The B2B Marketing Manifesto: Five Imperatives and Six Staples for Winning the Battle for Attention

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Doug Kessler

12. 10. 2010 | 1 min read

The B2B Marketing Manifesto: Five Imperatives and Six Staples for Winning the Battle for Attention

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The New B2B Marketing Manifesto

B2B marketers unite!

You have nothing to lose but your lousy response rates.

There’s never been a more exciting – or a scarier– time to be a B2B marketer.

It’s not about social media, the web, or email. It’s about a completely new mindset, new buyer behaviours and a shiny new set of tools to address it all.

The Manifesto starts with a call to action and a plea for ambition.

We then look at what’s really changed in B2B (it’s not what most people think).

Then we touch on the barriers that stand between you and glory.

Finally, we identify what you can do about it: five imperatives and six B2B staples — the new weapons in your arsenal, waiting to be deployed. Including:

• What a world view is and why you need one
• Why B2B marketing ‘chops’ are essential to your success
• How thinking beyond digital is the future
• Why exposing your beliefs can be a powerful differentiator
• The six things B2B marketing people really need to get good at, now.

This is the new era of B2B marketing: it’s exciting, challenging, scary – and there’s really no going back.

The only question is: what are you going to do about it?

Click to get the manifesto.

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  1. Emma


    December 16th, 2015

    Great manifesto, as a newbie it really sums it up and let’s me know I am definitely on the right track.

    Though your wisdom seems vast, you aren’t capturing leads with the download? It does say, “Thanks for submitting your details” but I didn’t submit anything I was able to access it straight away.

    I can think of a ton of other newbies that would really benefit from it.

    All the best!

    1. Doug Kessler

      December 21st, 2015

      Thanks Emma.
      No, we’re not gating the Manifesto with a web form (must change that Thank You copy). We figure people will get in touch when they’re ready — or subscribe to our newsletter. We’ve tested gated content and it works for us. But we decided to ungate everything and maximize downloads.

  2. Tom

    The Peloton

    January 5th, 2016

    5 years on here comes comment number 2.

    48 to go.

    I apologise that was mean.

    Only just stumbled across your manifesto, had a good read and it’s great piece.

    Helpful for people like me who constantly need reminding to step away from the bandwagons and get on with the bigger stuff out there.


    1. Doug Kessler

      February 15th, 2016

      Thanks Tom!

      (We actually got a few hundred comments — but they’re on the main content page rather than the post here. So not as sad as it looks…)

      Thanks for your comment and kind feedback.

  3. Anne-Sophie


    January 24th, 2016

    It seems what you wrote 5 years ago is just starting making sense for everyone. You probably have a chop here.

    1. Doug Kessler

      February 15th, 2016

      Thanks Anne-Sophie!
      Ahead of our time?

  4. Lionel Binnie


    February 13th, 2016

    You guys are geniuses. I love you. Serioulsy, I love what you said in this manifesto, and how you said it.
    I am a fan.
    I was put on to you through Hubspot, which I’m now
    learning, frantically.

    1. Doug Kessler

      February 15th, 2016

      Thanks Lionel! Glad you like it.
      Good luck with Hubspot — great platform!

  5. Francesca Hose-Berte


    February 15th, 2016

    Thank you so much.

    This has put a spring in my step on this cold Monday morning.

    You have beautifully articulated everything I have been banging on about – so thanks because when posing the question of WIIFM – you make me feel good about my marketing and the direction it is taking!

    You have written it in a way that is engaging and fun. You are telling your story and sharing your messages in a refreshing way.



    1. Doug Kessler

      February 15th, 2016

      Thank YOU, Francesca.
      You put a spring in our step on a Monday too.

  6. Alexandre

    Bingo Films Brandt

    March 18th, 2016

    Good manifesto as well for small business owners who do their own marketing. It gives an indication of what to watch out for and what to focus on and develop.

    It motivated me to find more ebooks on the specifics of the different imperatives and staples mentioned.

  7. Alison Forrest

    Phusion IM Pty Ltd

    March 22nd, 2016

    Great manifesto, lots of tips and takeaways. Thank you. We will definitely be following up on analytics.

    1. Doug Kessler

      April 19th, 2016

      Thanks Alison!

  8. Mike Provencher

    Pronet Solutions Corporation

    April 13th, 2016

    I am both energized and disillusioned by this great piece of content.

    1) The advice is simple and to the point.
    2) It has no point if it has no audience. If you judge the merits of this piece by the comments, which your call to action requested as the most important measure of the impact of the piece, isn’t it a flop?
    3) If it is a flop, what hope is there for schmucks who can’t even muster a piece half as good?
    4) How in the world can everyone compete with more and more content? We are inundated with noise every day and lots of it.

    Perhaps we should be content by putting out great content and never worry about the immediacy of a response. I’ve stumbled across this five years after posting. Is it any less valuable for me seeing it now vs. a day after you posted it?


    1. Doug Kessler

      April 17th, 2016

      Hi Mike

      Thanks — we actually got lots and lots of comments – but on the Thanks Page (that you get after downloading) rather than on this page!

      Gotta fix that.

      So: not a failure! In fact, one of our best-performing pieces of content. I hope that restores your faith in the discipline.

  9. Mike´


    April 18th, 2016

    This was a very good read. I’ve only started (right out of university) to work as a marketing person (don’t want to say manager) at a small agency.

    This was, alongside the content marketing strategy checklist, the best thing that could happen today!

    Thank you so much.

    For now I have to go subscribing to your newsletter!

    Be good!

    1. Doug Kessler

      April 19th, 2016

      Welcome aboard, Mike! To the profession and the newsletter — glad you’re enjoying our stuff.

      Best of luck: it’s a fantastic career choice and you couldn’t have joined at a more exciting time.

  10. Martin

    May 18th, 2016

    Awesome stuff – engaging, exciting and a good intro for me – trying to get this off the ground in our old-school company!

  11. Ioana

    June 2nd, 2016

    Really useful material, perhaps one on analytics would be appreciated, as well (since it’s the hot topic nowadays).

    Other than that, good job – hard to find relevant and to-the-point writing on marketing. Too many generalists out there.


    Darling Elevate Your Career

    July 14th, 2016

    Accidently fell into the E-book and I’m glad I did. Awesome and informative content. Really started doing some hardcore marketing and this stuff really helps.

    1. Doug Kessler

      July 17th, 2016


  13. Misti


    July 31st, 2016

    All and I do mean all of the information you provided was like a breathe of fresh air. The information was profound in its simplicity. Thank you. You have just become a “thought leader” for this B2B marketer

    1. Doug Kessler

      August 4th, 2016

      Made our day, Misti!

  14. Anne-Sophie Arndt

    November 30th, 2016

    5 years old but still gold! I’m a newbie in B2B marketing but I can already tell that this stuff is completely different (and BETTER) than the sh*t you here from all those “experts” out there. You really grab the most important part that starts way before the creation of a campaign, which is thinking about your business and what it means and what you can offer people

    1. Doug Kessler

      December 8th, 2016

      Thanks Anne-Sophie! I sometimes wonder how I’d update the Manifesto for 2016 and beyond…

  15. Trish


    July 12th, 2017

    Stumbled on this earlier in the week – Excellent stuff!! Hits the nail right on the head.

    “They’re still marketing to an imagined audience that is eager to receive their next press release or newsletter.”

    I didn’t know to laugh or cry when I read this… It’s so sad that it’s still so true in 2017. Sigh…

  16. Sahana


    January 2nd, 2018

    Hope you got your 50 comments. Great stuff! I cannot appreciate enough on your emphasis about how Social media is NOT marketing but just a medium.

  17. Steven Thomas


    October 15th, 2018

    Hey, I guess the fact that this comment is coming at the end(ish) of 2018 when the first was posted in 2015 is a testimony to the power of your manifesto and the power of great content. Everything you point out has only become more darn important than ever… thank you, you pushed my thinking in a couple of new directions and reassured me of some others.

    1. Doug Kessler

      October 23rd, 2018

      Thanks, Steven!
      We went back to it to see what to update — there’s a lot we can (and will) do, but you’re right: the fundamentals haven’t changed at all!
      Thanks again for the kind words.

  18. Simon Moon


    July 29th, 2019

    Great piece of work. Thanks Doug and team. I find your content invaluable in explaining/selling a proper marketing approach to my senior team who still seem hell-bent on the old school approach. This manifesto is a great document to live by for any b2b marketer and one i try to embody on a daily basis.

    1. Doug Kessler

      August 1st, 2019

      Thanks, Simon! Glad it helps. More and more B2B teams have moved out of the dark ages.
      I love it.

  19. Mat

    November 11th, 2019

    Amazing stuff! It seems that even 9 years after the publishing of this ebook, most B2B companies are still catching up. You’re way ahead of the crowd on this!

    1. Doug Kessler

      November 12th, 2019

      Thanks, Mat!

  20. Suzy

    Social Impact Institute

    January 4th, 2020

    Glad I found your manifesto. In the slush of content marketing material out there, this one shines like a beacon, still so highly relevant in 2020! Such a neat insightful way to show leadership teams and boards that marketing has changed and how. I’m using it to embed a new marketing process in the organisation I work for and I’m keen to see how this changes EVERYTHING. Thanks so much.

    1. Doug Kessler

      January 6th, 2020

      Thanks, Suzy! Made our day. The Manifesto really got us headed in the direction that was right for us, so I’m glad it still resonates with like-minded marketers!

  21. Bob Fleming

    Imagine IT

    April 27th, 2020

    Twenty years ago I was introduced to a company that changed my paradigm about marketing, and it and I never looked back. The B2B Marketing Manifesto and what I’ve read from Velocity over the past couple of hours have done the exact same thing. I will never go back, and I will never do marketing or content the same again. So thank you! You guys really suck … and in my world that means you guys rock! Thank you!

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