How Inspired Is Your Brand?

Steve JobsDo you market to your employees as powerfully as you do to your customers?

It seems that marketing teams are always customer facing. Sure that’s where the sales dollars are, but why stop there?

Employees can be your best marketing ambassadors. In fact, they can be a social media powerhouse for you.

But there are some brands that shift the focus. Brands like Apple or IKEA. Those brands create a powerful force through their employees.

What happens when the marketing team focuses first on employees and then on its customers?

How Inspired Is Your Brand?Patrick Neeman posted How Inspired Is Your Brand? Read Apple’s Onboarding Letter . He found an old blog post from a new Apple hire and reposted Apple’s welcome letter.

Like most great communications, it’s short and simple. Which only makes it more powerful:

Here’s what Apples’ onboarding welcome letter said

There’s work and there’s your life’s work.

The kind of work that has your fingerprints all over all. The kind of work that you’d never compromise on. That you’d sacrifice a weekend for. You can do that kind of work at Apple. People don’t come here to play it safe. They come here to swim in the deep end.

They want their work to add up to something.

Something big. Something that couldn’t happen anywhere else.

Welcome to Apple.

Apple is not alone. IKEA is another standout in harnessing the passion of its employees.

Does your company even come close to something like this?

Good Selling!

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6 B2B Marketing Trends To Outperform The Competition In 2015

With 2014 nearly over, it’s time to get out the crystal ball and share what will be the big trends for B2B marketing in 2015.

There’s no end to posts predicting the next big thing in 2015. And we all know those predictions are usually wrong – let’s make some, anyway!

Seeing marketing through the customer’s eyes

Seeing through the customer’s eyesMarketing and sales are starting to focus on adopting buyers’ perspectives with regards to selling. This “customer-based selling” is not selling in the traditional sense but more about helping customers to buy – a subtle but distinctive shift in mindset – and content is absolutely key to the success of this. Moving into 2015, content will become even more critical in the customer-based selling process, as marketing and salespeople look to share insights and engage customers based on what they need to make it easier for them to buy.

Content marketing is here to stay

Content marketing is here to stayContent, which is here to stay because brand building is storytelling and marketing is teaching, will continue to improve in quality instead of just quantity. The most successful content will be relevant, entertaining and informative based on where the customer is during their purchase journey. Content should build on itself, be aligned to your sales funnel and move with your customers in their purchase journey.

A picture is worth 1000 words

A picture is worth 1000 wordsVisual content is critical for brands to reach and engage their audiences. Infographics (especially with interactive graphics and embedded video) will continue to grow in popularity because of their value in education and thought leadership, all delivered in understandable sound bites. Expect short, graphically powerful slideshows to also gain popularity in delivering sales messaging.

Show and sell with video content

Show and sell with video contentWith Youtube’s popularity showing no signs of slowing down, video content will become the go to content resource for marketers. There may also be a shift from longer, consumable content like YouTube videos to shorter, snackable content like Instagram 15-second videos and Vine 6-second videos in B2B marketing.

Data will drive personalization

Data will drive personalizationIn 2015, data will play a larger role in content marketing. Beyond just producing great content, marketers need to reach and engage the right audience. Marketers will use data to personalize and deliver content to their highly connected, always-on users helping to create a more informed decision that reduces the risk of being overlooked and increases purchase confidence.

Fostering brand advocates

Are You Your Customers Biggest Fan?Marketers have always known that users who love their products buy more. We’ll see B2B marketers using creative and varied tactics on multiple social media platforms to build sales and win more users by sharing that are visual, compelling buyer testimonials.

Trends are both threats and opportunities for B2B marketers

6 Trends in B2B MarketingCompanies that see social media as something for teenagers will miss the opportunity to connect and educate their customers in a compelling way. Ultimately, they risk becoming irrelevant.

Marketers who move forward with these trends have the opportunity to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, be seen as innovators and improve their odds of outperforming the competition.

What trends do you see for B2B marketers in 2015?

Good Selling in 2015!