAL-WORLD FUNNELS ALSO HAVE HARD SIDES.
  24. 24. THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY OUT.
  25. 25. B2B MARKETING FUNNELS DON’T WORK LIKE THAT.
  26. 26. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF WAYS OUT. AND ONLY A FEW THAT LEAD TO YOUR SALES PEOPLE.
  27. 27. SO IF YOU MARKET AS IF THERE’S SUCH A THING AS GRAVITY AND BELIEVE THAT YOUR MARKETING FUNNEL IS HARD TO ESCAPE FROM… YOUR MARKETING WILL SUCK.
  28. 28. ASSUMING THAT PEOPLE WILL TUMBLE DOWN YOUR FUNNEL UNTIL THEY BUY SOMETHING IS JUST PLAIN WRONG. IT’S JUST A METAPHOR.
  29. 29. THE SECOND POISONOUS METAPHOR…
  30. 30. THE PURCHASE JOURNEY.
  31. 31. YES, PURCHASE PROCESSES ARE KIND OF LIKE JOURNEYS.
  32. 32. PEOPLE WHO END UP BUYING STARTED OUT REALLY FAR AWAY AND NOW THEY’RE REALLY CLOSE. LOOKS LIKE A JOURNEY RIGHT?
  33. 33. NOPE. REAL-WORLD JOURNEYS HAVE SOME IMPORTANT THINGS THAT B2B PURCHASE PROCESSES DO NOT.
  34. 34. PEOPLE ON REAL-WORLD JOURNEYS START WITH INTENTIONS.
  35. 35. THEY KNOW WHERE THEY WANT TO GO BEFORE THEY EVEN SET OFF. THEY BUY A MAP. THEY PACK A LUNCH. THEY PEE THE KIDS.
  36. 36. REAL-WORLD JOURNEYS ARE SELF-MOTIVATED. PEOPLE GO PLACES BECAUSE THEY REALLY WANT TO GET THERE. THEY NEED NO EXTRA INCENTIVE.
  37. 37. IN CONTRAST, B2B PURCHASERS DO NOT INTEND TO BUY YOUR THEIR MOTIVATION PRODUCTS. DOESN’T INCLUDE YOU (UNLESS YOU DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE THAT).
  38. 38. B2B PURCHASERS ARE GROPING AROUND IN THE DARK. THINKING ABOUT THEIR OWN PROBLEMS.
  39. 39. OCCASIONALLY, THEY STUMBLE OVER SOME KIND OF LUMP. THAT LUMP IS YOU.
  40. 40. THEY MAY OR MAY NOT INVESTIGATE THE LUMP. PROBABLY NOT.
  41. 41. IF THEY DO, THEY MAY OR MAY NOT GET IN TOUCH.
  42. 42. AND EVEN IF THEY GET IN TOUCH, THEIR ‘JOURNEY’ HAS JUST BEGUN. MOST OF THEM WILL STILL WANDER OFF.
  43. 43. NOW YOU MAY CHOOSE TO CALL ALL THIS GROPING AND STUMBLING A JOURNEY. (I WOULDN’T.)
  44. 44. BUT IN B2B, BUYERS ARE NOT HEADING YOUR WAY ALL ON THEIR OWN. THEY DON’T HAVE A MAP. THEY HAVEN’T PACKED LUNCH. THEY DON’T KNOW YOU EXIST.
  45. 45. ASSUMING THAT PEOPLE ARE ON A JOURNEY TO YOU IS A FATAL ASSUMPTION. IT’S JUST A METAPHOR.
  46. 46. THE THIRD POISONOUS METAPHOR…
  47. 47. THE “FOLLOWER”.
  48. 48. WHETHER IT’S ON TWITTER OR FACEBOOK OR LINKEDIN OR GOOGLE +, YOUR ‘FOLLOWERS’ AREN’T REALLY FOLLOWING YOU AND THEY’RE NOT YOUR ‘FRIENDS’ AND YOU’RE NOT REALLY IN THEIR ‘CIRCLES’.
  49. 49. THOSE ARE METAPHORS.
  50. 50. IN SOCIAL MEDIA, THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO GET PEOPLE TO REALLY FOLLOW YOU AND REALLY BE YOUR FRIEND AND REALLY INVITE YOU INTO THEIR CIRCLES.
  51. 51. YOU HAVE TO EARN IT. WHICH IS A LOT HARDER THAN GETTING THEM TO CLICK ‘FOLLOW’.
  52. 52. YOUR ‘FOLLOWERS’ ARE STRANGERS WHO HAVE GIVEN YOU – AT BEST – A MICROSECOND EVERY MONTH OR SO TO GET ON THEIR RADAR. THAT’S ALL THEY ARE.
  53. 53. IF YOU’RE BUSY COUNTING YOUR FOLLOWERS AND COLLECTING ‘LIKES’, YOU’RE IGNORING THE THING THAT REALLY MATTERS.
  54. 54. THE THING THAT REALLY MATTERS IN SOCIAL MEDIA IS EARNING A REPUTATION AS AN INTELLIGENT, CONSISTENT, ENTERTAINING SOURCE OF INSIGHT.
  55. 55. 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.
  56. 56. ‘FOLLOWERS’ AND ‘FRIENDS’ ARE METAPHORS. LOOK BEHIND YOU. SEE ANY EAGER FACES, AWAITING YOUR NEXT POST? I THOUGHT NOT.
  57. 57. LET’S REVIEW.
  58. 58. FUNNELS AREN’T REALLY FUNNELS. THEY DON’T HAVE GRAVITY AND THEY DON’T HAVE HARD SIDES.
  59. 59. PURCHASE JOURNEYS AREN’T REALLY JOURNEYS. YOUR PROSPECTS AREN’T SKIPPING DOWN THE YELLOW- BRICK ROAD TO YOU.
  60. 60. YOUR FOLLOWERS AREN’T REALLY FOLLOWERS. THEY’RE JUST PEOPLE WHO ARE DESPERATELY LOOKING FOR FOLLOWERS.
  61. 61. SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
  62. 62. IT MEANS YOU HAVE TO CREATE THE GRAVITY IN THE FUNNEL. THE FORCE THAT IMPELS PROSPECTS TOWARDS YOU.
  63. 63. AND YOU HAVE TO BUILD THE HARD SIDES THAT KEEP PEOPLE ENGAGED. MAKING IT HARDER FOR THEM TO WANDER AWAY.
  64. 64. AND YOU HAVE TO TURN THE LIGHT ON SO THEY SEE WHERE THEY ARE AND WHY THEY SO THEY STOP NEED YOU. GROPING AND STUMBLING AND START LISTENING.
  65. 65. AND YOU HAVE TO EARN THE REAL ATTENTION OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CONTACTS. SO THEY SIT UP AND TUNE IN WHEN YOU TWEET.
  66. 66. AND YOU DO ALL THIS WITH ONE EASY-TO-SAY BUT NOT SO EASY-TO-DELIVER THING… DRUM ROLL…
  67. 67. YOU DO IT WITH CLEAR, COMPELLING, INTERESTING, USEFUL, PASSIONATE, FUN, INTELLIGENT, ARTICULATE, BEAUTIFUL, LOGICAL, DISCOVERABLE, MAGNETIC…
  68. 68. CONTENT.
  69. 69. CONTENT THAT HELPS PEOPLE DO THEIR JOBS, SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS OR SEIZE THEIR OPPORTUNITIES.
  70. 70. THAT’S THE ONLY THING THAT FILLS FUNNELS AND INCITES JOURNEYS AND INSPIRES FOLLOWERS.
  71. 71. SO DO MORE OF THAT. (AND LESS OF EVERYTHING ELSE).
  72. 72. THANKS FOR CLICKING.
  73. 73. COME AND GET SOME. B2B Content Marketing The B2B Marketing The B2B Content The Holy Trinity of Strategy Checklist Manifesto Marketing Workbook Technology Marketing Great content marketing A tirade against the A short primer on the single The three questions you have starts with a sharp content reactionary forces of most important weapon in the to be able to answer (quickly) marketing strategy. This traditional marketing. A wake B2B marketing arsenal: if you’re a B2B marketer. It’s Checklist will help you up call. Okay, a bit of a temper content marketing. It’s hot! pretty simple, really. sharpen yours. tantrum.

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