Marketing

Real women don’t sell

Ultimo, the lingerie maker, has launched a new line of evening dresses. Interesting bit of diversification there – I suppose it makes sense for company that makes bras to also make outer garments. Hopefully the dresses will be designed with the logistics of bra-wearing in mind…

Calnetix Power Solutions gets a dose of Velocity

The problem: how to sell a ground-breaking innovation to one of the world’s most conservative industries. Calnetix Power Solutions has invented a technology that captures waste heat from engines, boilers and industrial applications and turns it into electricity. The process is called the Organic Rankine Cycle, and has been used in large-scale, big footprint applications [...]

Join the iClan

Just when you thought the Apple Cosa Nostra couldn’t have its fingers in more pies (or i’s) the iPad arrived to fill the void in your life that you didn’t know you had.

Try to contain your excitement

Roger Warner, friend of Velocity and all-round PR guru, has flung open the doors to the Museum of Social Media. Before you all start planning an office field trip to see it, it’s actually online – you can visit it here (and no, it doesn’t have a gift shop). Conceived as a repository for the [...]

It’s not what you said, it’s the way you said it

The general consensus out there seems to be that French Connection’s new ad campaign is a right royal triumph. If you’ve been living under a stone for the past few months and haven’t seen it, click here to see what I’m on about. This Is The Woman, This Is The Man has a cool, art-housey [...]

Exploiting your tacit knowledge

We’re always a bit sceptical about the jargon du jour. But one buzzword keeps cropping up and we think there might be a reason: Tacit Knowledge.

Why clients hate marketing agency folk

I just stumbled over a piece from Canada’s Marketing Magazine called ” Here’s to 2010: Industry experts share predictions for the year ahead” and read this, among other forecasts.

Customer Value Propositions in B2B Markets

Andrew Findlater from Reed Business Information recently turned us on to an excellent article in the Harvard Business Review (back in 2006 but still daisy-fresh):

Its called Customer Value Propositions in Business Markets and it makes a compelling case for what the authors call “Resonating Focus”…

Tech marketing trapped in Plato’s Cave

For 2000 years we’ve been told to research and change or suffer the consequences. It’s still an issue today. Learn how one of the biggest names in the tech has been reminding itself of the danger of following processes rather than customers.

Playing in the creative sandbox

Despite living in a ‘creative’ world, most agencies are pretty linear. They take the brief, then they do the creative. Velocity is a bit different. When we do consulting engagements, we do a creative firestorm as part of the engagement, before any specific brief is on the table. Lots and lots of rough concepts — headlines, images, copy, straplines. Here’s why…

The C word: the importance of confidence in B2B marketing

A great website. Lots of white papers and thought leadership content. Case studies and customer testimonials. Great campaigns and creative. Awards, editorial coverage and analyst attention. They’re all important to every B2B marketer. But there’s a factor that cuts across all of these and is probably more important than any of them: confidence.

Guerrilla video: VNL thinks beyond B2B

Velocity and VNL go guerrilla. The idea for the video was simple: go to Deorhi and interview the villagers about their first experiences with mobile phones. We then edited the results into a warm, compelling piece that makes the VNL story come to life…

The 4 steps to a B2B sale: rational meets irrational

My old boss Steve Trygg (a great copywriter) used to talk about the role of marketing in business decision-making by breaking down every purchase decision into four steps — the four things buyers do before they buy…

Mobile Marketing Madness: What We Learned this Week

We’ve been beavering away over the past few weeks on an important new campaign for one of our shiny new clients in the mobile internet space. It’s a fascinating area – full of over-hype and under-delivery a few years ago; now ripe and ready for prime time…

New Velocity B2B Marketing Newsletter Available!

The latest edition of our semi-regular newsletter update is now available. It’s packed with goodness inside, including our star new white pager, Marketing, Meet Sales, which offers eleven ways to make your marketing activity really drive new sales…

The Velocity B2B Social Media & Web Engagement Mind Map

This Mind Map gives you everything you need to do web / social media engagement by yourself. It’s easy. Just pin it on your wall and – once you’ve published a great piece of content to your site – follow the map clockwise and post it to the relevant destinations…

B2B lead generation with thought leadership content: ditch the web-to-lead forms and win

For B2B web sites, the content that really matters in terms of positioning and prospecting isn’t your ‘markitecture’ pages – your product and services descriptions, corporate histories and such…. it’s your ‘thought leadership’ pages – the places where you express opinions and ideas rather than features and benefits. Here’s why…

Your First (Free) Baby Steps in B2B Web Marketing

Your web site is not your field of dreams. Build it and most likely they will not come. Nope, once it’s built your goal is to make it work as a sales sweat house – and this takes real effort and a bunch of web marketing smarts…

ShipServ.com Goes Live: a B2B Before and After

We’re proud to say that shipserv.com launched successfuly this morning. May all who sail in her find reasonably priced shipping supplies from a broad (and competitive) selection of maritime vendors….

New White Paper Available: How to PPC in B2B

Hey! We just published a new web marketing white paper on the thorny subject of how to do PPC properly in an B2B environment. It’s hot, hot, hot! Here’s a snippet…

The power of “You”: the 2nd person singular in B2B copywriting

Most B2B technology copywriting is so boring because its so neutral. The best copywriting looks the prospect squarely in the eye and says, “I’m going to sell to you and you’re going to enjoy it.” Part of this is the 2nd person singular voice. I’m talking to YOU…

Why ‘Web-to-Lead’ Forms Suck for B2B Lead Generation

I just returned from a great week away in the Lower Hebrides – the small cluster of islands to the west of Glasgow. The single malts were stunning, the weather bracing and the walks heartening. I’m missing it already. None of this, of course, has anything to do with B2B lead generation, but I did have one holiday experience that made me realise how wide of the mark we are when it comes to using ‘web-to-lead-forms.’

How Steve Jobs (and Dick Hardt) wows the crowds

Our friend and client John Watton, Marketing Director of ShipServ, recently shared with us a Business Week article that dissects and analyses Steve Jobs’s latest keynote at Macworld (the one where he launched the MacBook Air). This ‘ten point framework’ will make your PPT’s hum…

Fighting Inertia: the toughest competitor of them all.

Most B2B technology companies have a clear set of competitors they’re battling. But for some (usually early stage) tech companies, there are no other companies to fight: they’re inventing a market. The only competitor is the inertia of the target audience. At first glance, it sounds like a great position to be in. Never facing a head-to-head competitor. Being free from the never-ending features arms race. But in reality, these can be the toughest marketing challenges of them all…

Keywords: how to build an effective strategy in B2B

We’ve just completed a number of SEO strategy projects for various clients. Part of our work here is to help folks understand what they’re getting into and why – to explain what separates a good keyword strategy from a stinker. I thought I’d share a bit of the thinking with you…

Empathy and foreplay in B2B Marketing

I don’t know how else to put this: nobody gives a shit about you. Your software or service or widget may be the center of your world but the people you’re selling to have better things to think about. Once you accept this simple fact, your marketing will get a lot better – because you’ll realise that your first and toughest job is to stop people in their tracks and offer you a small flake of their most precious, scarcest resource: their attention.

Whose Tipping Point is it Anyway? A B2B Perspective…

There’s a great piece in this month’s Fast Company that asks if Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Tipping Point’ is fundamentally flawed. It’s compelling stuff, but what’s the point of ‘tipping’ and the pursuit of ‘influencers’ in a B2B environment..?

Tweakonomics: Why B2B Marketing Agency Retainers Suck

This post hereby announces the death of the good old monthly agency retainer. Tweakonomics is what you should be using to pay for your marketing services – it’s what we advocate for all our clients. Let me explain…

7 ways to improve the signal-to-noise ratio in B2B marketing

Every marketing communication has two parts:

• The Signal – your message; the thing you want people to take away
• The Noise – everything else; the things that distract, delay and get in the way of the signal

Most B2B marketing – especially in technology businesses – is so full of noise, the static drowns out the music.

The ‘Big Mo’ in B2B technology marketing: are we listening to Gartner?

As we seek to build our business, we’re meeting a lot of B2B tech firms. Pretty much every one of them says their own momentum is intimately connected to what leading industry analyst Gartner (which just happens to be a Velocity client, BTW) thinks about their company…

Building a B2B case: 8 tips from criminal lawyers

We B2B marketers are in the business of building cases. We’re advocates. So I did some research into how lawyers do what they do, focusing in on the summation to the jury, where the whole case comes together into one clear argument…

Pico-Branding: New Rules for Marketing

How does Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, blogging, and every other web 2.0 BlaBla service change what we need to be doing in marketing, and what are the concepts that matter? If you really want to know then read on…

The Rise of Clean Technology

According to the The National Venture Capital Association (US), Clean Technology is the hottest thing on Sand Hill Road. During the first three quarters of 2007, VCs poured $2.6 billion into clean tech startups, compared to $1.8 billion for all of 2006, and a mere $533 million in 2005…

No such thing as B2B

Anil Raj, mobile industry heavy-hitter (and a new client in an exciting venture) hates the term B2B. He’s sold at the highest levels of the mobile industry (as Head of Ericsson India for instance) and is convinced that businesses don’t buy from businesses…

What's the freakin' (Power)point!!??

What’s the point of Powerpoint? A crutch to help you through an uncomfortable challenge (public speaking)? A useful visual aid to convey stories? A pain in the butt, killed to death, hackneyed, eyesore, head-f**k for boring people to death?

What’s the freakin’ (Power)point!!??

What’s the point of Powerpoint? A crutch to help you through an uncomfortable challenge (public speaking)? A useful visual aid to convey stories? A pain in the butt, killed to death, hackneyed, eyesore, head-f**k for boring people to death?

Going vertical: you can’t fake authenticity

We’ve seen a bunch of companies try to take generic software into specific vertical markets. They succeed to the degree they can achieve authenticity. So instead of looking, feeling and sounding like, say, a Business Intelligence tool, you look, feel and sound like a BI tool for retailers, or lawyers or candlestick makers. There’s only [...]

Going vertical: you can't fake authenticity

We’ve seen a bunch of companies try to take generic software into specific vertical markets. They succeed to the degree they can achieve authenticity. So instead of looking, feeling and sounding like, say, a Business Intelligence tool, you look, feel and sound like a BI tool for retailers, or lawyers or candlestick makers. There’s only [...]

Customer-guided marketing: is yours?

Everybody in technology companies thinks they’re ‘customer-centric’. In our experience, few really are, in the sense that they start almost every process with the customer. In the marketing department, starting with the customer seems so obvious it goes without saying. Unfortunately, more often than not, it goes without doing, too. We start every major project [...]

(Re-)naming your company

Naming a company (or product) is tricky. But it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Here’s a bit of common sense.

Pecha-Kucha: the future of Powerpoint

Pecha-kucha is the only way powerpoint should ever be used. Twenty slides, twenty seconds each. Done. Invented by a pair of architects in Tokyo. Pecha-kucha is pronounced to (almost) rhyme with tchotchke. If you can’t say it in 20 short slides, maybe it shouldn’t be said…

A letter from Mr Al Fayed. It's how you say it that counts….

I was doing some long overdue filing this morning and came across the following letter….a response to a misguided mass mailer that inadvertently invited Mr Al Fayed of Harrods to a seminar in London on the subject of (eek!) open source software…

A letter from Mr Al Fayed. It’s how you say it that counts….

I was doing some long overdue filing this morning and came across the following letter….a response to a misguided mass mailer that inadvertently invited Mr Al Fayed of Harrods to a seminar in London on the subject of (eek!) open source software…

Marketing whole products

Just unpacked my new Apple MacBook Pro. A great example of a whole product: the hardware, operating system, bundled applications (about 30), utilities, web & phone support, set-up wizards, web-based services (called .mac) all pre-installed, integrated and ready for action. The battery was even fully charged when it arrived. Apple are masters of the ‘unveiling [...]

Earning the right to sell to CIO’s

We just produced a powerful piece of high-end direct mail for BT Counterpane. The piece was sent to 150 select prospects — CIOs and CSOs of Fortune 500 companies in the US. They each get a little box with a sleeve around it. “The Security Shuffle, an executive playlist”. They slip off the sleeve, open [...]

Earning the right to sell to CIO's

We just produced a powerful piece of high-end direct mail for BT Counterpane. The piece was sent to 150 select prospects — CIOs and CSOs of Fortune 500 companies in the US. They each get a little box with a sleeve around it. “The Security Shuffle, an executive playlist”. They slip off the sleeve, open [...]