Thursday, July 16, 2009

Marketo Interview with Robert Bell - B2B Sales & Marketing Alignment

Of the many marketing blogs I follow, the Marketo Blog, Modern B2B Marketing is consistently one of - if not the most insightful, timely, and relevant.

Yesterday, they posted a terrific interview with Robert Bell, a B2B marketing expert, and co-author of the book, B2B Without The BS.

Immediately I found myself nodding as I read his first answer about our perpetual fascination with "The Next Big Thing" - and how that relates to social media and, specifically, Twitter, in the current marketing environment.

But I quickly became defensive when I started to read the second question that was posed to him:

2. Your book, B2B Without the BS, calls out B2B companies that errantly go to market and try to play by B2C marketing rules...

Since the primary focus of Uncommon Marketing is to improve B2B marketing by learning from B2C, I was certain that my short-lived alignment with this fellow was soon to end. "Errantly"? Give me a break...

Fortunately - I was wrong. In his response to this and subsequent questions on sales and marketing alignment, Robert makes it clear that B2B marketers fail when they borrow strategy from their B2C counterparts - because the fundamentals of B2B marketing are absolutely different, and according to David Meerman Scott, do not change.

Of course we all learn as we go - and so I was thrilled to have read Robert's perspective, as it helps me to clarify my own position on the matter - namely, that the language, the style, the messaging, even the energy - all those tactical components of B2C marketing are where we should look for inspiration. Strategically , however, the two disciplines are worlds apart, and unlikely (if not downright inappropriate) models for one another.

I've already ordered my copy of Robert's book, and look forward to seeing what else he helps me clarify.

Link to the full Marketo Interview is here.

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