Here’s what you missed – 187: Why B2B Storytelling (Still) Matters

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How can a business discover its brand story? The first step, according to David Altschul of Character LLC, is to identify the story’s conflict. Now, this isn’t the classic “good vs. bad” conflict that you tend to see in Marvel movies—a brand conflict is between two positives, think “independent vs. social” or “strong vs. soft.” That’s what Character specializes in, and they’ve helped some big-name clients (think Walmart, Amazon, Wendy’s) embrace such conflict and infuse it into the way they do business.

Why does this matter in B2B, you ask? Well, there are a few reasons. At the outset, brands with story set themselves apart from competitors that are just selling products; when the buying committee comes together, story unifies the c-suite’s perspective of your brand; and finally, story gives you a framework for making decisions no matter what you come up against, even a pandemic.

Tune in to this week’s episode to hear David’s expert advice on discovering brand story, and how to align the goals of your business across the board. He also answers questions from our live audience of three CMOs: Kevin Alansky of Higher Logic, JD Dillon of Enphase Energy, and Dave Bornmann of Naylor Association Solutions.

Here’s what you missed – 186: Rebranding in a Pandemic – An Amazing CMO Story

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Imagine you’ve spent the past year preparing to rebrand your organization. You’ve ticked off all the boxes—strategized with a cross-functional team, developed a robust communications plan, and defined your brand purpose—and you’re finally ready to start rolling things out, but then, the COVID pandemic brings the world to a halt. This is a moment for a big decision, do you still rebrand? Or do you put things on hold?

For Julia Fitzgerald, CMO of American Lung Association, the answer was to forge ahead. After all, if they were going to make their new brand promise real, if they truly were dedicated to fighting lung disease, then this was the perfect opportunity to do it. The rebrand didn’t come with all the bells and whistles that it normally would have, but this, perhaps, makes it that much more real. After all, as Ben Franklin once said, “Well done is better than well said.”

Tune into this week’s episode to hear about all about American Lung Association’s rebrand and how they’ve agilely pivoted their marketing efforts amidst the COVID pandemic, and if you want to learn how a rebrand can translate to demand generation, check out our recent report, here.

Here’s what you missed – 185: What a CEO Wants in Their CMO

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: no CMO can succeed without the backing of their CEO. Countless CMO guests on the show have talked about how crucial it is to have that top-down support, and on this special episode, we’re joined not only by the CMO of Wasabi, Michael Welts, but also by his CEO, David Friend. With a strong working relationship that most would envy, they talk about how they’ve built their brand and grown their customer base from 1200 to 15,000 in just two years.

The key thing David was looking for was a “simplifier” CMO, and with Michael, he found just that. Through bold marketing, Michael and his team developed a strong value proposition, “1/5 the price of Amazon and 6x faster” and based their sales strategy around the three Wasabi “peas:” price, performance, and protection. Tune in to this week’s episode to hear how to build a B2B demand gen machine, measure metrics outside of revenue, and have the CEO-CMO relationship that dreams are made of.

Here’s what you missed – 184: Why CMOs Should Be CXOs Too

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Now more than ever, people want simplicity. They’re looking for simple solutions to complex problems, simple language to describe complex ideas, and simple experiences in an increasingly complex world. That’s why this week’s episode, recorded pre-COVID, is so poignant. Mika Yamamoto, the CMO and CXO of F5 Networks, joins us to share the ways she has transformed how they do business by asking one simple question: “Does this remove friction or add delight?”

Mika discusses the advantages of combining the CMO and CXO roles, they’ve given her a unique end-to-end perspective that has ultimately led to innovative, measurable changes for F5’s employees, customers, and prospects. With the battle cry “code connects us all,” tune in to hear all about how to best measure customer satisfaction (spoiler, it’s not NPS) and how to align your employee’s day-to-day interactions with the larger goals of the organization.

Here’s what you missed – 183: Why Purpose Matters Even More in the Post-COVID Era

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Where do you go when you’re a guest on Renegade Thinkers Unite but can’t find a quiet place in the house? To the RV, of course! That’s where Ed Rusch, the VP of Marketing at Command Alkon, has set up his #WFH headquarters, working closely with his team as the company adapts to working remotely. Fortunately, the heavy construction software company isn’t new to big change—over the last three years, Rusch has led the launch of an impressive brand transformation, repositioning Command Alkon as a category innovator and leading provider with the perfectly pithy purpose-driven story statement: “Together we build amazing.”

Command Alkon had defined the way that business was done for the last 40 years, so when they found an even better way of doing things, they were setting out to disrupt themselves in order to change the industry, pulling intercompany value from a supply chain perspective through to construction. On this week’s episode, Rusch leads us through Command Alkon’s brand reimagination, starting with the quick wins that generate leads and gain executive buy-in, developing a provocative story, and then bringing that story out to employees and customers in order to build upon that promise.

For additional materials about finding your brand’s purpose in order to weather any storm, take a look at our comprehensive guide to effective B2B brand strategy. For more about how brand purpose can help businesses out of a downturn, check out our 6 tips to drive B2B demand generation.

Here’s what you missed – 182: How Talkdesk Led the “Business Continuity” Curve

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It’s impossible to have business continuity during a crisis if your contact center software is only designed to run on-premises (on-prem for short) and your employees can’t come into the office. This has become a serious issue for many companies in the recent weeks, because if your customers can’t reach your service team, it stops business in its tracks and, ultimately, adversely affects your brand.

That’s why Talkdesk, a cloud-based contact center solution, made it their mission to bring on-prem operations home quickly so that businesses can continue thriving while protecting their employees. Their first of many crisis-centered products launched one week before “business continuity” started trending, and Talkdesk CMO Kathie Johnson joins us this week to talk about how her team’s agility, commitment to goodwill, and holistic view of business put Talkdesk front and center in the conversation.

Pulling together a new, recession-conscious product development team is just one way to retool your growth engine during a downturn. For more examples and tips, check out our recent guide to B2B demand generation.