To celebrate the Content Bureau’s 20th anniversary, we’re seeking wisdom from 20 rock star clients whose serious B2B marketing cred, brains, and heart have always inspired us. Next up: Philip Say.
- Name: Philip Say
- In: San Francisco
- Hired the Content Bureau at: SAP, ServiceSource, Joyent, VMware
- For: Tech marketing content
- One word to describe the Content Bureau: Enterprise-grade
- Best marketing asset ever produced: Surge management playbook
- Why: We recently produced a Medium post to help customers manage giant surges or spikes in usage—think streaming companies during a hugely subscribed event, or healthcare companies during open enrollment—which are so expensive to staff during peaks. We raised surge management as a business issue that people should be aware of, and shared best practices in a playbook style. Customers are saying, “Thank God someone’s finally speaking my language!” Plus, it’s new and original content, so we’re capturing feedback and owning the SEO terms.
- Biggest challenge facing B2B marketers today: Attention! And authenticity. Readers are so savvy now; they’ll stop reading anything that’s not unique, on point, and practical. It’s really hard to hit all of those qualities—open rates are lower than ever.
- B2B marketers of the future should: Have firsthand experience using the product or service you’re marketing, then help people using true authority and expertise. Be like a community leader, not a salesperson.
- If some extra budget fell into my lap, I’d produce: Really effective new web copy and experiences.
- Where I go to learn: I go to some unusual places, such as Hacker News (what are the “alpha” devs talking about?) where the conversations are more authentic. I’m on Medium a lot. The quality is better curated. Once it hits the mainstream tech news, it’s old news.
- Smart ask: More good case studies, done in a documentary style. Showing someone’s experience using the product—real people, pitfalls and how you got around them, a little drama—is more useful than an “everything’s perfect,” second-party, marketing point of view. The tone should be, “I tried this thing, and I’m giving you advice as to what to do.” Like a reality show, with more truth. From that, buyers can make more-objective decisions.
Smart, succinct, and highly monetizable thoughts from Philip Say (anyone need a documentary-style case study video? I know this great agency…)! Phil and I go back a long way—high school, childbirth class (different spouses/babies), many years of B2B tech marketing collaboration—and now our daughters are in high school together. I’m beyond grateful for this kind of relationship that transcends work.