Twitter Chat Recap: Dim Sum Marketing with Andrew Brown

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This afternoon our President, Jen Evans, hosted a live Twitter Chat discussion with Andrew Brown, President of Write on the Money, who took over our @B2BNewsNetwork profile for a Q&A. There were some fantastic questions, so we thought we’d share them with everyone.

Jen: Kicking off an intro to #dimsum marketing with Andrew Brown! Andrew is with #writeonthemoney, and was formerly at Transcontinental. He ran a business podcast w/accountant extraordinaire, Robert Gold, for years, and started the idea of #dimsum marketing. Welcome to #B2BPOV! So let’s get underway with #B2BPOV and an intro to #dimsum marketing.


Q1:  Your concept Andrew  – how did you come up with it?

A1: Thanks Jen. It began with observation mainly. I observed 50 companies’ marketing habits; conducted research of 100 companies. I observed marketers frustrated with poor marketing results, and dug into strategies/tactics to find marketing planned/executed like dim sum. I found some things in common: piecemeal, adhoc, little/no follow-up, prone to experiment. And I saw an opportunity to structure marketing programs a little differently.


Q2: So you approached this really scientifically to try to come up with a better model. Amazing! Tell us more about how it works.

A2: It’s pretty counterintuitive! Much less structure. Marketing tactictics/strategies form adhoc. Marketing tactics/strategies form without unified vision. And marketing tactics/strategies are based on whims.


Q3: Super interesting. So it evolved to be a bit systematized based on what works?

A3: For small companies, yes. Small budgets (ironically) lead to greater discipline. For mid/large companies, it emerges out of ongoing complexity (eg more audiences, more products, silo-thinking). For mid/large companies, other departments’ actions impact on company marketing so they work together, like prepping a meal.


Q4: Do you always start with the same “menu elements”? How often do you change those up?

A4: Elements etc, depend on the size of the company. Companies often start with tools and then follow with goals/metrics. As a result offerings, products, messages aren’t aligned. A dim sum approach helps get alignment.


Q5: Would it be accurate to describe it as a type of always on lean marketing?

A5: Sort of. ‘Lean’ actually focuses on adding value to the customer. #DimSum marketing evolves to focus on internal goals. There’s a later shift to focus on marketing budgets and getting things done. Opposite of trade marketing.


Q6: Andrew, how do you know when to adjust your menu, or frequency, or volume?

A6: No single ‘menu’ of marketing strategies/tactics is good/bad. You shift items when the key marketing ‘needles’ aren’t moving.


Q7: Aha. So a dim sum approach allows you to try a lot of things and invest in what’s working, systematically.

A7: Yes. As a company evolves the challenge is containment and cohesion.


Q8: Wrapping up now… Can you talk about success you’ve seen with this approach?

A8:  Very powerful for smaller companies with small budgets. Small companies (up to 30 people) are better ad adhoc planning/execution.


Q9: Really interesting Andrew. Looking forward to learning more Wednesday. Final question: anything to avoid?

A9: If you adopt metrics with making effort to gather/interpret, or if you gather/interpret and don’t act (learn), no point.


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