Is B2B Marketing Fashionable? | DMA

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Is B2B Marketing Fashionable?


Fashion, is a strange old thing.

I certainly have never been fashionable but hopefully I don’t embarrass myself too much, except perhaps in the eyes of my teenage son. This week I had cause to buy new suits for my son and was surprised by the fashion of having the tightest possible trouser leg coupled with, what in my mind can only be described as far too short in length. As my grandmother used to say, “why don’t you put some jam on your shoes and invite your trousers down for tea”. Who knew that you choose the ‘no break’, ‘slight break’ ‘medium break’ or the ‘full break’?

This got me to thinking about my views in marketing. I like to think that I am open minded and willing to look at and try new ideas (fashions). But perhaps I am not as open minded as I need to be. I recently facilitated a roundtable discussion on testing in marketing and my overwhelming conclusion was that a lot of marketers are measuring but far fewer are testing.

Testing in some areas of marketing is relatively straightforward. In digital you can set up a new ad format, test email variations or a new creative execution in no time at all. However, in other parts of our marketing mix, for example events or even testing our overall marketing strategy, it is more challenging, at least to change mindset. On the flip side, we don’t want to be drawn to the latest ‘shiny’ thing every week. We’d never get our jobs done if we did.

That said, as an industry we are great at repackaging ideas, concepts and techniques and making ourselves think they are something new.

As an example, is influencer marketing the new fashion, or simply the reinvention of an age old technique? Whichever, it certainly continues to gain coverage. This piece looks at what the ROI is on influencer marketing. More food and fashion examples than B2B, but some interesting pointers.

Is it an art or is it a science? Or both. This weighty, but well worth flicking through, slideshare investigates the art and science of influence.

Even if influencer marketing isn’t all that new, then perhaps micro-influencer campaigning is. Here's a guide to running such a midro-influencer campaign.

Let me summarise:

  • Plan and strategize

  • Find suitable micro influencers

  • Reach out to target your micro influencer

  • Coordinate the campaign

  • Measure the results

Possibly about as new as the Emperor's clothes?

One thing that is grabbing my attention is, rather sinisterly called, data social. Ever heard of it? Well it is where you are able to track shares of your content. Looks like we don’t track 87% of our content shares. Worth taking a look at as we spend so much time and effort creating the content.

On a theme, what about all that dark data out there. Is your business ready to face the databerg? I love a databerg.

But let us not forget, marketing is about people. So the data we do gather should help us be more personalised with our customers and prospects. Spending many years working in product and engineering driven firms, this article could make for an interesting discussion piece with my product colleagues. B2B is human centric, not product centric

If this is the case, how to get at the heart of what your buyer wants? Here are some thoughts. And let’s not forget the psychographics. If you are interested in behavioural science you may want to check out this blog, Data, Data Everywhere or join the DMA’s webinar, using behavioural economics in B2B marketing. It’s a must attend.

Right, I’m off to read up on How to determine the best blog content for my B2B marketing strategy.

In the meantime, rest assured, from this week on I am going to throw caution to the wind and forgo my ‘full break’ view on the marketing world. Although ‘no break’ may be a stretch (!) too far.

Happy #b2bmarketing

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