A Passionate & Unapologetic Defense of Brand Marketing for B2B Growth

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A strong case for the growth power of B2B brand marketing.

Over the summer break I caught up on some reading (the best part of six months worth of recommended articles sitting in my email Inbox). One of those articles was sent to me by my good mate Andrew Mellett who runs a fast growing legal automation business called Plexus. Andy has always been a good judge and the articles he sends through always high value – and this one didn’t dent his track record. The article was written by Anthony Kennada, the Chief Marketing Officer at Gainsight, a fast-growth tech company revolutionizing the way organizations manage their customers. Gainsight has been recognized by Forbes as one of the top 100 private cloud companies in the world a couple of years running and know a thing or two about business growth and B2B marketing.

Kennada’s article is a call to action for all B2B marketers. His strong view is that whilst B2C businesses worked-out the value of brand marketing years ago, most B2B businesses are still coming around to it – and missing an important part of the picture.

Kennada writes that the term most often misunderstood and undervalued is… “brand marketing, or corporate marketing, or marketing communications – at least in the B2B sense (B2C figured this out a long time ago). There’s been an unfortunate rumor spread for the past several years that brand marketing is not nearly as strategic as demand generation for startups.

Here’s the usual argument:

  • We’re focused on growth now — we’ll figure out brand later.
  • I can’t prove the ROI of brand marketing.
  • I’ve got an agency / intern / junior content writer on that.

I’m not sure who started this lie, but I have found the opposite to be true about brand marketing and its effect on our growth at Gainsight. The truth is, if you asked anybody affiliated with Gainsight where much of our success has come from, they would rattle off a number of items that would categorically all fall under brand marketing”

Kennada’s assertions are then ordered under headings such as; Brand Marketing is Core to the B2H (Business-to-Human) Era’, ‘Brand Marketing Closes Deals. There’s Your Metric’, and ‘If Your Category Becomes Inevitable, It’s Now All About Brand’.

Kennada rightly concludes; “The day is coming when the traditional B2B startup world will get this — that brand marketing is equally as critical to growth as demand gen. Until then, we’ll let the haters hate, and use the tactics to help fuel our competitive advantage”.

You can read this great article in full here…

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Pic Credit: Unknown, via Anthony Kennada, Gainsight.

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