With these five resources in your pocket, you’ll never lack for B2B inspiration or guidance.
By now it’s probably no secret what some of my favorite sources are for B2B wisdom; they’re the ones I tend to point to as the kickstart or backup for many of my own observations. Here’s why I believe these five sources are so highly relevant to our day-to-day demand gen activities.
1. MarketingSherpa, for the stories.
Sherpa is my go-to resource for case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of various marketing strategies. I also appreciate their Chart of The Week for its convenient at-a-glance delivery of a new marketing gem every Tuesday. (Plus it’s a great example of content atomization: each chart links to and is repurposed from a longer Sherpa piece.)
Sherpa offers a combination of open access content and subscriber exclusives, with a focus on B2B as well as other forms of marketing. Although you can glean a lot from their free articles (which are typically offered with 10-day open access), I think subscribing to Sherpa is very worthwhile for any marketer.
2. Chris Koch’s B2B Marketing Blog on ITSMA, for the savvy and spirit.
Among the growing pool of B2B researchers and bloggers, I find Chris Koch to be one of the most original and inspiring. At times, his posts are even a little provocative; see “Should we stop marketing to the CIO?” and 2011: The year of personal brands” for examples of his willingness to open and explore subjects many B2B marketers would secretly love to debate, but hesitate to stake an online opinion on.
No one beats him for revealing smart truths about substantial B2B tech issues, in particular.
3. SiriusDecisions, for the deep research.
If you were getting an MBA in B2B marketing today, this is who you’d want to write your course material. “Focused on operational intelligence,” the SiriusDecisions analysts put a lot of proof behind their observations and advice. In a way, they’re the opposite of MarketingSherpa: SiriusDecisions gives you a broadly and deeply researched view of B2B, while Sherpa gives you the nutshell view that can sometimes be easier to relate to. I believe both views are essential to get the whole picture of B2B marketing as it changes and grows.
4. BtoB magazine, for the skinny.
My primary news source for B2B happenings. Indispensable for keeping up with the who-what-when-where of B2B.
5. The people around me, for the unexpected.
It’s all too easy to regard anointed experts as the only legitimate sources of inspiration in our business. But to ignore the people around you, and the work they do, would be a costly mistake. Keep your eyes and ears open for inspiration from your creatives, admins, techies, sales force and fellow marketers—your colleagues are the often-overlooked low, hanging fruit of inspiration.