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Classics: The Importance of Brand in the B2B Space with Dave Necessary: Show Notes & Transcript

Post | May 30, 2023

Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

In this episode, we’re talking the importance of brand in the B2B space with Dave Necessary. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!

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Marketing Smarts: Classics: The Importance of Brand in the B2B Space with Dave Necessary

More often than not, brand identity in the B2B space is overlooked and the lack of attention and action is a huge miss. We are NOT suggesting you stop everything to build your brand. Whether you need to take a look at the 3 foundational questions to set your brand up for success and build alongside what you are already doing, or are just getting started, join us and special guest Dave Necessary of Gardner Business Media and gain insight to how you can improve your brand presence in the B2B space. This episode covers everything from brand-building to the dynamic of B2B. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How important is brand in the B2B space?
  • Do you need to start over if you didn’t start with brand?
  • What’s an example of brand-building working in the B2B space?
  • How do you sell the idea of “brand” in your organization when it is an unpopular topic?
  • Does brand build credibility?
  • How do you differentiate your brand?
  • What does the sales process have to do with branding?
  • Can you build long-term relationships through branding?

And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at:

Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:

Show Notes

What is Marketing Smarts?

From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?

Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer. 


Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Anne Candido 0:02
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvier marketing leader, no matter your level. In each episode, we will dive into a relevant topic or challenge that marketing leaders are currently facing. We will also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. And if you miss anything, don’t worry, we put worksheets on our website that summarize the key points. Now let’s get to it. Welcome to Marketing Smarts! I’m Anne Candido,

April Martini 0:32
and I am April Martini. And as we look back on the library of episodes we’ve created to date we felt compelled to highlight the ones that continue to have the highest listeners and also arises recurring topics of interest across all of our clients. And we figured what better time to take a bit of a hiatus in production than the summertime.

Anne Candido 0:49
And today we want to feature another oldie but goodie, that reinforces a question we get a lot, which is how important is brand really in the b2b space? You can probably guess our answer, which is very people relationships are key and b2b and what helps people know you are the right choice for them. Your brand, your brand becomes a statement for how you’re going to make your clients customers stakeholders life better. And anyone in the b2b business knows that this is the foundation of solid long term relationships. So enjoy this episode the importance of brand in the b2b space with Dave Necessary, Director of Marketing and Events at Gardner Business Media.

April Martini 1:29
Dave, would you like to introduce yourself? Please?

Dave Necessary 1:31
Would love to thank you, Anne and April for having me. As you guys know, I’ve been a longtime listener, starting with a great episode you did on brand differentiation in a crowded space with with local craft brewery Rhinegeist. So, shameless podcast episode plug in, and shameless local beer plug just to get us moving here. But seriously, I’m really excited to talk with you guys. I can’t ignore how present. This topic is both occupationally but also geographically. Gardner Business Media. You know, my employer is headquartered here in Cincinnati, Ohio, which many people regard as a birthplace of branding and brand marketing. In addition, though, you know, more than 100 years ago, Cincinnati was also largely considered the machine tool manufacturing capital of the world, which is the industry that we were founded in as a b2b media and marketing agency. And it’s still the largest industry we serve. So, so talking about the imperative of but also the disconnect between branding and b2b through the lens of manufacturing, sitting in a city which has such rich ties to both is so particularly appropriate. So it’s a great topic both again, occupationally and geographically but you know, three quick things about me necessary is indeed and in fact, my last name. People asked me it all the time as if I was given a choice. I’ve been working in business, business, media, and marketing for nearly 20 years, almost all of which with Gardner Business Media. We’re an international media and marketing agency. We’re just six years shy of celebrating our 100th year in business 1928. I know. And in my current role right now is my background is in, in brand marketing, product marketing and event marketing, but my current role is in developing product and business across our enterprise. So opportunities in content marketing, customer research, demand and lead generation. And yes, brand development and brand marketing. So I just the topic I’m really passionate about both on the branding and brand development side, but also on the b2b, especially industrial or manufacturing marketing side. So really looking forward to just diving in.

April Martini 3:49
Yeah, and I think you’ll be the perfect round out to someone who is living this every single day because, like I said, even though I ended, I profess this and comes from the consumer side, and I come from the agency side, so I think it’ll be great for you to help contextualize and keep us honest in this episode, for sure. And I will also say I feel your pain in the last name. My last name being Martini. However, mine always Klum comes with a super clever remark. Like why didn’t your parents name you apple? So

Dave Necessary 4:16
you know what, now that there may be an ideal opportunity for us to open a bar together and call it Necessary Martini. Depending on the specific life circumstance, maybe it’s Martini necessary. Yeah. Depending on where you’re at in your day, like So at any rate, last name puns aside. Let’s get into it. Alright, cool. Awesome.

April Martini 4:41
So with that, we’ll get into the importance of brand in the b2b space. So the number one point is brand builds credibility and recognition. And I know a little bit about Gardner Business Media and I know they know the power of brand recognition as one of the leaders in the space Dave did a great job of setting up kind of the landscape that that they’re in right now. he’ll speak more specifically to that, but I’m well aware of and a big fan of their modern machine shop sub brand. And the thing that I admire about this is they’ve spent the time to build the brand so that it has credibility and recognition in the space. And I see it open doors connect companies and offerings in this space to each other and just lead through the sheer power of that brand. So no matter where it shows up, people know who they are, they want to know what they have to say. And this is because brand has been built with intentionality and curated over as you heard nearly 100 years to maintain relevancy, and timeliness with the historic foundation of what brand stands for. And I will do a another plug, follow at Dave’s lead. But we do have an episode called four reasons to start with a brand story. And so those questions that and set up that episode can really help you build your brand story if you feel like you have an outage there. So not going to belabor that point. But that’s there if you need it. And the final point I’ll make before I hand it over to Dave is really around how companies in the b2b space, tend to believe that relationships and reputation open doors, and that’s what really makes a business successful. And I’m not trying to say that that is not part of it. And I do believe that that is a true power when you talk about the beauty space really particularly. But I’m also here to tell you, if you don’t start from the foundation of a brand, and then intentionally build it from the ground up, there’s a few things that can go wrong. There’s more than this, but I’ll outline a few. Number one, a disjointed experience that leaves people scratching their heads about what you stand for. So if you’re not communicating that same brand story over and over again, across audiences, through your employees at conferences, all of that kind of stuff, people get mixed messages and aren’t sure what to do with it. The other one is the industry will make up its own interpretation of you and what you offer, you do not want to let someone else own your story and tell it for you if you haven’t set the foundation of what you want that story to be. And the last thing I will say as an example, as you lose, control the narrative and then the subsequent leadership in this space. So Gartner Business Media wouldn’t be where they are today, if they had made the mistake of not starting with the brand, you want to cultivate your story, you really want to stay in the driver’s seat. And then like I said, Build consistency across all aspects. touchpoints employees experiences everything, so that that brand lives in a way that people recognize and Dave, I know you have a ton, especially based on your intro to say about this.

Dave Necessary 7:28
For sure, um, you know, I think the one of the pieces of it that’s most present is this concept of reputation and relationship being the fundamental driver of marketing success in b2b. And I think a not only is that incomplete, but B that was a notion that I think became incredibly challenged during the period of the pandemic, where it was more and more difficult for businesses who had traditionally, you know, built their brand, or their business or their sales and marketing channels through more reputation based relationship based or in person channels. And I think that we saw a lot of customers come to us and say, Man, we now realize where there’s a void, how can you help? Right, so So I think I think that that’s an interesting element to it. But I think to your point, I think the first big challenge that we always see is, is buy in, right? There’s still this widely held belief that branding is a consumer marketing term. And at Gardner Business Media, you know, we’re in this unique position where we’re both a media company and a marketing agency. And, and we know that either side of that coin, b2b is much more found is founded on a lot more than relationship and reputation. And while those certainly play a factor, I think the primary reason that we spend a lot of time surveying and profiling both individual buyers and buying teams in our industries and the industries we serve, is to really understand how media and marketing, impact purchase processes, and fundamentally how brand plays into that. And that’s something that we spent a lot of time on, you know, over the course of the last maybe 18 to 24 months, but it’s always been a part of how we serve both sides of those of our business is, is trying to really understand where media and marketing impact both the individual buyer and the buying team, and use that to help us guide how we build our own brand, but also how we help customers of ours build brand as well. And I think the one thing that we see is, for two reasons, there’s an absolute imperative to establish fundamental brand principles, and then amplify those across a number of different media and marketing channels that align with where your audience is. In one of those is what we see, when we look at buying teams, you know, we find that purchase processes are in our industry are most likely to include three or more team members, right? Each of those is likely to be influenced by a minimum of three different media or marketing channels over the course of a four or five month BioCycle. So when you consider all those factors and influencers, relationship, and rep and reputation, just aren’t enough to gain the attention of but also to inform and instruct a buying team that’s looking to research and evaluate purchase decisions, especially if they’re new purchase processes or new vendors. So we really make sure that our clients or our end customers are aware of like that larger marketing matrix, and how important it is that brand and channel are part of the way that you think about building your reputation, your awareness. And then I think, on the other side of that, we find that those buying teams, they’re constantly consuming content, but they’re not constantly buying. So we find that that half of purchase processes are triggered by a specific motivation, like a project or a technology need. So if if we or our customers aren’t committed to strong brand development, that’s either kind of reporting what unique problems you solve, or what solutions you offer early in the purchase process, it’s likely that you’re missing out on a big portion of, you know, buyers who indicate that they’re looking for alternative vendors or suppliers that can provide better service or a better solution or better technology or better price. So it’s, it’s the intersection of those two areas where, you know, we feel like it’s, it’s an absolute imperative for both us and our customers, to look at who they are as a brand, what the unique value proposition and principles are, but also to be sure that you’re driving that in ways that reach all of the influencers across your customer prospect base, you know, outside of just that relationship or reputation piece.

Anne Candido 12:14
Yeah. And I think what you said is really telegraphic, especially for an industry that a lot of times doesn’t feel like they probably need it, right? Because it is it is a very much on demand purchase, in a lot of respects, in the manufacturing industry. And it is dictated a lot of times or what it’s conceived to be price and availability, and, and all those sorts of things. And so a lot of times I think, especially in those industries, they kind of like what am I going to brand around my widget, right. But I think what you brought up was a really important point. And your question was like, what is the value proposition I think is right on, because the value is beyond just the widget, I am providing the value, the value is how I am servicing you and providing you that widget, right. And so when you drive consistency across that communication channel, which is fundamentally based on your brand, you drive scale, and it helps your brand rise, right? Because all those pieces start working together in a very harmonious way, in order to elevate the brand in the business, frankly, above all the noise.

Dave Necessary 13:19
Yeah, no, I mean, it’s so so to go back to research, maybe one of the favorite pieces of research that we ever did is, is we asked our customers who again, are largely industrial sales and marketing professionals, how they prioritize the messages that make up their marketing campaigns. Right. And it was based on a question, what do you think matters most to your customer? Right? So at the same time, we conducted a parallel survey of their customers, concepts and consumers right, to see what type of messaging most impacted them. And as you would expect, there was almost a complete inverse in response order, right. So the the industrial sales and marketing professionals were prioritizing messages that were based on things like price and product features, right? Meanwhile, the buyer, their customers, were looking for messages that appeal to service solution value, which are effectively the core criteria that make up your brand, right? So it’s a great it’s a great way to go to, you know, customers and prospects consultative ly and say, You’re, you’re more than just the product you sell and the features of that product and and get inside the head of who’s consuming your messaging, and does it appeal to them? And is it representative of the unique attributes of your brand and business? So yeah, I think you’re you’re right on.

April Martini 14:50
Well, and I think that leads really nicely to the next point, which is successful marketing needs a strong brand to differentiate. And so all the conversation we were just having was around Yes. Some messaging, but the disparity between what those messages are versus what they should be. And I think what the reason that happens is because it’s more of a knee jerk, this is what we want to talk about today type of reaction when you don’t have a strong brand. And you don’t have that point of view, and you’re not leading from that story. And I think it’s further complicated. You know, and I love all the charts in your reports, quite frankly, because I’m a total chart junkie. But I mean, the ones that really stood out to me were the ones where you see how many different channels there are in marketing. And then, like you said, the fact that you’re dealing with multiple different people looking for multiple different things in a very crowded space where they’re being hit with messages all the time. And like you said, they’re not necessarily looking to buy anything. But you have to break through all of that noise in order to get someone to choose you and want to further that conversation with you. And I think the one thing that you can see clearly when in any space, but definitely in b2b is when it’s not starting from a place of this is who I am, how I am different, why you want me that brand perspective, it ends up being lots and lots of category speak and me to strategies that take place. And then as you just referenced, the industry is talking to themselves, instead of talking to the consumer, they’re looking to attract. And so then there is no use to dollars being spent, and all that investment in time and energy and all of those types of things. And so I think it is a really great point. The other thing that I want to put a point on and then Dave, I’ll let you talk some more about this. But the misnomer is that it makes it harder. If you put a stake in the ground of your brand, and you do all that foundational work, when really if you have that in place, when you’re in these different situations, it makes it that much easier to provide the right message to your customer, where they are with what they’re looking for, even if they’re not buying right now.

Dave Necessary 17:01
Oh, absolutely. You know, it’s it’s to carry through that point of both brand differentiation. And, and also, you know, campaign, display and marketing messaging. Another thing that we do a lot of is, is actual research around and reviews of brand advertising campaign. So we have members of our content consuming audience review and evaluate actual marketing campaigns. And it’s fascinating because the two pieces of positive feedback that always come back from campaigns that are reviewed favorably by our audience, have phrases in them, like this ad appeals to engineers, this ad speaks to me, there is problem solving solutions and benefits listed right. And then the two pieces of feedback that always come back for campaigns that are reviewed negatively, are I don’t understand what’s unique about this company, what are they selling? Right? And, and I think that going through the process of looking at that, you know, it highlights incredibly clearly how powerful it is to do that work to not just identify and build what your brand is, but to make sure that that carries through to your point, all those different touchpoints and channels that your brand may be present. You know, we find that that 90% of our audience uses a minimum of four pieces of media marketing as they conduct a piece of research, right. So when you think about the multiplier effect of that, it’s a lot of places for you to make sure that you’re mindful of the way that you’re communicating your brand, your value proposition and your unique drift differentiation across the different places that that you’re sharing or communicating messaging.

Anne Candido 19:05
Yeah, I think that’s super, super critically important too. Because, you know, the one thing that’s totally different with b2b Marketing is that it tends to have a longer funnel, right, because of the fact that you might only be purchasing something once or in the case context of like April and I, you probably only going to have like one marketing agency at a time, right? So the the timeframe for which it comes up again, that I need to go find another agency or a nother manufacturer, or however, that that timeframe comes up for them. You already have to have stuff in the system in order for them to be able to find you, which is what I kind of hear you saying, Dave, you can correct me if I’m wrong, but in that and that’s a little bit of a difference in marketing for you to do this type of industry in this type of the b2b industries like you already have to have the stuff in the system so people can find you, because it’s not like oh, I’m driving down the road, I see a billboard. It’s like, oh, yeah, I do deed like a screen today, you know, and like, it’s like, no, you’re going to go find it when you actually need it. And so being in the funnel, and having that funnel, actually working to your benefit, in order to build that reputation, we talked about the thought leadership that you need. And just having that body of work that provides us social proofs. I mean, it’s so critically important for b2b. So your marketing campaigns may look a little different than traditional consumer marketing campaign, but it doesn’t mean that it’s any less effective.

Dave Necessary 20:33
Yeah, I mean, that’s one of the big takeaways of any evaluation, or research that we do is, you know, these companies are all active actively advertising, which is great. The difference is, or what stands out is the ones that are doing so in a way that is ongoing, consistent and appealing to the interests or the needs of, you know, either their current or, or in some cases, prospective customer.

April Martini 21:01
Yeah, and, you know, I think that gets us to Alright, all this foundation needs to be built all of that. And our third point here is that the sales process starts with a search for brand. And so yes, all of this stuff absolutely needs to live in the ecosystem and be out there and be hitting people, even if they’re not entering into the sales funnel. But I thought one of the really compelling points that were that was made and your presentations and your different things that you sent over to us was the fact that quite literally search for the specific brand name in the manufacturing space is the way that people enter into or one of the handful of ways into the sales process. And so this is something I think companies are remiss on or don’t necessarily focus on, or take for granted, quite frankly, which is that because of the digital space, we are in being able to recall your name, and then type it into search gives you such a tremendous leg up. Because if you’re not able to do that, and you don’t have that brand recall and know you want to seek them out, then search becomes much more general terms, and then you’re competing with everybody else that’s out there. And also people that might be paying a lot more money to show up first, and all of those different things. And so if you can get people to that level of recognition by building the right brand foundation, then they’re able to find you and immediately opt out of everything else and opt in to you, whether that’s your website, or an ad or whatever, you know, whatever comes up that’s related to you. And then from there, it’s being able to pay that off, right. So whatever comes out of it on the website, etc, that you have the right messaging, they continue the journey, et cetera, et cetera. But I think that because it is a place where people know the leaders know the names, they’re doing their brand, right? That’s something that I think gets missed and undervalued. When it comes to well, that doesn’t matter. My brand doesn’t matter, because I can just put ads out there and someone will see those.

Dave Necessary 23:06
Right. It’s It’s corny, it’s a corny term, but but it’s one that that that we’ve used in the past is this idea of, you know, search is great, and research is great, but there’s a need to do what we some times referred to as pre search, right, which is what you do before your investment in SEO and SEM. And in other words, it’s, it’s making that investment in search really worthwhile. By investing in brand building and brand awareness. Search is one of one of my favorite things to talk about. And like any industry, it’s one where we invest in in search both SEO and SEM, and our customers do too, and we encourage them to, but we also do a lot of research to understand how our audience engages with search because it has become, you know, such an obvious channel for us to do anything and you know, across the industrial space, it’s the second most access channel only behind a vendor or a suppliers website, right? And that should come as no surprise, but what what does surprise people is what an impact brand or recognition and reputation has on the impact of search and and so you brought up one of those topical pieces of research. There’s really two things that we asked about that I think are really interesting. First, we asked what types of terms do you use? And second, then we asked what types of returns are you most likely to select in concert with that, you know, what impacts the term that you select? So you brought up company name, our audience indicates the company name is the most likely search term they’ll use so if you’re not already known at the outset, you’re already behind, right which is problematic. And and that’s something that we’ve seen In increase over the years that we survey our audiences, it’s become more and more likely for companies to do company name searches. But that only really impacts a portion of search volume, which leads to what types of returns, our audience is most likely to select. And, and this may be a little bit more unique to the industrial community. But, you know, we find that by almost a four to one margin, our industry is more likely to select a non advertised organic return than an advertisement, right, which I think is really fascinating. But it leads to the very last topic that we searched for, which is we asked, you know, what type of return are you most likely to select, and they say, 90% of the time, we’re most likely to select a search term from a company whose name that we know, right. So if you think of the book ending of name recognition, it, it incredibly impacts the front end search term, but it also impacts the the term that gets selected. So you know, that investment in SEO, and SEM may be very valuable. But at least in our community, man, if they don’t know who you are going in, or they don’t at least recognize who you are, when they’re reviewing, it puts you at an incredible disadvantage. And, you know, we try to educate companies that the way to build your brand, is to not just establish who you are, but then to make sure that you’re putting your message, and your name and your brand in the right places at the right time, not just over investing in one particular channel or the other. So just a couple of different ways that we look at search, but more importantly, how brand influences the impact of search, particularly in the industrial manufacturing space.

Anne Candido 26:57
Yeah. Which is why it’s so important that you have those brand elements clearly defined, especially like your brand, character, your values, your mission, your all those things that are going to be very, very important that in words that you want people to use in order to describe who you are. Because I think what we’ve seen a lot with is that, and this is why I love the fact that we’re having this conversation about this industry is that manufacturers to some extent, kind of cheeping out on some of the fundamental brand elements like below logo, and then the colors, and then the all the other elements that go around with it, the tone of voice, and then they kind of put up a website because they feel like it’s a necessity of having to be able to travel through, but then their website doesn’t reflect and clearly call out and use those in turn important terms and all of those brand elements. So again, it’s like kind of going back to that consistency piece. But it’s also important to make sure that it’s there. So it can be searchable things also like generating content, right? Being able to do blogs and do white papers, if that’s your thing, or whatever it is in order to put content in there that when people go searching for you, or searching for those those terms that those things crosslink and it pulls you up to the top, which also helps add to the point you just made with the organic searching. Where that seems to be especially in this industry a lot more reputable.

Dave Necessary 28:20
Yeah, I always tell people always ask what surprises you the most? Or what’s the most surprising thing that you found in in, you know, researching search in particular. And one was that in this speaks to, again, I think this speaks to a technical or an engineering based community, who was really sated by the idea of finding the perfect return. But 82% of our respondents to a particular piece of research said that they’ll on average, search two to three pages of search returns when conducting a web search. And I try to not put myself in the shoes of the people who are responding to our research. I haven’t been on the second page of a Google search in a decade. Yeah, if no app same blew me away. I’ll change the search term before I’ll get to page 2. But, but but no, it is it is interesting, but I also you know, I don’t think it’s it’s wholly unique to technical or manufacturing based marketing. But I think very much within the business to business space. You know, we talk a lot about social networking. I find the b2b community to be social networks, social networkers less and solutions networkers more were they they’re quick to identify this network of places that they go to look for solutions, right? Industry sites, specific vendors, maybe some blogs or some consultancy type resources. And and I think that that should factor into the way anyone in the b2b space thinks about their brand is how do we fit into the mind of an industrial buyer who’s looking for a Solutions Network they’re looking for, how do I fit into solving problems, that’s the type of buyer that I want to reach is trying to solve. And that’s very much, you know, search is very much in how you return in search is very much a piece of that.

April Martini 30:20
Well, and I love that part of things. Because I think that by even making that nuance of, you know, their solution, networking, right, and some of the other terms you’ve used, it’s because you’ve taken the time to really understand what are those nuances? And then what do they mean, as far as the customer we’re trying to target? And so I think sometimes people do research and they’re not really sure what to do with it, right? Like that whole idea of the two to three page, you know, look, could be something that’s left out, but because you’re trying to say, okay, like you said, you’re putting yourself in the consumer shoes, well, what does that actually mean? Well, it ties to this bigger picture idea that our brand needs to have all this foundation and meaningfulness and all of that, because they’re going to do their due diligence. But we need to be able to stand out when they’re going to that level of research in a way that they pick us in that two to three page search or learn more, or go to the next click or whatever it looks like.

Anne Candido 31:15
Yeah, and it’s the customer journey, right? So it’s just, I mean, we talked about the consumer journey all the time, there’s a customer journey. And I would venture to guess that whoever’s looking at page two or three is probably an IT engineer refuses to admit that they put in the wrong search terms. And engineer by background, and I would be like, oh, yeah, of course, about Space Jam, like I didn’t get it wrong, is wrong.

Dave Necessary 31:37
You know, but I’ll tell you what the both of you hit on something that I think is really interesting as it relates to this whole topic, which is, regardless of how present you are, man, you better be able to deliver on whatever promise that you make. And I think both of you brought up both both customer journey and, you know, supplier vendor website, and that’s another place where I see a lot of disconnect in the way that industrial marketers, you know, kind of curate, and then present their brand is not being mindful enough of what the user experience is for that that individual visitor who’s finding that website for the first time. And and I think that that’s a big piece of this, you know, I find a lot of times that, you know, from a brand perspective, does does your website deliver on the promises your branded marketing makes? And a lot of times, what we find is, people are looking for things that are really simple, right? And a lot of times we think of our websites as these rich layered, you know, repositories of information. And really what the visitor is looking for is, who do I talk to? If I submit a request? Who’s going to help me? And what are you going to do with my information? Right? Or? Or how can I really quickly get access to the thing that I’m looking for? And I think that that’s a that’s a piece of it, that should be considered as well is not only how are you building and curating the components of your brand? But how are they available and accessible to somebody when they do find you? And how clearly are you delivering on that promise of being able to help both on demand and then quickly after someone needs you?

April Martini 33:26
Yeah, no, I think that’s a great point, it’s back to that journey where it doesn’t just stop once you’re, once you’ve hooked them, right? It has to go well beyond that, which leads really nicely to our point number four, which is the brand helps you build long term relationships that continue to pay dividends. And we said at the very beginning, right, that the starting point can’t be reputation and relationships. So I don’t want to confuse that here. But what you’re looking for if you’ve done all the proper work and built the proper brand, foundation, and all of that those relationships mature and grow, as long as you continue to invest in the right way to give your customers what they’re looking for from you. And I think that the sales funnel the process to getting new clients, that’s all one piece. But on the other side, it’s, I think, in a lot of cases trickier, especially when you’re someone like Gartner Business Media, and you’re a leader in the space, to be able to maintain that and stay relevant and have the right messages for the audiences and make sure that they can get the information they need from you, but also consistently, that same brand message so even if you’re not face to face, like you said, the industry suffered, even if you can’t do those types of things, wherever they’re heading to find information about you. They’re able to have the same feeling and know that you are delivering on that promise that you referenced Dave and I think the other thing that is really good is that this leads to positive word of mouth, which is where I think the relation piece also plays it’s okay so I’ve been a client or a partner or whatever. We’re with Gardner Business Media for 10 years now, and I’m one of their biggest advocates. I’m an ambassador, I’m out there talking on their behalf. And I’m saying the right things because I know what their brand represents. And what I should be saying. And that word of mouth becomes gold, because then it’s not just them coming to you to find the information. It’s them going to other people who recommend you, which makes you more credible, I would argue in a lot of instances.

Dave Necessary 35:24
Yeah, I think, you know, we talked at the outset that we’ve been at this for a long time, you know, starting back to 1928, I certainly wasn’t around them. And our business is certainly very different. But But I can’t speak to the way that we look at this. And retention in relationship is the foundation of what we do. Because, you know, we have two core customers we have, we have the the people who consume our content. They’re the ones who come to our website, and they read our magazine, and they register for our webinars, and they come to our trade shows, and conferences, and so on and so forth. And then we have our customers, the people who invest in advertising and sponsorships, and, you know, different types of on demand programs and products and services. And so, you know, we talk a lot about what what’s the unique value of the way that we serve those two communities, and making sure that that’s a way that we continue to not just deliver value, but also kind of communicate brand to them. And as an example of that, you know, in the case of the editorial or the content side of our business, authenticity is a core brand principle for us, because it’s also very important to our audience. And we’re incredibly sensitive to what their needs are there. They they want useful applications based content, they want data privacy and respect, they want us to deliver information in the ways that they want to receive it. So that’s what our brand is built on those characteristics, right? Conversely, from from a media and marketing perspective, or how we service our customers, it’s very much founded on domain expertise, right. So any media marketing agency can say they help build brand or drive demand or generate leads, you know, we communicate consistently and then deliver on that communication that our differentiation is that we have domain expertise that empowers us to reach the hard to reach or create the contextual environments that provide additional value or deliver insights to the market and the customer. And so so we see that SIP separation, how those two different parts of our business, forward facing or outward facing reach customers, and make sure that those are parts of kind of our guiding principles how for how we serve both. And then lastly, you know, as a sales organization, it is relationship and service, they’re at the core of our brand. And, and that’s in person events, and value added services and things like that. So I think it’s important to point out that different units of your business or different groups of customers may have a different affinity or attachment to a core value of your brand. And it’s okay to be aware of that and make sure that that’s a, you know, part of your brand awareness or recognition strategy.

Anne Candido 38:30
Yeah, and either way in either position, or lens, or what you’re looking at it, the relationship and service feels like it’s the way that you transcend the brand. Right, it’s the way you’re communicating in the brand. So to the point that we’re making before, and I think this is a nice way to kind of round this out when we’re talking about legacy means you don’t have an almost 100 year company, without having a foundation for which to evangelize a company for which to consistently talk about the company. That doesn’t mean like you said, it’s the same as it was in 1928. It has evolved, but the core of what the brand stands for, and the way that the brand has been able to be expressed in that way, has been very, very consistent. So it knows like, yes, definitely, you have to switch the lens and switch where the cameras focus depending on who you’re talking to, that’s being mindful of making sure that you are delivering the right message at the right time to the right person in the way that they’re going to be able to receive it. But it all comes foundationally connected back to your brand. And I think that’s what some people miss is that they look at it as a tactic to go in like, oh, I need to go talk to this person. So I’m gonna say that I’m gonna go talk to this person. And so I’m gonna say that and it’s more of an exercise of saying what they want to hear versus like, Okay, what do we want this brand to be? And what are we going to evangelize about this, this this company that’s going to be of impact to our consumer, to our customer or to our client, however, that lenses is being reflected, and then as well as being able then to do it? In a way that continues to generate more opportunity. So the things that you described as value, create more opportunity over and over. It’s not like I’m selling you this one thing, and now we’re done. Or I’m selling this other thing. And now we’re done. It’s like there’s continues to be opportunity with the things that you are saying in the way that you’re evangelizing the brand that creates that long term, ongoing need for you, that can continue to keep you top of mind too. So I think it’s a very smart, very strategic way. But to make the point, it’s like, it’s always in the foundation of the brand. And the brand is how you create legacy. That’s how you are able to lend out your different customers or clients, consumers, in a way to still play is connected to a foundational purpose of which is the brand,

April Martini 40:44
for sure. All right, so just to recap the importance of brand in the b2b space, brand builds credibility and recognition. Yes, even in the b2b space, in fact, it can be your most powerful tool to success. Number two, successful marketing needs a strong brand to differentiate, it will make your story stronger, more consistent, and leave you in the driver’s seat. Number three, the sales process starts with a search for brand, clients have to be able to find you and then find what they’re looking for from you easily. And finally, brand helps you build long term relationships that continue to pay dividends, the journey doesn’t stop when you make a sale brand becomes even more important as the relationship grows and matures. And our next segment is in the trenches where we give real world examples specific to industries and situations but with broad application for anyone to digest and put into action. And today, we’re obviously talking a lot about manufacturing, in the trenches, number one brand is great and all but we didn’t start there do we need to start over. And I will say we would never, ever suggest stopping everything you’re doing to build a brand. And I think this is one of the reasons that companies in the b2b space here brand and get nervous. What we are saying here is, if you have a business and you haven’t done this, there’s no reason you can’t start it alongside what you’re already doing. And you can actually use the marketing and the clients, you have to help assess what’s right for you and potentially build that authentic brand much more quickly, quickly with the legacy and the years of what you’ve built so far. With that said, the caveat is you do have to start from the foundation of a brand story, I will plug that episode again that we have. But then on the other side, you can test and learn and try things out without having to come to that screeching halt, which like I said, I think is a really big concern. We talk all the time on the show about testing and learning. And this can be a great way to engage your existing community. So a lot of what we’ve been talking about today, and we haven’t hit it directly, but it is a dialogue. Right. It’s a back and forth. Gardner Business Media puts out these studies, they want to hear from their clients, they want to hear from the customers. They want to know what people are doing, how they’re doing it, why they’re doing it, what it means for them, what messages they want, all of those types of things. So if you already have an engaged community, kudos to you. And that can help you be more intentional about your brand through the lens of your marketing, and then get to all the other things we talked about today. More sales, stronger relationships, bigger communities, stronger outreach, bigger funnels, all of those types of things. Brand is definitely a journey. But again, it should always consist of the process of testing and learning. And we have always said that a brand is a living, breathing thing. So it should grow, it should mature, it should evolve. If you haven’t intentionally done it so far, take the things that are best about you the things that people most inconsistently feed back to you what you want to stand for, and start today to build that brand foundation. Dave, you want to help us out with some thoughts about this one?

Dave Necessary 43:49
Yeah, no, I think that this is an interesting topic, the concept of do I need to start over? Or how do I maybe more appropriately and we’re certainly not alone in suggesting this, but we do it all the time. How do we as marketers take inventory of an audit, our existing brand and marketing, right? So so regardless of you know, where someone is, in their brand journey, businesses are in business for a reason, right? And they’re having success and they’re providing unique value somewhere, I think, looking at what those successes are and what those unique values are and assuring they’re reflective in you know, any and all brand messaging is the place to start right. But thinking of you know, real life, kind of or even current life examples of this, you know, in the, in the manufacturing industry, 3d printing, or as we call it, additive manufacturing, is a technology that is is very much kind of taking our industry by storm. And it’s interesting in a couple of different In regards. One is, you know, 3d printing and additive manufacturing gets actually a lot of mainstream media coverage. And it gets a lot of kind of broad based coverage. But but it’s also a technology where there’s a lot of entrants into the market, that feel a lot more like VC startup, kind of Silicon Valley vibe type companies, right, which means a lot more kind of metric based marketing and lead gen and episodic marketing. And that’s a really long way of getting to, you can see, as those brands are going to market, they are becoming very cognizant of the fact that they need to, in addition to the foundational that they put into place, realize that they’re entering a market that operates a little bit differently. And they start to communicate elements of their brand and reach portions of that industry a little bit differently. And so, you know, technology forcing a kind of reconsideration or pivot of brand and marketing strategy is kind of very much in the spirit of what you’re talking about here. And it’s also impacting the more traditional side of our industry, to where they’ve done something the same way for so long, that, you know, kind of this disruptive moment, and technology is also forcing them to evolve within the foundation of the brand that has made them successful in a way that appeals to a new market or a new technology.

Anne Candido 46:35
Yeah, and I think, just to build on both of what you said, Dave, and what April said is that I sometimes I think that one reason brand gets stopped at the gate is because it feels like it’s a full external exercise. Yes, like, if we’re gonna do Brando, then we’re putting everything up on the whiteboard to be totally destroyed, you know, again, from like, the like, the logo, the colors and everything, like, and the idea of having to rebrand feels like it is like a huge undertaking, and it’s overwhelming, and it’s very costly. But to the point that you were you’re making is that sometimes branding, it’s very, it could start very internally focused. It’s just like driving some alignment with regards to the way that we’re going to position ourselves the way that we’re going to talk about ourselves, the way that the industry is going to receive us. And it starts with maybe message tracks, it starts with, you know, a few different advertising mechanisms and starts playing with different types of articulation of our purpose, and our values and the products that we offer. Like all of those things that start kind of feeling like they’re gonna have some traction, then starts to be expanded into like, Okay, now we have this. So now what are we gonna do with this to visually show up in a way that’s consistent with now how we’re verbally talking about it? So, but that starts like an internal process. So that isn’t as scary as they can like, oh, I have to change everything about my whole entire company. So I liked that you said that in that way, because it was a different way of really thinking about, Okay, this is a cerebral exercise, it’s a philosophy of work more than it is like, I’m gonna go do these things.

April Martini 48:19
Yeah, and I think that that is a really clear example to talk about in the b2b space. I mean, I was, I feel like I’ve had three or four different conversations with various b2b prospects recently. And the first thing they always say to me is, we’ve been nervous to rebrand because we don’t want to change our logo or colors, right? And so I’m like, I get that, you know, I mean, just the other day, it was, you know, we’ve spent 200 grand on this booth. And we have, you know, buildings that have the logo. And speaking of name, recall, that logo goes right along with it. And so, exactly, I think the points that both of you made is that we’re not saying you have to change all the things a lot of times it’s what else can we build around it? Or what else can we intentionally flesh out? To add to that exposure? You need some Yeah, make it mean something more, or help consumers or customers or clients make those connections a lot faster by having support around those just couple of elements in a full toolkit, so that we can even if we’re not saying we changed our brand, we can be more intentional about it. Yeah.

Dave Necessary 49:24
Yeah, it’s interesting. I just had a conversation with one of our editors the other day, and I found this deck from I don’t know, probably 10 years ago, where we were proposing a couple of different marketing campaigns to an association. And we probably had 20 of our different brands that were represented in this deck from 10 years ago, and none of it looks even remotely the same now as it did then. Right. Right, which which for a lot of companies would be the most frightening thing in the world. But, but but but for us, we’ve gone through numerous As brand refreshes brand, kind of redesigns, or rebrands, or brand introductions, right. And and it’s always done under the lens of adding additional value or becoming more relevant in a way that appeals to our audience. But that is not necessarily the path that our customers take in terms of rethinking, you know, brand design, brand presentation, and then brand refresh.

April Martini 50:31
Yeah, no, I think that’s a totally great point. And I do I mean, I think, the comment and we all laughed, but the fact that it doesn’t look the same, I mean, if you’re, we always talk in terms of revolution and evolution, right. And so, no, it doesn’t look the same. But probably, if you had ducks from all those years, you could see how it changed to where it is now. And it was probably a lot less scary. And then comparing at that point, which is what we would call an evolution, you know, you tweak things here, you surround it with more things there, it doesn’t look totally different. It’s not like you’re going from red to blue as a color or anything like that. It’s just making sure that you know, the elements that are well known stay, and then getting up to the times or, like I said, building a toolkit around it and these different things that you can pull from that add consistency, not make the system disparate, or break something with your intended customer. All right, number two in the trenches, can you give an example of one This worked from your experience. And I will go first on this without mentioning the customer directly. But I have said, and I said in the intro that in my b2b experience on the agency side, there were a lot of instances where it took a very long time for the company to even hear the word brand. And so with this particular customer, they were in a space where it was highly, highly competitive, you had big brands that had been around for a really long time. And they were spending in some cases, billions of dollars and putting multiple campaigns out at the same time. And that was a really scary thing for this particular client. And you know, we talked about relationships and reputation and all those things. And they we had a really good handle on that. And they thought that that was what brand meant, until we took a big step back. And we talked about okay, that’s fine. But if you CEO can’t be in these conversations, are you head of marketing aren’t the one spearheading things? It starts to break apart. And the communications you have out there today are not giving that same message, or you don’t even have those types of executions and communications. At that point. They weren’t doing any advertising period, the end. And so we worked probably for a solid year to get them comfortable with the term brand. And then from there, it had to be again, how can we intentionally build the proper brand presence for you in the context of who you are, despite the fact that you’re never going to spend billions and billions of dollars. And so once we got to that area, and we were able to talk about you can take small steps, you don’t have to do it all at once. You don’t have to chain this change a sign on the building? No, we’re not going to change the logo, but we’re going to update it. And all of the things we just talked about with regards to the previous question, we were able to get them to get recognition, quite frankly, for a lot more authentic brand, that a lot of even those big players that were out there doing these big loud campaigns, because they had reputation. They had relationships, and they had built a business, albeit absent of that filter of brand. But we were able to bring that through in an authentic way when they went out with their campaign, it got a lot more of meaningful response. And you know, we’ve been talking about studies today, we ran an ad study. And for people that word target consumers or existing clients, they were able to articulate back to us what the brand now represented. Instead of just Well, I pay a premium for this, and therefore I expect it to be good. So all of that was, you know, a case study for me that. I mean, I won’t say it wasn’t frustrating at times, but got to a very, very good place in a meaningful brand. Where we didn’t stop, like we said today. We weren’t trying to be just like the metoo strategies of the big guys. And we were able to find our way without disrupting their business and give them something that really meant something to their specific target.

Dave Necessary 54:32
Yeah, no, I think that’s a great example. I mean, we have a customer that came to us years ago in kind of a similar vein, and they said, you know, we have a technology that we think is really valuable. And we have a company name, right. We have kind of a we have a foundation that we feel good about how they looked at us and as a consultant said, how do we build our brand in this particular space? And so we kind of did an audit of what was interesting Think to them, and what was unique about them, and they shared the same with us. And we found really quickly that, you know, what, what was different about them was they’re willing to willingness to invest and share their knowledge and their expertise. Specifically, they had really knowledgeable service and applications professionals, right. So their core brand value and their core brand marketing strategy completely evolved out of investing in really large scale branded content marketing programs, that focused on those core solutions, technologies. And every piece that they did, they were very consistent in how their mark appeared, that it included a specific face of a brand expert who, regardless of channel someone could interact with, and it had a clear deliverable or a call to action for the visitor. And that carried through across their website through our channels. So a tremendous amount of what their strategy was, was co branding, or CO opting industry, media brands to build trust and awareness. And then that also led to the way that they presented at the event. And they they grew remarkably over that time. Now, they were unafraid to invest. But they were also very concentrated and saying our brand is our face, our brand, our expertise, online, in person and in print and and while they’ve grown into other segments and their businesses have all been incredibly, they’ve really held true to those existing kind of those foundational brand elements, it was a great success story for them and for us.

Anne Candido 56:39
Yeah, that’s a really good example, too. And I’ll drop on one that was early in my consulting career. Because I think what it continues to be a big distinction, it’s a really hard one for b2b SMA, is the difference, or the cooperation of brand and business, right? Because a lot of times in b2b, they see it as business I am, I’m you know, this is about my business. This is about making money about your business. And yes, it’s always about making money for your business. But again, you know, I said the point before, and I’ll say it again, like branding is a philosophy in order to grow your business, right. And so a lot of times that I’ve struggled is trying to get people to see that. And as a consultant, who was actually consulting, to in a b2b fashion to somebody who was selling a product that became the kind of the quintessential conversation we just kept having. And he actually said to me, he goes, and I feel like I’m building my brand, but I don’t feel like I’m building my business. And I’m like, well, then there’s something not quite work. Yes, right. Right. So something is in the system that we don’t quite understand. And that is not allowing the brand to transcend to the business. And what we found out was that they had actually flooded the industry that they were selling in with product that was sitting there, that was still it there to the retailers, or the places that was going to be sold, which became a problem, because the branding and the marketing we had set up was to introduce the product to the market, little as I know, it was sitting there already and wasn’t turning, which is a totally different strategy and philosophy. So I, I bring that up, because I think a lot of times, that happens on the back end. And so people are like, well see, branding doesn’t work. What What was the point of going through all that I should have just like sold directly, I should have just put a point of sale something up and just sold this directly. And yes, that could definitely be part of the tactic. But without intent, it’s still kind of flying blind. And that’s what I just kept trying to tell them. I’m like, but what is your strategy with regard to that? What do you say? How do you say it who you even talking to? So I think there’s two points I want to make here. What is it’s very important to understand, again, the customer journey, in order to understand how it all the pieces are going to fit together from one to the next to the next to the get there and understanding all along the chain or the funnel, where the air has challenges where there’s inconsistencies, where do you have a lack of control? All these things that could actually influence the way that you’re branding to the point that we’re making below? Where do you put that land? Or where do you put that camera in order to be able to facilitate your business, because the branding, again, is a foundation for which you make those decisions, but you can’t make informed decisions about your branding, if you’re not really acknowledging everything that’s going on in the system that can either enhance or inhibit your ability to be able to sell.

April Martini 59:25
Alright, so and I think our final in the trenches question here, I think and put a little bit of a bow on this to say to all the great points, I think that were made throughout this episode. Number three is how do I sell the idea of brand in my organization when it’s an unpopular topic. And so and just talked really overtly about the overlap or the way that business and brand are at tension with each other and how to think about how to make them work together versus look at them as separate functions, separate things that you need to do and so, we’ve talked a lot about and you know, the examples of, okay, there This is an example when it went well, or these are the challenges that were faced or this is why brand isn’t popular. But with this one, I think I can outline and I would love to hear the you know, feedback Dave and and that you have, how to go about doing this. And so the first thing I will say, which I’m typically a big fan on is to go in guns blazing and, and just tackle tackle a problem right off the top right. But I think we’ve talked about legacy on this episode. And, you know, a lot of older organizations, and I think the thing that I’ve heard most consistently from those types of organizations is, we’ve succeeded in spite of brand, we don’t need brand, we’re, you know, that’s not something that we have to have. And so the way that I think you can tackle this is, is one to start small. So if you think about changing the organization overnight, that’s never gonna happen. I mean, Gardner Business Media, we’re talking about the 100 year anniversary, and a super successful company and leader in their space that continues to very intentionally build and cultivate not only the business, but also the relationships with the clients and customers, right? We also talked about evolution versus revolution, and how that’s very important consistently in this space where you make pragmatic change at intervals that make sense. And so the first thing I would say here is, again, start small and put a little test out there, right? Do you have a project that you could show how brand could elevate it, right? If the perception is that you don’t need brand, and you can show that, yeah, we were successful on the business front here. But when I added this lens of brand, or I communicated at that more emotional level, or I put together a cohesive message that was more than we sell this at this price, etc. Here’s what happened. That case, then as number two is something that you should build as your success story and start circulating that around your organization. And finding advocates that will hopefully understand but at least are willing to listen about brand and, and invest the time and really look at it through that filter and are willing to be educated if not on why that was successful. And if you can tie a monetary return to it, I think in the b2b space is is another piece, right? That example I gave before about my client, they were a $6 billion company before we even had anything to do with marketing and branding. So even though spending, you know, 1% of that, I think we started with this the ask, which is not a best practice. That was hard for them to swallow, because they’re like we’ve grown year over year, this percentage, and we just don’t think that we need it. So if you can show monetary results against your test through your case, that can help to start build strong credibility. And the last piece, I will say is educate without being condescending, hopefully this goes without saying. But for a company that’s been around a long time, the founder may still be involved. There’s a lot of folks that have been invested in many instances in the b2b space for many, many years. And they build their entire career in this organization. They know a lot, they know a lot more than you about a lot of things, even if you also are a legacy player. So take that into consideration. Make sure that you use the proper filter and be as objective as you can about what you’re striving to do and why and how it will help business success and specifically monetary results over time.

Dave Necessary 1:03:27
I think that’s all really well said I wouldn’t necessarily add to it. But other than to say that, in the idea of building a case or making a justification for a deeper or more thoughtful investment in brand is that I do think that there’s an interesting door that’s opening right now for marketers. And I think that’s partly because marketing is already, you know, more difficult than it’s ever been. And they’re continuing to continues to get more difficult. But I think that there is a lot of uncertainty related to how marketing is changing. And I think that’s particularly due to things like data protection and data privacy and activity monitoring, right? Absolutely. Yeah. So I think because of that, I think it’s more important now than ever, for brands to really invest in understanding the ways they need to develop the brand and build awareness. I know our audience in particular, they’re really starting to exhibit a preference for known reputable sources and for brands that they perceive to deliver value and to protect their data and respect their privacy. If that’s not part of your your, your kind of bigger brand narrative, then I think it’s a conversation that you need to start having. And it’s a way to maybe justify having that discussion because I do think there’s a big opportunity for especially industrial marketers to start to integrate more contact trust, reputation, data and privacy, transparency into their brand messaging and cost more interactions.

Anne Candido 1:05:02
Yeah, and the one I’ll build with is the one that I feel like Dave, you articulated very well and aren’t expert at in this industry, which is the research. I mean, the point that you made with regards to what people are saying versus how the customer is receiving, or the messages that they want to receive is a huge telegraphic point that even for somebody who is not into brand would be like, I probably should listen to this. Right, you know, so it does, it does get those moments of like it, just kind of like kind of changing the progression because I sometimes I think our brains, as we’ve mentioned, kind of like go on a path, they go on a path, and they need a point of inflection, or in order to change mindset a little bit. And sometimes those kinds of points, either if it’s through a case study where you’re seeing somebody else do something you’re like, What are they doing, because it is doing something different in our industry, to like, Hey, I have an insight based on research I have that could change the way we think about things. Those provide point of inflection and I think are really important to get people thinking differently, even if they’re not willing to accept its brand, fight, call it whatever you want. But it is it is brand, right. So I think that that what you’ve done and how you’ve sprinkled those through is it’s gotten me to kind of rethink about how I’ve been approaching the, my art experiences with our clients in those industries. So you know that I thought that was very, very insightful, and very well done by you.

Dave Necessary 1:06:28
All thanks.

April Martini 1:06:30
All right. And that leads to our third and final segment where we have a guest, which is Dave Necessary. Yes, that is his last name. And we turn it over to you and allow you to wrap it up. So Dave, feel free to close this out, offer any last thoughts or insights and definitely make sure to let people know where to find you. And personally, I just want to say thank you for joining us on this episode, because to the point and just made, I think it’s been really helpful to contextualize b2b through your industry and all the smart things you guys are doing.

Dave Necessary 1:07:01
Well, well, well, thank you. Let’s get the easy part out of the way. There aren’t many Dave necessaries out there, and I’m easy to find, and I’m most active on LinkedIn. So there’s only one day of necessary a gardener business meeting that you’ll find. That’s certainly welcome. Welcome anyone who’s listening to not just connect with me on LinkedIn, but to visit Gartner Business Media, our corporate websites,, not to be confused with Gardner Webb with two, which is a university we get confused with Gardner Webb the college all the time, Gardner is us, is them. We’ve got a lot of great resources there. And I always appreciate the opportunity to talk to people in this space about you know, who we are and what we do and how we can help. So you know, we’ve covered a ton and, and I’ve enjoyed the heck out of it. So I don’t have a big finish other than to say, I’d really like to thank both am and April for this discussion. Really enjoyed my time and as much as anything really look forward to listening to what comes next on on marketing smarts.

April Martini 1:08:13
Awesome. Thank you so much, Dave. Yeah, sure. Total love fest over here. All right. Just to recap the importance of brand in the b2b space number one brand builds credibility and recognition. Yes, even in b2b. In fact, it can be your most powerful tool to success. Number two, successful marketing needs a strong brand to differentiate it will make your story stronger, more consistent, and leave you in the driver’s seat. Number three, the sales process starts with a search for brand clients have to be able to find you and then what they’re looking for really easily. And finally, brands help you build long term relationships that continue to pay dividends. The journey doesn’t stop once you make a sale. In fact, brand becomes even more important as relationships mature. And with that, we will say go and exercise your Marketing Smarts! Still need help in growing your Marketing Smarts? Contact us through our website: We can help you become a savvier marketer through coaching or training you and your team or doing the work on your behalf. Please also help us grow the podcast by rating and reviewing on your player of choice and sharing with at least one person. Now, go show off your Marketing Smarts!