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Friday, March 11, 2005

Lead Generation Map, Part Two 

Brian Carroll has posted a revision of his lead generation map.

Grab: To be successful at generating leads for a complex sale, marketers can't rely on one specific tactic but rather they need to leverage a portfolio of tactics.

The same could be said of b2b media companies.

Check out the revised map here. It's an interesting way of looking at the b2b media business, from the customer's perspective.

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More great customer perspective from B2Blog 

B2Blog: Hangin' out at the OFC show in Anaheim

I've blogged about some of the simple things that b2b media executives might do to improve their businesses.

The most important is: go see your customers, and listen to what they're saying.

Reading the B2Blog is another way to keep in touch. The post linked above contains some of Dave's thoughts on a show where his company is exhibiting: right customers and prospects, but shrinking attendance. Should he return? [Check out Alan Meckler's blog for some thoughts on how NOT to build trade show attendance through bizarre co-location of multiple events.]

And Dave also met with an advertising rep, who captured his attention a little bit better than the show daily reps who called him a while back. The rep presented "an interesting concept in how to maximize the value of their resources to customize a program for my specific benefit."

And finally, check out Dave's Top 10 reasons to go to a trade show. If you're as sick of attending trade shows as I am, here are a few funny--and true--reminders of why we all continue to trek to convention centers.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Al Ries On Marketing Strategy and Execution 

What CEOs Just Don't Get About Marketing

Excellent Advertising Age piece by Al Ries on the strategy and tactics of marketing, and how to get it wrong.

Sample grab:

And what is a creative solution? It's a solution so new and different that it can't help but win an advertising award.

I can see it now. There's a meeting between CareerBuilder.com and its advertising agency.

"I have the creative solution to your marketing problem," says the creative director.

"And what’s that?" asks the client.

"Monkeys."

(You probably saw the three monkey spots that CareerBuilder.com ran on the Super Bowl at a cost of $2.4 million each.)

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The Atlantic and Talk Radio 

Host by David Foster Wallace

I subscribe to a lot of magazines, but there are two that stand apart--when they pop into the mailbox, I read them cover-to-cover, that night. One is Esquire, a magazine I've subscribed to since I was 20, and which has had its ups and downs (but is currently on a pretty excellent up). The other is The Atlantic Monthly, which in my view is the finest general interest magazine in the world.

This month's Atlantic Monthly features a cover story on talk radio. You can find the article online here, if you're a subscriber. If you're not, you should get this issue (and subscribe).

Aside from reviving the old Wired's typographic attempts to mimic hyperlinking on ink and paper (and succeeding pretty well at that), the article is an interesting look at the connection made between host and listener on talk radio (as well as an interesting insight into the business of radio).

There's a lot here for serious publishers, journalists and bloggers to consider.

And I can't believe I referred to the "old" Wired.

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Monday, March 07, 2005

B2B Thought Leadership 

B2B Lead Generation Blog: In defense of thought leadership

An interesting post from Brian Carroll's B2B Lead Generation Blog on the term 'thought leadership,' which is apparently the new 'world-class' for b2b marketers. He refers to a couple of blogs which whack away on the use of the term, here and here, and to a blog with some ideas on how to become a thought leader, here.

After reading these, I became a little uneasy, since one of my client magazines, Directors & Boards, uses the tag line "Thought Leadership in Governance Since 1976." Of course, D&B's tagline precisely defines what the magazine does.

Whether or not marketers can make their companies and executives into thought leaders, thought leadership is the definitive role of the b2b magazine, which should, at its best, cull the best in thinking in a marketplace, and present that thinking to the audience.

That requires an attitude on the part of the magazine and its staff--an attitude of self-confident market knowledge. And it also requires editors and writers who push beyond the puffy quote to drive to the real nuggets of thought-leadership from interviewees and profile subjects.

Directors & Boards is a journal--no freelance, and few staff-written features. The majority of the content is by corporate board members and senior corporate governance advisors. It's written by thought leaders.

Of course, this isn't an easy thing to pull off. Article writers sometimes want to sell themselves. Sometimes they're not natural writers. But the editor, Jim Kristie, does a masterful job of delivering clean, thoughtful copy that enhances the current of ideas in the boardroom.

And Directors & Boards carries a natural authority, since its bylines are the authorities in the field. It is a conversation among directors who care about corporate governance (sounds a bit like a printed blog).

Some of the thinking reflected in the links above is very true...marketers can't create thought leadership by delivering bland, sell-oriented white papers, or highly edited and smoothed authored pieces by their CEOs. But they can create thought leadership by taking a stand, being a bit controversial and setting as their primary goal the shaping of a market, rather than the direct selling of a product or service.

And that same thinking holds true for b2b magazine publishers and editors.

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