SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL B to B MARKETING

Want to grow your b to b business invest in building your brand.

About a year back I advised one of my clients Rohan Singal “Get up, Dress up, Show up.”

He had suddenly lost all business due to the pandemic when he approached me to help him grow his brand. It was courageous of him in that situation to invest in building his brand when all income had stopped.

Rohan is a coach for senior corporate leaders. He took my advice and we worked on building his brand . This year has been one of his best years.

My team at Social Flutur helped him churn out over 80 thought leadership videos, he has been active on LinkedIn every week, had 30 conversation videos with CXOs , launched his book online and he is now seeing business like never before.

We are now helping him build his tribe through Power of Intent community and open up a a new vertical of open programs which he loves to do. We helped Rohan play to his potential by working on his brand strategy.

As a team we at Social Flutur love to help soloprenuers , organisations and nonprofits tap into their potential and build their tribe .

We do this by asking the right questions and getting our clients to focus their efforts. So what are the secrets of the success of Rohan.

1. Passion – without fail I find this is the quality every business leader needs to succeed. How strong is your urge to ‘Get up’ every morning ? How strongly you believe in your idea ? and how committed are you to spread it ?

2. Clarity – “what is the problem you are solving in the world?” can you write this in one line . Is it easily understood? Is this a real problem?

If you get to work without clarity you create confusion for your clients . The clarity has to reflect on your website, on your LinkedIn profile in every communication.

Being clever is not being different , are you clear and are you communicating clearly the problem you solve for your clients.

3. Patience – Building a brand is a long term game and one needs to commit for the long haul which Rohan did . The first challenge is inertia and the itch to give up very quickly .

I have also seen clients who get impatient. Unfortunately we are so fixated with performance marketing because the results are immediate and measurable that we put all our marketing investments in performance.

4. Brand Building – What is ignored is investing in brand marketing and a brand cannot be built overnight. Unfortunately brand marketing is not so measurable and a bit fuzzy so is ignored.

Performance marketing works for clients who are in the market and have a immediate need and they happen to find you.

There are many who do not have an immediate need , and this would be more so in B to B market , but this does not mean we should not be talking to them. This is where building a brand works. Because when they need your product or service they will think of you and you will be called to the table.

Brand marketing is investing in the future demand. That is why you as a brand need to dress up and show up regularly. You need to build an emotional connection when your prospective clients are not yet in need.

This is investing in the brand . I use a term with my clients “sow the seeds and have patience.” unfortunately I have seen clients who start panicking very soon and expect a tree to show up no sooner they have planted the seeds.

This is science , this is how nature works and it works , I have seen it time and again . It works 100%.

When the clients are ready will they remember you ? and will you get called to the table ? is the question to be asked.

5. Point of View- Another question I ask my clients. “What is your point of view?”. Do you have a point of view, is it different ? if you are a me too you will be lost in the noise.

Look at all successful brands they have a point of view. Steve Jobs on his return to Apple brought a focus on a strong point of view and the new advertising campaign had just two words “Think Different.”

This was not just clever marketing by Apple this was the way the business model functioned , the way products were made , whether it was iphone iPod or the iPad there was a strong point of view.

Elon Musk has been holding a point of view on how he sees the future of personal transport he did this when everyone laughed at him. When Richard Branson spoke about space tourism no one believed him.

Point of view is also called thought leadership and as a b to be marketeer you need to demonstrate thought leadership. Clients need to trust you that you are the right person who can solve their problem.

6. Add value – Show up , is a key word . One of the things I tell all my clients is every day morning think of “How can I add value to the world today ?” And “give”.

Drop your agenda of what you will get , GIVE FREELY , without bothering whether competition will pick up your secrets. In a digital world there are no secrets.

7. Tell a Story – I have been told “but Sanjay we are in a b to b market.” Whether you are in a b to be or a b to c market you finally deal with a human being on the other side.

Don’t tell your story no one is interested tell them their story . From “here” to “there” is the most powerful story ever told.

What is the conflict in the life of your clients ( remind them of their conflict) and how will their life look like once you solve this problem.

To be a good storyteller you need to have empathy , you need to feel the pain of your clients.

8. Be authentic- ‘Better than’ does not build a category ‘different than’ does . Do not be a copy but be an original. Have your voice.

Some clients get so obsessed with looking at competition that they start looking like the competition. Look at the competition to learn but follow your path be authentic to your voice.

In the healthcare space I see a personal brand in India who has grown very popular and built a huge tribe the founder yet for content marketing records videos using a mobile phone, very raw, very spontaneous, no polish , but authentic.

People like to see authenticity in brands , a brand can be vulnerable, have its flaws , make mistakes, own up but be real.

9. Call to Action- “what should I do.?” The client is all convinced and ready to buy now what should he do ?

It is such a waste to make the clients walk the journey and then just drop them by not getting them to act .

In a b to b sale you cannot expect immediate decisions but you could move them a step forward in the journey to build trust , you can begin the conversation.

Get up , dress up and show up and I will add have your point of view are ingredients to build a strong b to b brand .

Sanjay Mudnaney , Founder at Social Futur.

www. SocialFlutur.com

HAPPINESS

What makes us happy?

The other day I purchased a comfort chair for my reading corner , I was very excited and waited for the chair to be delivered .

It’s been a few days now that I have the chair , it’s good to have but the excitement of having it has now gone.

This happens every time , a packet from Amazon arrives and I am happy and excited to open it.

But within a few days the excitement is forgotten.

We do feel that when we get things we will be happy, but when we get those things there is momentary happiness and then we shift to the next thing.

We do feel if we reach somewhere we will be happy, when we are in school it is college , when it is college it is the dream job in the dream company , when we have the dream job it is the promotion.

It always seems to be the next thing or the next place that will make us happy.

It seems happiness is an outside job. Some thing has to happen, or we have to get something, then we can be happy.

But what if we don’t get that thing or what if we don’t reach where we wanted to go?

We would be unhappy?

Also with this approach to life the person who has the most would be the most happiest , is it so ? Do we see that in life.

Scratch beneath the surface those that seem to have everything may not be as happy as you think.

Social media pictures are certainly not the depiction of reality.

We put out the best pictures, and then we use filters to make our pictures look good.

We take the glamour of stars as real and we start chasing dreams to be like them , we create idols and we worship them , we become fans.

The heroes we worship are fragile because life is fragile.

Advertising lures us with things and the way it does so is by telling us , we are not ok. What we have is not enough.

We then chase excitement in things. We want to feel ok , we want to be like the stars , we want others to see us , appreciate us , maybe put us on a pedestal.

We want to be in the spotlight, or we feel so , everyone is watching us .

No one is , everyone is selfish, focused on self.

Ask those on a pedestal how afraid they are.

We feel excited chasing things. Have you experienced the excitement of getting something new ?

During the pandemic when non essentials were out of reach we did feel restless .

Yet we survived on the essentials , we found our pleasure in other things , like spending more time with family.

I have come to the realisation that we are constantly in chase , always feeling a gap.

It is almost like being on a treadmill that does not have a stop button, but also does not take us anywhere.

We keep running but we are at the same place , yet we keep running all our lives and then one day we drop dead.

Yet we keep chasing, the chase seems to be exciting, till it lasts.

Till the time we are and we are chasing there seems to be excitement, we hope this thing if we get it we will be finally happy.

We get it , we get there , there is momentary happiness then again the gap then again the chase.

Happiness I have come to realise is not out there, somewhere in the future.

It has got nothing to do with the outside.

Happiness is an inside job and it is certainly not in the destination.

It is not the destination, but the journey that matter.

It is not the things we own , but the moments we live that matter.

It is not what we get but what we give in the world that matters .

It is not what the world thinks but what we feel that matters .

Happiness I have noticed when I have gratitude for what I have.

When I drop the chase I start living. When I don’t seek spotlight I am most alive as me.

There is no happiness out there it is just there where we are.

THERE IS UNCERTAINTY

What happens outside of us we have no control over that , life changes in a moment just like that.

There was no warning, it had never happened, the world shut down , everything stopped.

A sudden death in the family , major illness , financial loss , job loss , anything can happen any moment.

We seek our lives to be comfortable, pain free , certain and in control.

But life is not in our control, outside circumstances are not in our control.

Resistance to what is does not help . What is has already occurred, now fight as much , cry as much , resist as much the situation has already occurred.

There is no choice to change what is happening outside. None.

There is choice to change what is happening inside , that is the only choice we have.

Life has dealt a difficult card , there is turbulence within , you cannot run away.

Can you find meaning in your pain , it has showed up in your life for a reason.

Can you convert your pain into a purpose ? Can you learn from it .

The scientist did what was never done before in one year we have a vaccine to fight the pandemic.

The world has a deeper opportunity to course correct on the damage we have cause our planet and the balance of life on our world.

Individuals have an opportunity to learn from what happened and pick up the lessons that will make them stronger to face challenges in the future.

Businesses have a lesson to rethink purpose and the way of life and work.

Everything happens for a reason are you ready to learn ?

THINGS THAT NO LONGER IMPRESS ME

  1. Name brand of clothing

As long as it is comfortable and fits well I don’t care.

  1. The price of the car

My current car the Honda City is over eight years old and it serves me well , does the work of transportation when I need.

  1. Square footage of home

A smaller home is easier to maintain, I am not impressed with bigger homes.

Our current home that is around 1000 sq ft with a space for my WFH that is sufficient.

  1. Amount of money in the bank account

Nothing wrong with money , it is exchange for Value you bring to the world, it lets you live life on your own terms .

But beyond a point it only matters if you can help others or what good you can do in the community with what you earn.

The lockdowns have demonstrated how little we need to live.

  1. Gadgets we use

I do buy gadgets but as long as they serve my work beyond that I am not interested In buying the latest shiny object that is out there.

  1. Social media likes

People put out pictures of their vacations or food they eat , tell their best stories.

But I know they are only part of the story not the whole story.

I was not always like this , I have changed over time .

I understood that what truly matters is health , family , friends and freedom.

We deeply yearn for ‘Freedom’ to live life on our own terms but we start imitating the culture.

It is not a restricted lifestyle rather it is focusing on what truly matters in life.

I am sure the pandemic has been a wake up call for us to reflect on what is truly important.

Do you agree ?

P.S- ( Need to yet work on the nutrition bit )

ALL CREATION HAPPENS OUT OF ABUNDANCE MINDSET

Look at any creator and you will see an abundance mindset . Creation never happens out of scarcity mindset.

Yet what we learn from our childhood is largely driven by fear and scarcity. Only a few kids in a class rank top in a defined curriculum so we are taught to compete . What is missed is that each child is different, each has a unique gift . We try to box the definition of success , only a few can succeed and most are doomed to live an average life is what we are told and what we also see.

Competition : if the resources are limited or only a few can reach the top then competition is a natural behaviour that is driven into children . We are constantly reminded that only the fittest survive and that it is a dog eat dog world out there. This implies that most have to either fail or live an average life and only a few can succeed. Every magazine puts the pictures of the top 50 most successful people in the field , what happens to the rest ?

Money : As we grow it is then instilled that the one who has the most money is the most successful so we get driven by greed and desire to accumulate more . Our bank balance starts defining who we are . The race moves from scoring high marks in school to who earns the most or has the most.

Yet ask anyone who has a big bank balance and they will tell you beyond a point having more money does not add to life. A bigger house beyond a point does not add to happiness.

Risk : The schooling system teaches us to avoid taking risks as failure is looked down upon . Safety of the crowd is what is hammered in every child.

“Don’t take risk , don’t be different” is a lesson we learn. At each step the majority learns to operate from scarcity, that there is not enough. Our definition of success. Itself pushes us into a scarcity mindset.

While you look at any creator the key quality is abundance mindset. What if you were to turn the game and ask different set of questions.

Q1. If there was no problem with money what would you love to do ?

Q2. What is your unique gift ? what makes you most alive ?

Q3. What is the value you can add to the world?

Q4. Who can benefit from the value you can add ?

Q5. How would you live if there was no limitation to what you could create ?

A creator mindset operates from abundance, is willing to take risks , The future of work is more individuals living their passion. The pandemic has made this even more possible as work from anywhere is now mainstream.

The keyword is ‘Value Exchange’ . There is enough in our world for everyone, we need to drop our definitions of success. Abundance mindset is what we need, knowing that we will be taken care as long as we add Value in our world.

POWER OF INTEGRITY EXPERIMENTS – FUTURE OF WORK AND LIFE

Social Flutur will be the first experiment of creating a new way of working.

  1. Based on collaboration.
  2. Each individual bringing their best selves to work , contributing.
  3. Each individual experiencing collective abundance.
  4. A team based on ‘Trust’.

Do watch and follow this blog where I will keep sharing on a unique experiment on the way we work and live. I call this journey ‘Integrity Experiments’

What is the purpose of life ? Why do we work ? these are two questions that we all ask at some point in our life. There are goals I have chased in life and once I get past them I yet feel a sense of emptiness.

Integrity experiments is a journey to find truths around life and work . It is also an idea to build a new kind of an organisation for the connected age.

I begin with the following assumptions as i have experienced them.

  1. We all want ‘pleasure’ and want to avoid ‘pain’ , yet pain is unavoidable , suffering though is avoidable.
  2. ‘Culture’ is external to us and not our ‘Truth’, we become our ‘Culture’.
  3. We are all born with a unique gift , I call it ‘Our Truth’ our life purpose is to ‘Express our Truth’.
  4. Work is an expression of our ‘Truth’ but mostly it has got clouded with ‘Cultural’ truth.
  5. Our ‘Truth’ is connected to the Universal Truth , we are ‘One.’
  6. When we do not express our ‘Truth’ we ‘hurt’ and this can be felt in our lives in different ways.

Somehow the ‘Culture’ that is outside of us has got us hooked to chase what is not ‘Our Truth’ . What are the signs of not being in our ‘Truth’ ?

  1. We experience there is Scarcity in our world. We chase , we gather , we accumulate and yet feel it is not enough . There is never enough.
  2. We compete , success is seen as being ahead of the rest.
  3. We want to be seen and acknowledged by others , our existence is based on what others think of us.
  4. We move away from our ‘authenticity’ and put on a ‘mask’ that is very heavy.
  5. Work is ‘survival’ to pay the bills.
  6. Our life is about ‘Self’ , greed , accumulating , disconnected with the rest and our world.
  7. Culture creates Us vs Them.
  8. Our ‘Culture’ becomes who we are.

What is ‘Culture’ ?

All that is external to us that influences our behaviour can loosely be defines as culture.

The Integrity Experiments will revolve around ‘Living my Truth’, ‘Our Truth’.

  1. At Work – Building a collaborative organisation , each individual bringing their best self and operating from abundance in collaboration and ‘Trust’.
  2. In relationships – Express ‘My Truth’ in relationships and also be open to many expressions of ‘Truth’.
  3. Planet – See the oneness of all that exists on our planet , be a change to heal the world.
  4. Health – Get closer to the ‘Truth’ about healthy way of living and being. The mind/ body is a medium through which we express in our world.
  5. Spirituality – Connect to the stillness within be open to experiencing beyond the known.

and to begin with the experiment at work we pivot Social Flutur a Brand and Digital Strategy company to a collaborative space for those who wish to express their creative communication self , those that have a calling to build ‘Purpose’ driven organisations and ‘Brands’.

Social Flutur will be the first experiment of creating a new way of working.

  1. Based on collaboration.
  2. Each individual bringing their best selves to work , contributing.
  3. Each individual experiencing collective abundance.
  4. A team based on ‘Trust’.

Do watch and follow this blog where I will keep sharing on a unique experiment on the way we work and live. I call this journey ‘Integrity Experiments’

IS YOUR BUSINESS ALIGNED ? LESSONS I LEARNT ON MY ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY.

When I started on my entrepreneurial journey I wanted to pick up any kind of clients , the focus was growing the business.

Over time I realised that this was sapping my energy and the clients either left or I had to let them go.

This was a waste of my time and energy. And here are a few lessons I picked up.

1. Scarcity Vs Abundance. It is the scarcity thinking that got me to pick up any and every client that came my way . What if there was no business was the biggest worry.

I soon realised this did not help. I would end up picking wrong clients or work .

This is also true for a job , picking up any job to pay the bills soon backfires as you hate working everyday.

Focusing on Abundance helps . There is truly enough in the world for your need. You need to trust the process of the universe.

This needs patience but it works. Define the kind of clients you want to work with it will save you a lot of wasted time and energy.

2. Greed finally hurts . You accumulate more , you get on a treadmill that never stops.

Focusing on having more drives you to pick up more work not necessarily what you love to do.

If you wish to live life on your own terms focus on what is truly important, cut the crap , de clutter life , drop the extras.

When you drop greed for more in life the pressure to go after any client or job also drops away.

3. Don’t look at others . This is one of the biggest problems, we constantly look at others and compare.

When your neighbour has a bigger car it becomes a problem. So we keep accumulating things so we can show off . We want to look better.

We chase business to compete and it makes us feel good . We always feel that the spotlight is on us while the reality is no one is bothered .

Everyone is focused on their life story not yours. So stop looking at others . Follow your path , it is different.

4. Cut the debt . A very practical advice , if you have debt you have to pay the bills . To pay the bills you will pick up anything that comes your way.

You get caged and stuck to a rat race as bills need to be paid. The bigger house and car is not worth it if it puts handcuffs to your dreams.

Cut your debt if you wish to live an intentional life and choose your work.

I went to zero debt before I began my entrepreneurial journey.

5. Listen to your heart . If it does not feel ok your heart will tell you . You will feel it in your body.

If you feel the dread of waking up , going to work or dealing with a client know that something is missing .

Check for alignment . You have to feel the joy of creating. If you find a client is always picky and is running you down , does not respect you , it is not worth it.

Not being aligned to your calling hurts you in ways more than one ways . Don’t postpone, get out , drop such a client or job , it’s going to be detrimental to inner peace .

6. Don’t pick up clients who don’t have money to pay . I have had such clients who want the work to be done but don’t have the capacity to pay .

They would promise to pay once their business picks up. I would pick them up anyways hoping when they when they do well they would pay .

This was a mistake they would soon drop out or drain me without any joy or value for what I put in as effort.

Bless such clients, to go on their someone they can afford. Don’t compromise it never works.

If the clients you work with don’t see value , it’s not worth it to hold on , bless them and let them go immediately. Either way they will go, it’s better you let them go.

If you don’t value yourself, no one else will.

7. Don’t pick up any business that does not align with your values even if it pays well . When your heart is not there in what you are giving out in the world , don’t do it.

There is karma and it will come back to bite you some day. Any business that is not aligned to your values where you feel people are getting cheated or the vulnerable are exploited, stay way.

Ask the question ‘why’ do you wish to become an entrepreneur and what is the ‘value’ you are adding to the world.

Find those clients that align with your ‘why’ and drop the rest . Trust the universe to take care . Focus on adding ‘value’ with your unique ‘gifts’.

Alignment brings joy to life there is no other way to live.

WHEN CONSUMERS BECOME ACTIVIST

Research has shown that majority of consumers will boycott a brand because its position on a social or political issue , and it is no longer ok for brands to sit on the side-lines when it comes to issues their customers care about.

Brand safety and polarisation

Brand safety has become a huge concern for advertisers in recent years, as social media has become a hotbed of polarization and misinformation, especially in chaotic moments.

In India after a backlash on social media, which saw #BoycottTanishq trending on Twitter. The ad for Tanishq’s new collection called Ekatvam – which means ‘oneness’ had to be pulled down.

In the US after the Capitol Hill riots advertisers paused media spends.

Brand managers need to think ahead of the impact of every communication and at times they will be forced to take positions.

Post COVID changes in marketing and communication

Consumers look upto brands for being more conscious and compassionate. We recently saw how a founder of the large vaccine manufacturer in India was trolled for the pricing strategy communication.

Making profits at the cause of human lives is not seen in good light . Exploiting an opportunity in crisis is not ok and there would be a consumer backlash on the brand.

Organisations that treat their employees with care in testing times are valued by consumers and also employees.

Climate change and impact on Brands

Pre-pandemic , the world was in the middle of a shift from conspicuous consumption to conscious consumption . The pandemic has only accelerated this ark . Organic food market has grown and this trend will grow as people focus on their health and well-being. Vegan lifestyle is another trend that seeks compassion towards animals and is also seen as a health trend with many celebrities adopting this compassionate lifestyle.

Brands that pollute our environment and promote conspicuous consumption that is detrimental to our planet will not be appreciated by consumers. Climate change impacts are being witnessed across the world and this is now an Urgent topic for consumers.

Foods that are seen as unhealthy are being challenged in various ways by consumers. We see the rise of films that expose such brands and unhealthy fast food industry and their impact on our health on OTT platforms and on YouTube.

Shift to Purpose Driven Brands

Health- focused is only part of the Conscious Consumer . Consumers have been trending towards purpose driven and ethical brands. The trend towards sustainable, ethical and purpose driven will only continue.

CSR and Marketing will come together

Corporate Social Responsibility and Marketing will no longer be two different teams with different mandates . Social responsibility will be part of marketing stories of brands. Brands are expected to go beyond just being profit making entities they are valued based on the commitment to the communities they work in .

The Tata companies in India are respected for always keeping people beyond profits and nation building before the organisation. These are iconic brands that have built Trust over the years.

Exploiting vulnerabilities

Brands that exploit a vulnerable segment for profit will have to face the music from consumers as was experienced by an edutech brand that exploited parents from poor sections of the community with expensive courses through sales and marketing miscommunication.

On top of that it was getting accounts blocked of voices of dissent across social platforms. To the extent that the brand filed a defamation case against someone who exposed its malpractices.

The brand was heavily trolled and finally had to withdraw its case. Only profit and valuation will not help when consumers become activist .

To build a long term and sustainable brand ethical practices are essential.

Today every consumer is a potential activist with his / her own broadcast channel . Brands will need to wake up to a new more conscious world.

WE ARE AT WAR

“we are at war” , I heard a young doctor share her story.

She is a frontline doctor at battle in a COVID ward.

Nothing prepared her for this.

She has been suddenly thrust into a nightmare.

She feels deep guilt of not being able to save a life only because there is no oxygen

Or she has to turn someone away who is dying because there is no bed.

“We are doctors, we take an oath to save lives” she says , crying.

She feels responsible for the deaths around her.

Her hands tremble when she has to take spot decisions on medicines , she does not know if it’s the right call.

She is angry that in such a situation there are people who are black marketing on medicines and oxygen.

She is afraid when she goes home for her two small daughters , afraid that she may carry back COVID.

Yet she cannot sit home , lives have to be saved.

It hurts her that family members shout at them when they are unable to do anything to help.

She is angry that those who know nothing about what is happening in the frontline are the ones taking decisions.

“How can they ?” she says.

She does not want her daughters to follow her profession.

Doctors are overwhelmed fighting this battle for us .

Can you call up a doctor you know who is fighting this war for us and express gratitude?

IMMUNITY + SPIRITUALITY

This I think will be the most important keywords for life going ahead .

Because 2020 taught is life is uncertain. Not that we did not know this earlier but now the message had hit us as ‘Urgent’.

When the pandemic swept the world we were face to face with our vulnerability. The world could be locked down by a tiny virus.

In India I am seeing terrifying moments unfold , we did pretty ok with the first wave , we felt as Indians we were special. Until the second deadly wave of COVID 19 hit us.

Hospitals are overwhelmed, medical infrastructure cracked , people are dying because of lack of oxygen and even money cannot get you the hospital bed you need.

Vaccines will come but it now seems certain that so will the waves , each different from the other.

So while vaccines do their work we as individuals to survive , to live , we will need to turn to twin things that are in our hands , take care of mind and body.

Spirituality and faith are strong antidotes to uncertainty, not religion but spirituality. As we see waves of lockdowns and opening up , living Iman uncertain future more and more will turn to spirituality.

While doing all the prudent things like taking vaccines and following COVID appropriate behaviour there will be greater focus on preventive health and building immunity.

Exercise, Diet , Yoga , Meditation will be the keywords to build self immunity. This is an area beyond the regular medical approach to treat symptoms.

Marketing will see the two most important words Immunity and Spirituality and businesses around these flourish in the times ahead.