I love movies and I love B2B marketing, so – entirely for fun – I thought I’d blend them together. Welcome to a new blog post series… ‘B2B The Movie’.
Over the next few months I intend to pay homage to some classic movies, while at the same time taking a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the current challenges facing B2B marketers. I may also poke a bit of fun at some of the hype currently pervading the B2B marketing profession. It’s just a bit of well-intended experimentation with storytelling, although, if you look close enough, there will usually be a message or opinion underpinning the fiction. I hope it all makes some semblance of sense.
First up, one of my all-time fave movies. Below I pay homage to The Matrix, and address the entirely unhelpful (and sometime hysteric) absolutism preached by some B2B marketing ‘experts’…
B2B The Movie: The Marketrix
In this movie, our marketing heroine – Cleo – can’t quite shake the feeling that something is wrong at the very heart of B2B marketing. Some of the claims and advice being given by experts feel just too good to be true. It plays heavily on Cleo’s mind, until she meets a wise marketing mentor, Mo Pheus, who opens Cleo’s eyes to the truth…
The polished, growth-hacking world around her is all an illusion. Cleo, in actual fact, lives in a ravaged wasteland where much of marketing-kind has been captured – their minds imprisoned within an artificial reality known as The Marketrix. A false reality where cult-like absolutists claim their way is the only way to marketing success…
A world where Digital Marketing experts (aka ‘Agents’) say Digital Marketing is the only way forward, and that programmatic methodologies, AI and bots will lead the future. A world where Content Marketing Agents argue that Content Marketing is the only way, and that traditional marketing is dead. A world where Advertising Agents say Advertising is the answer, where Experiential Agents say Experiential is the answer, where Account Based Marketing Agents say ABM is the answer and where Direct Marketing Agents say Direct Marketing is the best way. Etcetera, etcetera.
Faced with the choice of taking a blue pill and staying in the blinkered wonderland of The Marketrix, or taking the red pill to discover how the marketing world truly is, Cleo chooses Mo’s red pill, setting off down an uncertain path where Agents fear to tread.
As anxiety mounts, Cleo fears she has made the wrong choice. But wait… Unexpectedly, far from a desolate, dystopian wilderness, the real marketing world is glorious. It’s a world free from absolutist delusion. It is a place where a mix of marketing tactics work. A realm where marketers use the right tactic for the right job – both modern and ‘traditional’. A world where content marketing and advertising can sit hand in hand. A world where big data is good and unadulterated human creativity is also good. A place where integrated marketing reigns supreme, where experimentation is the only true way to discover what works, where product development and product promotion receive equal attention, and where both short-term promotion and long-term brand building get equal attention. A world of hard work, but where Cleo the B2B Marketer is better-placed to sell more, to more people, at optimal prices. Not just now – but sustainably.
Our film ends in the truly wonderful new marketing world, with people merrily dancing in some sort of underground city nightclub, somewhere near Liverpool Street Tube Station. Celebrating and drinking lots of jägerbombs, by the looks of things.
I need lots of kung fu in this movie. And beards. Lots and lots of beards. The Agents can all be hipsters. Maybe we can do a brand placement tie-up with a beard oil brand?