Is B2B Marketing Still Just One Big Popularity Contest?


Anyone who’s hoped to escape the popularity contests of highschool might be a little disappointed if they ever got a job in B2B marketing. The real challenge though isn’t just the fact that these contest are more intense from competing for high profile corporate attention. It’s also because all that intensity’s just been magnified as online technology throws itself in the mix with offline marketing.

It’s not really the fault of technology that more companies have increased integrating an online marketing approach (whether it’s just adding a page on Facebook or reformatting their email templates for mobile readers). It just sort of happened.

What you need to do now is get the gist how this affected the complications of the popularity game.

  • Rule #1: It’s always been complicated – One first misconception you need to drop is that these contests have always been so simple. On the contrary, it’s been complicated enough with the need to physically network and actively sleuth for potential B2B leads.
  • Rule #2: Popularity doesn’t grow on its own merit– It can be argued that this new mix really focuses on merit and not just medals shown. But of course, plenty people still game the whole thing even when it comes to online marketing tactics. And as always, this will eventually come back to hurt you.
  • Rule #3: The impact of change isn’t perfect – It’s not just that the change you’re looking for won’t happen overnight. It’s also that the impact of new technology doesn’t always roll out smoothly. For example, Google claims to be all for quality content but this scathing assessment still believes that initiative is full of holes as far the actual technology goes.
  • Rule #4: It’s more than just engagement and influence – It’s both, obviously. It might not be easy but untangling the knots they make can be important when measuring between your efforts to gain influence and the actual results. You have to maintain the conversation you have with all your prospects both on a general and individual scale.

Many places around the world are holding up tech companies as the savviest, most marketable, and most profitable. But if you take a look at what else they’ve ranked, even something as less savvy as a fast food business can share the same space.