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Your 2008 marketing plan: the B2B Svenn Diagram dilemma

Aside from tinsel and cheap booze offers, it’s that planning time of year again. A special place where you need to create futurama fireworks out of Powerpoint.

Co-incidently, it’s also time for English F.A. to make a similar, but – we hope – longer lasting plan by way of selecting a new manager for the national football team.

If you’ve been on planet England for the past x2 weeks this won’t have passed you by. The race to succeed second-choice-Steve is reaching fever pitch.

Now, we at Velocity are keen students of soccer-ati. Each Monday morning we devote at least 15 mins to dissecting the latest Arsenal result (sorry Doug, but they’ll never keep it up). As such, we see an eerie parallel between life at Lancaster Gate and you.

You both have some big choices to make, and – judging by recent form – we’re only moderately optimistic.

Because – like the F.A. – you’ve enjoyed reasonable success on limited resources, but we know your ambitions are loftier.

So here’s your choices for 2008 – like Brian Barwick (F.A. Chief Exec) you have three:

Play safe: be a Sven Goran Ericsson (again)

Go maverick: be a Juergen Klinsmann

Just win: like Jose Morinho

Let me explain with (another) handy diagram:

Your 2008 technology marketing plan:  the B2B Svenn Diagram dilemma

To the left: you can do what you normally do. You know exactly what’s tried and tested (Gerrard, Lampard, Beckham), and you know they’ll buy you. A few ads in a trade magazine, an email campaign or five and a solid trade show will certainly not get you the sack. Used the way they were used last time, they’ll probably secure you a quarter final place in your market.

To the right: you tear up the rule book. You’ve been a student of ‘black hat’ tactics for some time (Ballack roams free, a left back that scores great goals and has zero defensive responsibilities, and a goalkeeper who scares everyone with his big mouth). You’re inexperienced in this domain but you have a hunch. You can’t prove it, but if you’re given the freedom, you may well exceed all expectations and secure a quarter final spot with that new Facebook application and a slew of desktop widgets.

In the middle: GENIUS (go with me here). You’ve been to the cutting edge. You hired x2 translation experts whilst you were there. You have a army of full of rough diamond, hand-picked talent (Joe Cole, Didier Drogba) to sprinkle carefully across your forward line. You’ve done your research and you know that SEO, blogs, and PPC campaigns can work wonders when mixed with a rock solid quartet of white papers, webinars, product demos and John Terry.

So, who you gonna be?

We don’t expect you to be a maverick – that way lies terrors unknown.

But you need to avoid being totally safe – that way lies many competitive threats.

Best bet: be a winner. Learn from this year. Mix what you know with what you know will make a real difference.

(Note: we love Jose. So do our wives.)

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