Branding and Creative

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What can B2B marketers take from “Mad Men”?

The much-talked-about TV series “Mad Men” is no more. Its last episode aired Sunday, May 17, 2015. Fan or not, if you’re in marketing or communications, you’ve heard about it. The show depicted life in the 1960s in a New York ad agency that handled consumer brands — fast food, airlines, cars, cigarettes. Given that premise, what could be the take-away for a Midwest B2B marketing communications professional in 2015? […]

By | May 28th, 2015|Branding and Creative, Strategic Planning|

Content marketing for B2B: Start with a plan and an inventory

If you’re in a marketing role, you’ve probably heard of content marketing. In fact, it’s hard to miss the term since it’s our industry’s newest buzz phrase. In case you’re not sure what we’re talking about, “content” refers to information you create that’s of interest to your customer prospects. It could be presented in the form of white papers, infographics, blogs, website content, slide presentations, emails, webinars and more. The Internet and social media have spurred the need for content as marketers rush to fill these web spaces and claim more share-of-mind among prospects. But for B2B marketers […]

The advantage of standing out

I read a Wall Street Journal article about how looking unique can enhance your perceived importance. Although humans are hard-wired to blend in and conform to group norms, we can also view someone who flouts these norms as being more important and powerful. This reminds me of a basic marketing and advertising principle: If you want attention, be different. You can’t bore someone into buying your product, so it pays to be interesting and engaging. Ads, mailers, email and trade show displays that show some flair and uniqueness tend to be the ones that get attention. The trick, of course, is to stay relevant to your target audience while standing out from all the other marketing messages your target sees. […]

By | October 14th, 2014|Branding and Creative, Media Planning, Strategic Planning|

Social media channels for B2B marketing

Social media is more like broadcast media than print, so the word “channel” is used to denote the various social media vehicles. The top three channels are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, engineers are more likely to use LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. Here is an overview of each channel for a commercial/industrial marketer.


  • By far the most popular channel, with over a billion users.
  • Think of it as a cross between a block party, a cocktail party and a family reunion.
  • Personal contacts are called “friends.” Companies/brands have “likes.”
  • There is a distinction made between individuals and companies. The rules are different for each. [...]

Is B2B advertising a facts-only zone?

Does emotion work in business-to-business marketing? Many people would say no. Making a technical equipment purchase involves different considerations than, say, buying a new breakfast cereal. A bad decision for cereal can lead to unhappy family members, but a bad decision when buying an industrial component or a business service could have major business repercussions. It could even cost someone his job. So the thinking traditionally goes like this: The B2B prospect needs information, not emotion. Let’s just explain features. Our target is a technical expert so don’t try to sell. Play it straight and stick to the facts. That’s why trade ads often […]

By | September 10th, 2014|Branding and Creative, Media Planning|