Tuesday, June 03, 2014

FIR B2B #10: B2B Buyers Are People – Really - Plus MorningStar’s Leslie Marshall

FIR B2BPaul Gillin and Allan Schoenberg host the FIR B2B podcast. In this episode:

News & Trends

It’s people week at FIR B2B. We came across several articles this week that stress the importance of communicating with your audience as people rather than as, in the words of one content marketer, “one-dimensional robots trying to solve a business goal.”

We start with a sponsored post on VentureBeat that makes the case why B2B marketers should stop trying to chase the tactics that work in the B2C world. Shari Johnston of Demandbase says you should talk to personas, not demographics.  Our hosts agree. It’s very different approaching a customer who’s making a multi-million-dollar buying decision compared to one who’s buying a candy bar.

“10 B2B Masters Reveal Their Storytelling Secrets” in a new SlideShare presentation, and there are some gems in there. Tell your story and address the problems your customers are trying to solve. Be yourself.

Marisa Kopec, VP and group director of go-to-market, at SiriusDecisions told her audience at the SiriusDecisions 2014 Summit last month that 60% of B2B content ends up in a “content wasteland.” Our hosts aren’t so sure they agree with that number, but they do agree that most companies do a lousy job of auditing the content their people produce. Those slide presentations by the engineers are content marketing gold.

Special Guest: Leslie Marshall, Morningstar

Our special guest is Leslie Marshall, Director of Events, Magazine and Social Media at Morningstar. Leslie continues on the storytelling theme from earlier in the show by describing some innovative programs MorningStar has run to draw out employee stories and creativity.

One was a Vine video program around the 25th anniversary of the company’s investing conference that had employees and customers creating six-second videos to explain what investing is. “We get caught up in so many ideas and have so much to say that sometimes boiling it down six seconds or 140 characters can make it all that much more valuable,” she says.

This year’s Vine campaign focuses on what it’s like to work at MorningStar. Leslie also addresses the importance of partnerships between the communications and legal teams to minimize compliance issues. And she explains MorningStar’s rationale for continuing to publish a print magazine. “People still want to engage with reading interesting content, and we think we have a lot of that offer.”

Follow @LeslieAMarshall on Twitter

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About Your Hosts

Paul GillinPaul Gillin is a veteran technology journalist and a thought leader in new media. Since 2005, he has advised marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach buyers cost-effectively. He is the author or co-author of five books, including Social Marketing to the Business Customer (2011), the first book devoted entirely to B2B social media marketing. He is also a social media trainer and coach at Profitecture, a training firm for B2B companies and their channel partners.

Allan SchoenbergAllan Schoenberg is based in London and responsible for managing the international media relations, issues management and brand communications for CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse financial marketplace. He was instrumental in launching the company’s social media activity in 2007 and continues to lead its social strategy and online community engagement. He has more than 20 years of experience in B2B communications, including his work for Accenture, Edelman Worldwide and Fleishman Hillard.

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Posted by Paul Gillin on 06/03 at 02:52 PM
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