The new B2B marketing manifesto


It’s been 14 years since our first B2B manifesto. (See if you can find it — it’s buried back there somewhere).

So we wrote a new one. You can read it here: B2B Brand is Back (and MQLs are Bullshit): A New Sort-of B2B Manifesto.

We still stand by the various calls-to-arms the old manifesto made for ambition, bravery and creativity. 

But being a marketer in 2010 was a whole different job. (Remember riding your fixed-gear bicycle down to your local WeWork to tap away on Eloqua all day? Remember that? Guys?)

A lot has changed. Not all of it for the better. 

It’s been a tough few years in B2B 

Marketers have been grinding harder, but results aren’t following. 

The problem is that the future Crap envisioned materialized — and buyers quickly learned that inbound marketing was a bad deal for them.

The world has changed around the old go-to-market playbook, and marketers need a new approach (even Jon Miller, the guy who wrote it, agrees).

Buyers have disengaged, and pipelines are contracting. And panicked marketers are interpreting that as a short-term lead generation issue rather than a long-term brand issue. 

CMOs are committing almost 100% of their resources to sales activation campaigns designed to capture demand they haven’t yet created (while neglecting to invest in brand at all).

Talented marketing teams in impressive companies are fighting tooth and nail to convert people who’ve never heard of them — while doing nothing to build rapport with future buyers.

It’s all bubbled over into one glorious epiphany.

Brand is back

The math of the old playbook just isn’t mathing anymore. 

Blame Google, LinkedIn, all the other marketers muddying the water, but… diminishing returns and herculean effort for tiny incremental gains have become a way of life. 

Even by shitty ‘how many MQLs did we get?’ and cost-per-lead metrics, demand-gen math gets harder to justify every year. (And CFOs are taking out their fine-tooth combs).

The new B2B manifesto is about how to change the math

The new manifesto is a refinement rather than a revolution. It builds on what came before it, but it should make you sweat a little, too. 

There are eight essentials of the new, brand-driven B2B inside. Here are a few tasters:

  • A restored balance between brand and performance: Jon Miller advised B2B companies to invest 40% of their budgets in brand
  • Shit-hot creativity that raises your conversion baseline: People are attracted to confidence and mojo
  • A unified playbook that integrates brand and performance into one GTM plan: We’re working on a thing for that. Watch this space.
  • A plan to coax sales and marketing back into bed with each other: That probably involves ditching sugar rush leads for fewer, better MQLs

Go read the rest here. It’s like four minutes of your life (less than it took you to squeeze out of those jet-black skinny jeans in 2010.)

And maybe that four minutes will change how you do marketing. And how you feel about it. Because the new way forward is a lot less frustrating and a lot more honest, creative and fun.   



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