If B2B Marketing did Strictly Come Dancing

2nd October 2016

The surest sign of autumn for me is when my guilty pleasure (yes, I confess) once again appears on our Saturday night televisions here in the UK – the annual glitter-fest that is Strictly Come Dancing. Despite the strange mix of soap stars, news readers, athletes, and people I never heard of, from now until Christmas there will be no Saturday nights out for my household.

I’m not so introspective that I understand why it’s such compelling viewing for me. But I thought I’d have a little fun and consider:

What if B2B Marketing did Strictly Come Dancing?

close-up of Tango dancers’ foot step in silhouette

The Judges

Sir Martin Sorrell: As founder and CEO of WPP, the world’s largest marketing group, Sir Martin Sorrell is one of the most powerful and knowledgeable people in advertising and marketing. When I think of the transformation he has witnessed and been a part of throughout his long involvement in the industry, his unique perspective is a must for my panel and Sir Martin would be my head judge.

Mark Ritson: Marketing professor, brand consultant and back-page columnist for Marketing Week magazine for over a decade, Mark is quite simply THE authority on everything marketing. But I’d want him as a judge because he constantly challenges how we think and what we do as marketers. And he doesn’t pull any punches – constantly entertaining, frequently uncouth (but never offensive), and always spot-on.

Catherine Toole: Founder and chairman of Sticky Content, a content marketing and strategy agency, Catherine knows content. A former journalist and editor, I’ve heard her speak on multiple occasions – she is funny, engaging and really understands the challenges we face in developing content in B2B.

5 Marketing Dances

Tango: characterised by either open or close embrace, complex footwork and dramatic head snaps, the Tango originated in the slums of Buenos Aires. It’s passionate, moody, and intense. For me, the Tango is akin to the brand voice and dynamic marketing creative that captures the sense and mood of who we are and what we sell.

Waltz: the basis for many dances, the Waltz is considered the ‘mother of present day dances’ and the ‘backbone dance’ of the ballroom. From a marketing perspective, it represents mastery of the fundamentals, and the ‘traditional’ elements upon which all marketing is based.

Jive: the fastest of the all the so-called ‘Latin dances’, Jive is lively and uninhibited, with lots of energy and pumping leg action. For me, it simply can’t be anything but content and customer experience at its finest. Jive makes me want to get up and dance, and content is all about engagement and creating an experience that drives customer action.

Cha Cha: the most popular of the Latin dances, the Cha Cha is vibrant, flamboyant and playful with a light and bubbly feel that gives it a unique sense of fun. It’s a dance about alignment and action, with your partner and the music. The same goes for understanding your customers – aligning to their needs and emotions, and creating an environment that makes them feel good about doing business with you.

Salsa: a popular form of social dance that originated in New York City, but with obvious Latin influences, Salsa is a club dance, a street dance, a party dance, a social dance, a dance to experiment with our identities.  What else can Salsa represent but social media?

As WB Yeats wrote: ‘How can we know the dancer from the dance?’ In other words, how else do we interpret what we do as marketers except in the context of the environment in which we do it?

So, shall we dance?

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.

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