Monday, April 15, 2024

Effective B2B Marketing: Key insights from Scott Brinker

Last updated on April 6th, 2016 at 07:06 am

Marketing to businesses is very different than marketing to consumers. As successful B2B marketers, we educate ourselves and apply marketing concepts to our own sectors of industry.  We also learn from other B2B professionals.

I had the pleasure to attend the B3 – Better B2B Marketer conference where I got to hear top marketers share their best concepts. This week, we’re profiling those insights from Scott Brinker.

Scott Brinker

Strike a balance between innovation and scalability

Innovation involves experimenting with new marketing strategies. Scalability is doing what’s already effective, Brinker emphasized.

Innovation Scalability
Experimentation Standardization
Explore Exploit
“Fail Fast” “Fail Not”
Question Assumptions Leverage Assumptions
Speed Dependability


There is always a heated debate in most B2B companies about whether to double down on what’s already working, or taking risks to achieve exponential gains.

If companies don’t innovate they risk stagnating and falling behind their competitors. Innovation is where new discoveries and breakthroughs happen, but scalability keeps the lights on.

Rather than going either or, Brinker recommends an approach he calls “Bi-Model Marketing”. That is, allocate a percentage of your resources into both innovation and scalability. How much you wish to allocate depends on your industry and your company’s risk tolerance.

For most B2B enterprises Brinker recommends investing 70% on core marketing activities that are already working, and spend 30% on the “edge” where you experiment with different technologies.

For those who wish to be more innovative Brinker recommends you practice the 3 big B’s:

Big Ideas: Test bolder ideas. Meaningful learning is far more valuable than optimization. One has the potential to give exponential gains while the other will give marginal improvements.

Big Tent: Empower others in the organization to run their own tests and side projects. Some of Google’s best ideas (such as Gmail) came from employees.

Big Deal: Executives need to vocally support a culture of experimentation. Give people a sense of freedom to come up with their own ideas.



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B2BNN Staff
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