15th September 2017
I am incredibly proud to announce my new book, published by Kogan Page. B2B Marketing Strategy – differentiate, develop and deliver lasting customer engagement is available for pre-order now and will be released on 3rd December, just in time for Christmas!
Writing this book has been an incredible experience, yet it’s also been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Not just from a process or writing perspective but also because B2B marketing has been facing some very tough challenges over the past few years.
Why this book?
I had been consistently blogging about B2B marketing for a number of years when I first began thinking about writing this book. Blogging has been – and still remains – my way of thinking about and working through the many challenges that we as B2B marketers face in our everyday working lives. When I looked back at my blogs I saw that a number of key themes kept emerging that I went back to again and again, some of which were not being adequately addressed at the time.
But writing a book is very different from writing a blog, and I just couldn’t seem to begin. I didn’t even know how to start. I was really stuck.
Then, one evening just over a year ago, I went to a networking event where I had the great good fortune and pleasure to meet Tim Hughes, author of Social Selling. I’d been following Tim on Twitter for quite some time and was (and still am) a big fan. I can’t even remember how we started talking about it, but he spoke about his experience writing his book, and – for the first time – I was able to articulate the overall narrative arc for my own book.
Serendipity – when magic happens
I’ve written before about serendipity, quite possibly my favourite word in the entire English language, which essentially means making a happy discovery by chance.
Meeting Tim was the start of a whirlwind. He not only encouraged my ideas, he offered to mentor me through the process of getting started. But that wasn’t the amazing part. A couple of weeks later Tim emailed me to say his publisher was looking for someone to write, or who was already writing, a B2B marketing book. Was I interested?
The next thing I knew I was on a phone call with the commissioning editor at Kogan Page, who loved the story I wanted to tell and asked me to provide her with a book proposal. This part of the process was both really hard and vitally important; developing the proposal within the framework they asked for (including a complete Table of Contents) was critical to crystallising my thinking and became the catalyst as well as the foundation upon which I was able to ‘begin’. Six intense days later I submitted the proposal and 3 weeks after that I was offered a contract.
I have to admit that up to this point I didn’t quite believe in the reality of actually writing a book. It wasn’t until I signed that contract that I fully realised I now had to write it! And I must have been completely crazy because I agreed to deliver 60,000 – 70,000 words in just 5 ½ months.
Keep in mind that I also had a ‘day job’ as well as a life outside of my work. I made sacrifices. I slept less and worked more, and postponed or didn’t do many things I might have wanted to do. But, I wouldn’t have traded a single minute of it.
Think different, do different, be different
My over-riding purpose for writing my book has been to challenge and inspire B2B marketers and their organisations to think different, do different and be different. Because while there have been massive changes within the environment that we are all doing business, and despite all the new technology, tools and tactics that we are adopting, the majority of us continue to do mostly the same things, in mainly the same ways.
We simply must stop doing what we’ve always done, just because it’s always worked out all right for us. We must stop doing more and more of the same old ‘stuff’ without really understanding what we are trying to achieve. We must stop focusing on our organisations and what we sell, and focus instead on our customers and what they want and need from us.
We must be different than we’ve ever been, because we are doing business in a world that is unlike any that has come before.
This is the joy and the challenge of marketing. Even while our markets, our tools, our tactics and our channels may change, the fundamental principles of marketing do not. Yet in our tumultuous rush to ‘become digital’ we have drifted further and further away from our roots as marketers.
It all starts with Strategy
Strategy is the foundation for everything. It articulates the approach we take towards our markets and provides both clarity and purpose around what we do – and more importantly, what we don’t do. A marketing strategy organises our thinking and thus our actions around what is most important for our business, enabling us to develop and execute marketing plans that differentiate us from our competitors and drive growth.
But strategy is hard; and it takes more than tactical marketing expertise – it takes a deep understanding of our customers and our business.
In this book, I introduce my 3D Marketing System that provides a framework and process for marketing strategy and subsequent marketing planning. It’s a tool I’ve refined over 25 years of marketing within B2B organisations that has guided my thinking and enabled the rigour necessary to deliver marketing that matters to our customers and makes a difference to our organisations.
Because strategy isn’t just words on a page; strategy is the touchstone that every marketer throughout our organisations needs to understand, and against which every single marketing activity must be aligned and measured.
In my next post I’ll provide a further overview of the key elements of my book. In the meantime, please read more about it, have a look at what people are already saying about it, read a sample chapter, and pre-order it now!
And, as always, thank you so much for your continuing attention and support.
Heidi Taylor is an award-winning senior marketing strategist with 25 years' experience of helping organisations engage with their customers, creating impact and differentiation. She is a sought-after speaker at marketing conferences in the UK and internationally, and regularly contributes articles to marketing journals in print and online. You can follow her on Twitter @TaylorMadeInKew.