No time to do an extended next installment of Project Open Kimono, the case-study-in-progress that follows our B2B Marketing Manifesto campaign, but I wanted to check in quickly with two big things we’ve already learned.
The Manifesto is, what — three days old, and it’s already flying off the virtual shelves — which we’re thrilled about it (Neil will update us all later). Better still, we’ve already learned two really interesting lessons:
Lesson one: Community really works
One of the things we did to get the Manifesto off the ground was to share the piece in draft form with a few friends we’ve made online who also happen to be well-regarded B2B bloggers. These generous people not only gave us their honest feedback — lots of really insightful thoughts — they were also kind enough to tell their readers and followers about the Manifesto.
This has helped enormously and it made us resolve to do two things: give back more to the B2B community by sharing content that we really like with our blog readers, Twitter followers and LinkedIn groupmates. This is not only a win-win proposition, it means you store up some goodwill for when you really want to get the word out.
Second, we resolve to THANK these smart, kind folks explicitly. We’ve done so in the Manifesto itself but wanted to do a special shout-out to a few bloggers for their really great feedback and reviews:
- John Sweeney of Biz-Builders – John helps B2B companies get their sales and marketing departments aligned, then shows them how to automate the marketing and run what he calls rhythmic campaigns. Smart dude.
- Jeff Ogden of Find New Customers a lead generation company that uses best approaches in demand generation to dramatically improve the flow of quality sales leads. (Enough anchor text in there Jeff?). :–)
- Patsi Krakoff of The Blog Squad – her Writing on the Web blog is popular for a reason.
- Ardath Albee – author of the hugely influential E-Marketing Strategies for the Complex Sale and Marketing Interactions blog.
- Michele Linn (Content Marketing Institute) and Stephanie Tilton, both of the famous Savvy Marketers. And both sharp thinkers and very generous people – the kind that make the B2B community go round.
- Billy Mitchell at the sharp, fun, cutting edge B2B shop MLT creative. Billy gives back much more than he could ever take. And he knows his stuff.
We could go on but you’d stop reading. The point is: ask for help and good people will give it. But you need to create content that they’re happy to endorse and it helps to give back. We resolve to work harder on both fronts.
Lesson Two: Use your forms to ask a question
As almost an afterthought, we put an optional question in the Manifesto download form that said “The hardest thing in B2B is _______” . We’ve had almost 50 responses to this question and it’s already sparking lots of new ideas.
We’ll report back on the results of this micro-survey (it’s fascinating) but just wanted to share this insight right away: whenever you do a form, ask a question. It’s great for insight and it starts conversations (you can’t reply to them all but a few do leap out and inspire an email chat).
That’s it for now. We’ll lots more goodies as we go along so do come back.
Want the full Open Kimono picture. They’re all here:
Project Open Kimono Part 1 – the one where we commit ourselves in public (Planning)
Project Open Kimono Part 2 – the one where it all kicks off (Thinking)
Project Open Kimono Part 3 – the one where confidence starts to rise (First results)
Project Open Kimono Part 4 – the one where the trick shots start (Cross-promotion)
Project Open Kimono Part 5 – the one where we share the first month’s results (Reviewing)
Project Open Kimono Part 6 – the one where we toughen up (Soul Searching)
Project Open Kimono Part 7 – the one where we find the world’s best marketers (Segmenting)
Project Open Kimono Part 8 – the one where we show that design isn’t everything (Style v Substance)
Project Open Kimono Part 9 – the one where lead nurturing proves its worth (Marketo)
Project Open Kimono Part 10 – the one where the form fights back (Form v No Form)
Project Open Kimono Part 11 – the one about autoDMs in Twitter
Project Open Kimono Part 12 – the one about re-purposing and atomising your content
Project Open Kimono Part 13 – the one with an early peek at the outcomes
Project Open Kimono Part 14 – the one where it ends (before it starts again)
photo: Creative Commons – Clinton Meyer