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Five things I’ve learned in B2B marketing

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Well, I’m moving on to work for Thomson Reuters (the siren call of being able to walk to work proved to be too strong to resist), and I thought I’d get all reflective and try to sum up some of the (many) things I’ve learned at Velocity.

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Sometimes it is worth fighting your corner – usually I take the path of least resistance, which means I tend to let people have their way particularly if it avoids conflict. But sometimes clients have plans that just aren’t right for them, and rather than rolling over and going along with it, sometimes it’s a good idea to push back. Ultimately clients usually respect your independence, even if they don’t agree with you.

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Headlines are difficult – I hate writing titles or headlines. I’ve got better at them over the past few months but we’re never going to be friends. In fact, this point could be ‘the shorter the word limit, the harder it is’. I used to think I was pretty good at pithy, but the more pared down the text is, the more difficult it is. But it’s a fun challenge.

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Don’t believe the hype – it’s a truism that the internet is full of twaddle, and I don’t mean videos of dancing kittens. People write all kinds of tripe. That means that winkling out the nuggets of gold in all the dross is difficult, but worth the effort. It also explains why writing quality content really matters, and why people really, really appreciate it.

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A hideous website is bad PR – fugly design, poor spelling and grammar, clichéd images… you might think company websites are just there to give people a bit of information and some contact details so it doesn’t matter what it looks like. But you would be wrong. Websites don’t have to be complicated, or with expensive glossy design. But they do need to be good looking, and they do need to sound human. And they really do need to be spell checked. Otherwise you’re letting your own side down.

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Curb your Briticisms – slap my thigh and call me Nancy. Apparently sounding too British is distracting, and actually I think that’s true. I love all the ‘Cripes Jeeves!’ type of expressions and idioms but they can be at best ridiculous and at worst alienating. So while attitude is good, too much British English slang is as bad as kick in the Alberts*. Know what I mean?

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    The credit for learning this doesn’t go to me. It goes to Doug, Stan, Neil, Stuart, and Mel for showing me what ‘good’ means.

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    *Albert Halls. I’ll give you one guess what that rhymes with.

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    Photo credit: Barbara Bessa

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