Cumulus Partners

31. March 2010 12:11

Why wear your B2C hat when doing B2B marketing?

31. March 2010 12:11 by mike barlow | 1 Comments

My friend Ruth Stevens wrote a great post for her new blog on the Harvard Business Review web site. I recommend it highly, since it deals with some thorny issues facing B2B marketers. The comments are especially illuminating because they reveal what seems to be a fundamental misperception of the role of B2B marketing. Many of the readers immediately applied their B2C marketing sensibilities to Ruth's excellent B2B advice, and as a result, they really missed the point of the post. Check it out when you have a chance, and leave a comment. I know that Ruth will appreciate it.

9. March 2010 03:13

B2B networks bring efficiency to business operations

9. March 2010 03:13 by mike barlow | 0 Comments

Kevin Costello, the president of Ariba, has an interesting column in, "More Useful Than a Social Network," in which he reminds us that B2B networks have been around for years, and that many of the Fortune 100 already use them for reducing the inevitable friction created by routine business transactions. That friction, BTW, has a huge cost, which Costello pegs at $650 billion annually in lost productivity.

I mention Costello's column because it argues agains the grain of the common complaint I hear from business executives about social meda, which is that it has yet to prove its business value. B2B networks have more than proven their worth, so the idea of questioning the value of a network approach to business process optimization seems a tad outdated. At any rate, it's good to remember that networks come in many sizes, shapes and flavors -- so don't rule out the notion of leveraging social networking to achieve tangible business objectives.