What B2B Communicators Can Learn from Bruce Lee
This weekend my son and daughter stayed up late with me and we stumbled upon the TV movie, “I Am Bruce Lee.” The three of us were mesmerized by the flow of the show and biography of Lee. It was a great documentary about his life and philosophy and as I watched it there were some great analogies to use for B2B communicators.
Here are a few quotes from Bruce Lee that hopefully make you think a little differently about how you approach your B2B efforts.
“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
What type of goals have you set for yourself and your organization and how often are you reviewing them? Are they about sales and lead generation? Or do you focus mostly on getting content right? Do you view your goals as an end point or as a way to build on your progress? In my opinion, both are correct, but you need to have a goal and work toward what you want to achieve. It’s just as important to define goals for a team as much as it is for a major project. My advice is to make the time to write down what it is you want as a result of your work and share that with the people who need to know.
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
In today’s digital world taking risks can be rewarding or punishing. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take them, but you need to assess them properly. As things move more quickly and B2B content is driven by more people on the move via mobile devices, you should try to focus on making your message more shareable and assess the risks properly. But at the end of the day are you simply creating things to create them or are you focused on building opportunities? For example, does your brand’s Twitter feed create a community or just push out links?
“I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.”
“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.”
It’s great (and easy) to benchmark against so many other brands today. Keep in mind that your efforts — whether digital or not — need to fit within the brand and culture of your own organization. If you decide to copy or emulate another company and what they are doing try to make it fit with what you are trying to do, otherwise you won’t be fooling anyone but yourself. Here’s a look at the most recent B2B benchmark study from MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute.
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
We saw a lot of changes in 2013 in content marketing, metrics and lead generation, so knowing what you want to achieve in 2014 can be difficult to define sometimes and we already know the landscape will change — from the tools you use to the new competitors. As a leader of your team are your efforts flexible too? If you’re not the leader of the team are you building ideas and selling them internally? One major change coming is the CMO CIO Alignment Imperative that Accenture researched. How are you handling that? Exploring big and small ideas will continue to be important. There are lots of tales of brands that remained inflexible and resisted change, so learn from their lessons and try to build change into your regular routine. If you don’t, your competition will.
“Be happy, but never satisfied.~
You should take pride in your work and what you accomplish and be motivated to find new ways to inspire. The B2B landscape can be extremely competitive and the sales cycle very long. With the resources we now have available from blogs, on Twitter, via YouTube and more we can continue to learn and improve on our past performance.
This is my last post for the year and here’s a look back at the most popular posts. Once again, thank you for reading and sharing all of the things you felt were helpful. Have a great Christmas and see you in 2014.