Saturday, 29 May 2010

Getting the budget numbers wrong

Marketing textbooks suggest lots of different ways to allocate media budget. Unfortunately people get in the way. Here is what normally happens. Budget gets assigned as a % of expected revenues. So if you are marketing lots of products and services you have assumed they all have the same scale of issues and challenges. Invariably your core product may require either less spend because it is truly established or it is so important that you have to chuck everything behind it but you cant because of how budgets are handed out. Then what else happens is parts of your product portfolio get enough money to be dangerous but not enough to sensibly achieve anything.

Here is an alternative, work out what is really important to the business like say the website or customer experience (or ideally which customers), invest in the resource to optimise the hell out of all the customer initiated touch-points. Organic search, call centre, collateral, CRM, loyalty then think how you can waste the rest of your budget. Interestingly b2b organisations tend to get this more right than consumer facing brands. Main reason is they have less money, so they don't have the get out of jail free big budget card. But also they don't have as hungry a call centre to feed.

PS don't forget to measure it.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

8 principles of b2b marketing

#1 Clearly communicate why you are here, what you do and how you add value. Cisco's POV is a good example. World would be a better place if we learnt to collaborate. A very good organising principle.

#2 To cut through the search mentality you have to be interesting, whether it be content or free stuff or sponsorship. Like Sage's sponsorship of Krypton factor. There is also a big point here about listening and relevance.

#3 Obvious. And a lot more than just social media by the way.

#4 If customers bother to contact you (and you sell expensive stuff) roll out the carpet.

#5 They expect free stuff. do it. Tools, articles, assessments. Try not to make it too thinly veiled a selling process.

#6 CRM. yes. and don't leave it to sales.

#7 Advocacy, customer forums, co-creation. Dell, BMW telematics design, Amex Open.

#8 The bit everyone struggles with. Involves everything from collateral to managing intermediary relationships.

I am composing a list of case studies if anyone has some suggestions love to hear them.

About Me

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United Kingdom
Just curious about marketing, psychology, economics, business, irrational behaviour, people, models, communications, advertising, market imperfections, b2b marketing. I work in the marketing communications industry for OgilvyOne.