BMA Conference – Marketing Transformation

post.pngIs b-to-b marketing moving to post modern era?


  • pre modern: magic, superstition
  • modern: industrial revolution, constant change in the pursuit of progress
  • post modern: all logic is confining… constant change is status quo


  • pre modern: magical, great leaps of faith
  • modern: scientific, constant change in pursuit of progress; technology and analytics
  • post modern: rejection of Spock’s logic and earning for Kirk’s passion; Spock + Kirk, or Mad man + Mad Scientist


The result is “post modern magic” – a combination of emotions and measurement.

Examples of the approach – “a field trip to Mars” – a new technology is presented in a very inspiring way, in a very “human” application, easy to understand and connect.

Another example “be the bean” – demonstration of food processing equipment from “the point of view” of a bean in full-blown virtual reality experience.  The effort generated 50% of the demand gen goal.

Advertising Age described the campaign in more details.

“From a visual standpoint, this is so radically different from anything in the market, in the competitive set and at Pack Expo,” Mr. Ruby said. “They gave us permission to let this be awesome. We were allowed to be proud and go bold.”

Ms. Funk added, “Our industry tends to be very conservative and not highly creative when it comes to marketing. In the trade pubs, the ads are kind of catalog-like — a lot of stainless steel equipment and pictures of food processed in that equipment. We really wanted to step outside the box with this campaign.”

Next presentation continued the topic of brands capitalizing on human needs and connecting these needs to brand’s positioning.

Norton (digital security) – RFID-Blocking Jeans and Blazer

Volvo (safety) – Life Paint designed to help cyclists to be noticed on the road

“Marketing as a service – marketing so good, people will pay for it”

I think ABM presentation can also be connected to post modern marketing.  We, as an industry, measured results, and discovered that our efforts are not that effective.  We also discovered that we can generate interest from the prospects that are not targeted by sales.  ABM is solving this problem: it connects sales and marketing (defining accounts targeted), it measures marketing outcomes and business outcomes (rather than activity metrics), from another side, it does pay attention to the activity in general for the targeted accounts and uses combination of marketing tactics, often designed to inspire target audience, in concert.

Marketing is definitely changing, change is constant, and our “target audience” are “feeling machines” rather than rational beings that we sometimes tend to believe 🙂

SiriusDecisions – Establishing Channel Excellence

Excellent event!  New to channel marketing, I hoped to learn a few interesting points about the field; the event showed that channel marketing is a sophisticated discipline with unique nuances and tools to address them.


SiriusDecisions organize channel activities into Channel Program Model – an excellent framework to approach channel marketing.

Interesting: as the question about not having access to partner data arose, two solutions were recommended:

  • create tools that gather data
  • create process that encourages partners to provide data


Channel activities also need to include understanding what kind of partners are the most beneficial, developing partner personas, and aligning organizational activities based on Partner’s Journey Stages.

Partners are not entities, they are numerous personas, and it is important to adjust on-boarding to fit specific persona.

Another interesting point is that working with partners requires continuous evangelizing within the company (30% of time); as the entire organization is not dealing with partners on daily basis, a reminder about partner needs is critical for the program success.

Marketers promoting partner programs typically talk about the product; it is important to explain the benefit of the engagement for the partner. Ease of doing business with the organization is very important for partners. 

Sometimes, partners are considered ineffective, but in reality:

  • partners have not been properly trained
  • partners were not enabled
  • organization has wrong type of partners

If you have 10,000 partners, but they are not right type of partners, you don’t have partners

Organizations need to understand what kind of partners they need, as resources can be devoted to wrong kind of partners.

Excellent event!

Book – Small Data

small-data.pngFantastic book!  At the time of universal preoccupation with Big Data, the book demonstrates the need of understanding the consumer on a human level.  Though Big Data can typically answer the question “what,” it can never explain “why” without the help of additional insight.

The most striking example was a bank facing increased customer churn.  As the bank was preparing to send retention letters to customers, the organization discovered that the most important factor in the phenomenon was not dissatisfaction with the services: customers were going through divorce and had to shift funds.

The author also describes differences in perceptions, aspirations, and the methods of achieving these aspirations in different cultures.  The most exciting part – the research is not targeted for purely scientific understanding, it helps companies to achieve business success by helping their customers find something what can make them feel better.

The book is highly entertaining and would be interesting not only for marketers… but the marketers will probably find it the most useful.