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

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

DROP YOUR AGENDA TO FULFIL YOUR AGENDA!

I have been reflecting on the subject ‘What is the concept of business and why does all commerce exist ?”.

If we look around most of the time of the human race in the world as we see today revolves around the idea of ‘Money’ .

‘Money’ is central to everything, things we can buy , things we can experience, status , power even health services we can access with money.

Either you are a seller or you are a buyer as an individual or as a collective called the organisation.

Employees sell their time and expertise to organisations , organisations sell services , expertise or products to the masses .

Central to every transaction is “Exchange’ and if we dig deeper there is the concept ‘Perceived Value’.

When you dig deeper there you find there is ‘Agenda’ . “Why do we do anything?” . Every human being at any given point has an agenda.

Why do you do a job , why do you run a business, why do your customers buy . There is an agenda .

The agenda is always about ‘Me’ , break it down people are interested in ‘Self’ . No one is interested in the ‘other’ .

This is an interesting contradiction, all the while when any exchange is happening there are two parties and there is an ‘Agenda’ .

Even every noble cause has an Agenda , religion also has an Agenda.

‘Getting’ and Giving’ are two sides of the agenda . And there is fair exchange.

Agenda of Individuals

1. Survive : pay the bills , stay healthy

2. Thrive : fulfil desires

3. Fame : Get recognised and liked

4. Belong : family , friends, community

5. Contribute : Individual talent that is valued in the world , make a difference

6. Spiritual : ( a false belief , those who truly understand would know the falsehood of ego at play ) Going Beyond self

Agenda of Organisations

1. Maximise Profits and returns for stakeholders ethically

2. Consistently Grow in a profitable way

3. Survive through difficult times

4. Solve a problem in the world

How is this useful ?

Whether it is individuals or organisations they have THEIR OWN AGENDAS.

Yet the interesting part is is to fulfil Your own Agenda , you need to fulfil the Agenda of others – whether individuals or organisations!

It is in this space that VALUE Exchange happens. The question individuals and organisations ask is

“What is the Agenda being fulfilled and what the value they get so what is the value they they are willing to pay for”

Naturally low the perceived value , lower the pay.

Perception is not just the quality and quantity of service and product delivered but a more complex equation of how it is seen in the mind . Perceptions are held in the mind . A label can decide the value . It has to do with emotions. The shoes may come from the same factory but add a label and Value jumps . It’s fulfilling an higher agenda of being seen and liked .

Money is nothing but an exchange measure of the perceived Value delivered .

Where things go wrong is when individuals and organisations focus on personal agendas . No one is interested in YOUR AGENDA.

Do you hear these statements

“I want to grow a million subscribers”

“This year we will make a record sale”

“I want to change the world”

No one is interested in your agenda . Full Stop .

The other place things go wrong is when there is safe play . Playing safe you become a commodity. And commodity will be replaced sooner or later with something or someone cheaper .

When organisations become ‘Me To’ and offer commodities the only way to survive is by offering the lowest price.

The way to Thrive with Your Agenda then is

1. Fulfil the agenda of others – solve a problem for clients , customers , employer , donor

2. Be valuable – Don’t follow the crowd , Stand out , be different, be rare , be authentic

EMPLOYER BRANDING WITH STORYTELLING MY LESSONS AT MASTEK

Organisation cultures are built around stories. When tribes gather they tell stories and some stories are passed down over generations.

At Mastek an IT company I headed Corporate Communications there were many such stories. How the founders who studied together at IIM and went on to build an iconic global Indian IT company was a story . All the founders were first generation entrepreneurs made this story even more interesting.

One of the founders Ashank Desai came from a humble background, his early childhood was in a village and he lost his father at the age of three. His struggles to reach IIT is a story and then build one of India’s leading IT company is a story.

As a communicator all this was a treasure mine for me to build the brand around stories and there were many. I never lost an opportunity to tell a story.

I saw Mastek as a tribe and we even made a anthem for the tribe that has been passed down the generations, even now every Mastekeer gets goosebumps when they hear the anthem because it captures the spirit of the organisation.

Every client and project is a story of two partners coming together to dance , there are so many hidden stories. I loved digging these stories because these stories spoke about values , one of the client statements I remember even now “I know there will be problems , but I know that I can trust Mastek to deliver.” And I captured these stories in films.

I was also heading CSR and one of my KRAs was to engage employees with the communities . Again I did this through storytelling, every nonprofit we partnered with had stories , stories of beneficiaries , stories of founders and every story was inspiring.

I initiated the Spirit of Mastek award and called the social sector leaders Dr Prakash Amte , Dr Abhay Bang , Girish Kulkarni , Dr Ashish Satav , Adhik Kadam and many more to share their stories with employees . Their stories were inspiring, each one of them got a standing ovation . We moved our voluntary payroll giving from 35% to 90% . In a survey with employees Mastek was seen as being highly socially conscious organisation.

Recently during the pandemic I organised an online fundraiser for migrants who were impacted and made a theme song “Naya Savera” (a new beginning which has over thirty five thousand views on YouTube) and we raised over rupees seventy five lakhs for the cause.

When I had to build the Employer Brand in the campus , I got the campus students to deeply engaged in the story of Mastek and social good . The idea that has grown over the years ‘Project Deep Blue’ gets students to solve real problems for nonprofits with IT solutions and they are mentored by the employees. This has built a lasting employer brand in the campus .

I told the stories through film ,many of them are on YouTube. I started a alumni network on Facebook almost a decade back again to share stories with the most powerful brand ambassadors, ex-employees. In one of the films I did with employees I had a sound bite “Once a Mastekeer , always a Mastekeer” and it has stayed as a powerful employer brand line.

An organisation is nothing but a tribe coming together with a vision to solve a problem. And tribes grow stronger with stories and when their stories spread they attract those that connect with the stories.

Employees , Customers, Vendors , Community , Investors connect with strong stories, because whatever maybe the business you are in you finally deal with humans and humans connect with stories.

The digital world offers a great opportunity for organisations to build their brand with storytelling. There needs to be a strong understanding of storytelling and the digital world . From what I see there is a lot more to be done.

And that is why I built a storytelling company because I am a storyteller and I love telling stories and I understand the digital world .

Digital Storytelling Company I founded

The future of employer branding as I see it is authentic storytelling, I see it as the future of brands because we have all become content / story consumers and we consume and share stories in the digital world that touch our hearts .

I see brands and good come together to tell stories of good , stories of hope , stories of empathy. It is these stories that the world needs.

Welcome to the world of stories. Are you telling your brand stories?

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

http://www.CrowTales.in

EVERY ORGANISATION HAS MANY STORIES , TELL YOUR STORIES

Organisation cultures are built around stories,
founders have stories,
organisations have stories,
employees have stories,
clients have stories
communities you work in have stories,
there are stories around work you do , impact you make in the world.

Tell your stories , because stories cut through communication clutter , stories touch hearts , stories are remembered and stories are passed on .

Stories mean business.
Organisations don’t buy , people buy and people buy stories they connect with .

Leaders tell stories, stories that inspire change , start a movement.

In the digital world, you control the stories you tell , no intermediaries ,no barriers ,you can reach your stories without filters to your tribes across the world .

You can build , engage and convert your tribes with stories you tell .

In a world that has just witnessed a once in a century event of the pandemic. There is a nervous uncertainty. Brands have a role to play in healing , comforting and being responsible.

It is time for organisations and brands to tell stories of a better future, for the people , for the community, for our planet.

Let us tell stories of hope , stories of love , stories of compassion, stories that inspire change , stories that make a difference.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Storyteller , #passionproject

Founder , Crow Tales , Heroes of India

http://www.CrowTales.in

BRAND AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

The outcomes of Project Deep blue indicate that is possible to align Brand purpose with CSR .

Mastek an IT solutions company wanted to build its employer brand in the campus , it suffered a low brand recall. Mastek is a global IT solutions company with a unique people culture and high social conscience. We needed to communicate this brand message at the campus. The traditional route would be sponsorships of campus events but there fear was getting lost in the noise.  

Project Deep Blue was designed as a campus contest which would connect social sector , students , employees and the brand Mastek. Students had to solve real problems of the social sector through IT solutions. The students would be mentored by Mastek employees. The project was not superficial and needed 4 months of intense interaction and working as a team.

Through the process of participating in Project deep Blue students experienced 1. The unique people culture of Mastek as they interacted with Mastek mentors 2. They gained real life experience of solving social sector problems 3. They were exposed to subjects like design thinking and building IT solutions from experts at Mastek.

The result was that in the 4th edition of Project Deep Blue over 800 student teams participated in the contest ,a strong brand recall as a socially conscious organisation and a IT solutions company has been built at the campus and most important the unique people culture was experienced by the students in interaction with mentors. Mastek mentors too gained by engaging and learning from fresh out of the box thinking of students. The social sector gained with out of the box IT solutions developed by the young students. Mastek gained by instantly recruiting the best talent.

The outcomes of Project Deep blue indicate that is possible to align Brand purpose with CSR . I am of the opinion that in the digital world telling Brand stories around CSR would help build Brand Trust and align CSR with business. What are your thoughts ?

Check out the video of contestant feedback on Project Deep Blue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyulIb_3ID0&list=PLWpXLvyorqav3B0O21rHTHUDj0YNmrVmm