“Our revolutionary product will allow your company to cut costs by increasing efficiency and boosting ROI to entirely new levels!” – Sound familiar?
If you’re purchasing in the B2B sector, you probably hear this all the time. Companies are offering you an abundance of abstract benefits that sound great, but don’t actually speak to you. The worst part is that company X offers the same low prices and “innovative technology” company Y does, and you’re left trying to find a company that will actually solve your problems as a buyer.
The problem is that the core of B2B marketing consistently focuses on pushing product benefits instead of aligning with customers’ goals. This approach to marketing makes sense if you’re envisioning yourself selling a product to an entire company all at once. But the fact is, as a B2B marketer, you’re still selling to a person, and that person has needs and goals they’re trying to accomplish. Needs and goals that typical product benefits simply don’t address.
Lately, it seems like we’ve been bombarded by terrible news. Every time I turn on the TV or even glance at Twitter, there’s a barrage of horrifying stories. UVA student Hannah Graham went missing, and last week they found her remains. ISIS continues to terrorize innocent people. Violence rages on in Syria.
It’s like a constant gut punch, and I shouldn’t even be surprised that it’s coming. But I am. Every time, I am.
I can’t escape it, and I can’t change it.
For the longest time, I had no idea what the Director of a movie actually does.
Think about it. He doesn’t come up with the story (that’s the Screenwriter). He doesn’t operate the camera (that’s the Director of Photography or one of his crew). He doesn’t go into the raw footage and edit himself (that’s the Editor). He doesn’t hold the boom mic (that’s the guy that holds the boom mic). Sure, in some cases, the Director is the screenwriter, or the DP, or the editor, but typically, he delegates the majority of these tasks.
So what DOES he do? And why does he get all the credit when the film wins awards? Why does he take the fall when it flops?
The answer, it turns out, is because he or she is actually the most important person on set.
Fall is well upon us, which means one thing:
Despite being a huge football fan, I never understood the appeal of the Fantasy phenomenon. “Wait, you play a virtual game with NFL players… you mean like The Sims?”
Yet every year, I felt like I was missing out. Something huge was happening that I wasn’t a part of and I wanted in. So this season, I joined a random Yahoo league, named a team, and boom! I’ve become part of the craze.
Turns out, everything I thought about Fantasy Football was wrong. Sure it’s like The Sims…. The Sims on steroids.
Imagine 10 years ago, leaving the airport at 2 AM in a new city with no contacts and no plans. The idea that you could use your phone to find and book a nearby hotel (based on ratings and reviews), request and pay for a ride (and get an arrival estimate), and make breakfast plans - all while messaging friends across the country - was thought to be incredible. “Blue sky” thinking, they called it.
And yet, now it’s all here. It’s amazing, but also completely normal. Marketing is different. SEO is certainly different. But in many ways it’s still the same. Like we outlined in our new definition of SEO, it’s still about Solving Problems, Engaging Audiences, and Optimizing Everything.
The new “blue sky” thinking in 2014 is about the Internet of Things—the shift to assigning every single thing an IP address and connecting it to the Internet.