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Live @ INBOUND 2020: Trends for the Contrarian Marketer

Live @ INBOUND 2020: Trends for the Contrarian Marketer


Marketers often ask: what is everyone else doing? 

But this is the wrong question, according to Ty Heath and Jon Lombardo of The B2B Institute. They broke down 3 trends that most B2B companies aren't doing, but are working, and will work for a long time at their recent talk at Inbound 2020.

Jon referenced Jeff Bezos’ approach to marketing. Jeff doesn’t ask, “what’s changing and how do I be a part of it?” but instead, “what’s not going to change in 10 years time and how do I build on that?”

Here are the highlights.


Jon says there are two types of marketing: long term and short term. Long term is about building a companies brand and short term is about lead capture. He thinks most B2B companies focus more on short term marketing rather than long term. 

Lead capture usually uses CTA’s like “Sign Up” or “Download” in order to access gated content. The focus here is lead generation.

Long term marketing also is about lead generation, but not right now. Instead it focuses on ways to generate leads over time by building customers affinity for the brand. This is about building trust and appreciation, and can’t be accomplished overnight.

Which one is best? Neither. Both are necessary.

When asked during the Q&A what the right proportions of each were, Jon said “60/40”. 60% of marketing should be about brand building and 40% should be focused on lead capture.

How can building product businesses do this?

One example Jon provides is as simple as names and logos. Many B2B companies name is a description of exactly what they do. Instead, Jon suggests creating a character to represent your brand. This may seem frivolous, but many examples in the market suggest that creative/strange marketing performs better simply because it’s more memorable. Think meercats and geckos.

A more recent B2B example is Data Dog. They could have just been “Data Place” or something more literal, but instead chose to represent their company with a dog and playfully suggest that it was the Data Dog that would service their customers.

One strength of this, besides distinctiveness, is that characters can entertain while keeping the brand in focus. You can use the character to illustrate your message, while being playful and entertaining, and reinforce your brand.

This is one example of brand building, but of course there are other ways to do it too. But the main thing is to focus on brand building more than on lead capture. At least by a little bit. This will put you in a good place not only tomorrow, or next quarter, but 10 years from now.

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What do you think the highest grossing films are? Many of them are sequels, or instalments in a series, like Star Wars and Marvel.

This is because people are familiar with them, and people engage with things that they know and like.

How can building products businesses leverage this appreciation for the familiar?

You may not make blockbuster movies, but there is some creative work going into the d

evelopment of your marketing materials. You are investing in the creation of these. Instead of investing in lots of pieces of marketing, Jon suggests investing heavily in some really big ones. These eBooks, white papers, reports etc. have the potential to become an important part of your industries culture.

Instead of making lots of "small bets" on lots of small marketing efforts, make a few "big bets" on large marketing pieces. Invest in your largest pieces of intellectual property, your most important marketing materials, and make them into an epic series.

For instance, Salesforces’ State of Sales has become a piece of blockbuster marketing content. It’s long, comprehensive, and full of data. It takes a lot of time and effort to create, but it comes out every years, and establishes Salesforce as a brand, thought leader, and accomplishes large-scale lead capture.

What could be your contribution to the culture of your market? Something that would keep people coming back for more?

By making a big bet on a big piece of intellectual property you’ll make a bigger impression on your audience and creating a legacy.


Hyper-targeting is when you get so specific that you target prospects on the basis of job titles, age, gender, etc.

While this is effective, it’s costly.

The cost-per-lead of hyper-targeting is generally much higher than the cost-per-lead for broad-targeting.

Instead, Ty suggested category-targeting. This is the goldilocks approach. Not too specific and not too broad. This way you keep your costs down while still getting the advantages of being more specific.

Another way to think of this is: relevant reach. Don’t sacrifice relevancy. And don’t sacrifice reach.

Project Prospecta is a good example of this. We target roles and categories of projects, but don’t get as specific as targeting age or gender, keeping the audience broad but relevant to your business at the same time.

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Ty and John point out that brand building, blockbuster content marketing, and relevant targeting strategies are trends that won’t be going away. Building product businesses who figure out how to translate these and integrate them into their marketing strategy will stand out in the market.

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About Insynth

Insynth Marketing is a leading UK construction marketing agency based in Shifnal in the West Midlands. 

They use the latest inbound marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to support building product companies to grow their business by proactively driving sales lead generation activity. 

As the only HubSpot certified agency to major on construction marketing, we bring together construction marketing strategy, digital strategy, website designSEOcontent marketingemail marketingsales automation, marketing automation and HubSpot CRM implementation to produce successful campaigns and great results for our clients.