The B2B Marketing Manifesto

Five Imperatives and Six Staples for Winning the Battle for Attention

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.

B2B Marketing Manifesto image

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?

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  1. John Sweeney

    September 21st, 2010

    Rise up B2B Marketers. You have nothing to lose but your promotional pens and paper-weights. Read the Velocity b2b marketing manifesto today. Go into your office tomorrow and start a revolution!

    John S (fellow traveller)

    Thanks for writing this white-paper. It makes perfect sense to me. It will all come to pass. Time to overthrow ‘old school’ b2b marketing propped up by the CIM and its running dogs The Worshipful Company of Marketors! Yes they really exist

  2. Stephanie Tilton

    September 21st, 2010

    The words ring loud and true in this manifesto. Any B2B marketers looking for guidance as they plot their course should be inspired by your bold statements. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Michele Linn

    September 21st, 2010

    Nice work! I love the six (plus bonus) B2B staples. It gives us marketers a good place to focus our efforts.

  4. Philipos Sfiris

    September 22nd, 2010

    This is inspiring work! I totally agree with your point of view. It is so true that most of B2B marketers are facing challenges of today with yesterday’s tools.

    I would also put another staple: proper segmentation, which is essential for focused marketing strategies.

    Fantastic metaphor btw.. You should also do a Popper alternative: “New B2B Marketing and its Enemies” 🙂

  5. Doug Kessler

    September 22nd, 2010

    Thanks so much you early commenters (and linkers). Much appreciated. (No, I won’t count my own comments in our target.)

    We’re tracking the campaign around this on our blog if you’re interested — Operation Open Kimono!

  6. Neal Amsden

    September 22nd, 2010

    You earned a comment with that one. Very well done. Perhaps the ultimate vote is that I forwarded it on to our entire marketing department.

  7. Patsi Krakoff, aka The Blog Squad

    September 23rd, 2010

    A work of art, Doug. So refreshing. Full of… velocity, impact…meaning. Yet easy to read. Should make more people think in new ways. And it’s not just for B2B peeps, either.

  8. Rob Leavitt

    September 24th, 2010

    Hey guys – Great work. Useful and entertaining both; fun to read and definitely helpful. You’ve set a high bar for the rest of us.

    I think the imperatives are dead on, and the manifesto is a great example of practicing what you preach: world view, passion, chops, ideas, and beyond digital (well, maybe a bit thin on the last, but you do include your phone number). I even have to agree with the analytics and testing, much as I try to stay away from that pesky data stuff. Here’s to a lot more than 50 comments!

  9. Mike Johnson

    September 24th, 2010

    You’ve managed to get down in a clear, concise and entertaining way, the challenges that I am sure a lot of us have been wrestling with as we try and keep up with our day jobs – I agree with the other comments and I think you have a ‘hit a lot of nails squarely on the head with the manifesto. Loved the many of the observations and in particular your take on social media!

    Good luck in getting your 50+ comments and I will be very interested to see how you get on with your ‘Open Kimono’.

  10. Ashley Friedlein

    September 24th, 2010

    Submitting my comment to help you towards your 50.. 😉

    Glad to see you continue to practice what you preach. My brief comments:
    1. Like the consonance in the phrase ‘big-ass barriers’
    2. Is B2B any more ‘b2b’ than B2C is ‘b2c’ these days? Isn’t it really just about “real people”? Actually.. wasn’t it always?
    3 Marketers as CEOs. That’s the main point here for me (being a CEO and notionally a marketer). Especially with regard to digital. To be good good at digital you have an extremely good understanding of your market place and customer needs (via search insight, analytics etc.), you grasp pricing, you know what drives conversion, you know what your competitors are up to, you embrace change, you care about customer service, you understand the value of credibility and reputation (e.g. for SEO/link building), you understand how *all channels* drive the sales pipeline… I could go on but, in short, what else is there that is truly important to a business?

  11. Larry Kunz

    September 24th, 2010

    Nice piece of work. I like your direct and level-headed approach. It’s not the web. It’s not social media. It’s not the next shiny new thing. It’s what you can do with them.

  12. Andrea Traversone

    September 28th, 2010

    Stan, Doug – this was really good. It is amazing how proper marketing is still such an art.

  13. Nick Van Weerdenburg

    September 28th, 2010

    How can anyone turn down a plea for ambition! I’ve written a short review (positive of course) on my blog titled “Velocity’s Plea for Ambition: The New B2B Marketing Manifesto” at

  14. Kate Andrews

    September 29th, 2010

    I like it. I’ve seen the brave new world for marketers argument done many times. But rarely (maybe never?) as powerfully as this. Congratulations.

  15. Peter O’Neill, Forrester Research

    September 30th, 2010

    I love this! Clear, witty, and concise. Permission to steal some of your lists for my presentation at the Forrester Marketing & Strategy Forum in London in November.
    I have a session planned for Tech vendors where we will explore the idea that tech industry marketing should no longer be communicating product differentiation; it should be the difference.

  16. Andy Place

    September 30th, 2010

    Vote velocity!Just read your manifesto and thought it excellent. Feel like i’m in the dark ages.I’ll have to try and raise the bar.Better go and have a lie down first. Congratulations.

  17. Dennis

    September 30th, 2010

    Good job on the nicely designed book! A lot of fresh ideas that can only make B2B more interesting! I’ve also put a short piece up on my blog to spread the word:

  18. John-Paul (Jp)

    September 30th, 2010

    Scary stuff this!
    Every once in a while someone writes something that changes the way we look at things in the world – this e-book is one of those.
    The key point is that buyers have changed forever, they now have unlimited information available to them.
    Marketers need to change.

  19. Zoe

    October 1st, 2010

    The internet is overwhelming, and often full of misguided or outdated information. Trying to learn about relevant marketing online can be exhausting. Your B2B Marketing Manifesto was 15 minutes to enlightenment. I know understand what I have to do. Hard work ahead, but at least I can see the path! Thank you for lighting my way!

  20. Neil Warren

    October 2nd, 2010

    Yep – good stuff folks, and it would indeed be very refreshing to meet some new b2b marketers – from our clients for example, who supply products and services to b2b sales teams, like “CRM” if there is such a thing any more, or “sales training”, etc. etc..

    And actually, from the viewpoint of sales people, I think what would be most helpful would be less of a “one I made earlier” response when asked for support, and more of a wiki-encyclopaedic knowledge of where all the micro-sliver goodies are in the organisation, with millisecond response times for baking the fresh and personalised collateral that we need, for all our variable customer/prospect moans, groans and less-frequently-asked questions.

    Also, dear all-new b2b marketer, if you do happen to find yourself trying to nurture a person with a machine or some other “marketing” collateral and said buyer/prospect shows the remotest signs of possibly wanting a chat with a real person, please let us in to the buying cycle then, and not after they’ve gone off to get the “quick info” they needed from another human being from a competitor’s organisation. Or you could learn to sell, of course, but then what are we going to call each other!?

    Tell you what – let’s merge, integrate, share, connect & collaborate, all that “The World is Flat” stuff. You teach us how to blog/write, we’ll teach you how to recognise and respond to a buying signal…and…oooh, lots more stuff when you think about it. We could be called…

    Integrated B2B Sales & Marketing Online & Offline Execs (or mad moos, or something).

    And just a final quickie for those bonus mobile apps ideas…

    What about one that told you, rather than that you were about to run out of battery/juice, that your “free unlimited” web use in fact had a “data transfer” limit in the “fair use” small print and, by watching that promotional video we just sent you, you were about to leave the 25MB daily allowance for 30p, and hit the BIG TIME charges of £80 for the next 25MB. (Might be quite popular and create a grateful tribe of followers – like me & Mrs W and 400,000 sales execs!).

  21. Bob Apollo

    October 4th, 2010

    Not sure if the media is the message any more, but the content sure is the catalyst from Kansas to Kennington and all points between – unless you’re planning to travel by tube.

    We ALL need to “start with why…”

  22. Cyndie Shaffstall

    October 4th, 2010

    Very engaging. I was often caught up in the design of the piece and had to re-read sections. Maybe that’s the intent. Now, having read most of it twice, it’s sinking in — and being passed on.

  23. Robert Turnbull

    October 5th, 2010

    Awesome awesome piece of work gentlemen, now if only I can figure out how to get other people to believe in it too.

  24. Peter Tait

    October 6th, 2010

    Yes! It’s obviously a must-read, it’s the way real Marketing happens today.

    Stunning work.

    I love the description of Marketing as the engine of the company. It’s EXACTLY what Marketing needs to be, how it needs to think of itself (and why my company is called Customer Engines).

    But you missed one imperative, an essential component of the engine.


    The B2B marketer has to OWN customer data. Not just marketing databases, not just email lists, but Marketing has to become the owners of all prospect and customer data across the company. Get those DUNS numbers, understand account penetration, track marketing touches by account, by industry, by location.

    The wonderful thing is that nobody else in your company wants it. It’s your for the taking.

    Keep up the great work guys!

  25. Dianna Huff

    October 12th, 2010

    Bravo! Love it, love it, love it. This e-book needs to be required reading for everyone in B2B marcom and marketing. I’ll be sending my clients to this page to download their own copy.

  26. Cris Rominger

    October 12th, 2010

    Wow – what a ride! Loved it! Enlightening. Entertaining. Captivating. Masterfully done. You captured my attention and held it throughout. Excellent use of design….and then there’s the message, whew. Still taking that all in, but I’d say you’ve got chops. Am sharing now. Thanks for this. Cheers!

  27. Rebecca

    October 12th, 2010

    Love how you explain things, plain & simple. No fan-dangly terms, and so easy to read and understand even for non-marketing people that need to know what marketing really is!

  28. Nønne

    October 12th, 2010

    This was truly an inspirational and entertaining read – thank you for sharing. You guys truly have chops! And I really appreciate how you always taste your own medicine – this manifesto is a testimonial to how your B2B recipe really works.

  29. Vlad Zhovtenko

    October 12th, 2010

    The Manifesto is a great reading. And the greatest benefit of it is that it can help b2b marketers (at least us) to explain others what we are actually doing. 🙂

    Thanks a lot.

  30. dave goldenberg

    October 12th, 2010

    Insightful and delightful, Doug. “We are all direct marketers now.” yes, and we have always been–just didn’t realize it. The idea of bringing the company’s beliefs forward is one I wll put to use today. Winning attention is one thing, but keeping it is another. The answer to that is storytelling, I believe.

    BTW: I appreciated the internal links, but they took me away, and it was not easy to come back. I think that’s an interactive feature we have to use sparingly if at all. We fight so hard for attention–why give it away?


  31. C Roth Wurster

    October 14th, 2010

    Brilliant! You’ve got MY attention… Well put together and informative. After what seems like a hundred years and a million miles in B2B marketing, the current landscape has a richer focus for me. Get on a road show with this one!

  32. bob james

    October 14th, 2010

    I am sharing this with all the thoughtful people I know. You have really hit the mark!

  33. dr jim sellner, PhD.,DipC.

    October 15th, 2010

    Ok Friday morning.
    I’m thinkin’ “get to work.”
    Then i start reading the manifesto.
    A little niggling voice says, “READ THIS! There is something in there.”
    Other voice says,”Stop! Get to work!’
    Then i realize this is work you idiot.
    Its great work and its fun.
    Thank you for this — fantastic!
    I got inspired to add another content article on
    Wanna read it?
    lemme know.

  34. Maureen O’Grady Condon

    October 16th, 2010

    A client shared this with me and I’ll be sharing it too. Great, commonsense stuff about B2B marketing – got my attention and got me thinking!

  35. Pete Jakob

    October 18th, 2010

    Really great stuff guys – and extremely well executed.

    Reinforces some great truths – marketing is increasingly about science as much as it is about art. Respectful, passionate, data-driven, client-controlled marketing that is truly a SERVICE is within our grasp.

    In the words of the Bard of Barking – “Join the struggle while you may, the revolution is just a tshirt away”


  36. Néstor

    October 19th, 2010

    I normally do not make comment but this time you guys deserve it.
    GREAT GREAT stuff. Specially like the Five B2B Imperatives section and the Holy Trinity ebook.
    This Manifesto is not just for Marketeers but also a must to read for those Sales Director/VP that are not yet clever about converting their marketing department to the engine that sustain the business and not just making marcom.
    Finally THANKS A LOT Doug (and the whole Velocity Team) for sharing this by free. In appreciation I will forward it to as many people I know it can interest them (or they can buy services from you).

  37. Lloyd

    October 19th, 2010

    Thanks for the reminder and the kick!
    We’ve been doing this kind of thing for ages – I remember Gary Hamel’s “who is going to own the customer data” in Competing for the Future”. Creating new interfaces and dialogues with clients. Engaging throughout the buying cycle and running the “sell more” engine through educating clients – greater utility, cross selling – engaging.
    The hardest part of B2B marketing? Short-termism and the sheer cost of B2B sales people. These professionals are an expensive resource – they can’t waste time on “suspects” or “potential leads”. They need customer commitment/data and above all budget! Our job as B2B marketers is to move leads along to suspects, move suspects along to prospects, turn selling into buying. That’s tough.
    While I’m at it – the other tough one – timing – priming the market with the right messaging at the right time in the products development/life.
    See – you got me thinking – thanks!!

  38. Ian Hutchinson

    October 19th, 2010

    I love your Manifesto – Gonna put it to the testo…..

    Really thought provoking stuff, well done.,


  39. John Ginsberg

    October 19th, 2010

    Well done!

    Very well written manifesto, in an easy to follow format. I would love to see more discussion around the idea of “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.” That should be a key message in all marketing strategies, plans, campaigns and tweets.

    I recently read a study where the researchers concluded that influence on Twitter is less about the number of followers, and more about the perceived expertise of the person (or group) being followed. When your core message is clear and your beliefs are well known, it’s much simpler to gain the trust and respect of your audience, and hence more time to explain WIIFM.

  40. John Bottom

    October 20th, 2010

    Doug – I guess something has to be pretty damn good to solicit public praise from a competitor, but I have to congratulate you on a shining example of the art of the e-book. I say competitor – but you know what? I have a feeling we’re on the same side in doing everything we can to push harder and do more in B2B. And it’s a pretty big pot that we’re both dipping into, after all. Nice stuff guys.

  41. Colm Toolan

    October 20th, 2010

    Congratulations on the 50th comment 🙂

    Goal achieved, as you promised!

  42. Jody Pellerin

    October 21st, 2010

    Here, I’ll get you one more than 50. Here’s one from across the pond.

    I think what your manifesto says is completely…..true! My problem is trying to fit in all the things I am supposed to do for my company into the hours I’ve got. Or maybe I am being overly ambitious with my content strategy. But currently I am overwhelmed. I completely agree with everything that the manifesto says must be done. I just need to figure out how to break it into smaller chunks and not panic if I see a competitor pulling ahead in one content area as I try to complete my part of another.

    P.S. I love it….the language is so very British!

  43. Iain Carruthers

    October 21st, 2010

    It’s proper good, this is.

    It’s crafted, it’s bothered, it believes in something,


  44. Holly Simmons

    October 21st, 2010

    Thanks for creating and sharing this excellent content. Exciting times for B2B folk – no doubt!

    One comment I would like to add is the importance of connecting content. Content is king, but with so much being published today it is very easy to get lost in it. Creating content and connecting vital ideas together for readers is critical in deepening the relationship. A reader might think, “I really like this idea, what’s next? How do I deepen my understanding?” If we do not provide the path for the reader, they get lost in the vast resources available and often forget where they started.

  45. Mark McClure

    October 24th, 2010

    Nice one, Cyril 😉
    re: #5 thinking beyond digital.

    How about this?

  46. Dee

    October 26th, 2010

    This was a very informative read. As someone who is very new to the content marketing world, this paved a guidemap in my brain and I appreciate that. One of the most entertaining and education reads on B2B marketing I have ever read. Kudos!

  47. Ian Lyons

    October 27th, 2010

    Guys, I think you have just done for B2B marketing with The Cluetrain Manifesto did for what ended up being called social media. Particularly impressive is that you managed to present all this information in a the way you prescribe to clients – that’s a rare feat.

    Now that you’ve passed the 50 comments point, I’d like to call on you to unshackle this manifesto from a form page and let it spread far and wide. Before you do though, one small thing – the blog/comment call to action links on slide 46 point to a page not found.

  48. Ruth Webber

    October 29th, 2010

    Brilliant (if uncomfortable) reading. Tons to think about yet refreshingly ‘back to basics’ in that it WIIFM should be at the heart of everything marketers think and do. Thanks for the inspiration.

  49. Stephanie Bishop

    November 2nd, 2010

    Refreshingly presented — you’ve even got it down for marketing to marketers. I laughed out loud several times. Thank you, and inspirational.

  50. Todd Hockenberry

    November 12th, 2010

    Well done..excellent summation of the current state of B2B marketing with the why’s and how’s. Most e-books are just self-serving, thinly disguised, sales brochures but not this one. Thanks!

  51. Gian Schiava

    November 23rd, 2010

    Finally a marketing agency that also does not go nuts about social media or twitter. I believed I was the last marketer on planet earth(and a bit further) with this thought. Whilst those are important new tools….its not about the tools!!
    Marketers: we need to get our homework done before we bring the message out there. And yes…then we should consider social media.

    Velocity….you’ve shown some real thought leadership !

  52. Michael Brenner

    November 24th, 2010

    What a great read! The words ring loud and true and not only that, but the reader can take away some concrete actions. Thanks for sharing!

  53. Carmen Hill

    November 29th, 2010

    Another great contribution to my B2B marketing library (along with your Content Marketing eBook). Sent me to the Google to find out what “pecha kuchas” is all about. Love the cheeky voice, too.

  54. Barbara Bix

    December 6th, 2010

    Hear! Hear! So articulate I’ll need to start retweeting it immediately. Will pull this out the next time people assume that Marketing is Marcom! Each page of this book represents years of hard-won insights–and would make it’s own best-of-blog posts! Also, love that you called marketing the sales engine (a term we’ve been product to use at the bottom of our “How we work with you” page for years. Thanks Doug for speaking about it in your presentation today!

  55. Guy Elliott

    December 8th, 2010

    Great insight into the way forward for anyone working in B2B company. Particularly like the reference to social media only being one vector in the marketing mix. Would like to show that to a few people I know who think FB is the only way forward! Filling the funnel is one of the most important measurable in any company and you are right to give that responsibly to the Marketers .

  56. Sharon Durham

    December 8th, 2010

    Of course I’m comment number 69- never fails. Is there a prize? One that is useful and/or entertaining? I know, I know… my prize is the Manifesto which is both useful and entertaining. Great job.

  57. plum media

    December 11th, 2010

    Great resource.Inspiring read.Seems to me that B2b has to market as hard as B2Cs now.Certainly times have changed and the immediacy of it all is what is exciting. However, a good ole fashioned reputation for extreme customer service still cuts through these techniques like a hot knife through butter.

  58. Mike Jones

    December 13th, 2010

    Nice. The Marketing team here at OutSystems just delivered a series of sessions on our marketing journey into the new world of B2B marketing. One of my arguments was that Content is no longer king, it is your community. I was getting scared that community was going to be overlooked. The premise is that you community is how you scale, content is how you nurture the community. Everything we do with content is based on the community – thus community is king and content is a very important enabler.

  59. undina-bird

    December 14th, 2010

    Lots of things I already knew now got together into one great (and inspiring!) picture, like a puzzle.
    And now there are loads of new questions to be learned 🙂 Eager to read other books from this web-site and work, work, work 😉

    Thank you!

    > Sent me to the Google to find out what “pecha kuchas” is all about
    +1 🙂

  60. John Ledoux

    December 14th, 2010

    What a great piece, Doug!

    It’s refreshing to see that others understand what we B2B marketers are doing and facing. I couldn’t have said it any better myself. A combined sense of urgency, ambiguity and calculation fills our space.

    We are in the midst of a B2B marketing revolution. We are adopting new ways of communicating, new ways of distributing content, and new ways of tracking it all. At the same time, our prospects are adopting new ways of consuming our information, new ways of researching, and new ways of communicating back to us. I don’t think, beyond speculation, any of us can truly say where it is all headed.

    BUT, as B2B marketers, we’ve never been so successful as we are today! As our responsibilities internally have grown and our company’s success continues to depend on our ability to reach and influence, the ball is now in our court…we must begin to think like CEOs.

    Thanks again!

    – John

  61. Elizabeth Williams

    December 22nd, 2010

    Brilliant. Inspiring. Bang-on. I have sent this much-needed kick-in-the-arse to every B2B marketer I can think of. Except my competitors, of course. Almost makes me want to skip my Christmas holidays and get to work on 2011. Almost. Well done and thank you.

  62. Elise

    January 5th, 2011

    Wonderful piece! I have to admit, I started to wonder if you had been sneaking in while I slept and stealing my thoughts! 😉 It is fantastic to someone championing B2B marketing like this, and then was even more pleased to see so many greats in your resource list at the end.

  63. Andrew Vance

    January 7th, 2011

    A fantastically relevant manifesto which will serve as a serious wake up call for all B2B Marketers struggling with new digital channels and social media! The most useful and inspiring piece I’ve read this year.

  64. Lenox Powell

    January 31st, 2011

    I love the quote: “Traditional marketing talks at people.
    Content marketing talks with them.” This is spot on. Today’s buyers–in every field–are much savvier. The loud call-to-actions turn prospects off. It’s the quite confidence illustrated in targeted, relevant content, that positions a company as an approachable expert. This manifesto is both timely and relevant. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  65. jay olson

    February 8th, 2011

    This is well written, entertaining and though provoking. Really drives home the message that traditional approaches to marketing no longer work. The manifesto provides a brilliant roadmap for succeeding in the “post-digital era.” This is a must read for any B2B marketer!

  66. Susanne Currid @b2bwebinars

    February 18th, 2011

    Very well written argument and it looks fantastic too. Totally concur on your 6 B2B staples. Master these areas and your business success will rocket.

  67. Claire Barker

    April 7th, 2011

    Pages 12 13 14 15 should be compulsory reading. “The marketing pipeline (and the accountability it implies); marketing as innovation driver; and marketing as information generator. These three new realities make you the single most important person in your company.” Genius.

  68. richard lomax

    May 3rd, 2011

    Nicely done. I think a ‘world view’ has to be a bit more than ‘built on reality’ though. It’s a bit Truman Show. Some time or other they’ll find the door marked EXIT.

  69. James Gurd

    July 4th, 2011

    Thanks for the report. I like the sentiments in the 6 staples part but I think you’ve exaggerated the 3 new realities. Those realities were alive and well from 1999 – 2002 when I worked as Marcomms Manager for a B2B company. Just because many sales people didn’t appreciate/understand the strategic/commercial context of marketing, doesn’t mean savvy marketers didn’t. I worked for a switched on and very driven Marketing Director who fully understood that the marketing team fuelled the sales funnel and were key to customer engagement. She wasn’t alone.

    What has fundamentally changed is the ability for small business to muscle in on the action online because unlike offline, large waves can be made with small investment but big knowledge. This is largely driven by the increased reliance on digital channels amongst the people in the buying chain as so much research, both for B2C and B2B, is now carried out online.


  70. Doug Kessler

    July 4th, 2011

    Great points, James.
    I do think the savvy B2B marketers are well ahead of the pack on this front. But the norm still feels like it’s lagging — though things have moved on even since the Manifesto was published.
    The SME point is well-made. The small can definitely out-market the big online.
    Thanks again for the feedback.

  71. Paul Lock

    July 11th, 2011

    Well written, persuasive and not a million miles from the Hubspot approach.

    Deeply ashamed to learn that PechaKucha has been around since 2003 and I’d never heard of it.



  72. Karen Pelletier

    July 24th, 2011

    I really enjoyed the Manifesto. It was done with wit and humor and was right on! Congratulations on a very good piece of content.

  73. Mike Hamilton

    July 26th, 2011

    Great thinking, great writing, great design. I’ll be returning to read this again and again.

  74. Cora Sidney

    September 1st, 2011

    Thanks for that one, it ticks all the boxes, and some! A definite must confirming all the things we know we must do AND provoking further thoughts….. And thumbs up all those who went on google to look up Pecha Kucha 😀

  75. Rich

    October 21st, 2011

    Spot on. Perfectly executed. Immaculate copy and layout. It made a lot of sense too!

  76. Atul Dhakappa

    November 16th, 2011

    Thanks for sharing. very easy read and very insightful info. A lot of it is very actionable as well.

  77. Andrew Bruce Smith

    December 2nd, 2011

    There you go. 100 comments. 😉

  78. Doug Kessler

    December 2nd, 2011

    Woo hoo! Andrew — you win a pint of Fuller’s London Pride, to be collected at any time in 2012.

    Even though that wasn’t really a comment, was it…

  79. Chris Meyer

    March 23rd, 2012

    Thank you for reminding me that the reason we do this is because it’s fun!

  80. John Goodridge

    June 28th, 2012

    Ok, ok, so I’m always late to the party. Really like this, both in idea and in execution – hat tip to your designer, it’s especially engaging. And as a copywriter I loved its brevity and clarity.

    Anyway, am interested in how this er, de-scales, or essentializes. I’ve worked with a very large corp which has grasped content marketing (to an extent) and is getting the benefits of it. However I also work with companies of less than 10 people, and this makes me ask ‘where to start?’ if you have no specific marketing person, but rather someone who holds it in their portfolio. This is not so much -what’s the minimum you can do- more, if you’ve got little resources what’s the best thing to do to start?

    Oh, and confession, I still have to read your other e-books, maybe I’ll find the answer in there.

  81. Doug Kessler

    June 28th, 2012

    Thanks, John.
    You’re not late to the content marketing party at all — sounds like you’re right on time.

    As far as scaling down the soup-to-nuts approach of the Checklist, one of our earlier pieces, The Content Marketing Workbook, might really help. It’s mostly the ‘why’ of content marketing with some tips for starting out.

    The Content Marketing Tutorial is another ‘How to get started’ piece you might find helpful:

    With smaller clients who are just getting into content marketing, we often start with a single piece — often an eBook because it can be gated (if they need to build their database). We then promote and track that single piece of content and, invariably (literally), they become content converts.

    Of course, you need to get that first piece right — and tat’s where a few sections of the Checklist can help: Goals, Target Audiences and Sweet Spot are the critical ones.

    Thanks again — and good luck getting the newbies to see the light.
    Do let us know how you get on.

  82. Karen Pilling

    July 8th, 2012

    Love this! Definitely sending this to clients…

  83. Lisa Lancaster

    July 13th, 2012

    Great resource guys. I’m starting to think I need to start all over again with this marketing lark!!

  84. Jane Somerville

    July 17th, 2012

    Brilliant, insightful, inspiring and motivating. Thanks!

  85. Carlos

    September 7th, 2012

    It’s sort of an eyeopener, normally we are always deep into our daily job doing the things that we believe are the most important thing to have great results, we do hear and know that the market has changed, mobiles are being more and more common use. But we sometimes forgett the one most important thing and that is the client and the needs of them. I mean what he would like to get as information would it be helpful for him? Would he have a good experience of our service? What does call and mantain his attention? But a deserved attention not with just something attractive but something wich he can really use and appreciate..

  86. Yuriy Robul

    October 12th, 2012

    This call for new approach to marketing should not be isolated from what is going on B2C. In my opinion a division onto B2C and B2B marketing is obsolete. Ideas must be in the heart of any activity in the marketplace. Big ideas should also be there.

  87. Jeremy Knight

    November 4th, 2012

    Simply the best review of what matters in B2B marketing that I have read. Absolutely loved the design too! Thanks for the master class.

  88. Anne Janzer

    November 14th, 2012

    Thanks for entertaining summary of today’s marketing environment, it’s right on target. I’ll be sharing it clients that are struggling with the new approach and perspective.

  89. Julie Kelly

    November 15th, 2012

    I read all 48 pages, which is a testament to how entertaining and truthful this manifesto is. I like it when a writer is not afraid to cuss in a business document. Excellent work. I very much appreciate your sharing.

  90. Andrew Badalamenti

    November 30th, 2012

    Well written, great design. I enjoyed every page.

  91. German Centeno

    December 11th, 2012

    Love the fresh no nonsense straight forward content. I’ve been in the B2B Sales industry for 6 years now and definately can attest to the ineffectiveness of old-school marketing strategies. This help provide great guidelines as to how to seperate your messaging from the noise and provide real value to your audience. Great job!

  92. Sephan Weber

    January 6th, 2013

    If your role involves customers/clients you want to read this.

  93. Des Gray

    January 10th, 2013

    Love it; better than any MBA! I’m sure we all appreciate the refreshing, no holds bared approach. Timely reminder for us all to take stock at WHAT we’re doing, HOW we’re doing it, and most importantly – ‘how it’s being RECEIVED’ (if at all)… A great blueprint for action; and a big thanks for ‘improving my aim!’

  94. Rob B.

    January 15th, 2013

    A very insightful rant and I agree with it — chops, beliefs, world view, WIIFM, and all. Love the Normandy Beach landing in Saving Private Ryan analogy. Since Marketing is the new engine/revenue driver/new ideas generator/information custodian, then shouldn’t a competent CMO or Marketing Manager be considered every bit as important as the CEO, and be compensated accordingly?

  95. Javier Izquierdo

    January 17th, 2013

    Not in the Marketing Department but nonetheless utterly interesting the Manifesto, glad to have read it!

  96. Andrew Southard

    January 22nd, 2013

    Well, you were aiming for 50 and you have 122, so you really don’t need me at the moment. However, as I am currently voraciously consuming everything I can find on the content side, I have to say it ranks as one of the best I’ve read and also links out to some other fantastic stuff. There’s the old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, well I’m trying to defy that one and your publications are helping greatly – if they don’t succeed you can count me in the dreaded wannabe department (where I’ll help you look good by comparison, it’s the least I can do!)

  97. Amanda Wilson

    January 29th, 2013

    I got goosebumps. Had to stop myself from yelling ‘yes, yes, yes!’ in case my colleagues thought I was having a When Harry Met Sally moment.

  98. Helen Bailado

    February 14th, 2013

    Fait accompli: didn’t just get past my WIIFM filter – blew it away…AND it was entertaining – thanks!

  99. Mark Spaner

    February 18th, 2013

    Thank you, for a most entertaining evening. Wished I’d stumbled across this a couple of years ago. There are certain marketing problems (lead generation and audience response) that have caused us to bang our heads against the wall for a long time. You did a good job of reframing the thinking and opening up other possibilities.

  100. Sam Willis

    February 18th, 2013

    “I was lost, now I am found…”

    Well maybe not entirely ‘found’, but I at least now have a map, even if it is written in foreign glyphs, while I hold it upside down.

  101. Vicki Jeffels

    February 28th, 2013

    Love it guys! Bravo! And helpfully it describes perfectly our view of this brave new marketing world too! If you ever need a partner Down Under (NZ) look us up!

  102. John Richardson

    March 13th, 2013

    For sale: Two Dozen Silos. Owners selling dues to arrival of post-digital era.

  103. John Richardson

    March 13th, 2013

    For sale: Two Dozen Silos. Owners selling due to arrival of post-digital era.

  104. Andrei Baciu

    April 26th, 2013

    This is a great piece of work!

  105. Kent England

    May 8th, 2013

    I have been in business for nearly 40 years…and have never been so moved by such important information as this document. It has completely changed my concepts about marketing, confirmed many important arguments that I have been making with my peers for a while now, and most importantly, brought me up to speed quickly on these vital changes that we need to adopt.

    How wonderful it is that I kept digging through pages and pages of sites and information to find this one document. I started looking over the last few days for information regarding white papers and content marketing data and ideas…wow, what I have learned from this and many other pieces of information…absolutely amazing.

    Thank you for the incredible information!!!

  106. Jess

    May 17th, 2013

    Inspiring. I jumped straight onto Google Books (all hail google) to check out Marketing Myopia and three clicks later have a copy on its way to my door from Book Depository. Marketing like this is why I got into it in the first place.

  107. Sandy Archer

    June 8th, 2013

    An interesting and insightful read, got me from the start. Fills in some of the gaps and educates in a NBS way. I’ll be passing it on, thanks for writing and sharing.

  108. Jenn Morgan

    June 27th, 2013

    Before you can even compete for a piece of your clients’ budget, you have to compete for their attention. Well said. Also, it’s exciting to see ongoing comments from 2010 all the way through June 2013. Well implemented.

  109. Albert

    June 28th, 2013

    Spot on! I work in an agency and sharing this with clients (some who don’t even understand traditional marketing) feels like describing a rainbow to a blind person…but who cares, am gonna run with this manisfesto anyway!!!

  110. Rod Hirsch

    July 2nd, 2013

    Great stuff, Doug. Instead of the vacuous nonsense peddled by the smoke ‘n’ mirrors brigade, there’s finally some meaty, usable content. More power to your elbow!

  111. Melanie McKinney

    July 22nd, 2013

    Thanks for this brilliant insightful piece of work! I don’t usually read pieces of content right to the end unless they are something special so well done! Your description of this scary new world is very similar to our own (new buyers journey etc) and it’s great to hear that people are finally starting to get the message! If you’re looking to move into Australia and want a partner, please look us up!

  112. Isabella Lo

    July 25th, 2013

    First of all, Thanks for the nice work and raise the bar for many of us 🙂

    Second, I like the copy. Witty, funny and get to the point. Whoever that did the copywriting, is a great writer.

    Third, the idea is being presented in a very consice way yet a lot of “punch” line. Thanks for the challenge. Yes. We need to think of marketing differently. We need to aim higher and see our role more important. We need to acknowledge that we can have more accomplish and our work can have more impact. While all these have notihing to do with self-inflation 🙂

    Fourth, really nice to see the list of the “big” guys in this field and you’re giving them credit.

    With all these being said, I wonder if your claim of “These three new realities make you the single most important person in your company” holds true. May be this is again a provocation. I just think that we (human) may have the tendency of seeing how important our role is as compare to other’s and thus belittle other. I’m sure that’s not your intention. It resonates more with me of seeing this is the most existing moment in history and we can do so much more than before.

    Nice work! Well done! Keep it up!!!

  113. Thor Roundy

    July 29th, 2013

    I decided to read it, because I was interested in the way you would use humor to make the content interesting. I noted the page where you wrote, “You now have 6-14 micro-seconds to deliver one of two signals (or, if you can pull it off, both):
    “This will be useful to you.” or “This will be entertaining.””
    Exactly the two points I wanted to see in your manifesto.
    The headlines helped me read through and filter very quickly for what I wanted to know more about.
    Thanks for sharing a great example of content marketing.

  114. Shella

    September 10th, 2013

    Paragraph writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar with then you can write if not it is complicated to write.


    September 14th, 2013

    You could certainly see your skills iin the article you write.
    The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are noot afraid too mention how they believe.
    All the time go after your heart.

  116. Rachel

    October 16th, 2013

    You caught my attention … and kept it. Excellent content and visual presentation.

  117. David

    October 17th, 2013

    Interesting piece – but I could have read this 10 years ago. I’ll give anyone at the company who wrote this $100 if they can find me a bonofide list of “Left-handed Purchasing
    Professionals in the Heating, Ventilation and Airconditioning Industry” Not going to happen. Work in B2b and the reality is integrated marketing is still the best way to build business and brand – just the way it was 10 years ago – we now just have more tools in the shed and more data to wade through (a lot of useless data BTW). But provocation sells now doesn’t it?

  118. Paula

    October 21st, 2013

    It’s over three years since this was published, but still feels very true. Both entertaining and useful. Nice to meet you, kindred spirits. Question about your clients: are they very much ‘primed and ready’ to embark on this journey when they make contact with you? Presumably, with so many clients to service, the choice between (a)nurturing the (agnostic) lead or (b) abandoning the ‘lost-cause’ is fairly simple. Or is it?

    1. Doug Kessler

      October 21st, 2013

      Hi Paula
      One of the great things about the Manifesto is that it attracted like-minded clients who were indeed primed and ready to market this way. It probably alienated the timid as well — so that’s a double win!

      Thanks for your kind comment.

  119. Tristan Handy

    October 27th, 2013

    This was not new information, but rather a wonderfully succinct coalescing of a bunch of things that have been bouncing around in my head for a while. And the succinctness is exactly what makes it actionable, which is all that matters.

    Definitely sparked some wonderful conversations on my team.

    Thanks for putting the time and mental energy in.

  120. camille cox

    November 4th, 2013

    bril !!! (that’s code for brilliant). thanks.

  121. Neil Desai

    November 17th, 2013

    Excellent read! It’s great to read pieces about content marketing which reaffirm my beliefs.

  122. Kevin Cull

    December 7th, 2013

    The Manifesto was an excellent read, well done.

  123. Keir Rothnie

    December 26th, 2013

    Your manifesto follows to the letter what it is aiming to preach. Rock solid advice, a personal tone and some clever/cheeky (or do I mean confident) content.
    Made my boxing day and will inspire my New Year!
    Many thx!

  124. William Holland

    January 1st, 2014

    I just commented at length at the CMI blog pertaining to an edgy blog post of similar scope.

    Here are a few things to remember the next time, especially for those NOT assimilated into marketing.

    1. You’re dealing with a relation NOT an object.

    2. Struggling business leadership will struggle reading through the funny vernacular IF only because they’re desperate to GAIN something while rummaging as reading. Don’t ask too much from such readers. Juggling THROUGH the thicket of discerning what’s wrong with my current RELATION while incorporating my insight that I got while reading to remember what I discovered SETS ME UP FOR FAILURE. Think of a way for readers to interact with an interface so as to facilitate what they’ve discovered yet cannot write down, given digital mediums. You’d be surprised how lovely a first impact has, only to FAIL in securing an immediate client whose pressured for time, cannot remember the insight, cannot write it down etc. . . This is the bane of digital life, the very best marketing companies will surmount this INTRA-PERSONAL reality. I have an idea, kill inflation which destroys the very substantive capital expressed in exhausted, struggling leadership (just a thought).

    3. Marketing must be synoptic. That means you’re ultimately working yourself OUT of a job. Don’t worry though, there is a way through this IF the principals of this company have the balls/insight/fortified to expose this difficult NEW reality.

    William J. Holland

  125. Joanna

    May 6th, 2014

    Extremely insightful and inspiring read for an aspiring content marketer. I will be printing this manifesto out to keep at the ready. Thank you!

  126. Donald McNeill

    June 13th, 2014

    Well you certainly out-did your target of 50 comments and rightly so too. A great resource! Fun to read, easy to understand AND apply. To the point, pithy and comprehensive. I also agree about the segmentation comment. I’m in the process of getting my little company into the market and (while being a marketer too) this has given me confidence, ideas and things to do straight away. Thanks!

  127. Steve

    June 25th, 2014

    An impressively brief and utterly compelling B2B manifesto, both in terms of the landscape, minimalist street-inspired design and typography (is there anything Helvetica can’t do?)to the direct and forthright tone of the message that doesn’t patronise, yet is firm and confident, and playfully hipster, too.

    I learned what is required from me to contribute more meaningfully to achieving the company’s goals, and what the company needs to do to attract, engage and develop prospects at all levels of the discourse.

    thank you for this inspiring work.

  128. Jason

    October 14th, 2014

    ugh. now I can’t go back to business as usual. Thanks for a well written piece that not only reinforces all my own precious biases, but blows my company mgmt out of the water. Wish me luck.

  129. Christine

    October 20th, 2014

    Is it embarrassing that I said “Hallelujah” out loud at my desk while reading? All hail the Manifesto! Brilliant, and so deliciously forthright that even my architects will HAVE to understand the message. They will, won’t they?

    Thank you for practicing what you preach, and hitting us marketers upside the head.

  130. dewad

    November 10th, 2014

    Thanks for creating and sharing this excellent content It’s proper good, this is.
    It’s crafted, it’s bothered, it believes in something,Kudos.

  131. Cookie

    December 11th, 2014

    How often do you read a document in the ‘currency era’ four years later and find it’s still ahead of its time? What a fabulous, insightful, clever and captivating read. Fodder for a fertile marketing mind and a depth plunge of resources. Cheers.

  132. Cheri Bubuer

    December 12th, 2014

    You lost me at “naked, desirable, and drunk.” It’s an example of the tiny things that might turn off an audience because you didn’t think it included people who might be a little put off by the “and drunk” part.

    1. Doug Kessler

      December 18th, 2014

      You’re right, Cheri.
      That line is offensive, so we’re killing it.
      Thanks for pointing it out.

  133. Tyson

    December 19th, 2014

    Great content, casual voice, slick delivery, and a pretty compelling call to action. Great B2B marketing at work.

  134. Anna

    December 24th, 2014

    Refreshing and so relevant. Thank you. It’s the best resource I’ve read in a long time!

  135. Stefano Bigi

    January 28th, 2015

    Very much worth reading! A step by step intriguing guide on how to make the change happen. Thanks for the free download .-)

  136. SSingh

    April 17th, 2015

    This is inspiring piece of work and full of knowledge.

  137. Jason Freeman

    June 24th, 2015

    Well said indeed!

    I absolutely love page 20 and I really hope that it does make a few people stop and think before producing their next sub-standard piece of fluff.

    Excellent work.

  138. Ian Gray

    July 15th, 2015

    Thank you for this really eye-opening reality check! Now to get to work on it!
    Looks great too. Although we have suspected this all along, it is still a hell of ride trying find a killer angle to crack the barrier to getting a potential client to discuss anything. Often timing is the issue so I like the idea of ‘lead nurturing’. It is hard to wait but some times there is no other choice!

  139. Ron Marcus


    June 11th, 2016

    You’ve done an excellent job of summarizing the new landscape of b2b marketing. Kudos.

  140. vero

    February 19th, 2017


  141. Herbert B

    Pawnee Specialties

    December 6th, 2019

    Very Good! I enjoyed your Manifesto very much. For almost 20 years I was doing B2C web business flying blind. I was fortunate to sell product to people all over the world, without knowing what I was doing.

    I have been selling my entire adult life, unconsciously and consciously, but in a face2face market. I was selling my experienced skills as a contractor. Your insights and recommendations for B2B sales are basically the same for all sales in general. With the internet added for complexity.

    The biggest challenge I see personally today with B2B sales is the buyer “B” is still internet ignorant and doesn’t see the necessity to become educated about it.

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