The Marketing Strategist

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  • The Best Thought Leadership Triggers the Story Reflex

    We all have a story reflex, and once it’s triggered, we can’t help ourselves: we keep reading to find out what happens next. That’s why storytelling is a skill in demand among B2B services marketers.

    by Dan Armstrong February 19, 2014 Read more
  • Research Highlight: Marketing Doesn't Know What Buyers Want

    In ITSMA’s How Buyers Consume Information study, we asked buyers what they wanted from sales reps. We compared the answers to what marketers said when we asked them earlier in 2013. The results were instructive—and shocking.

    by Dan Armstrong January 20, 2014 Read more
  • The End of Suffering: The Promise of Data as a Service

    Data as a service is an extension of the “as a service” paradigm to the headache of managing (and, to some extent, analyzing) customer data. For short-staffed marketing functions exhausted by the Sisyphean task of constantly cleaning data, data as a service offers a way to shed operational nightmares in favor of learning about the customer and helping to grow revenue.

    by Dan Armstrong December 12, 2013 Read more
  • Research Highlight: Buyers Want to Talk to People and Stare at Screens

    For big B2B purchases, digital alone won’t make the sale. Online channels are necessary but not sufficient. Person-to-person communication with buyers is richer both emotionally and as a means of conveying detailed, targeted information.

    by Dan Armstrong November 21, 2013 Read more
  • How Salespeople Become Business Advisors

    Understanding how a service or product fits into the client’s business model enables salespeople to do more than sell. It kicks off a process of co-creation. Sales and the customer engage to come up with a wider range of uses for the offering—often in ways that aren’t immediately obvious. The marketer’s role is to position the company as an expert on the customer’s business.

    by Dan Armstrong October 10, 2013 Read more
  • Featured Research: How to Ensure That Customers See You as Credible

    Before making the decision to buy, customers want credible information from independent sources. As the seller, by definition you aren’t independent – but two ways to ensure that your customers perceive you as independent are to (1) offer them primary research and (2) get validation of your research from independent organizations.

    by Dan Armstrong September 12, 2013 Read more
  • Predicting the Epiphany: How Big Questions Guide Big Insight

    When a company shifts direction, its buying behavior changes. For marketers, the question is how to anticipate this shift—perhaps even before everyone at the customer’s company is fully aware of it. Inside every organization is a vision of change struggling to be born. The first solution provider to divine that vision has a big edge on its competitors.

    by Dan Armstrong August 15, 2013 Read more
  • Elevating Brand Perceptions: TCS Creates a Global Peer Group

    By the end of 2011, TCS had become one of the world’s four largest IT services companies. The problem was that many customers and prospects didn’t know it. To address the problem, TCS last year embarked on what became known as the “Big Four” campaign.

    by Dan Armstrong July 18, 2013 Read more
  • Three Imperatives for European B2B Services Marketers from ITSMA Europe Senior Vice President Bev Burgess

    Bev Burgess, ITSMA’s new Senior Vice President for Europe, reflects on the special challenges of B2B services and solutions marketing and three imperatives for European marketers: become more commercial, take an insight-led path, and embrace innovations.

    by Dan Armstrong June 13, 2013 Read more
  • How Dell Mobilized a Disciplined Army of Social Media Ambassadors

    How do you capture goodwill from thousands of customer touches while avoiding the risk arising from an undisciplined army of social media participants? Dell’s approach could be called disciplined autonomy: a mix of central oversight and local execution that manages risk while leveraging the power of 100,000-plus employees.

    by Dan Armstrong May 16, 2013 Read more
  • A Brave New World for Marketers

    The impact of SMAC – social, mobile, analytics, cloud – on IT Services Marketing will be more far-reaching than that of the internet. The positioning that made an IT Services company successful in the past won’t necessarily work in the future. Malcolm Frank, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Marketing at Cognizant, described how marketing will have to change to successfully navigate this new world.

    by Dan Armstrong March 14, 2013 Read more
  • Featured Research: Brand Awareness: The Power of Size

    When pursuing large deals, brand awareness is important because it gets you on the shortlist. But only a handful of services companies have significant brand awareness. One way to increase awareness is to build business relationships with a large number of customers. But this runs counter to the business model of many IT services companies. That’s why it’s necessary to invest in the brand. Unless it is also big in the B2C market, it’s not likely that a B2B IT services company will become a household name.

    by Dan Armstrong Read more

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