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.

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.

HOW BEING VULNERABLE CAN MAKE A BRAND MORE POWERFUL

A brand is like a living person.

It needs to be authentic to build trust.

No person can constantly be winning.

There will be days of struggle , days of failure.

There are moments of truth.

“Always good” is based on untruth.

Trust cannot be built on “Untruth”.

Can a brand be authentic and own up failure, say sorry ?.

Can a Organisational or Person brand share vulnerable moments ?

It’s difficult to be vulnerable. But it builds trust.

I experienced these both at Mastek where I headed Corporate Communications.

Mastek was the first company in the IT industry to give a profit warning ahead of quarterly results.

There was no precedent.

Obvious repercussions were bad press , investor calls .

Yet it emerged more powerful as a transparent and ethical brand.

The next story is of vulnerability.

Ashank Desai the Co Founder had an difficult early childhood.

There was his story of poverty and struggles.

Ashank has shared his story and lessons to inspire youngsters.

This has made him a strong person brand.

Being Vulnerable is strength.

Real heroes are authentic, they also fall.

Yet they get up and fight back.

Make your brand story more powerful.

Tell a authentic story. Be vulnerable.

A STORY MEANS BUSINESS

I took Shaktiman to Chennai and created chaos.

Parle G sales was having a tough time in Chennai.

We decided to take Shaktiman to Chennai.

I had built the first pan India integrated marketing services company with presence in 124 markets.

Parle products was our client.

I knew the power of stories.

I knew that Shaktiman (Mukesh Khanna) was a hero for children.

As a character he stood for good values.

Was aligned to the Brand Story.

We worked on a plan to take him to Chennai.

Kids could meet him at an open ground.

The only condition for entry was cut the newspaper Ad and attach two empty Parle G wrappers.

We did a integrated campaign Ads , school promotions , PR.

On the D day Shaktiman was on stage.

We waited.

We expected a maximum turnout of ten thousand.

The police commissioner was chief guest.

On that day was chaos , over one lakh crowd turned up !

Kids came in school busses.

Each wanted to touch Shaktiman.

Their hero was in front of them.

Parents too wanted to touch him !

Next day front page news in Chennai was Parle G Shaktiman comes to Chennai.

Parle G sales shot up in the South , market share was captured.

A Story can inspire action.

A Story means business.

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

WHO IS THE HERO OF YOUR BRAND SYORY ?

I started my career in marketing as a product executive.

AD Narula who was my first boss gave me the appointment letter and said “you are in charge , your neck is on the block”.

And I was truly on my own.

This was my first job.

I had to design and market a computer education product for Chartered Accountants.

Now I don’t have great liking for accounts and here I had to create and sell a product to Chartered accounts.

I did one thing I was good at , listen with ‘empathy’.

I met CAs and asked them their pain.

Accounting was rapidly getting computerised , they were afraid of losing business if they were not ready.

I designed a product to solve their problem and then very clearly communicated the message.

The product was a hit , it surpassed the certified Autodesk course in revenues.

Very early in my career I understood, it is not the organisation or brand that is the hero of the story.

The hero of the story is the customer , always.

This is one big mistake organisations make they focus within, on themselves.

They focus on adding features to make the product better.

You get paid to solve a problem, whether you are in a job or in business.

Who is the hero of your story and what is the problem you are solving in the world?

#marketing #branding

A STORY ON FABRIC

A denim jeans , how can it be any different from any other denim jeans.

The fabric of any denim jeans could be from the same factory.

And then one has a story and puts it on the fabric.

I noticed this story on the inside pocket of my jeans.

This is the story ‘Why’ I wear Levis.

The story of Levis is the story of Wild West and the cowboys.

The story is why we connect with any brand.

Our Story is why people connect with us as brands.

What is Your Brand Story ?

#brandstory

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