Think of all the changes we’ve seen in the last decade (actually, don’t, it hasn’t been a barrel of laughs).

Putting it mildly, the world is a very different place in 2023 than in 2013. Some of it good, some of it not-so-good, and plenty of it transformative.

In the world of marketing, I’d argue particularly in B2B marketing, there’s been a lot of growing up. Brand managers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and less fixated on short-termism. I’d argue that Peter Field and Les Binet have big role to play in this.

As June marks the ten-year anniversary of their seminal work ‘The Long and the Short of It’, it’s a great time to (re)familiarise yourself with some of its key points.

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of short-term goals, focusing solely on driving immediate sales and leads. While short-term tactics have their merits, it’s crucial for B2B marketers to recognise the long-term impact of their strategies.

Here’s how balancing the ‘long’ of brand building and the ‘short’ of sales activation (or performance marketing, if you prefer) can help your brand to reach new heights over the next ten years:

1. Striking the Right Balance:

Finding the equilibrium between short and long-term objectives is vital. Instead of fixating solely on short-term sales figures, take a step back and consider the long-term health and growth of your brand. One of the core lessons from the book, and arguably the one that has been most keenly embraced, is the 60/40 rule. This means investing 60% of your budget (as a rule of thumb) in brand-building activities that cultivate customer loyalty, foster brand equity, and drive sustainable growth over time, with the remaining 40% focussed on immediate results from in-market buyers.

2. The Power of Emotional Advertising:

In the realm of B2B marketing, it’s easy to assume that emotion has no place. However, Field and Binet’s research shows that emotional advertising is incredibly powerful, regardless of the sector or sub-sector your brand exists in. By tapping into your target audience’s emotions and connecting with them on a deeper level, you can establish a strong brand identity, foster trust, and differentiate yourself from competitors ( System1 has done some great work on this, too).

3. Building a Resilient Brand:

Your brand is more than just a logo or a tagline; it represents the essence of your business and what sets you apart from others in the market. Investing in brand building activities, such as thought leadership content, consistent messaging, and compelling storytelling, will help you create a robust and resilient brand. A strong brand commands higher prices, attracts loyal customers, and stands the test of time, in many cases long after your product or service range has been forgotten.

4. The Power of Consistency:

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to get carried away with sporadic bursts of marketing activity across various channels. However, Field and Binet argue that consistency is key. By maintaining a continuous and coordinated marketing presence, both online and offline, you can increase brand reach, reinforce your message, and enhance brand salience in the minds of your target audience.

5. Integrating Online and Offline Channels:

B2B marketers often grapple with the challenge of integrating online and offline channels effectively. Embracing a holistic marketing approach that combines the power of digital platforms with traditional offline tactics can amplify your brand’s impact. Seamlessly connecting your marketing efforts across channels allows for a cohesive customer experience and enhances brand resonance.

6. Measuring Success and Optimising Efforts:

To ensure the effectiveness of your strategies, it’s crucial to set clear objectives and track key performance indicators (KPIs). Measuring the impact of your campaigns, conducting post-campaign analysis, and leveraging data-driven insights empower you to optimise future marketing efforts. By continuously refining your approach, you can achieve better results and make informed decisions for your brand.

As marketers, it’s imperative for us to go beyond the short-term sales numbers and embrace a holistic and long-term perspective.

By balancing short and long-term strategies, leveraging the power of emotional advertising, investing in brand building, maintaining consistency, integrating online and offline channels, and measuring success, you can pave the way for sustainable growth and establish a strong brand presence in your brand’s marketplace.

Remember, it’s not just about the immediate gains but also the long-term impact that sets successful B2B marketers apart.

Managing Director