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#119: How B2B Marketers can ‘Be The Best’ – Top Demand Gen Insights from Season 5

Episode 119

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Season 5 has come to a close of The B2B Playbook, and it’s all about how marketers can ‘Be The Best’.

This is the 5th and final ‘BE’ of our 5 BEs Framework for demand generation. For those that want to recap or are just joining us, today we’re going through the biggest learnings from this season. So if you’re ready to take your marketing from great to exceptional, then read, watch or listen on!

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The Pillars of ‘Be The Best’ – Stage 5 of our Demand Gen Framework

Our episodes this season revolved around key pillars that form the backbone of being the best in B2B marketing. These include:

Pillar 1 – Iterating on a Circular Framework

Our 5 BEs Framework for demand generation is circular. This ensures that you can keep running through the framework, creating a more dynamic and continuous process for improvement.

“We hope you start to see the 5 BEs as a circular process that continues to deliver improvements. It is not a linear path or a staircase”

Kevin Chen – The B2B Playbook

Personally, we run through the framework pretty much every quarter for our own business.

Pillar 2 – Sharpening The Saw

The concept of ‘Sharpening the Saw’ is about balancing every element of the 5 BEs Framework, ensuring a holistic approach to B2B marketing. As discussed in the podcast, “We’ve moved on to talking about sharpening the saw of balancing all parts of the framework and looking after yourself and your career in the process”​​.

Balancing each part of the Framework means that you’re dedicating enough time to each one. Of course there will be times where one part requires more attention, but don’t lose sight of where it fits in within the overall framework. This balance is really important, as it allows for a comprehensive understanding and application of each aspect of the framework, which in turn leads to more sustainable application of the strategy.

Another essential part of ‘Sharpening the Saw’ is focusing on personal and professional development. The framework not only improves marketing strategies but also helps you grow as a marketer in your field.

“But at the end of the day, also dedicate enough time to look after yourself and your career in the process”​​.

Kevin Chen – The B2B Playbook

This holistic approach to growth ensures that marketers remain at the top of their game, both in terms of their skills and their understanding of the industry.

Pillar 3 – Thinking Outside The Box

We’re huge fans of our framework because it’s based on fundamental marketing principles and human behaviour. But sometimes we have to look at trends and technology to look at how it can give us the upper hand.

Artificial intelligence (AI) was a huge topic in 2023, and it’s already having a big impact on the way we do things at The B2B Playbook. I have no doubt it will start to impact all of you over the next few years too.

“With so many changes happening, like the advent of AI since we started this podcast, even the all the different things that have been happening in digital marketing in the last couple of years, whether it’s algorithm changes or platform changes, new concepts seem to come up all the time.”

George Coudounaris – The B2B Playbook

Tools like AI can have a serious impact on our processes, but never lose sight of how they fit into your overall strategy.

Pillar 4 – Building an Education Ecosystem

Over Season 5 of The B2B Playbook, we also went into the concept of ‘Building an Education Ecosystem’, and how this is a transformative approach to B2B marketing. It goes beyond traditional content marketing, focusing on creating a comprehensive learning environment that provides value even before a customer relationship is established.

The Essence of an Education Ecosystem

The idea is to build a system around your content and business that continually drives demand. As we discussed in the podcast, “Building an education system around your content, around your business… that will really become that extra layer of boost that you can get from having an ecosystem that constantly drives demand into your business”​​. This approach is about creating a value-added experience that enriches potential and current customers, making your business an integral part of their professional growth and success.

Learning from Market Leaders

Market leaders like HubSpot follow this approach. They offer courses, certifications, and content that improve people’s lives even before they become customers. “HubSpot have their amazing courses and certifications… You can go to HubSpot and get a wealth of information… and skills that are going to benefit you in your career right now”​​. This strategy is not only about providing value but also establishing your brand as a leader and a resource in your industry.

The Future of Content Marketing

Looking ahead, the emphasis on building an education ecosystem is expected to become even more significant.

“I think it’s going to be about five years’ time… before companies will have finally figured out how to create great content. And then if you need to stand out beyond that, companies are going to need to take things to the next level… helping those dream customers improve their lives through certifications, through further learning”​​.

George Coudounaris – The B2B Playbook

This prediction underlines the evolving nature of content marketing and the increasing importance of educational initiatives in building long-term customer relationships.

The Convergence of B2B and B2C Marketing

B2B is constantly being compared to B2C. When Kevin and I looked into it this season, we realised that they’re not quite as different as everyone thinks.

The convergence is rooted in the fundamental principles that govern both B2B and B2C marketing. As discussed in the episode, “B2B and B2C really aren’t that different when it comes back to it. They fundamentally start from the same place of, it’s about people. It’s about getting their attention. It’s about building trust and winning them over”​​.

At their core, both B2B and B2C marketing aim to connect with people, capture their attention, and foster trust.

They may operate in different environments and contexts, but their goals are aligned. Both strive to engage their target audiences effectively, build meaningful relationships, and ultimately drive business growth. It’s just their execution has evolved differently.

Check out the full episode to see what the two can learn from each other.

Leveraging Neuroscience in B2B Marketing

Some of the most popular episodes of the season included our miniseries on neuromarketing, and how marketers can start to integrate neuromarketing principles into what they do every day.

Understanding the human mind and the triggers we are all susceptible to is what the best marketers in the world do. So we break down key neuromarketing concepts and apply them to the B2B context for you, with plenty of examples.

Neuromarketing topics we covered include:

Applying these principles give you every chance of winning over your Dream Customer. Make sure you check them out!

Wrapping Up

With Season 5 done and dusted, we’ve now completely laid down our Framework for Demand Generation step-by-step.

Each season corresponds to a step in our Framework. The podcast is designed to be listened to in order, so make sure you go back to episode 1 to tune in from the beginning.

And remember – this is not a ‘one and done’ process. It is a circular framework, which brings you closer and closer to your Dream Customers, ultimately driving demand for your business.

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