B2B Marketers: It’s Time to Buy a Vowel

by Jennifer Beever

Wheel of Fortune

Now is the time for B2B Marketers to invest small amounts in marketing programs – by doing research to find new or validate existing market opportunities, confirming or updating marketing messaging, or identifying new marketing technologies and media that  might offer better or more cost-effective results.

I read a great HBR blog post by Stephen Wunker, Five Rules for Innovating in a Shaky Economy. Then this morning when I saw my colleague Lisa Anderson‘s post on LinkedIn referencing an Industry Week article about 1,000 U.S. companies hoarding cash (as of the end of 2010, $853 billion), I was inspired to post about it. Wunker wrote about Rule #2. Buy Vowels:

“In the television game show Wheel of Fortune, contestants have the option of solving a word puzzle (a potentially risky move that can generate quick winnings) or buying a vowel (spending a bit of their cash to improve their knowledge about what the puzzle says). Uncertain economic times present an excellent vowel-buying opportunity. By learning more about consumer needs, investing small amounts in technologies emerging from academia, or trialing new ideas in modest test markets, companies can build their understanding about growth options and position themselves to take bolder and riskier moves as the economy brightens.”

So, U.S. companies, what do you say? Isn’t it more than time to get a jump on solving your B2B marketing puzzles?


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joy Levin August 30, 2011 at 11:29 am

Great analogy! Although it will probably be better understood by those who wisely see marketing and research dollars as an investment rather than an expense. This should be required reading for all marketers – thanks for posting!

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