By Eric Schaal
Sometimes, trudging down the well-worn “best practices” road doesn’t drive the growth a B2B organization needs. In fact, you might even see profits shrink as your company continues going by the book and playing it ever so safe.
These periods of stagnation call for a new approach, and it might even involve letting clients go or hiring from other industries to get you out of the rut. It worked for Domino’s, Tough Mudder, and Nike, so it’s likely worth a look for any company.
On the third and final day of LeadsCon Connect to Convert. Oct. 5, you’ll hear from two master marketers who’ve taken the alternate road in a session titled “Using Lateral Thinking to Drive Conversions Throughout the Funnel.”
Wasted Money, Wasted Effort
The session will be led by Tom Shapiro, CEO of Stratabeat, and Gabi Zijderveld, CMO of Affectiva. In recent years, both Shapiro and Zijderveld took a completely new approach to their marketing to find some of the success they’d hoped for.
Shapiro, who wrote a book on the subject of revamping your marketing, will draw on his personal experience as well as lessons from the world’s most successful businesses.
Shapiro tells the story of a previous employer that couldn’t crack 90 employees after nine years in the business. Yet every time there was a large industry conference, he watched the firm spend upward of $50,000 to get a seat at the table.
The problem with some of these events is clear: Everyone has a seat at the table. Most B2B firms merely pay to stay in clients’ consciousness but don’t really benefit from the events.
Shapiro’s solution was simple: Remove all the other seats at the table by having his company put on the show at a much smaller scale. Because of the reduced size (and much lower costs), it was an easy sell for the marketing team.
But for clients, it was a much bigger sell, and Shapiro’s firm got a multimillion-dollar deal out of the first event it staged. When a deal of equal value came out of the second event, it was clear that the days of trying to grab attention in a crowd were over.
So what happened to the company? By the time Shapiro left a few years later, it employed 700 people—eight times its size when it tried out the new marketing approach.
The New Affectiva
Like Shapiro, Affectiva’s Zijderveld has helped steer her company through a major transformation since 2016. Whereas consumer market research was the brand’s primary focus to that point, Affectiva’s shift into an artificial intelligence company first involved a complete overhaul.
In fact, this move to the automotive space and Emotion AI meant a new website, new branding, and new clients. Not long after, as Fortune rounded up the 50 companies at the head of the AI revolution, Affectiva was right there with the rest of the industry leaders.
It might not take all-new branding or a complete reversal of your marketing strategy to drive growth, but every B2B organization can benefit from lateral—even radical—thinking. Join Shapiro and Zijderveld at LeadsCon Connect to Convert for ideas on how your company can start moving the needle.