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B2BPOV Recap: Dim Sum Marketing

Last updated on October 15th, 2016 at 11:48 am

B2B News Network was proud to present the latest B2BPOV event with Edelman Toronto last night. The theme was “Lessons From Dim Sum for B2B Content Marketing”. Andrew Brown, Founder of Write on the Money, joined Derek Chezzi, Editorial Director, Collaborative Journalism at Edelman, in a lively Q&A. If you weren’t able to attend, we’d like to share their insights with you.

 dim sum marketing

What is Dim Sum Marketing?

Have you had dim sum? Dim sum is a shared experience, with ad hoc quality (you don’t know what’s going to come). Oftentimes there is the mystery of what’s inside, the “I’ll try that” of the unknown. Dim sum is tantalizing to the eye. It is opportunistic and dynamic. It’s the perfect analogy for what the world of marketing is like. For example, infographics, gifs, or white papers are all like servings of dim sum.

The concept works for storytelling in marketing as well. If you imagine a dim sum dinner as one long story, each story layer or story complexity is a portion.

What does it look like?

You grab things as they come out because you don’t know if it’ll come around again. You jump in because it sounds like a good idea, but then the really good stuff comes.

Why does it emerge?

Dim sum marketing emerges from one or two reasons, or both.

  1. Complexity – This can be evaluated in a number of ways ie. products, segments, geography, lifecycle.
  2. Lack of Cohesion – This is the degree to which there is a unified goal in planning and execution.

Dim Sum Marketing happens at the intersection between high complexity and low cohesion, as a result of organizational silos, products, services, etc, and without any shared metrics. The speed with which content is acquired, and the number of content curation tools is a factor, as are metrics that are focused on transactions or productivity (as opposed to business metrics).

What are the risks?

As in dim sum, you could have too many dishes on the table. The number of initiatives, siloed metrics, competing messages, and duplication of effort can all pose problems. There are opportunity costs when you don’t get traction in one area and resources are allocated somewhere else.

Is it right for you?

If you can reduce the complexity of your marketing efforts, and have a cohesive agreement on how to collect and interpret data, yes. Start by performing an organizational audit.

How to enjoy the feast

Establish Processes – Have a unified vision for your marketing. Strategies over tactics.
Be Opportunistic – Be entrepreneurial, take advantage when opportunities come.
Determine Outcomes – Reputation and brand recognition.


It was a tasty conversation and no one got steamed!


Andrew Brown is the Founder of Write on the Money, a podcast host, blogger and corporate marketer. He is results-driven, and developed the concept of Dim Sum Marketing in response to the ever proliferating tactical marketing universe we find ourselves in today.

Derek Chezzi is a journalist and storyteller, and Editorial Director of Journalism for Edelman Toronto. Previously at the National Post and Yahoo, he is focused on the art and science of business storytelling.


Have a look back at the Twitter Chats with Andrew Brown and Derek Chezzi.


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