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I love your stuff and completely agree with your point that B2C and B2B have little in common when analyzing the path to purchase. However, I'm concerned about your formula for success.
Your formula emphasizes GREAT salespeople. The reality is that it's a GREAT system that drives results. Great B2B sales organizations build the genius into their system, average and poor organizations rely on the genius of people. The corporate sale is far too complex, with far to many players (Marketo research demonstrates as many as 20 people will directly influence a purchase), and far too long to rely on merely hard work, great salespeople, offers and testimonials. I'm also surprised because it appears that the marketing formula is not in your equation and my research, experience (and research conducted by the Sales Executive Council) demonstrate that the marketing approach being put forth by the sales organization can reduce or improve the results experienced by as much as 50 - 70%.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Next Time Someone Says: B2C, B2B, It's all just B2P, right?
ginidietrichDoug_Davidoff Well said.
1 year, 3 months ago on Komen Provides Excellent Crisis Management Case Study
ginidietrich Obviously I have no idea what happened inside this case. Two experiences to share. First, I've seen high level internal marketing executives who haven't earned a seat at the table because they can't stop being reactive in everything they do. Even when they speak about results and impact, it's always a reaction to something else.
You earn a seat at the table when you proactively impact the larger conversation. You bring more to the (well) table than just your subject matter expertise. You get and speak to the bigger picture.
I've learned that if you wait for the client to come to you (which is happens with even the biggest firms) executives will screw things up. If they understood the PR/communication impact of their decisions - they'd be PR/communication executives. What's Murphy's Law? If a client can screw something up...well, you get the picture.
I think a big piece of the problem is the underlying economic model that drives most communication firms, but I digress.
At the risk of being provocative (and you know how I hate being that), who's fault is this? Is it's Komen's for failing to bring their PR firm into the discussions early enough, or is it their PR firms for failing to have earned "a set at the table" to be involved in conversations BEFORE it was thought to be a PR issue?
My experience is that far, far, far too often PR folks (of all shapes and sizes) serve tactically and don't provide the type of counsel needed when things aren't in crisis to earn the role to prevent crisis. I do not mean to convict all providers (just most).
I also don't mean to discount the point you make here. It's instructive to companies that they should be using their advisors better (or replace them if they can step up), and it's instructive to PR firms and professionals - they shouldn't wait for the crisis either.
We are a client of a company (Angel Vision) that I think does a GREAT job of dealing with this up front. They make very clear what they consider a "good client" to be. They lay it out in an agreement (things like, all people contributing will be on these calls, or you'll turn things around within x period of time etc.) and then provide a "Good Client Discount."
Now, I know that their real fee is what they're charging me after the "discount," but I got to tell you a feel more commitment to get things done for them. After all, we all like to get rewarded for what we're supposed to do any way, don't we?
1 year, 11 months ago on Managing Unruly Clients
EricaAllison i think you've hit on something. PR people and members of all other disciplines need to throw themselves into broader, different business disciplines to learn how things work together. It's a new filter that I'm going to use whenever I hire anyone - either for employment or advice. Thanks!
1 year, 11 months ago on The Communication Industry Has a Perception Issue
ginidietrich Danny Brown I love the first goal - I'd be cautious of the second. Regulatory bodies - whether "self regulating" or otherwise - often cause more harm that good. Just look at the finance industry.
Great post (as always). I have some thoughts - primarily that the situation the PR/Communication industry finds itself may not be as unique as you think it is. I have this exact conversation with HR people, IT people, finance people - hell I even have with salespeople (and you'd think the ROI on them would be obvious).
I think the issue is more fundamental. There is a chasm (and unfortunately the chasm appears to be getting larger) between the strategic/vision center of the business and the operational silos. As PR, IT, Finance, Marketing, etc. people gain more and more expertise about their discipline, they seem to move further and further away from connecting the dots to the business needs.
In today's drought companies have been forced to ask very difficult questions and are moving away from activity based judgments (how many stories ran) to, well, does this activity really make a difference judgments. If you can't connect the dots to making a difference you are going to be relegated to obscurity.
Unfortunately, numbers alone won't bridge the gap (which is why lots of CEOs don't "get" digital). The only thing that will is business savvy (or business acumen). Communications people need to become businesspeople, having business conversations. When they do that the chasm can be bridged and, suddenly, things make sense.
Thanks for the forum to share,
Interesting stuff. I've found procrastination not to be as evil as it is made out to be. When I'm procrastinating there's usually a reason. Most often it's because I've made an obligation, but I'm not committed. So I've learned to listen to my procrastination as an early warning system that maybe I'm trying to force myself to pursue something, that I'd be far better off not not pursuing.
Just a thought.
2 years, 2 months ago on I’ve Been Putting Off Writing This Post on Procrastination
Very insightful. One of the values at Imagine (my company) is innovation, which we define as finding "the third way." If you think about it, innovation is all about finding a new, better way to do something.
There's your way, my way and, IF WE REALLY LISTEN TO EACH OTHER, a third way. johnheaney , I agree with you that listening to the opposition can help us prepare to deal with them, and I'd add that if we REALLY listen to peope we completely disagree with and take a learning posture, we may find that third way that helps to change the world.
2 years, 3 months ago on Your Mom Tells You What You Want to Hear
Great stuff Gini.
I've been talking for years about the need for salespeople to gain business acumen. Ever since I became aware of just how important it is, and the difference it makes; I've become increasingly aware that it's not just salespeople who lack it. A PR professional with business acumen and judgment is, well, gold!
Thanks for the lesson - I may send a few salespeople over here to read it.
2 years, 4 months ago on Gaining Respect for Yourself and the PR Industry
40deuce Sheldon, I don't think it's so much what consultants say. It's far more when clients "hear."
2 years, 4 months ago on Living with the Pregnant Widow
janbeery Yeah, I got a bit carried away. After I submitted my reply I got the tongue in cheek. I've just heard things like that so many times from people.
ginidietrich and now you have your blog post for tomorrow.
lesmckeown Well said. That's why I think the most valuable skill in the world to have is the ability and discipline to always see things through your customer's eyes.
janbeery Thanks. Just responded to you as well.
janbeery I agree with the intent of what you are saying, but not competely in it's execution. The promise of SM/SEO/PPC whatever is that "you'll be at the top" or something similar to this.
SM is a tactic in a much, much larger strategic approach. There are lots of ways to grow a business. Believe it or not the vast majority of successful businesses are not actively engaged in SM (please don't misunderstand - I'm not saying they shouldn't be).
To add to that, the vast majority of people active on SM posting, what is it, valuable links - ARE NOT SUCCESSFUL!!
There's a great opportunity for PR/SM pros to stand out and create some REAL value. Give us the filter - let us know what's really involved in being successful. Help us understand why so many play and fail and how we can make sure we're successful. Show us how SM fits in the larger picture.
Then you'll get my attention - and open access to my marketing budget.
Great stuff Les.
I'd laugh at the humor, except it's a little too realistic.
This is a perfect example of the problems people have in confusing process with results. It's also a great example of how the message is so focused on the tactics of SM. SM works as part of a larger engagement strategy. It takes commitment, but I think of it like the Celtics think. There's a sign in the locker room that says:
There's a game tonight and we have to play. We might as well win.
Since we are going to be putting forth the effort to play in business - we might as well put forth the effort to win.
lesmckeown HerzogIND Yup - you got me right.
ginidietrich HerzogIND A joke that is tried and failed is better than no joke at all.
2 years, 4 months ago on An Open Letter to PR Professionals