Thought Leadership

Why your content marketing must get more granular

We seem to be reaching the saturation point for posts about how content marketing is reaching the saturation point. The after-shocks caused by posts like Mark Schaeffer’s Content Shock (over 600 comments and counting) and our own perplexingly runaway Crap slideshare, indicate that marketers are terrified by the idea that content marketing is reaching its [...]

How to use Prezi for B2B content marketing

Prezi is the cloud-based presentation software that’s like Powerpoint on LSD. Its ‘zoomable user interface’ (ZUI?) with swoopy transitions and infinite drill-downs make it a sexy alternative to boring old slides. Here’s how and why you should put it in your B2B content marketing toolkit…

Salesforce Social Success case study

Kieran Flanagan has written an excellent summary on SEOmoz of the Salesforce Social Success content microsite. He tells this B2B content marketing case story so well, I won’t try to re-tell it here.  Just wanted to share my favourite graphic from it: Says it all — the sweet spot for all B2B marketing is where [...]

The problem/solution structure in B2B content marketing

When it comes to structuring a B2B marketing argument, it’s hard to beat the good old ‘Problem/Solution’ structure. It’s stood the test of time for some very good reasons: It gets the target audience nodding in agreement – if they recognise the problem you’re describing, they’re much more likely to lean forward and give you [...]

Is B2B content marketing jumping the shark?

‘Jumping the shark’ is one of my favourite expressions. Wikipedia tells us it means “the moment in the evolution of a television show when it begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery. The phrase is also used to refer to a particular scene, episode or aspect of a show in which the writers [...]

Social Success: a new content site for Salesforce.com

We’re inordinately proud to announce the launch of a new microsite by Salesforce UK that Velocity helped with. The site is called Social Success and it’s all about helping businesses harness the power of social media. Our job was to find the considerable pockets of expertise within Salesforce (the place is crawling with very, very [...]

B2B content marketing: when target audiences clash

Marketers are instinctively inclusive. Our default is to set our crop-sprayer on the widest possible setting, covering the largest possible audience for everything we do. But content marketing is different. The best content marketing tends to be narrowly targeted, focusing on a very specific audience. That’s how we maximise relevance, earn downloads and reward engagement. [...]

Content Development: Nine Tips for B2B marketers

Content marketing has hit the tipping point for B2B marketers. At Velocity, we used to have to evangelise the concept of content marketing , then spend lots of time telling clients and prospects why it’s such a powerful thing. Today, those conversations are a lot shorter. B2B marketers have discovered content marketing as the engine [...]

Why you should give away the very thing you sell

As content marketing gains momentum, we find that we’re not having to work quite as hard explaining the principles to prospective clients. But one objection does keep popping up that we thought would have died off by now: “Why should we give content away that tells people exactly how to do what we do? Won’t [...]

Content marketing & marketing automation webinar

In case you missed last week’s Content Marketing & Marketing Automatation webinar put on by DemandGen’s John Sweeney, here’s a link to the archived talk with slides. In it, Bob Apollo of Inflexion Point and Hubspot takes you through his principles of content marketing and Doug Kessler from Velocity shares Twelve Lessons learned from our [...]

12 Lessons from the Manifesto Campaign – Project Open Kimono 13

We’ll be wrapping up the results of the B2B Marketing Manifesto campaign soon, but here’s a quick tour of some of the lessons learned as we brought the Manifesto to market. There’s some yadda-yadda to go with it but you’ll probably get the idea… 12 Lessons from the B2B Marketing Manifesto Campaign View more presentations [...]

Project Open Kimono 12: Re-purposing and atomising your content

This is typical: you put a lot of effort into a chunky piece of marketing content — then retire it, move on and start working on the next piece. When you do that, you’re leaving a lot of content value behind and wasting a real opportunity to get more goodies for just a little more [...]

B2B Marketing Agency campaign in a scribble

We were mapping out the B2B Marketing Manifesto campaign on a sheet of A4 lined paper and this is what was left behind on the meeting table. Pretty much all there.

Cross-Promoting B2B Content: Project Open Kimono Part 4

It’s time to talk about cross-promoting content as we approach week three of Project Open Kimono, the real-life, almost-real-time, warts-bunions-and-all case study of our B2B Marketing Manifesto campaign.  The idea is simple: in every piece of content you produce, tell the reader (or listener or viewer) about the most relevant other pieces of content you’ve [...]

B2B Content Marketing Trends and Spends

Marketing Profs and Junta 42 haven’t half been busy lately. They’ve produced a report into content marketing, surveying skills, resources, and trends. It’s the biggest and most comprehensive report of its kind, surveying 1100 American marketers in May 2010. These are some of the highlights. All in all it’s a bit of mixed bag: content [...]

The B2B Marketing Manifesto: hot off the press

“This is without a doubt the most exciting time in history to be a B2B marketer. It’s also the scariest.” That’s how our new eBook, The B2B Marketing Manifesto begins. It’s a lunatic rant, a call to arms and a plea for ambition in B2B marketing — with eleven specific recommendations for rising to the [...]

How to structure a B2B argument

B2B marketing always comes down to building an argument; telling a story that leads to an inescapable conclusion: ‘You need to buy this, now.’ If your argument isn’t solid, the creativity of Björk and the budget of Nike will not move your business.

The power of beliefs in B2B marketing

Check out this great TED Talk by Simon Sinek on the power of beliefs in marketing. Great leaders and great companies start with beliefs not facts, policies, products or services. People don’t buy WHAT you do they buy WHY you do it.

B2B Copywriting: hitting the sweet spot

There are four kinds of B2B copywriting and they fall into the neat little quadrants formed when two important axes intersect: Clarity and Authenticity. If you can get both in your writing, you’re in the Sweet Spot and wonderful things will begin to happen to you…

Avoid marketing intranet pitfalls

Here’s an eBook we’ve written and designed for our friends SmallWorlders, the people who create fun and social intranets for marketing teams. Since it’s been up on the SmallWorlders website they’ve seen traffic increase 10 to 20 times the usual, which is pretty damn impressive.

Free B2B Hugs: 25 ways to reward your most engaged customers

Everyone’s always talking about ‘customer engagement’ and we can see why: fully engaged customers — the ones who comment on your blog posts, join your Facebook group, reteweet your tweets, eat all your content, give you testimonial quotes, participate in case studies and attend your events – add tremendous value to your business and your brand.

We’re all B2B content brands now

We just did a guest post for the excellent B2BBloggers on how we’re all becoming content brands now — and some tips for how to build a strong B2B content brand.  As content marketing gains currency, just having a new eBook won’t be enough. The post summarizes some thoughts for an era of ubiquitous B2B [...]

We're all B2B content brands now

We just did a guest post for the excellent B2BBloggers on how we’re all becoming content brands now — and some tips for how to build a strong B2B content brand.  As content marketing gains currency, just having a new eBook won’t be enough. The post summarizes some thoughts for an era of ubiquitous B2B [...]

Nativ gets its mojo on

We’ve been working with a great company called Nativ, who offer a digital video content management and distribution platform and service.

We explain ourselves – in infographics

As you’ll know if you got our newsletter we’re big fans of infographics over here. We got inspired by all of these and decided to have a go ourselves. This is our first, hand-made infographic explaining the Velocity process. It was a lot of fun, so maybe we’ll do some more soon. It was certainly a [...]

‘Margin Killers’ eBook reaches 600 downloads

We didn’t mention this? We’ve been working with IBS, the wholesale distribution software experts, to produce a content series on the five big success drivers in wholesale distribution. To kick the whole thing off we wrote and designed an eBook called The Six Margin Killers of Wholesale Distribution. If you want to know what I’m [...]

Marketo’s new Definitive Guide gets some Velocity

We’ve been working with Marketo, the biggest cheese in B2B marketing automation, to design and sub-edit their new eBook ‘The Definitive Guide to B2B Social Media’. It’s the latest in the series of Definitive Guides (you can read the first one on Lead Nurturing here).

New B2B buying influences

Just came across an excellent post by Matt West of Connected Marketer called A Glimpse Inside the Mind of the New B2B Buyer. It’s based on a study done together with DemandGen Report into the new buying influences in B2B.

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.

Never mind the Barack, it’s mobiThinking

Birth of a thought leadership website

dotMobi is a mobile Internet services company and the registry for the .mobi domain name. It’s backed by leading mobile operators, device manufacturers, and Internet players, including Microsoft and Google. Essentially, .mobi is the only domain name that tells users, ‘This site will work on your phone’.

The rise and rise of B2B content marketing

Content Marketing is rivaling social media marketing in the hype stakes — and for good reason. It may not be particularly new, but in the age of the informed buyer and zero-cost distribution (the Internet), it’s what works in B2B marketing. The 2010 Content Marketing Spending Survey by Junta 42 confirms the trend (though anyone with a passing acquaintance with Twitter, LinkedIn or any B2B marketing blog won’t need it confirmed)…

2010 Content Marketing Trends and Predictions

Drumroll please… Introducing The 2010 Content Marketing Trends and Predictions eBook from ClickPredictions — a crowdsourced effort by “39 of the world’s top B2B marketers, e-mail marketers and social media gurus” (including, erm, me). Ambal Balakrishnan, the tireless ClickDocuments founder, asked each of us a straightforward question, “What are key marketing trends and predictions for 2010?”

Velocity Does Video: Nine kinds of B2B web video

As this quick showreel demonstrates, we’ve been doing more and more video for our B2B marketing clients. Why? because it’s a great way to get even the most complex ideas across in a clear, compelling way.

You can’t have a conversation when you use a megaphone

Most B2B marketing organisations are set up for interruption-based, broadcast style communications and this traditional approach to marketing consumes 80-90% of the budget. This is strange in a world where there’s been a dramatic shift from megaphone marketing to listening and engaging in conversations. There’s need for a new type of marketing professional called a content strategist. Do you agree?

The Velocity B2B Marketing Tube Map

We’ve always loved Harry Beck’s legendary design for the London Underground Tube Map, so thought we’d do our own version mapping out the B2B marketing landscape. Kind of makes sense if you give it some time. The junctions were the trickiest bits…

Quick Case: when content goes social

It’s been about four months since we published the B2B Content Marketing Workbook and we thought we’d report back on how the campaign has worked so far. It was the first time we’ve used social media as a vector for our content marketing and so makes a nice case study.

B2B blogging for beginners

Let’s face it: these days, if you don’t have a blog on your website you’re admitting that you have nothing to say about your market, your customers, their problems and your ideas for solving them. Is that really a message you want to transmit? We try to get every client blogging. But sometimes we fail. [...]

Why ShipServ won a 2009 CRM Market Award

Once again, ShipServ has ‘scooped’ a marketing award (why are awards always scooped?) — this time the 2009 CRM Market Awards run by CRM Magazine. ShipServ, piloted by CMO John Watton, won a CRM Elite Award given to customer implementations that push new boundaries. The judges recognised ShipServ “for its holistic use of Marketo, Salesforce.com, and social media” — including viral video, eBooks, Twitter and a LinkedIn group (we’re kind of proud of our work on all these).

V Shortlisted for Glittering B2B Gong

We’re pleased as Punch to have been shortlisted for a B2B Marketing Magazine Award for our recent work with ShipServ.  It’s hard to come over all surprised about it – after all, we did complete the rather arduous application process – but we’re still really encouraged when good work gets some recognition.  Not for ourselves, [...]

The white paper is dead…or is it?

I presented a webinar the other day where I stated that while white papers are still the staple of content marketing, they’re getting really stale as a communications vehicle for B2B. A few people were so incensed they contacted me to say I was talking nonsense. So click here to find out whether they changed my mind…

The Content Marketing Workbook

It’s here. The book of the webinar of the movie: The Velocity B2B Content Marketing Workbook. Over 45 breezy pages of good, solid advice about thought leadership and content marketing for B2B marketers like you. Come and get it!

The Content Marketing Workbook

It’s here. The book of the webinar of the movie: The Velocity B2B Content Marketing Workbook. Over 45 breezy pages of good, solid advice about thought leadership and content marketing for B2B marketers like you. Come and get it!

Watch the Velocity web seminar on Content Marketing

Stan just presented our web seminar with B2B Marketing magazine, called “Content Marketing: Thought Leadership in a Web 2.0 World”. Seemed to go really well. Over 130 people attended and the feedback was excellent. The seminar is based on our imminent Content Marketing Workbook, which you’ll be able to download from this site very, very soon…

Velocity and B2B Marketing Magazine announce new webinar

Velocity, the B2B marketing agency specialising in technology markets, and B2B Marketing magazine announced a new webinar for B2B marketers about Content Marketing.

The 20-minute webinar is free and runs on Wednesday, 3 June 2009 at 3:30pm London time.

Why we steal from our clients.

In the marketing world, agencies are supposed to be the ‘creative’ ones and clients are supposed to be the dullards who are grateful for a fresh source of ideas. In our experience, that’s just not how it works…

How strong is your B2B positioning?

Positioning is one of the essentials of B2B marketing but we don’t see a lot of companies getting it right. It’s a simple idea: as a marketer, you should explicitly manage the place your brand holds in the minds of your target audience so that it’s clearly differentiated from the competition. We use this triple-test to develop strong positioning statements for our clients…

How strong is your B2B positioning?

Positioning is one of the essentials of B2B marketing but we don’t see a lot of companies getting it right. It’s a simple idea: as a marketer, you should explicitly manage the place your brand holds in the minds of your target audience so that it’s clearly differentiated from the competition. We use this triple-test to develop strong positioning statements for our clients…

The Disruptive Idea: that’s what it’s all about

Disruptive ideas are not the only way to build a successful business. Sometimes just doing lots of little things better than the other guys is enough. But a disruptive idea is probably the single most powerful weapon in the marketing arsenal. And most marketers spend far too little time generating them.

New mobile marketing eBook for small businesses

Velocity Partners, the B2B agency specialising in technology marketing, announced the publication of a new eBook available on mobiThinking.com. The free eBook is called, “Marketing your small business on the mobile Web: the guide to low-cost, high-impact mobile marketing” and is available to all mobile marketers on the mobiThinking.com website. “The major brands are getting [...]

Opt-Out: Digital Marketing’s punch in the stomach

Marketing used to be all about the upside. You fired off a message; some people responded; others didn’t. Net gain. In the digital world, there’s a downside that’s as painful as any upside: the dreaded Opt-Out. Here are some ideas for dealing with it…

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”…

New eBook: Best & Worst of the Mobile Web

mobiThinking.com, the resource for mobile marketers, and Velocity Partners, the B2B marketing agency, today announced the launch of a new eBook: The Best & Worst of the Mobile Web.

Evel Knievel, corporate positioning & corporate message development

Engineers take the leap from tech features to Big Business Benefits like Evel Knievel approached the Snake River Canyon: they fall down. Our Hierarchy of Benefits gives you a better way to do corporate positioning and corporate message development. It provides a practical solution: the Bridge (or, for the Tarzan in all of us: the Vine).

Your new content may not be as relevant as your old

All the best B2B tech marketers are mini-publishing houses — they never stop cranking out thought-provoking content on the issues their target market cares most about. But even the best thought leaders often follow a simplistic content promotion strategy that completely ignores the idea of a sales cycle. Basically, they pump out some new content, promote it, and repeat. What they’re doing is burying the best under the newest…

A really good newsletter

We know we ‘big up’ Pär Almqvist, the Marketing Dude at VNL, quite a bit. But we thought you’d like to see what we consider a really, really good eNewsletter that Pär briefed in and designed (we wrote it for him).

Microsoft’s baffling “I’m a PC” campaign

Apple got a lot of attention with its “PC vs Mac” commericals. They were simple, funny, well-scripted and seemed to capture the essence of what Mac people love about their Macs. Clearly, they got under Microsoft’s skin, because the crack Seattle Rapid Response team has leapt into action (what, three years later?) with an expensive riposte: the “I’m a PC” campaign. The result is wrong in so many ways, I can’t summarise them all in a blog post.

Branding as body language

A friend of ours who also happens to be a God of Branding sent us an article he wrote ten years ago but could have been written yesterday. He’s Axel Chaldecott, co-founder of HHCL, now the top creative on the global HSBC account at JWT. The article’s central metaphor is that a company’s visual identity is its body language…

I beg you: don’t bore the bejesus out of me

Marketing is communication. B2B marketing is bad communication.
That’s how your audience thinks about everything you put out.
Their expectations couldn’t be lower. They’ve waded through thousands of case studies and brochures and web pages from people just like you and IT’S NOT FUN.

Riding the Hype Cycle

A marketer’s guide to Gartner’s Hype Cycle – how you market depends on where you are on the curve.

Marketers everywhere – get a little mobiThinking

…check out mobiThinking.com, which was launched today to help the world’s marketing community to better understand the opportunities and challenges presented by mobile marketing. (Note: it’s web marketing Jim, but not as you know it.)

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…

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…

Selling to existing customers

They’ve already bought something from you. You’ve already jumped nine of the ten hurdles on the way to a sale (or however many there are these days). Wouldn’t it make sense to turn these internal ‘champions’ into a stealth sales force?

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?

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 [...]