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

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.

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.

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS HAVE POLARISED/ UNITED OUR WORLD

While in the midst of a worsening pandemic in India I am seeing the worst side and the best side of social media.

In our school alumni group I found there is very strong polarisation for and against political points of views.

This is true globally we saw the same recently in the US . We see different flavours of the same across the world.

The problem gets bad when positions are so strongly held that each is not able to see the other side of the story that the situation reaches a breaking point in long relationships.

And it gets worse with manufactured truth to fit ones world view . The fallout is violence as we saw at the Capitol Hill , it could sow distrust in communities and groups with opposing view points.

Every hour the trends on Twitter change based on the two view points , further adding to bitterness and division.

The hate created is so deep that it has forced platforms to ban certain handles from using their platforms for good.

Is social media responsible for dividing our world?

I remember a time in our early childhood when there was no social media there was lesser polarisation , friendships were not so bitter.

Then again I have not seen any better example of how social media is being used in the worst time during the current pandemic where ordinary people are seeking help and are getting helped by strangers .

Twitter , WhatsApp, Facebook have become a way to reach out and ask for help real time , people who need oxygen or a bed in a hospital or medicines turn to social media.

And they get helped by complete strangers !

Few celebrities have leveraged their social presence to amplify the message of those in need.

Many are using social media to raise funds for oxygen cylinders and concentrator. So many lives have been saved because of social media.

Social media is a double edged sword on the one hand it can divide us as a society on the other hand it can unite the world for good.

Unfortunately politics plays a role , fake news can be easily spread to divide for motives. Those on the edge can be converted with constant visual content.

Interestingly platform algorithms show you more of what you want to see . That is how AI and ML gets smarter. The ultimate objective is to hook you to the platform , to get you spend more time on the platform.

How can we stop hate being spread through social media platforms ? Is there a way out ?

Has social media become a Frankenstein monster that is now difficult to control?

There are no easy answers , there are powerful vested interests.

I would yet say there is enough good about social media which is why it needs to exist . It brings people together, it connects people and hearts .

It is the one thing that has kept us sane in prolonged periods of lockdown.

It is for us the users of social media to keep the balance on the side of good , on the side of humanity and guard against hate and spread love and compassion.

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED

We were all hopeful that vaccines would help us end the pandemic. Till we saw what happened in India.

The second wave has been devastating, people have died gasping for air.

Hospitals are full, the medical infrastructure has collapsed.

The subconscious impact of not being able to get a hospital bed and oxygen despite of having money and connections is going to remain.

What we also know that there will be mutations that will bypass the existing vaccines. So the third wave is inevitable.

No one is confident of how long would this last the earlier hope that this will soon fade away seems distant.

Most doctors and scientists now say that the pandemic is here with us for a long haul . How long no one knows . At least till large population of the world is vaccinated.

Unless we get lucky and the virus just vanished away on its own.

How will this change us ? How will this change the way we live ? Do business?

Health is going to be a focus area for all, one needs to be healthy to survive was never more true than now.

Vaccines can protect us till a point as seen there would be mutations and waves.

Staying healthy is urgent, building self immunity is urgent .

The stress of working from home being confined in regular periods being uncertain about health and the future would increase stress.

Depression and anxiety are bound to go up.

This is what I see ;

1. There would be a focus by individuals on preventive healthcare.

2. Tele medicine would be a way to connect with doctors and most people would be comfortable.

3. Wellness would be in high demand as individuals will seek support for mind and body health.

4. Immunity is going to be a key word.

5. As WFH takes root homes would be equipped with gyms.

There would be a COVID fatigue as countries open up people would indulge , travel , party.

As waves come they would be followed by lockdowns and again people would sit at home.

Flexi working would be the way.

Humans are social animals they seek social company , people are going to need people to talk to , be with , express their inner feelings.

World will come together or will drift away as borders get protected from waves of virus.

Third world and poor countries and communities will be impacted the most.

All these changes will impact every business and profession and person on our planet.

Some businesses will die some will reinvent.

Marketing will change , will become less sales and more humane , more caring and less greed, more focused on the inside than external world.

Spiritually and faith will find place in an uncertain world it will get strengthened.

We are at crossroads like never before, it can bring out the best and the worst from us as humanity.

I hope we choose to reflect on our priorities , what truly matters and heal the world.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND IN 8 STEPS

Whether you are a founder of a business or you are in a job or a freelancer you are a person brand.

You can choose to be a part of the crowd and become a commodity brand.

Being a commodity will make you replaceable with something or someone cheaper.

Being a Commodity is a survival game.

You can choose to be a brand that stands out from the crowd and is valued.

As a person brand you can command a premium.

You need to take these 7 steps to build your person brand.

1. Have a Brand Purpose

Ask the question ‘why’ do I exist ? This is the most important question you will ever ask .

Take a tombstone test “How would you want people to remember you”.

2. Define your Brand values.

What is your true north ? that will not change with time . This is the core of your character.

3. Be Authentic

Be true to yourself , don’t look for approval. Have a point of view and stand for your point of view.

4. Be Different

As a brand you are unique , find your gift, find your niche , focus , stand out from the crowd , do your thing, take risks . Choose a path less travelled , one that gives you joy.

5. Make a Brand Promise

What is your brand promise ? What is the value you add to your clients.

Clearly articulate your brand promise.

And declare your brand promise to the world. Once you put it out there you become accountable.

Clients like those that take accountability.

6. Live your Brand promise

Word of mouth is the best brand marketing.

When’d your clients spread your word your value grows .

And every one you work with is your client .

7. Be ready to be Vulnerable

A personal brand is vulnerable, you cannot win all the time , that is being fake . Be ready to be and share your vulnerability.

7. Be your own Brand Storyteller

If you don’t tell your brand story no one else will .

Every touch point is an opportunity to tell your brand story .

Your network is your net worth.

The social media offers you an opportunity to build your personal brand.

I help my clients build their personal brand in the digital world through personal coaching and workshops.

In case you are interested do visit my website http://www.sanjaymudnaney.com

WHY DO WE TELL STORIES?

There is mystery about life and death , that is how we become storytellers.

That we will just vanish one day without a trace seems inexplicable.

From where do we come and where do we go are questions asked since the beginning of time.

There are no answers , it all seems meaningless, after all nothing matters, and to make sense of our existence we tell stories.

In our stories we create religion , we create God.

Nation is a collective story , there are no real boundaries.

Stories make us more secure in an insecure existence.

We create our villains and we create our heroes.

We create the story of what is good and what is bad.

We create stories of success and failures.

We create stories of bravery and valour and of cowardice and treachery

We are ready to live and die for our stories .

We connect with our stories .

Our fears ,our pains , our suffering, our desires our dreams are similar.

They are universal truths.

Below the layers , we are the same , our stories are similar.

We tell stories because that is what we are – Storytellers.