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

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.

INTERRUPTION MARKETING IS DEAD !

The control has moved from the advertisers and sellers to consumers.

There was a time when we all read newspapers,

This was the time of mass media,

Advertisers hoped to interrupt the consumers,

Pay attention to their message and buy their products and services,

Then came television , advertising had similar objective ,

To interrupt consumers .

Then everything changed with the advent of internet and the smartphone,

With the smartphone in hand consumers set the agenda .

As data prices fell they became consumers of data.

Now the consumers  visit social media platforms to learn , to get entertained , to get information , to participate in connected communities , to build and be part of tribes.

The control has moved from the advertisers and sellers to consumers.

Stories are consumed because they are entertaining, they inspire .

Humans are naturally wired to listen to stories, share stories.

Good stories are remembered and shared.

Video content is 80% of the traffic on digital.

Visual stories stand out .

Brands need to learn , stop selling and tell stories.

Stop interrupting and focus on entertaining and educating.

Consumers switch off from interruption.

Real stories well told , inspire action,

Stories mean business,

Most important, when data is forgotten in minutes, stories are remembered over the years.

Future of marketing is Storytelling,

Every Brand has a story,

Every Organisation has a story ,

Every Cause has a story,

Every Startup has a story,

Every Leader has a story,

Every Employee has a story ,

Every Client has a story ,

Every Beneficiary has a story,

Every Tribe has a story,

Every Culture has a Story ,

Dig deep and you will find each one of us has a story.

Every story is based on universal human truths.

As humans our desires and fears are similar.

From ‘Here’ to ‘There’ is the most powerful story ever told.

Stop selling, start storytelling.

In the Digital world we are the stories we tell.

FACEBOOK HAS LOST THE PLOT

We went to Facebook to check out on our friends and family.

To share our life with friends and family.

Do build deeper bonds.

Or be part of like minded communities and support groups.

It was light , fun global social gathering.

When I go to my feed now I only see content and advertising .

The Al engines have me mapped.

Algorithms throw up content and advertising to keep me hooked.

I see more of the same .

I noticed I hardly see my friends and family posts.

I hardly see my group posts showing up.

Something is wrong.

In the commercial run , Facebook has lost the plot .

The original purpose has vanished.

It’s become huge distraction of content pulling me in .

Whatever happened to the idea of building a social community.

While I do understand the need for monetisation.

Nothing comes for free.

Yet the amount of content and advertising on my feed puts me off.

I only am there now to observe as a marketeer.

No wonder people have switched off from Facebook to other social platforms.

But this game is getting on every social platform slowly.

There is an opportunity to disrupt.

But who can do that.

The platforms have become big , very big and powerful.

Anything that is pure is bought over.

The disruption I see will begin with consumers.

As they find the platforms less and less Tele, they will switch off.

Something new is bound to emerge .

Sanjay Mudnaney

YOU CANNOT CHANGE WORLD VIEWS , CHANGE YOUR STORY

I have been grappling with the insight , it is difficult, maybe impossible to change world views.

I see this in conversations now in school alumni groups and families.

There are two polarising views.

Each sees theirs as being the truth.

Each is trying to change and challenge the other view.

Only it does not change , there is conflict.

I have seen friends leave groups , stop talking to each other.

What is happening is , you cannot change world views , it’s tough, impossible.

Those that hold a view , connect with stories that fit into their world view.

Rather they always held that world view.

Stories tapped into their world view , made it stronger.

Let’s take the world views on for and against vaccination.

Those who are against vaccination hold their world view.

They find stories and research to support their world view.

Similarly Vegans have their world view .

Any story that taps into their world view resonates.

Time and energy to change world views is inefficient.

As a marketeer I would be more efficient telling a story that connects with the world view of the hero of my story.

Rather I don’t tell the story , the story is already told by the customer, I only tap into it.

Steve Jobs understood this .

He understood who the hero of Apple’s story was .

Those that challenged the status quo , those who think different , those that appreciated clean design were the hero of Apple’s brand story.

The campaign ‘Think Different ‘ tapped into this emotion.

The target audience already held the world view.

As a master storyteller Steve Jobs told them the story they wanted to listen to.

Good marketeers tell stories that their customers want to listen to.

And stories have the power to charge world.

Sanjay Mudnaney

A SMALL BUSINESS STORY

Every business has a story.

I met Renuka after my cycling today , she has a food truck that sells healthy detox juices.

I asked her her story.

Renuka had lost her job of 19 years during the pandemic.

She was managing the CRM at a real estate company.

The business vanished , “we were like white elephants for the company, I was fired after 19 years.” she said.

I did not find any regret in her voice.

Renuka has a charming smile and is a happy person.

I proved her further, why healthy juices .

She said her parents suffer from Parkinson’s and diabetes.

She learnt the benefits of healthy juice detox from her grandmother.

One thing has changed for her after she started the business, she now gets up early at 4 am to make the juices.

“ I was never a early person but all that changed after the job loss” she says.

He food truck is called ‘Naividyam’ which means ‘offering to God’.

She is not just in the business of making juices for her her work of healthy juices is an offering to God.

I made a small video on her story from my mobile phone and shared it on my social media.

There are stories and and stories .

We forget to tap into the power of story to build human connections.

When a brand story integrates with that of the customer magic happens.

Renuka can be just running a food truck selling healthy juices , but she has a story.

The story of her struggle , the story of her food truck , the story around her healthy juices , then the stories around her customer.

We forget to tap into the power of storytelling in business.

Renuka is inspiring, I like her spirit to fight back.

She has no regrets but a lot of hope.

That is the story of every business owner. The story of hope despite the challenges.

Tell your story

Sanjay Mudnaney

#brandstory

http://www.CrowTales.in

HOW PUBLIC RELATIONS HAS CHANGED

The intermediary is no longer relevant to get your message out.

What you need is a platform that has your target audiences. In PR terms stakeholders.

In my early days as Head of Corporate Communications I would do media rounds.

I had to build what was called Media Relations.

‘Reputation’ is one of the most critical assets for an organisation.

Negative media coverage could damage reputation with serious repercussions.

A positive Brand image with stakeholders was essential for business.

And thus intermediary media played an important role.

The media was more accessible to large organisations.

Media coverage by a third party was more believable than advertising.

The world has changed.

1. The intermediary has been replaced by digital platforms.

2. Digital platforms are accessible to anyone, even a one person business.

3. You can get your voice heard , anyone can on digital platforms.

4. The new Digital media has given a rise to a new breed – The influencers.

5. The control has shifted to the consumers, they decide the content they consume.

6. Content is consumed Digitally , mostly on mobile.

7. Digital media is on 24×7.

8. Reputations can be built and damaged rapidly .

9. A newspaper article can get dated , forgotten. On Digital media every thing that is out there stays , forever.

10. Online Feedback and Review is a powerful tool for customers to voice their opinion on Brands , Products and Services.

11. You can build Brand presence by being strategic and consistent .

12. In the Digital world 80% of the content consumed is video.

13. Audiences have switched off from interruption marketing.

14. In the Digital world audiences consume Entertainment, Stories , Information, Education.

15. In the Digital world it is easy to measure impact unlike traditional print media PR .

With these changes Traditional PR agencies are no longer relevant.

Traditional Advertising agencies are no longer relevant.

Traditional Corporate Communications is no longer relevant.

Reinventing needs a mindset shift.

It is not just a title and role change.

I have been helping small businesses to build their Brand presence with good success.

The direct outcome is Business besides building long term brand.

I find many large organisations are slow to move .

What is stopping change is being in comfort zones .

Guarding the turf , surviving will no longer sustain. Sooner or later your game is up.

The time to change is NOW. What is your opinion?

Sanjay Mudnaney

Marketing Strategist

PUT YOUR EXCUSES ON HOLD

The cage is fictional, there is none , we create our imaginary cage .

The day I understood this I experienced freedom.

When you put your excuses on hold the other side is joy.

In school and then college I was always on the stage participating in elocutions and debates.

I loved the stage and the audience in front of me.

When I would be on stage I would be in a zone.

I loved to communicate ideas , enrol and inspire audiences.

I could get those around me find their expression and express more fully.

But then life happened. I put myself on hold.

There were more important things to do.

“I will do it some other day in the future” I said “when the kids are grown up , when I have enough money in the bank , when I am well settled.”

I kept postponing my dreams to the future.

Then I turned 50 and it occurred to me I have finite time.

One day I made a bucket list and I jumped head on.

I wanted to sing , I went ahead and recorded my first song in a studio. It’s there on YouTube.

My first song recorded in studio

I bought myself a professional home studio equipment , now I sing whenever I feel like.

I wanted to cycle . I was warned it is risky and this is not my age .

I went ahead and bought a cycle , I invested in the best I could.

I am now a cyclist, I cycle every day , weekends is for long distance.

When I cycle , it’s just me and the wind on my face , I can feel the freedom.

I wanted to see the stars I went ahead and bought a professional telescope.

That experience of watching the planets was surreal.

Felt the vastness and being one with existence , limitless.

I wanted to write a fiction story book . I did that and self published it . It’s on Amazon .

I got my first royalty check , felt good.

I wanted to teach non profits the art of fundraising with storytelling.

I travelled to five cities and over 500 non profits in India attended my workshops !

I always wanted to start my business.

I kept postponing afraid of the unknown.

I finally jumped in at 55 !

It is profitable and growing.

But more importantly I am doing what I always loved to do , helping individuals , businesses and causes express themselves fully . Live their potential.

I wanted to tell stories of good through films . I had no experience, no team and zero budgets.

One fine day I just decided I will do it . And that too during peak lockdown !

In a few months we have made over 10 short documentary films .

Launched the YouTube channel’Heroes of India’.

We now release two films a month.

I wanted to camp next to a waterfall overnight in heavy rains.

Camping next to a waterfall

I did that , the sound of the water splashing against the rocks and tapping of raindrops was out of the world experience.

From a typical corporate formal life , no fun wardrobe and look , I decided to just be myself.

A small step but one more step in the direction of freedom.

I love being myself

When I stopped my excuses , I truly found my joy.

Have to do it for pay check was an excuse.

Have responsibilities was an excuse.

What will others think was an excuse.

I cannot do it was an excuse.

I am not capable was an excuse.

I will do it sometime in the future was an excuse.

Excuses kept me safe in my comfort zones.

We have reasons , many excuses, why we postpone life.

We make up by trying to live on the weekends.

We trade our joy with a cage.

Sometimes the cage is golden. Yet is after all a cage.

When I look deeply there was no cage , it is all our own creation.

Now I have stopped all excuses , I have started living every day , every moment.

I have no regrets as every step of the journey has been a learning experience.

I refuse to die with my song in my heart.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

P.S – Passion project is a message, life is finite , don’t die with your song in your heart

HOW IS INTUITION RELEVANT IN MARKETING ?

Data and I have not been on the best of terms . I have been told I operate from my gut 🙂 I am anecdotal.

Gandhi has been one of my marketing inspirations ! ( you will know why later in the post )

Heading sales teams I always leaned on gut feeling to turn around loss making businesses.

I observe , almost like a fly on the wall.

I saw the sales team focused on targets rather than the person in front of them.

I took away the money target and set a friendship target for my sales team .

“Make a friend” I said. And things turned.

I am fascinated by human interactions and I can get into the shoes of those I observe , literally.

Many of the actions I took to choose a particular direction were from gut feel .

They turned right , saved time.

Intuition is that feeling in the gut that nudges you to move in a direction.

Sometimes it is the warning of a change that is about to happen.

As a marketeer with over 30+ years in the field I would have encountered many situations.

They are stored in subconscious mind.

I believe it is this subconscious mind at play along with the creative side of the brain.

Observing that which is not even yet expressed by a consumer as they have no reference point is what my strength has been.

Steve jobs is an example of an marketeer who operated from intuition .

He said “I began to realise that an intuitive understanding and consciousness was more significant than abstract thinking and intellectual logical analysis.”

What could be the reference for an iPod ? or an iphone ?

The story of Dmart an India version of Walmart unfolds with observation of how women in urban India shopped.

Every grocery (kirana) store in India had incidentally a man on the counter and he knew the entire family and their purchase history.

These kirana owners have a super computer stored in their brain.

They remember every member of the family and also what each one prefers.

When my wife calls her local kirana store owner he recognises her with just voice .

He knows her purchase needs even before she would tell him.

This is the reason new generation of Indian women from traditional joint family homes would prefer to remain anonymous while they shop freely.

A kirana store owner is a threat to that privacy of shopping.

That is the secret sauce of Dmart , women and men get to shop freely anonymously without a sales man or woman hovering over you.

You are left to take your time while shopping.

This is freedom for the women from traditional joint family homes in India .

It also helps to cut costs for Dmart.

They recruit a few employees and they are local , from the lower income strata . There is another story on why they do this .

This is pure observation the founder got by visiting kirana stores. No data , no market research. Pure old school observation and hunch.

I heard him speak about this and why he does not consider data based research in his decisions.

Similarly there was the Liril soap AD where a young woman is bathing under the waterfall, having fun in a bikini.

Alyque had this observation of changing times and women in India seeking time for self , having fun , being liberated from tradition.

There was simply no reference in all the cases , no data to back.

I belong to the school of marketeers who has strong observation, empathy and intuition.

It helps me and my clients cut time with innovations.

Many times I have taken calls contrary to data because simply there is no reference point.

Any new creation or idea would not have a reference for how consumers would behave.

Gandhi used ‘non violent resistance’ as a way to fight colonial occupation.

He could mobilise masses and let the British with little room to counter such an agitation.

It was called Satyagraha (fighting for the truth).

This was a brilliant marketing strategy and had no reference from the past.

All struggles had been violent till then.

Gandhi was a great observer and he had strong intuition.

Every leader and innovator has this quality of operating from intuition and taking what is calculated risks.

Is there a way to build intuition? Or is it a gift ?

I feel everyone has this natural capability, we lose it by

1. Not being open

2. Not trusting our gut feel

3. Not taking calculated risks

We restrict possibilities by being closed . I have trusted intuition in my marketing.

What is your opinion?

Sanjay Mudnaney

http://www.CrowTales.in

THIS IS THE FUTURE OF MARKETING

Post pandemic average time people spend on their smartphones has gone up by 25%.

80% of the traffic in the digital world is video.

Consumers have switched off from interruption advertising .

They consume content.

Visual content is what is consumed.

A well told Story is consumed , touches the heart , entertains , educates is shared can go viral in the digital world.

Brand Storytelling is engaging your consumers , pulling them into the story with visual storytelling.

The Brand is not the story.

The Brand is part of the story.

Think of it as intelligent product placement in a film.

Consumers are more conscious of Brands they consume.

They connect with Brands that care about their environment, communities and people.

Brands that tell stories of good build a positive brand perception.

The future of marketing is Brand Storytelling.

The future of Brand Storytelling is Digital , Visual , Local language visual storytelling .

Brands that tell stories of good, connect with the heart.

The Brand and Social Responsibility departments in an organisations are different , managed by different teams.

Having worked both as head of marketing and head of social responsibility in a global IT company I see a great possibility to build a bridge.

I see a great opportunity for coming together of Brands and Good to make a positive impact in our world.

Visual Brand Storytelling will connect Brands and Good.

Stories of good are watched , remembered and they are shared.

Because we all want to share HOPE .

In a world filled with gloom consumers seek Brands with empathy.

The future of marketing is GOOD.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Founder http://www.CrowTales.in a Brand Storytelling Company

Founder Heroes of India http://www.YouTube.com/heroesofindia