How Apple beat the pants off Sony…

How Apple beat the pants off Sony…

In 1997 Apple was in a shambles. That was the year Michael Dell, riding the coattails of a brilliant distribution strategy and booming laptop sales, stated that if ran Apple he’d shut it down and return the money to the shareholders.

This paper unpacks aspects of Apple’s marketing strategy including how it makes key management decisions in new product development, new markets, customer loyalty and others.

Read this to gain an understanding of Apple’s truly unique competitive strategy…how it leverages its strengths and compensates for weaknesses. A highlight of the paper is how Apple took on consumer electronics giant Sony to create a market cap that is now ten times that of Sony’s. 

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32306 N. Course VW
Franklin, TN 37067

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Best B2B Content Marketing

Best B2B Content Marketing

Best B2B Content Marketing

It’s fairly easy.

Creating the best B2B content marketing for technology and manufacturing companies is relatively simple, even if you skirmish with ideas, grammar or writing. Here?s how to make it easy and enjoyable.

Best B2B content marketing? 1 step at a time.

So you want to create the best B2B content marketing ever?

The best content focuses on a single, current industry hot button. Think user challenges, cost, support, adoption and integrations, for starters.

The most effective B2B content

  • Case Study 55% 55%
  • Best Practices 53% 53%
  • How-To Guides 47% 47%
  • Market Trends 43% 43%
  • Product Features 24% 24%
  • Competitive Comparisons 17% 17%

Next steps

To create the very best B2B content marketing, the next step is to go through this short exercise, jotting down a few bullet points.?

1. Background: usually a recent trend in your industry, vertical or market space around this topic.

2. Current challenge: a B2B challenge is almost always described in terms of time and money lost.

3. Your experience: ‘we’ve seen this happen with some of our customers’.

4. Your recommendation: ‘based on this, I recommend…’ It’s fine to recommend something your product or service is good at. Just don’t mention your company, product or service; then advertising.

5. Conclusion: the best B2B content marketing conclusions begin with next steps.

Example: an article for a tech company

You are with a company that sells file management software to certain verticals. Here?s how you would create a piece for an enterprise data storage audience focused on the life sciences vertical.

1. Background?? ?Life sciences is creating petabytes of unstructured data through genome and related projects that have complex workflows with lots of technical and/or rich content. This leads to soaring storage and IT costs for those companies.?

2. Current Challenge?? ?Data storage costs are skyrocketing and overburdened IT staffs need a way to push file management down to the business user, in this case the research scientist. Allowing the researcher to determine what, when and where to archive data for later retrieval will migrate data to lower cost storage and save huge amounts of time and expense for IT teams.?

3. Your Experience?? ?Recently we?ve seen next generation enterprise software solutions that solve this problem. With ROI focused architectures, these solutions are ideal for cloud computing and object storage.?

4. Your Recommendation?? ?Look for software companies that offer??. ?Fashion a bullet list that, of course, highlights your company?s competitive advantages without ever mentioning the name of your company or product.

5. Conclusion ? ?There?s no longer a mandate for IT departments to keep adding costly near term storage. Nor is it necessary for IT teams to bear the brunt of mediating between business users of data and storage archives.?

Write or delegate

With those simple bullet points you have an outline for an article. And you’re on the way to creating top B2B content marketing.

Once you?re happy with your bullet points it?s time to write the article or delegate ?to someone else. If you delegate make sure it?s someone who knows your company, products and markets.

Aim for 500 words because search engines won?t take you seriously unless it?s at least 300 words. Search engines like to see more than the minimum.

 

Create a headline

Next, look at what you?ve created and think of a seven word headline that grabs someone?s attention and gets you found by SEO. Potential headlines for this article could be:

  • Overwhelmed By Unstructured Data? Here?s Relief.
  • Relief For Your IT Department
  • File Management Solutions for Unstructured Data

 

Finally, notice how easily this article can be converted for an audience in a different vertical.

Ninety percent of this content can also apply to industries with rich content or technical workflows including Media & Entertainment, Oil & Gas, Software Development and others.

So with relatively little effort you now have interesting, relevant content that can be blogged, tweeted and posted multiple times across multiple verticals for several weeks.

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About Mike Harris

Mike is the founder of Harris CMO Partners, a Nashville based firm offering interim and fractional CMO services to B2B companies.

He enjoys writing about what's working in B2B sales and marketing.

Website content and all attachments are the property of Harris CMO Partners LLC  2021

Harris CMO Partners
32306 N. Course VW
Franklin, TN 37067

(615) 200-6336

Privacy Policy

“Field of Dreams” marketing won’t cut it…

“Field of Dreams” marketing won’t cut it…

Build It and They Will Come…

B2B marketing technology. Image from movie Field of Dreams. Photo from Universal Studios

 

Here’s the truth

Building a legitimate demand gen infrastructure and using it to good effect can be every bit as complicated as modern day farming. It takes a ton of effort, specialized tools and top skills to grow a crop of qualified leads that delight the troops on the front lines – sales.

Field of Dreams was an OK movie; at least it had a feel good ending. If you’re thinking, however, that a minimal demand gen infrastructure and some haphazard blogs and emails will coax Shoeless Joe Jackson out of his cornfield, think again.

Like farming, demand generation is not easy. It’s a tough slog with serious skillsets, B2B marketing technology and seeding required. And, just like a corn crop, there’s always lag time before companies see a decent crop.

However, if you’re determined to harvest sales qualified leads using the tools of modern demand generation, here’s how to go about it.

B2B marketing technology is like the cornfield in "Field of Dreams"

? Universal Studios

B2B Marketing Technology

For a cornfield you might need a tractor, a plow, a disk harrow and a planter.

For B2B demand gen you’ll need specialized tools including an email platform with tracking, segmented email lists, social media accounts with company pages, landing pages on your website, conversion forms and an SEO tool.

If you really want to rock-n-roll you’ll link all of this to your sales automation tool or CRM.

Necessary Skillsets

A quality high yield corn crop requires the skills of a dedicated, experienced farmer.

For a well functioning B2B demand gen program you?ll need the skills of a dedicated, experienced demand gen expert, which few companies have when they first take on this task.

If you can afford it, hire someone full time only after rigorous screening for technology and content know-how.? If you’re not ready for a full timer there are thousands of small and mid-sized firms that specialize in various or all aspects of demand generation.

Their sales pitches are free and it’s good to go through about a dozen, testing them for knowledge about technology, content and campaign creation. You’ll learn a lot just from this process and likely find someone who’s affordable and easy to work with.

Campaigns & Content Are?Your Seeds

Every corn farmer knows that without high quality seed, yields and crop quality will be greatly diminished. The same goes for B2B demand generation.

Marketing Sherpa B2B marketing technology.

Case study from Marketing Sherpa.

Your campaigns and content are the seeds for a high yielding demand gen crop. A direct correlation exists between sales leads generated and the relevance, timing and quality of your content and campaigns.

It’s easy to self-educate ?on this topic since so much has been written about creating quality content and campaigns. My favorite places to stay informed include Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Sherpa.

For a good case study on how a real company did it, and succeeded, click on the Case Study icon.

We’re seeing lots of companies in the $10-500 million range falling behind their peers in using the tools of demand gen, especially B2B marketech.

These smaller companies aren’t engaging with martech to their best advantage. They’ve coined an all new market strategy called Build It And They Will Come.

Here’s a typical field of dreams approach:

  1. The CEO or another higher up reads that social media marketing is a sure fire way to generate loads of qualified sales leads. OK, you’re at least reading the sports page.
  2. Around midnight a company engineer gets an email asking him/her to set up LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. That’s the equivalent of going to Walmart and buying a bat.
  3. The next day, whoever’s running the reception desk gets a new assignment: content marketing. Now you have a bat and a ball.
  4. In between answering the phone and helping the head of HR, who’s still managing with ‘spreadsheets, the receptionist comes up with a blogpost that seems interesting. It gets posted. Swiiiiing batter! Strike one…
  5. Building on that success the receptionist now blasts an email about the company picnic to everyone the company’s ever heard of. Swing and a miss! Strike two…
  6. Back to social media where a blog gets posted about the company’s umpteenth anniversary. Amazingly, no one cares. Foul ball!

And so forth until the CEO gets distracted by the crisis-of-the-month and the whole thing falls by the wayside. The receptionist is happy to pay attention to something else.