Tag Archives: BMA

Are the 4P’s relevant anymore in building products marketing?

26 Mar

Internet Being Left Behind

B2B has changed – the 4P’s don’t apply

Most marketers today know or knew of the 4Ps. They are the traditional marketing mix–product, place, price, and promotion. But these narrow views are increasingly battling with the essential need to deliver solutions.

In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Richard Ettenson, Eduardo Conrado, and Jonathan Knowles outline how B2B marketers need to adopt a new framework focused on solutions, access, value, and education–SAVE.

Having heard Eduardo, the SVP of Marketing and IT for Motorola Solutions, present how they transformed their marketing and in turn their company by utilizing the SAVE method, I wanted to share some of the key points from their article.

In a five-year study involving more than 500 managers and customers in multiple countries and across a wide range of B2B industries, they found that the 4P’s model undercuts B2B marketers in three important ways:

  1. It leads their marketing and sales teams to stress product technology and quality even though these are no longer differentiators but are simply the cost of entry.
  2. It underemphasizes the need to build a robust case for the superior value of their solutions.
  3. It distracts them from leveraging their advantage as a trusted source of diagnostics, advice, and problem solving.

Eduardo explained how Motorola Solutions used SAVE to guide the restructuring of its marketing organization and its go-to-market strategies in the government and enterprise sectors. Along the way the firm identified three requirements for successfully making the shift from 4 P’s thinking to SAVE.

  1. Management must encourage a solutions mind-set throughout the organization.
  2. Management needs to ensure that the design of the marketing organization reflects and reinforces the customer-centric focus.
  3. Management must create collaboration between the marketing and sales organizations and with the development and delivery teams.

Notice how all three of his points begin with Management. This type of fundamental shift must be embraced at the highest levels. Eduardo contributes a lot of success to the fact his CEO fully endorsed and supported this new way of thinking.

It also won’t happen overnight, but as marketers its our job, now more than ever, to help drive the company in new directions and to shape our message both internally and externally.

Why We Need to Focus on Purpose in Building Products Marketing

2 Aug

Image linked from worksmartmompreneurs.com

Asking Your Company ‘Why Do We do This?’

Recently we heard Eduardo Conrado, the SVP and CMO of Motorola Solutions, talk about the process their company went through as they split Motorola into two companies; the B2C mobile company (Mobility) and the B2B organization (Solutions) Conrado helps to lead.

The decision to focus on Purpose helped define who the company would be – but initially sounded all too familiar to this experienced corporate marketer.

“We are going to create this new company (or product), so marketing and the agency are going to create a new name, a new logo, some brand guidelines and a bunch of ads. Don’t worry Mr. CEO, it’ll be fine.”

Conrado told of how he was almost at that same point and he knew he needed to stop the process and define ‘why’ it mattered. Not only to customers, but dealers and associates worldwide.

What they found was something we can all use as marketers in this new era of marketing.  A quote referenced from The Boston Consulting Group stated, “Marketing will not return to normal. It is vital for marketers to embrace new marketing approaches, vehicles and organizational approaches, while recognizing that there is no set recipe for success…in today’s world, marketing by the books is the biggest risk of all.”  Wow, aren’t you excited about your career choice?

Three key points about why Purpose should matter to you and your organization:

  1. Purpose Motivates Employees. If employees understand and believe in what you’re trying to achieve, they are more engaged and motivated. They understand they are part of something that matters and they are proud of where they work and what they do. In the tough housing market we are all working in, having motivated employees has never been more important.
  2. Purpose Gives Leaders a Personal Platform. As a leader in your company, defining the company’s purpose also defines your purpose. Where do you want to take the company? What do you want to accomplish that lasts beyond your tenure?
  3. Purpose Drives Sustainable Advantage. This is where the rubber meets the road. Organizations driven by purpose and values outperformed the general market 15:1 and outperformed comparison companies 6:1.* Now who couldn’t use that type of performance right now?

*From the book, Built to Last (Jim Collins)

Another key point from this presentation was the fact that Motorola Solutions, a technology innovator for decades, had to stop thinking of themselves as a technology company but rather view themselves as a solutions company.  Solutions that make a difference in people’s lives – everyday.

So how do we apply this thinking to our industry? We focus ourselves, our team, our suppliers, our channel partners and even our customers on the purpose of what we do every day. Ask yourself ‘why do we do this’ or ‘why does this matter’ and see what type of answer you get. If it’s the same as your competitor, it’s probably time to rethink everything.

The Top Ten Ways Building Product Marketers Can Achieve Enchantment, Part 2

26 Jul

Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Keys to Enchantment, Success

In a recent post, I introduced you to Guy Kawasaki and his first 3 pillars for achieving enchantment. As promised, here are steps 4-10 on how to influence your people and make a difference for your entire company:

 4. Launch – tell a story, a personal story

    • Once your product or service is perfected, you need to launch (or re-launch) that product with a personal story. We’ve heard it a hundred times, but people do business with people they like and they need to hear their personal story to make a connection. Here are some tips for doing that:
      • Plant many seeds. Don’t just focus on one part of the story and sharing it on one medium, put your story out there and make it easy to know, learn and love.
      • Use salient points. Don’t tell people what you want them to know – tell them what makes sense for them. Guy used a great example for this – it would be much more efficient if a bag of chips listed the miles you have to run to burn off those chips, rather than the number of calories it contains – that is what we all want to know!

 5. Overcome resistance

    • To do this, you need to provide social proof. First, use a dataset to change a mindset (check out gapminder.org) and second – enchant all of your influencers. For a real life example of this type of enchantment, Guy recommended that every marketer watch Justin Bieber’s movie, Never Say Never.

6. Endure

    • To endure, you must build an ecosystem. Build a network of people that you help, and in turn help you back. Evoke reciprocation and once you’ve done a favor, enable people to help you next time you’re in need. Most of all, don’t rely on money to enchant people.

 7. Present

    • Great presenters are great enchanters. There are several key points to being a great presenter. First, customize the introduction to your audience. Second, sell your dream. Finally, use a visual presentation that drives the point home. If you are using PowerPoint, follow these guidelines: 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 point font.

 8. Use technology

    • Whether it’s email, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, provide value to others through your engagement. And don’t just engage when you feel like it – use the three f’s: fast, flat and frequent.

 9. Enchant up

    • Drop everything for your boss. If they ask you to do something, do it right away. And, if you have bad news, deliver it early.

10. Enchant down

    • You must engage your employees. Provide them with a MAP (mastery, autonomously, purpose). Empower them to take action and trust them to make good decisions. And when it comes down to it – suck it up, get in the trenches and help with the dirty work.
    • If you are more interested in this topic, check out Drive by Daniel Pink which does a great job explaining what motivates us.

Guy is a fascinating marketer and I would highly recommend his new book Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions if you are interested in learning more on how to make your brand enchanting.

The Top Ten Ways Building Product Marketers Can Achieve Enchantment, Part 1

24 Jul

Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Keys to Enchantment, Success

I recently had the opportunity to hear Guy Kawasaki speak. If you haven’t heard of Guy, you need to look him up. He is known as the former chief evangelist of Apple and is the author of ten books, including Reality CheckThe Art of the Start and the new Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. His recent speech covered his latest book and he focused on the 10 ways marketers can achieve enchantment. As a building product CMO, this book will teach you how to influence your people and make a difference for your entire company. Here is his list:

  1. Achieve likability
    • According to Guy, likability is the key to being enchanting. While it’s not always easy, the way to do this is pretty simple.
      • You need a great smile – smile at others – genuinely and often
      • Accept others – don’t judge the people around you, accept them as they are
      • Default to yes – while many of us look for excuses to get out of things, Guy encourages us to always respond with a yes
  2. Achieve trustworthiness
    • To achieve trustworthiness, you must do 3 key things:
      • You must trust others. Give people your trust until they do something to lose it.
      • Bake, don’t eat. Don’t be the one always taking from others, provide something tangible to help the team to show you are there to help.
      • Agree on something. Find something (anything!) that you have in common with other people and use that to bond and create a relationship.
  3. Perfect your product or service
    • This is key in our paired-down industry. If your company has survived the recession, now is the time to perfect that product and make sure it is exactly what your key audience is looking for. This will ensure your audience has no reason to leave you for a competitor. In order to do this, Guy recommends creating something DICEE:
      • Deep, Intelligent, Complete, Empowering, Elegant

These are the 3 pillars to achieving enchantment. Stay tuned for an additional post that introduces steps 4-10 including launching your product with a personal story, overcoming resistance, enduring for the long haul and other great tips.

The New Role of the Building Products CMO

12 Jun

10 Lessons from Greg Brown, CEO of Motorola Solutions

Recently I heard Greg Brown, the CEO of Motorola Solutions, speak at the Business Marketing Association International GROW! Conference. He spoke about his role as a CEO, which he defined as deploying capital and developing people, but spent most of the time talking about Eduardo Conrado, the CMO for Motorola Solutions, and what he’s done that helps define the new role of the CMO. Here’s what I learned from Greg that can help building product CMOs be successful:

  1. Make tough decisions and rally the troops.
    • As building product marketers, tough decisions are something we are all too familiar with as of late, however – we can’t forget the second part to this (which is equally important) – rally the troops. Our people are our most important asset and if they don’t believe in what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, your company cannot succeed in the long-term.
  2. Learn the business you’re in.
    • This may seem obvious, but far too many marketers don’t take it to the next level. Beyond knowing marketing, you need to know three things in the building products industry: technology, process and people. Especially in our business, people remain the most important element.
  3. Deliver on your brand promise.
    • Greg defined brand as the image you create and experience you deliver. As building product CMOs, you need to define that image, create it and ensure the experience is consistent. Transparency is key.
  4. Drive culture.
    1. As a building product CMO, you have the ability and the responsibility to drive culture. Culture can be defined as a lot of things, but I like how Greg put it – culture is what you do and how you do it. More and more as products and services are put on a level playing field, it is the culture of a company that makes a difference and creates loyalty.
  5. Decide your voice.
    • CMOs need to create the brand’s voice and be sure to use it in everything the company produces. For Motorola Solutions, their voice is defined as human, confident, clear and imaginative.
  6. Focus on ideas.
    • The building products industry is lean and it’s often hard to get away from what needs to get done everyday to focus on new ideas. To combat this, host a regular meeting with your team and talk. Don’t have an agenda, don’t have notes, just toss out ideas and see what sticks.
  7. Speak up.
    • You didn’t make it this far in your career by sliding by, but this is an important lesson and something to share with your team – silence means agreement. If you don’t say anything, you’re in. No pocket vetoes.
  8. Be innovative.
    • Beyond being innovative, foster an environment of innovation. Get people out of their comfort zones and have strategy meetings that focus beyond what’s happening today.
  9. Create leads.
    • As CMOs, this is the ultimate way to drive business for your company and make it easier for your sales team to sell more. Focus on getting new leads and nurturing them.
  10. Let your actions speak for themselves.
    • Don’t preach about what other departments in the company should do or complain about what your team could do with a bigger budget, do what you can and let the results of your actions show the rest of the company your impact.

Marketing is the integrated format that makes companies run. It brings together all parts of the organization – investor relations, public relations, internal and external relations – and enables them to work together. As a building products CMO, you are the core of the business and have the ability to impact the entire company for the better.

3 Keys for Using Social Media to Generate Leads in the Building Industry

7 Jun


05015%20Medium%20FunnelUse Social Media to Fill the Sales Funnel

At last week’s Business Marketing Association International GROW! Conference in Chicago, I heard from Kipp Bodnar, an inbound marketing strategist at HubSpot, and Jeffrey Cohen, a social strategist for Radian6. Over the course of an hour, these two showed us the value of social media in lead generation and provided three tips on how to make social media work for you. Many companies use social media to engage and entertain prospects and customers, but Kipp and Jeff have written a book, The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and More to teach marketers what social media can do for their B2B businesses.

They asserted that 60% of the sales cycle is over when the potential buyer talks to your salesperson, so we must make our presence known during that first part of the sales cycle. People buy from people that they know, like and trust and social media can provide those feelings. So now that you’re hooked, here are the three keys to social media lead-gen success for building product marketers:

  1. Build a network of strong ties
    • Strong ties online mean you are interacting, driving affection and doing both over a period of time (not just once)
    • The half life of a social media link is only 3 hours, so post often and use the 10-4-1 rule. For every 15 posts:
      • 10: Share 10 links
      • Create 4 original posts
      • Utilize 1 link to a company landing page
    • Publishing and sharing content online is best way to generate leads
  2. Influence connections for content sharing
    • Use SlideShare or Scribd to make sharing information easy
    • Encourage your followers to share what they find valuable and reward them for doing so
  3. Master social conversion
    • Make sure you are encouraging your ties to take action. Whether it’s downloading a white paper or calling a sales person, don’t make them guess what they’re supposed to do next
    • Know where your customers share – don’t use a ShareThis plug-in with unlimited options – simply show the networks where your customers already live and make it easy for them

Get into the social conversation today – create connections, make it easy to share and ensure there is always a call to action for your prospects and customers and you will be on the road to generating more leads.

Social Media Isn’t Going Anywhere for Building Products Marketers

5 Jun

Action at the BMA National GROW Conference

Learnings from the BMA International Conference

While a lot of arguments were made at last week’s Business Marketing Association International GROW! Conference in Chicago – one thing was clear and repeated often: social media is here to stay. It was something nearly every speaker hit on and the keynote speaker, Guy Kawasaki, proclaimed that all marketers should stake their future in social media. While many building product marketers are tweeting regularly, updating their company blogs and creating apps, some of us are lucky just to be regularly using email communication with some customers.

If you are having a hard time getting started or looking for some fresh inspiration, here are just a few of the things I heard about social media this week:

  1. Things you put on the Internet will be there forever, but that doesn’t mean they’re relevant for long. In fact, the half life of a social media link is just 3 hours.
  2. Use the 10-4-1 rule. When posting content, share 10 links from other sources, create 4 original posts and use 1 link to a company landing page to promote your building products company.
  3. Provide value with your social media. Provide information that your customers and others in the industry want to learn about
  4. Remove the speed bumps. Make it easy to share things – whether it’s retweeting a post, liking a blog post or sharing a promotion – make sure it’s seamless for your customers.
  5. Engage. This may seem obvious, but in this age of sharing many companies simply bombard their customers with company information. Now, more that ever, it’s important to engage in meaningful conversations. Like many things, you get out what you put in.
  6. Be consistent. Like I said earlier, the half life of a social media link is 3 hours, so if you’re not posting with frequency, you’ll be left behind. Customers might not seek you out, but they’ll notice you if you consistently provide valuable information.
  7. Have a purpose. Your social media efforts should support your general marketing efforts. Don’t just share cute pictures and funny sayings, make it count.
  8. Keep it personal. People want to connect with other people, not companies.

Keep an eye out for more posts from the BMA International Conference.

Building Product Manufacturers Evaluate Tradeshow Benefits

15 Nov

Tradeshow strategy is an important and costly element of the marketing mix.

Are massive industry tradeshows running out of steam across all industries?  Does the cost for manufacturers to exhibit in national tradeshows outweigh the benefits?  Is it unrealistic for customers or prospects to travel across the United States for national shows due to cost?  Is it time for supporters and sponsors to shift their thinking to regional events where costs can be managed for the exhibitor and attendance can be increased for the attendee?

Building Product manufacturers hear the statistics, attendee registration is up!  Exhibitor attendance is as strong as ever!  Historically the International Builders Show (IBS) (sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders) is the can’t miss event of the year for building product manufacturers.  However, despite the buzz, attendees cannot afford the cost to attend to realize the benefits.

Across multiple industries, manufacturers are opting out of annual tradeshow participation for many reasons:

  • Exhibit Space Cost
  • Exhibit Labor Cost
  • Travel
  • Attendance
  • Customer Entertainment

Total these items and it is not cost effective for international companies to participate in events that were one time “can’t miss”.

However, the benefits cannot be ignored, tradeshows provide exhibitors the following items from a recent whitepaper from the Business Marketing Association (BMA):

  • They provide the best opportunity to see exactly what a product looks like
  • They provide the best opportunity to evaluate how a product works
  • They are the easiest way to evaluate competitive products
  • They are the most convenient way to find out who makes the types of products wanted
  • Exhibitors say trade shows are more effective than other marketing tools in two primary areas:
    • Meeting objective
      • Generating sales leads
      • Taking orders
      • Introducing new products and services
      • Promoting brand image
      • Promoting company awareness
      • Entering new markets
  • Cost effective to reach targeted audiences

The answer may be regional events, hosted throughout the United States, providing educational opportunities as well as product exhibits to a regional audience.  The benefits are undeniable, but it’s up to each CMO to evaluate whether a national tradeshow will provide the ROI needed to justify the expense.


Sources and Additional Articles