“The Marketing Playbook is a must read for anyone who is involved in marketing or wants to build a business. It is a practical, no-nonsense set of extremely valuable marketing activities ranging from strategic to tactical. Most can be easily implemented, and yield immediate results.”
CEO & Founder, SubscriberMail
Author, Aha! 10 Ways to Free your Creative Spirit
What others are saying
“Suggestions are easy to implement and focused on helping sales make sales! Too many marketers focus on brand image to the exclusion of lead generation and customer acquisition. What good is a brand if there is no money in the bank! …Worth every penny and there is something inside that will work for every type of business.”
Denise Deverelle Crown
“The Marketing Playbook is one reference I keep close at-hand when I need a spark for a new marketing idea my sales team can use to break through the clutter.”
“A common problem has always been getting Sales and Marketing on the same page. Each side has its own view, agenda and lingo. John Fox recognizes this in his delivery, presenting ideas in a way that both sides can appreciate.”
Active Trader Publications
“Easily one of the most practical and immediately useful references on marketing ever written.”
Advertising & Marketing Review
“I can't think of a business—large or small—that couldn’t benefit by picking from this assortment of marketing strategies. You can skim it to pick out interesting possibilities, then dig deeper using the coaching points and budget estimates provided with each marketing strategy. A terrific resource!”
The ProAction Group
“The value of this site is that it is truly a resource manual of ideas and carefully selected sources for most of the necessary marketing tools…Truly an invaluable product.”
“Whether a company needs to know how to get its news in front of people who care through news distribution, or how to present it in a binder, John Fox’s Marketing Playbook lays it out…plus John gives you the names of sources who will help. It’s the kind of reference anybody in marketing and sales will keep and refer to often.
Philip J. Meyers, CBC
“John rocks. John brings a great macro view of what needs to happen for a company to maximize its marketing potential and reach customers. Some of it is pragmatic thinking, some of it is creativity. He had a great way of organizing, motivating and managing people and projects. Fun to work with as well!”
Mike Ladd, President,
“I hired John because of his entrepreneurial attitude and a start-up mentality. I never once regretted my decision.”
Merle Giles, University of Illinois
NCSA, Executive Director
Birthplace of Mosaic, Apache & the Internet!
“Great guy to have on your team, great work, really understands getting a small business going.”
Tim Krauskopf, President,
Round Lake Design
“John’s work for Unitrends in analyzing our customer base and assessing what was needed to accelerate growth gave us an excellent view as to who our customers were and what we needed to acquire more customers. He had a keen focus on revenue while building an "unfair advantage" marketing message for Unitrends. I recommend John to anyone looking for honest and frank input on knowing more about your customers and how to accelerate growth.”
President & CEO,
“John is a great guy. Excellent marketing sense. John’s business and work ethics are Top Notch. An excellent person to help your business grow and do business with. A class act…”
Bob Pommer, President,
The Nescom Group
“John provides insightful, clear, useful information. He is able to see the full picture accurately and then describe a clear course of action without wasting time.”
Bold Type Design
“I received 5 ideas I will act on tomorrow and probably 6 more I’ll use within a month.”
Art Nicholas, Nuance,
Director of Productivity Sales
Here is The New B2B Marketing Strategy Every Big, Fortune 500 Company is Using to Generate Top-Line Revenue…
And Why They Don’t Want You
to Know About it.
It’s true… Big companies have a distinct advantage over small businesses. They have more marketing options, more staff and more money to throw around.
You may have even laughed at their lethargic decision-making
(and successfully sold against them because of it), but make no mistake, they’re taking full-advantage of their heft and making huge investments into automated marketing “systems” to eliminate their reliance on face-to-face selling?
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling embedded software, trade show displays, office telecommunications systems, ball bearings or designer thumbtacks, B2B Sales and Marketing is in high-gear for sweeping change and the Fortune 500 and their marketing gurus are leading the way.
Why are big companies doing this? As explained in the Marketing-Playbook Free Report, hiring sales representatives is now THE most difficult position to fill today. Add to it escalating selling costs—salaries, T&E, training, insurance benefits—and all the unknowns that frighten business executives (like not knowing exactly what their sales reps are telling customers) and you’ve got incentive for disruptive change.
And do something about they are. Remember the Ma & Pa stationery stores before Office Depot and Staples? Or Hi-Fi shops before BestBuy? While the small merchants were sleeping, providing great customer service, the smart people at these bigbox retailers turned their business into a giant science project, automated every part of their business and tweaked everything to maximize every square inch of store real estate.
That same Fortune 500 mentality is coming to a B2B market near you.
Think I’m blowing smoke? I invite you to look up the latest Gartner report on Multichannel Campaign Management (MCM). MCM is like SalesForce.com on steroids. MCM automates all the complex selling steps and follow-up procedures into the business logic of a marketing system—giving Big Businesses a distinct sales advantage.
I am not an alarmist, but rather a realist. That is why I mentioned the bigbox retailers earlier. History has a nasty habit of repeating itself and I want you to know what’s going on.
The good news is that there still is time for small companies to build their own marketing systems—just like the big boys. And rather than trying to figure it out on your own, we can provide the B2B marketing guidance and show you how to utilize more than 100 field-tested marketing strategies in your own marketing system—all of them created specifically for small B2B firms like yours.
Why are we telling you about this?
Selfishly, we need you to be successful because small business B2B marketing is all we do. We don’t have a Fortune 500 company bankrolling us. And never have. When we see major trends like this, we believe it is our duty to tell you about them. Training you and vetting key marketing resources grows our business while it grows yours. It’s a perfect win-win as far as we’re concerned, and we hope you see it that way, too.
On Your Own… Wearing Multiple Hats…
Looking for a Better Way
Finding qualified sales reps and distributors is NOT getting any easier for you, either. Sales costs are up and the challenge of getting in to see new Prospects is real. You face the same challenges the Big Companies do. Except for one huge difference—you’re on your own.
Your reality is probably more like the man wearing multiple hats. You fill multiple roles and may even get a kick out of handling many responsibilities. After all, one of the huge advantages of working in a small business is the variety of duties.
As exhilarating as all of this may be, however, with so many responsibilities you may be wondering where you’re going to find the time to learn what you need to know about B2B marketing and keep up with the key trends. Bookstores overflow with choices, there’s a webinar every 23 minutes and your e-mail inbox is flooded with marketing newsletters.
Your business is at a crossroads (or will be soon). You know there has to be a better, more cost-effective way to market your products, but your current staff and resources are limited. You need a way to boil it all down into bite-sized pieces and filter the important from the trivial.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, however, let’s agree on the problem we’re trying to solve by answering this question…
What IS the Objective of B2B Marketing?
At every one of our workshops and seminars, I ask this one question: “When your Sales Reps have the opportunity to meet with a qualified decision-maker, how often do they win the business?”
What would your answer be?
After posing this question to literally thousands of people, I have yet to have one single individual give me a percentage below 60%. The most common answer is 80%.
Summarizing for the entire audience, I say something like: “That means, 8 out of 10 times, you eventually win the businesses once a Sales Rep meets with a qualified decision-maker?”
For effect, I stand in front of the audience—silent for a few moments.
Then I say, “Wow! That’s exciting news.”
More dramatic pause.
Then I ask this question: “So why aren’t you getting more of those kind of meetings?”
Then I boil it down for everyone.
“The main problem, in your opinion, isn’t what to do in the meeting. Rather, the problem is what you and your entire Sales and Marketing Team must do to get the meetings with qualified decision-makers. Right?”
“And, given that you are here today in this workshop on Sales and Marketing [or reading this web page right now], I’m going to assume you are not getting enough of those kind of meetings?”
The #1 Objective of B2B Marketing is to Create More Opportunities to
Meet with Qualified Decision-Makers.
The #1 Objective of The Marketing-Playbook—Showing You How to Build
Your Own Marketing System that Creates More Opportunities to
Meet with Qualified Decision-Makers.
The Power of Unbiased, Third-Party Experts…
And The Lack of Available Talent
When big companies have a marketing problem like trying to figure out how to create more opportunities to meet with qualified decision-makers, they bring in highly-paid experts. They might hire someone like Jim Collins (Good to Great) or Stephen Covey (7 Habits) or bring in the A-Team from McKinsey or Bain.
But, for your business, who do you call?
As mentioned in the Marketing-Playbook Free Report, there’s a real shortage of true Business-to-Business (B2B) Marketing consultants who are willing and capable of helping you build a marketing system tailored to your unique needs and budget.
The advantage of an unbiased, third-party expert’s advice is undeniable—no argument there. However, if you have tried to find a B2B marketing consultant to help you drive top-line revenues, you already know the challenges. Most are consumer/retail marketing “suits” masquerading as B2B Marketers. Or worse—have ZERO first-hand sales experience. And for those with sales experience, their selling was for a name-brand corporation with a gigantic marketing budget.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t any good B2B marketing consultants out there. Heck, since 1996, that’s the business services we provided. The reality is there ARE good consultants—several even joined with us create the Marketing-Playbook. But with 3+ million B2B small businesses* with 10-100 employees in the US and Canada—there simply are just too few to go around. [*some estimates put it as high as 8 million small businesses with 10-100 employees]
To effectively service such a large market, the Marketing-Playbook business model utilizes the Internet, e-mail, teleseminars and other virtual replacements for face-to-face meeting time.
While never a true substitute for the real thing, the cost-efficiency of virtual B2B marketing training is obvious (and eco-friendly!). We believe it’s how small businesses can get the strategic marketing advice they need to run their business (just like the Big Companies), while minimizing costs.
Marketing-Playbook.com—What’s it all about?
Marketing-Playbook.com is 2 things:
First, it’s a small business B2B marketing training program that guides small business marketers through all phases of building a repeatable marketing system that matches the unique needs of their selling process—from research to strategic planning to execution. It fully utilizes virtual tools to deliver this training.
Second, it is an ever-growing, constantly refreshed reference site featuring field-tested, revenue-generating, B2B Marketing and Sales Strategies. Each Strategy includes a step-by-step guide for successful execution (See 1-page tour).
The marketing strategies are not a subset, but more than 100 of the very strategies we’ve used (and continue to use), including Strategies covering B2B Marketing topics such as:
- Strategic Messaging—how to boil it down to 3 PowerPoint slides.
- Focus Groups—when and when not to use them, and how.
- Logo development—steps for getting it done right, on-time and on-budget.
- Media buying and your budget blueprint for showing management how the investment lines up with sales force needs.
- Business Cards—THE most often-used form of B2B sales collateral.
- Copywriting—writing for customers and Google “juice.”
- Direct mail, dimensional direct mail and marketing lists—it still produces great results, even in a digital world.
- Editorial support materials—journalists need your help to get your message out.
- Press releases, feature stories, video news releases—how to give yourself maximum leverage in the media.
- Print, web, outdoor, radio, broadcast advertising—YES, they work in B2B marketing, but you have to know how to use these (and when), otherwise you’ll blow your budget.
- Tradeshow EVERYTHING—Tradeshows & events do work, even in a digital world. You’ll learn how to master them.
- Incentives, Premiums, Promotional Merchandise, Corporate Gifts—how to self-motivate a customer change in behavior.
- Google AdWords and Internet SEO—more important than ever to B2B marketers, but without the right coaching, you’ll blow your budget.
- PowerPoint presentations—how to grab your audience’s attention and deliver a memorable pitch.
- White Papers—one of the most important ways to break through the noise.
- …and a ton more…
If your business sells through a human sales force and the decision’s been made to turn your marketing into a business asset to drive customers into your pipeline, and you want someone with real-world experience to teach you and your team on how to do it right, the Marketing-Playbook was written just for you.
Marketing-Playbook.com is Perfect For…
- Business Owners whose success hinges on the ability of one human selling to another human and want to have their own Marketing system to support Sales Reps.
- B2B Sales Executives—especially those who sell through a complex Sales process (or sell through committees)—who need a real B2B Marketing System for creating more revenue opportunities with profitable clients.
- B2B Marketing Executives who want to find field-tested Marketing resources and vendors so they can stop wasting time trying to do it on their own.
- Marketing Coaches and Consultants who are looking for a System they can utilize to help their clients achieve better top-line results. Think of the Marketing-Playbook as a gargantuan cheat sheet.
- Accomplished B2B Marketing Executives who want to utilize The Marketing-Playbook as a way to refresh and rejuvenate their thinking.
- Franchise Operators who want to license the material and further customize it for use by their franchisees (makes sense, given that the Marketing-Playbook was born out of a highly successful B2B franchise system).
- B2B Marketing Agencies who want to walk-the-talk by linking Marketing campaigns to Sales Rep CRM, Pipeline and Quota.
What’s Inside The Marketing-Playbook?
The Marketing-Playbook core content is based on the 4-Phase, TREKTM Sales Process (TREK is the secret sauce described in the Marketing-Playbook Free Report). Membership gives you’ll full instant access to:
- Your first five B2B Marketing lessons—starting with detailed guidance for running your own TREK session (for your own business or for a client)
- 102+ detailed, How-To B2B Marketing Strategies, specifically designed for small businesses
- The entire Vendor Rolodex®
- More than 250 pages of text content
- Monthly training teleseminars
- Access to topically-archived teleseminars (mp3 format)
- Worksheets, checklists, research resources, assessments, forms, templates and more
In late Q1 2009, we’ll be adding a members-only forum for questions, lively joint venture networking and accountability and member-to-member problem-solving.
B2B Marketing Strategies That Take You to the Next Level
Here’s a quick run down on the content you’ll get instant access to. There are now 5 core courses in the Marketing-Playbook.com program that lead you through the process of building your own B2B marketing system:
1. How to Spot the Gaps in Your Sales Process
We gave you an overview of our TREK methodology for linking Sales and Marketing. Now we’ll go deep. You will learn how to spot the gaps in your company’s sales process, how to extract the information from your sales team and your distributor’s sales reps and how to roll up the results into a format you use to prioritize the gaps. We’ve got all the forms, the questions, and the gotchas covered.
2. Learning the ONE Formula for Marketing Success
One of the most valuable formulas we teach is this: $=IxR. The “I” and the “R” measure two components of your marketing, each of which should become part of your marketing and business culture. You can have one without the other, but for real success, you need both. You will also learn about additional resources that will further guide you to create Google-juice for your web site.
3. How to Determine the Real ROI for Your Marketing
In today’s environment, ROI is everything. At least that’s what “they” tell you. The problem is that in B2B marketing, because of the exceptionally long sales cycles, ROI is often impossible to calculate. Well, we’ve created a 7-step procedure for you to follow for calculating your own ROI. Once you know your true ROI, you will be able to create a sensible budget, not based on hunches and hopes, but rather, facts. This is a very important step in the process. You need to have buy-in to your ROI if you’re going to make marketing work for your company.
4. How to Use the Secret P.I.A. Principle to Focus on High Payoff Tactics
B2B marketing and sales is simply a process of building long-term business relationships. It is oftentimes a complicated process, but it is merely a process. It requires the same effort and time as building other relationships, so trying to make it a one-time event is not only foolish, it can be misinterpreted as a lack of seriousness. In this course, you’ll learn in detail about our P.I.A. Principle and will be provided with access to our P.I.A. calculator which will help you organize your time and effort around the highest paying tactics to drive top-line revenue growth.
5. How to Develop Your Strategic Key Messaging Workplan
The Strategic Key Messaging Workplan seeks to get everyone and anyone who touches a customer on the same page. You’ll learn the importance of this document and how to create your own Workplan. The output is not a big lofty, complicated platitude. The Key Messaging Workplan lays out your Customer communications strategy in 3 PowerPoint slides. You will use it as the underpinning for all your marketing materials and ads.
In addition to the current 5 core courses, check out these bonus courses that are in progress or kicking off soon:
> BONUS: Your Marketing Blueprint—A Simple, Yet Powerful, Tool for Visually Presenting Your Marketing Budget and Keeping Track of Projects
Your Marketing Blueprint lists all of your marketing activities in spreadsheet format. It’s a running 12-month calendar that charts costs against activities. We’ll show you how to create yours and how to properly segregate the activities by audience-type and sales process stage.
> BONUS: Today’s Currency of B2B Selling
As a B2B marketer, your job is to make sure your company utilizes its precious Sales resources in the most effective manner. Sales Reps need to be put into sales situations that can only be accomplished with their human (and highly personal) effort. To make their time count the most, you will learn how to create their most powerful sales brochure.
Just $99 for Total Access Today
Yes, you read that right… Click here to get total access to The Marketing-Playbook today for
Once you see that the quality and quantity of content you have access to blows away training courses costing $1,000, $2,000, or more, you’ll know you’ve made the right choice. For the cost of your average, over-hyped Internet marketing eBook, you’re investing in a full month of detailed training in a true B2B Marketing system.
Once your first month is up, you can continue with the Marketing-Playbook, the ongoing training, the field-tested vendors and resources, the members-only forum and the many other benefits of membership for just $99 each month, or cancel and never be charged again.
You’re under no obligation to continue beyond the first month, but we think you’ll like what you see. Get started today without risk thanks to our no-hassle money-back guarantee.
Our 30-Day No-Hassle Money-Back Guarantee
We are absolutely sure you’ll love The Marketing-Playbook.
But you must be absolutely convinced that The Marketing-Playbook is giving all you need for building your own successful, sales-driven, Marketing System, or we’ll gladly refund your initial fee with no hassle or questions asked. If you’re not happy, we want you to ask for your money back. Serious.
Take 30 days to evaluate everything—the B2B Marketing Strategies, the field-tested resources and vendors, the teleseminars, the templates, forms and the members-only forum… and if it’s not for you, simply contact us by following the instructions on the “My Profile” page which is displayed in the top-right of every page in The Marketing-Playbook web site. We’ll issue a prompt and courteous refund of your initial, first-month, $99 investment, and you’ll never be charged again.
*New Member BONUS*
Your 1-on-1 with small business B2B marketing guru, John Fox
As an incentive for signing up today, we’re including a 30-minute revenue diagnostic (normally $350). It’s a terrific opportunity to kick-start your marketing plan.
Let’s role up our sleeves for 30-minutes on the phone and dig into the problems holding your Sales Team back from achieving the kind of results you know you deserve.
It will be an all-out effort on our part to diagnose the problems and recommend ways to fix the situation. If you are prepared, you’ll get fresh ideas and resources you don’t have today.
From past sessions, here’s the kind of things we can accomplish together in this fast-paced, zero-nonsense session:
- Un-jam stuck deals: Keeping deals flowing all the way through to decision has a direct impact on the bottom-line. We’ll help you uncover where opportunities are really getting stuck in the sales pipeline and recommend practical marketing strategies you can immediately put into action to move them forward.
- Getting prospects to take action: 9 out of 10 companies make a habit of confusing prospects. Their web site is unclear. Visitors can’t figure out what to do. Google can’t find them. We can walk through your home page and give you a checklist of things to fix.
- Stop wasting time: Is your sales team wasting time? We can show you how to balance their time for maximum output by using our units-of-action sales management tool.
30-minute Revenue Diagnostic Consultation
All revenue diagnostic consultations are personally conducted by John Fox, president of Venture Marketing and author of the Marketing-Playbook. Over the course of his career, he’s worked with more than 250 business-to-business (B2B) companies and launched 44 start-ups and company re-launches, including small businesses like Unitrends, Scala, AccelChip, Tellabs, US Robotics and Hostopia and Informance International. (more here)
Please be assured that this consultation will not be a thinly disguised sales pitch to upsell you on something—it’s not. It will be the best intelligence we can supply in a 30-minute time-span.
*One more bonus*
Prior to the revenue diagnostic call, you’ll complete a 14-Question Assessment. The Assessment gives you the opportunity to tell us what’s going on inside your business. The things that are holding you back. You’ll score your performance and rank the importance of your current marketing and sales strategies. All in all, it’s a look inside your business—and quite possibly—an evaluation that’s long overdue.
Your responses will help us analyze your situation and pinpoint where you can get the best and quickest results from your marketing investment before your 30-minute telephone consultation. Our prep work, analysis, research, etc. is included in the bonus.
What you can expect
Here’s what we promise to do in order to achieve measurable results in as little as 30-minutes:
- We will be prepared for your call.
- We promise that your session will be an all out effort to solve your Marketing and Sales problems.
- To make our time most productive, you may also send us (via FedEx) marketing materials and documents that you feel will be helpful in advancing the discussion. Note: any materials sent to us will not be returned.
- So that we are able to provide the most appropriate advice, it’s important that we stay within our own areas of core competency. Therefore, if after reviewing the results from your Assessment we conclude that your business is outside our expertise, we will recommend other resources to you at no charge and give you the option of an immediate refund of your first month’s fee.
Take the Next Step Now!
The cost for your 30-minute Diagnostic Consultation and 14-Question Assessment is normally $350, but it’s part of your $99 first month’s membership fee. And even after all this, if you are not fully-satisfied, you can still get your first month’s membership fee refunded.
Compared to the cost of continuing down the same path (with all the same hurdles), your monthly membership fee is minimal. There’s never an obligation to continue your membership. Just our professional expertise, resources and guidance applied to sales and marketing issues that prevent you from moving your Top-Line revenue higher.
There’s no better time than now to get started building your own marketing system with Marketing-Playbook.com. And thanks to our no-hassle money-back guarantee, there’s absolutely
Questions? We’ve Got Answers
Click on a question to see the answer or use the buttons to toggle them all.
- What do I get access to immediately?
- You will receive instant access to all of our 102 marketing strategies, our vendor Rolodex, downloadable forms, marketing resources, examples, how-to guides, archived teleseminars and our member forum (available late Q1 2009).
- You will get your first course after your 30-minute consultation. Enroll now
- What’s an interactive learning environment?
- An interactive learning environment combines a member-only website and a course environment that acts as a virtual classroom. It’s where learners (members) experience text, audio, video and interactive graphical content, perform activities and assignments, and interact with instructors and other members.
- Marketing-Playbook.com uses an interactive learning environment and multiple media formats to instruct you in how you can build your own top-lined focused, marketing system. Enroll now
- How is course content delivered?
- New lessons are delivered across multiple course areas, and posted inside the Marketing-Playbook.com member area. So instead of teaching one course to completion before starting another one, we take an integrated approach.
- The learning is generally self-paced, although there will be optional live events. All live events will be recorded and made available to all members afterwards. Enroll now
- How much time per week will this take?
- Because the core content is self-paced, it’s totally up to you. Beyond that, it should require no more than a few hours per week to digest the newest topics, keep up with the forums (coming late Q1 2009), and do the activities and actions we present. Enroll now
- Do I need technical skills or previous marketing experience to actually do this stuff?
- No. But to be successful, you do need to approach this seriously. Success won’t happen on its own without effort. As Cher said, “If it was easy, someone would put it into a bottle and sell it.” Enroll now
- Wouldn’t it be easier to take a university course or get what I need to know by reading a book?
- Not to be trite, but if you can find a university that teaches the same material we’re offering here, take the university course.
- Nevertheless, the real answer to this question is, no, it’s not easier to just to take a course or read a book. In the case of universities or colleges, they don’t need you to be successful for them to get your tuition and pay their instructors. In our case, we do. If you are not successful, there won’t be bread on our table. That’s motivation, don’t you think?
- Books don’t provide small business examples. Unless you work for a company the size of FedEx, telling you how FedEx does something is of little value. All our examples, on the other hand, are from small business. Enroll now
- How can I cancel my membership?
- We handle all transactions through PayPal, for both your security and convenience. To cancel your membership, you don’t even need to contact us. Just access your PayPal account and cancel your subscription to Marketing-Playbook.com, or go to your “My Profile” page in Marketing-Playbook.com and click one link to cancel. Enroll now
- I don’t have any marketing staff. Should I wait until I do?
- There is no reason to wait. Whether you have staff or not, you’ll start with the development of your marketing strategy. Once you complete the strategy development coursework you will be prepared to hire the right kind of staff. And we have a course for hiring marketing staff, too. Enroll now
- This looks like a lot of work. Maybe I should just hire an agency.
- This is a strategic decision for you. Our experience has been that small businesses (10-100 employees) get much more predictable results with an internal marketing department. Plus, an internal team is usually able to respond quicker. Enroll now
If you are having any difficulty with your subscription, please contact us immediately using the “About” link below.