Building Beyond Grand Stories

Good things happen when you get two smart people talking, and that’s exactly what we did here. Watch this excellent conversation between Carlos Hidalgo, CEO and Principal at ANNUITAS, and Stephan Hovnanian, Content Solutions Architect at Bambu by Sprout Social, as they discuss Building Beyond Grand Stories. 

TL;DW (too long; didn’t watch) takeaways:

6:50 — “Vendors, salespeople, and marketers are no longer the gatekeepers of information. And so what I have seen is this buyer disruption, not a digital disruption, but a buyer disruption. And I think that’s the biggest change that we’ve seen.”

8:50 – “Read the research on how much power that peer influence has on a purchase process…but when I talk about a peer, it doesn’t necessarily mean I know you. I can go in my LinkedIn Group and network with thousand of peers that I have never met in person.”

10:49 – “When I think about a story, it’s me telling you something, a one-directional communication. I’m going to tell you a grand story…but what I really need to do from a demand-gen perspective is create a dialogue, which is two ways. Stories aren’t conversations.”

13:40 – “What we have to think about is sales and marketing working together to develop buyer-centric content. 50-70% of the buyer’s journey happens before I even connect with a sales rep…we have to align our people, our content, our process, our technology, and our data, all to that of the buyer and how they buy. It’s then we can have a holistic buyer-centric approach.”

“Sales and marketing’s lack of alignment is a symptom of not being connected to the buyer.” @CAHidalgo #mpb2b [tweet this]

18:10 – “I think too many people are putting technology as the answer to all of their problems. When you just put that with a random set of data with no context, all you have is the automation of chaos…if you don’t have a strategy, please don’t spend your money on technology.”

23:08 – “It’s an ongoing thing. Personas and buyer intelligence are never static. It should always be dynamic.”

25:25 – “Network like crazy. There are so many great people [at B2B Marketing Forum] with such great experience, whether they’re client-side or agency-side. And I usually walk away with anywhere from 10-15 new contacts that I’m able to engage and interact with.”

26:15 – “For marketers coming to the event: bring one of your salespeople with you. This is not just a marketing issue…we have to learn this together. It’s not a marketing-driven world, it’s not a sales-driven world, it’s a buyer-driven world, and we both have to serve that buyer.”

30:30 – “Don’t wait until the conference to be socially active. The #mpb2b hashtag is already up. Start to connect with people before you go to the conference to make connections so you know you’ll have them at the conference.”

31:55 – “Put it out there ahead of time that you’ll be taking notes and publishing them for others to check out somewhere—Medium, your blog, etc…because people will have the opportunity to connect with you and it gives you an opportunity to solidify some of the ideas.”