Web Marketing

Nine companies B2B marketers should know about

You’re a marketer, we’re marketers. It’s good to share the things we like. Here are nine companies you ought to know about. They all help marketers make more money for their companies; they’re all great at what they do; and they’re all Velocity clients – which says a hell of a lot about their judgement [...]

An Agile Approach to Digital Marketing

How many times have marketing projects stranded, or launched late (and lame) because life intervened after the project’s execution? Many marketing projects would benefit from a concept borrowed from web development: Agile project management.

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 [...]

On first impressions and landing pages

[This article derives from another blog post, called "First Impressions: On landing pages and landing in general"]. Taking the theme “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” to heart, let’s talk first impressions: Landing pages. For many of your potential leads, they’re the first meeting with your company. Either you win [...]

First Impressions: On landing pages and landing in general

I’m the new guy, freshly landed at Velocity Partners, and this is the new guy post. Taking the theme “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” to heart, let’s talk first impressions: Landing pages. For many of your potential leads, they’re the first meeting with your company. Either you win enough [...]

A Long-Ass Landing Page goes live

Check out this new landing page for Econsultancy, the digital marketing publisher, community, analyst house, training company and event organiser (whew). We’re students of landing pages and, when there’s a lot to say, we like them loooooooong. The project name inside Econsultancy was LALP for ‘Long-Ass Landing Page (or Long-Arse for the Brits among us) [...]

Post-Digital Marketing: The Rise of Meatspace

Marketing is entering the post-digital era.  It’s not that digital is going away, just that it’s being dissolved into everything we do.  This means we can also stop the digital myopia and start thinking about ideas in the real world again (then spin them in digital directions). A cool example from the consumer world: The [...]

A nice bit of visual B2B personalisation

LinkedIn just sent me a nice piece of highly personalized B2B email. I’ve never seen ‘visual persoanlization’ in an out-bound email before but it’s pretty compelling to see the faces of so many friends and contacts looking back at me.  I also like the little scribbled comments like ‘See Simon’s new job’. The only question [...]

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.

B2B Analytics, old school

Sometimes, when you forget your Google Analytics password and just need a quick look at the source of your downloads, it’s time for the Velocity Real-Time Segmentation Dynamics™ Report generator, developed with our partners at 3M (Post-It™ Division) and Pentel (Fineliner™ Division).  Fast insight, old school.

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

A stop-motion movie for ShipServ

My oh my have we been having fun over here recently! Long-term Velocity client and all-round legend John Watton from ShipServ asked us to produce a video to promote Pages, the maritime ‘Find Engine’.

When was the last time you flossed?

In B2B as in life, there’s a whole genre of pains-in-the-arse that nobody ever talks about: things that are really annoying but not quite annoying enough to actually force you to do anything about. This class of arse-pain needs a name. I hereby suggest ‘Plaque’.

Cleaning up your B2B product portfolio

A lot of our consultancy engagements involve helping companies structure a product portfolio that makes sense. Usually that means organising a long list of products or services into a few sensible buckets. It can be kind of tricky and isn’t always intuitive but putting in the time to get it right is well worth it.

B2B web marketing: the platform battle

As B2B web marketing comes of age, a battle is brewing between some pretty big players (and a few upstarts) over who will become the primary dashboard for marketers. The three combatants: CRM, CMS and marketing automation vendors.

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’.

EPiServer uses market momentum to go public

We just learned that our client EPiserver is preparing to go public on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. The company offers the best Micorosft .Net CMS on the planet and has delivered some really impressive numbers over the last few years.

B2B marketing agency Velocity powers up IBS relaunch

Velocity Partners, the B2B marketing agency for technology companies, has announced the completion of the first phase of their project to reposition IBS, the Distribution Resource Management specialists.

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)…

IBS injects Velocity into turnaround

When we met them in 2009, IBS, the specialist ERP vendor, was in turnaround. They’d just finished a major restructuring to focus the entire global business on one sector, wholesale distribution, and asked Velocity to clarify their positioning, develop a new story and take it to market.

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?”

Should free B2B content hide behind a form?

The debate rages on: is it better to ask people to fill out a form to download your content (chasing shy people away) or maximise downloads and go without a form (losing the list-building benefits)? A recent post by Kim Cornwall Malseed on MarCom Ink argues that reg forms are ‘killing B2B software marketing’ and [...]

Our New Year’s B2B Marketing Resolutions

Inspired by Neil’s resolution “to eat breakfast every morning”, I got everyone at Velocity to give me their B2B marketing resolutions. So here are the new year’s resolutions from the heavyweights (especially after Christmas) at Velocity: Speak at more B2B industry events - To get the message out there that the old way of marketing is [...]

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.

Low-tech videos for a high tech product

We love these Google Features videos on YouTube. Most tech demonstration videos are all high-tech flash with little icon men and screen shots and slick animations.  These are the opposite: just simple ideas demonstrated with hand-made stuff (a slingshot, a crocheted rug, black ink in water…). More of this please, B2B marketers: it’s time for [...]

Diary of a Tweet: Clarity vs Twitterjunk

The birth of every every new communications medium is followed by a period during which the underlying technology actually cramps the communication it’s supposed to be enabling.  When it comes to Twitter, we’re all in the middle of this period – Gartner would probably call it the Trough of Technobabble – right now. A Twitter [...]

B2B marketing predictions for 2010

We were recently asked where we thought B2B marketing would go in 2010. Made us think. So here are some predictions for the next year:, including kind-of-obvious ones, less obvious ones and a few we’d wish would come true…

Lethal Generosity: a key principle of social media marketing?

According to the Harvard Business Review, 90% of tweets are generated by just 10% of Twitter users, reflecting the fact that these people are subject-matter experts, passionates, mavens, and thought leaders. B2B brands that can create places where this type of exchange can happen are engaging in something called ‘lethal generosity’, a key principle of social media marketing.

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?

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.

Microsoft marketing hits new low

We’ve given Microsoft’s marketing a hard time in this blog before and we’ve also had some nice words to say about them. But this one takes the cake: if you haven’t seen the new Windows 7 Launch Party campaign and the excruciating videos that support it, you must now drop everything and go see it.

Join us for a Demand Generation Webinar

Stan Woods will be taking part in what’s shaping up to be an excellent webinar on Innovation in Demand Generation and we thought you, as a loyal Velocity blog reader, might like to drop in (register here). John Watton will top the bill with a short case study on how ShipServ created 75% more sales opportunities without extra budget or headcount.

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).

The Web Form Wall

It’s a perennial debate: give your content away with no registration (web form), or force people to give you their details to get the goodies. Both arguments are compelling and both approaches have penalties…

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!

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 [...]

Drop-down positioning at the Royal Opera House

Check out this very funny drop-down menu from a Royal Opera House web form. Did the ROH construct this delightful list of titles to avoid annoying its Earls, Dukes, Barons, Sultans and Rabbis (they must HATE having to choose Mr) or is this just a clever bit of subliminal positioning?

Five Basic Social Theories of Online PR

Roger , our web wonderwall, posted a terrific article on the essentials of Online PR.  The central metaphor: the web is a party — work the room instead of stumbling around like a socially inept gate-crasher.  Highly recommended.

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…

Velocity December Newsletter: Tech-speak, feature-talk or benefit babble?

We see this one all the time. A tech company that’s great at describing its technology but not so great at making the story compelling to prospects. Or a company that waves a big, bold benefit flag – that nobody pays any attention to.When we see marketing problems like these, we reach for one of [...]

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.

Credit Crunch B2B Marketing: Demand Generation, Lead Nurturing and Online PR

The CEO is stalking the corridors, blood dripping from his Budget Axe — and he’s on his way to the marketing department. How will you defend your marketing plan? At Velocity, we’re deeply into two powerful new weapons that are not only incredibly effective, they’re virtually Crunch-Proof™…

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.

Good Reasons to do Social Networking in a B2B Environment

How can Social Networking work in a B2B environment? Well, you can start thinking about creating more ‘social’ content as PR tools that can be used by people for facilitating dialogue, spreading your messages and enabling you to manage relationships in new ways.

B2B Web Marketing Tools Around Town

Being a nice chap, I thought I’d share a few of our secret web marketing tools with you. These are the apps and widgets that we use day in, day out to help our clients do wonderful things in SEO, PPC, and web content marketing in general….

Buff Your Pitch Up. Google Suggest & B2B Content Marketing

Often we marketers are our own worst enemy when it comes to marketing ‘ideas’. In my time I’ve had the pleasure of conceiving some truly dreadful ‘opinion’ pieces in the name of trying to grab people’s attention. The fault usually lies in believing our own hype. Here’s some Google-inspired ideas on how to avoid falling into the trap…

Quick Start Pimp Your Content Guide to SEO

I’ve been doing a stack of content optimisation for client web sites lately, so I thought I’d share some of my ‘how to’ notes with the interweb…. Read on for a super-simple guide to pimping your content to search engines.

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.)

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…

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.’

The next billion mobile users: VNL goes live.

Velocity is very proud to announce the launch of the new website for VNL, designed and lovingly hand-coded by Pär Almqvist, VNL’s digital marketing supremo, working with Velocity copy…

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…

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..?

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…

B2B web marketing trends for 2008

Here’s our first broad brush, crystal ball prediction of the year: 2008 is the year of web engagement for B2B technology firms…

Why Blog in B2B? The Final Word…

The ‘why blog?’ question still rages in B2B – and nowhere more so than here at Velocity. Our conclusion: the biggest and best reason to blog in the B2B space is because – if it’s done properly – it’s a relationship winner…

How NOT to sell yourself online

I was just uploading some images to our Flickr stream when I caught sight of the one of the most useless, intrusive banners of all time…

Why Web Usability Matters

You know the scene. You or your boss thought it’d be great idea to build a new web site and it’s the first planning meeting. Across the table someone shouts: ‘No! It’s gotta feel sharp!’

A Second Life for Marketers?

We’ve been keeping an eye on virtual worlds like Second Life for a while, waiting for the killer app for business…

Does search matter in B2B?

Search matters. The Role of Search in Business to Business Buying Decisions by Enquiro and Marketing Sherpa reported the following: 93% of participants said they would research online when making a B2B purchase. 95% said they would use a search engine at some point in the task. It’s an old study but I can’t imagine [...]

x5 reasons to blog

That’s right, FIVE reasons your company should blog. Count ‘em: Improved SEO – a steady flow of dynamic content published on a weekly basis to your web site. Search engine spiders will pick up on this activity, register it and re-index your site with greater frequency. Blogging also gives you the opportunity to create new [...]