In an ideal world, B2B marketing unites sales, product marketing, content marketing and other groups to define the best strategies to meet a company’s objectives. Few are able to accomplish that as well as Adam Hatch Vice President of Marketing for MyWebGrocer, the leading provider of e-commerce and media solutions for the grocery retailing and CPG industries. Adam orchestrates every aspect of the company’s marketing efforts — including product marketing, demand generation, public relations, analyst relations and thought leadership content.
Colleagues describe Adam as “a salesperson’s VP of marketing” and a “brainiac of the tech industry” who’s demonstrated real vision in leading successful B2B marketing programs. Following are just some of the insights that drive his success. Read on, and enjoy getting to know Adam!
What B2B marketing trend is inspiring you right now?
I think there is a growing realization that the brand atmosphere and experience matters in B2B. As much as consumers buy from brands because they want to be part of something or signal their values, B2B buyers do the same. If you are a B2B company and you establish a brand that is compelling and modern — and that has an “otherness” to it — prospects will want to do business with you, because they feel that some of that will rub off on their organization. It can be that 5% difference that puts your organization over the top in a competitive deal.
What’s the most important or interesting thing you’ve learned about content marketing?
There’s a concept I’ve used with my marketing teams that I call “whiteboard marketing” to get a group aligned around coming up with great content. What this means is that most people have a list of initiatives, to-dos and projects written down somewhere — usually on their whiteboard. If I were to call you up and say “Hey, I’ve got a whitepaper or other piece of content that will make it so you can cross that off your whiteboard” or “Hey, that presentation you need to write and you’re dreading? Here’s a report complete with data that will write the presentation for you so you don’t struggle doing it this Sunday night,” they’ll take that content right away.
This may seem obvious, but to many marketing teams, it’s not. You have to come up with titles and substantive thinking that solves some kind of urgent need with respect to performing their job or enables them to advance themselves by looking like the smartest person in the room during a meeting. This is not just about “knowing your audience,” it’s about creating something that is as current, substantive, objective and as credible as what a consultancy or analyst firm that is paid for their insights would come up with. There’s a lot of content out there — in fact, an ocean of it — that no one will ever read, because it was conceived without this in mind.
What B2B marketing mistake makes you cringe?
There’s a belief running through the profession right now that inbound marketing allows you to get around paying to promote your content. This simply isn’t true. One of the side effects of the content marketing movement is that there is way too much content vying for the attention of decision makers already suffering from information overload.
If you write a lot of content, even if it’s great and compelling, and don’t pay to put at least some of it in front of your audience (especially if you don’t have a lot of brand recognition), then your lead generation efforts will likely fail or always be subpar. Moreover, I’ve heard people say that outbound marketing is dead. What inbound marketing gave our profession was a powerful weapon that was badly needed in our lead generation arsenal, and when you combine it with well-executed outbound techniques, you have a potent strategy. However, if you treat it as a panacea, you could be setting yourself up to let your sales team down — and we all know how that story ends.
What city do you live in, and what’s great about it?
I live in the Boston area, and what’s great about it is that it has something for everyone. There are beaches and mountains nearby, a city with a thriving economy, history, sports, world-class institutions, culture and it’s the type of place where there is a constant inflow of young talented people, yet people put down roots here. I think it’s hard to find this combination anywhere else in the country.
What’s your favorite TV show?
Hands down, “Game of Thrones.”
What inspires you?
What inspires me is working with entrepreneurs. It takes an unbelievable amount of courage and grit to start a business, and when you get to work with people like this every day, it is easy to be inspired.
How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working?
Every minute I get that’s not for work goes back to my family. The most important thing to me is to never lose sight of how quickly life goes by, and that no matter what you’ll always wish you had had more time with the people you care about.
Do you know another marketing pro who you think we should feature in an upcoming Content Marketer Spotlight? Drop us a line in the comments section below!