Tag Archives: Thought Leadership

Why Thought Leadership sucks (#3 of 5 Marketing Tactics that suck)

In the dull minds of tickbox marketing people (who will not be reading this blog) the advantage of Thought Leadership is the same as the advantage of Media Relations – ‘free advertising’. What could be more simple? You sit your product marketing team, Chief Marketing Officer or, super worst case, your leadership team in a room, tell them to come up with some smack and sizzle, then add their favoured stimulants; caffeine, bourbon and if necessary (and where legal) marijauana and wait….

Wrong. For at least three reasons

  1. Thought Leadership is never the democratically elected decision of a committee
  2. It’s YOUR job. Thought Leadership pretty much IS Marketing – love it, sell it hard or no one will buy it .
  3. As Picasso almost said “Good marketing folks borrow, great ones steal”  (you’re welcome, now read on…)

So, is it time to give up on Thought Leadership in B2B? Nah. course not. The key is to make sure it’s Thought LEADERSHIP, as opposed to a thought.

Picasso Photo

Here are five indications you may be on the right lines

  1. It is going to p*** someone off.
  2. You had help. Seriously. Why not risk a little outside counsel as a catalyst?
  3. There are provable short-term consequences to disregarding this Point of View.
  4. It creates a new category or points to a new issue.
  5. Someone wants to rip it off as soon as you express it (see above).

If you find this sort of debate stimulating, you might want to know this is one of five such ‘Why XXX sucks’ posts in a series which Positive Marketing has created to stir the pot and show why integrating PR, Social and Thought Leadership is the best. A little leadership can go a long way.

Why Inbound Marketing sucks (#1 of 5 Marketing Tactics that suck)

Inbound marketing is hot. Who says so? The opportunists taking lots of VC money and building fast-growing businesses ‘while the sun shines’ and before the inevitable ‘consolidation of platforms’. We too love fast-growing technology businesses but the hype level here is off the scale. As one prospect we met last week acknowledged, the high-pressure “Create Marketing People Love” message is just not credible.

Full disclosure, Inbound Marketing competes directly for marketing budget with one of our core offerings, influencer relations. But that is not why it sucks for its buyers. It sucks because the vendors who are selling high-ticket item solutions for Inbound Marketing are claiming they have a Holy Grail a One-Size-Fits-All ’ERP for marketing’, a panacea to make B2B marketing easier.

Of course it is great to have a ‘Web to Lead’ process more sophisticated than first generation web forms and for SEO it is also fabulous to have click tracking which can automate the A-B Testing of headlines, copy and images, especially as Web Designers charged so much for these basics in the past. However, automation alone is not a strategy and the dirty secret is

A better mousetrap is useless without cheese

Without a compelling message and great content , it doesn’t matter how you track ‘website journeys’. If you just don’t have the traffic, you just created your own Zil Lane, which a select few travel up and down as they please, while the world moves on around it.

As the ultimate creator of content, Einstein, once said ‘Not everything that matters can be measured and not everything that can be measured matters.”. Belatedly, to address this gaping hole in their offerings, some of the leading players have been farming out a ‘commoditized’ version of content creation out to their partners. You can see this sneaking concession to the all-important content buried here on a leading inbound marketing provider’s website. This in itself tells a story – not so much ‘Who moved my cheese?’ as ‘Please sir can I have some more?’.

The truth is while you want an industrial strength mousetrap to be built sturdily in a factory, most of us prefer the taste of hand-crafted cheese to processed squares (even if the barcodes are great for tracking where we buy them). Great content is a pre-cursor of Inbound Marketing. Without it, the promise of torrential leads effortlessly flowing into websites rings as hollow as ‘jam tomorrow’. Just check out the outbound emails in your inbox and sales calls from inbound marketing firms for further proof.

Next time we debunk another ‘great white hope’ of modern B2B marketing – Content Marketing. Feel free to comment on what you have read so far and expect us to come out swinging again next time.

POSITIVELY NEGATIVE – Five B2B Marketing tactics that, individually, suck

With a brand like Positive Marketing, you would expect us to be upbeat. We are – ridiculously so. Our clients notice how much we high-five and giggle as we create results. In fact we know how important it is to laugh hard while working harder.

To change things up a little and be contrarian, our next series of blogs looks at five of the hottest, some would say over-hyped, buzzwords in B2B Marketing and explain how, on their own, they portray a negative impression of our sector’s progress, especially compared to our slicker B2C brethren.

1. Inbound Marketing sucks
2. Content Marketing sucks
3. Thought Leadership sucks
4. Corporate blogging sucks
5. Earned Media sucks

Given we do all of the above, you may wonder why we are so down on them. Well, all will be revealed as we conclude the series with an article which explains how you can change these buzzwords from sucking the life out of you to sowing the seeds of career-defining success. As always, we welcome your feedback, negative as well as positive. After all, it helps if marketing creates an impression…

Now let’s get going, with our first critique