Leadership Development Marketing
B2B helps combat veterans market joint business venture
Whether commanding flight training and munitions squadrons, flying F-16s, or managing projects in the defense industry, Steve Alltop and Bob Mason know leadership determines a mission's success. Today they lead groups and individuals through a rigorous process of reflection and improvement -- enhancing companies' most valuable asset: their leaders.
In 2014, Alltop and Mason worked with B2B's Rebekah Donaldson, Fiona Hughes, Robert Celaschi, and graphic design team members to launch their consulting ventuer. We helped establish their brand identity*, produce essential content, launch a website, and market seminars in key U.S. cities.
"Red and her team did a great job creating our website. She also helped us improve our LinkedIn profiles and created a company page. She even showed us how to craft sponsored content that has driven traffic to our site. B2B knows the business and how to effectively put these tools to use."
- Bob Mason (https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobmason)
"From start to finish Red and the B2B team were a joy to work with. We started with very little knowledge about content marketing and came away with a firm understanding of not only what it can do, but also what it can't do. The website they helped us develop not only looks great but is fine-tuned for attracting our customers. It would have been a LONG trial and error process to get to here without B2B's help."
- Steve Alltop (https://www.linkedin.com/in/salltop)
1. Leveraging a stellar reputation
At the beginning, Alltop and Mason briefed the B2B account team and gathered brochures, photos, examples of past marketing communications, and other assets for our account team to review. More than a dozen satisfied clients shared their views with B2B in phone interviews. These phone interviews yielded valuable testimonials (Figure 2), information for case studies developed a few weeks later and promoted via search optimized press release (Figure 5), and insights that helped during branding.
- Steve Alltop is a leadership trainer and executive coach with decades of military and business experience. After 24 years of military service, including 40 combat missions as a USAF fighter pilot, Steve focused on helping companies in the defense industry equip modern warfighters with high-tech solutions. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a B.S. in Astronautical Engineering. He holds a Masters of Aeronautical Sciences, a Masters of Business Administration, and is a certified Project Management Professional.
- Bob Mason is a leadership trainer and executive coach with decades of military and business experience. After 30 years of military service, which included commanding the United States Air Force’s largest munitions squadron and lecturing on advanced logistics for the Air Force Institute of Technology, he turned to leadership training with such companies as Sandia Corp., and Xerox. He is a regular presenter for the Small Business Development Center in New Mexico and supports the New Mexico Innovation Alliance. He holds a Masters of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle University and is the author of three books.
2. Launching a hard-working website
Mason and Alltop gave input on the recommended website structure and design within hours, enabling B2B's web developers to immediately start building the website to specifications. The process included creation of several types of website page templates, creation of the site's information architecture, and copywriting the 20 key pages needed to launch the site.
A robust, search-optimized and conversion-optimized website (Figure 1) was ready within a couple of weeks. During preparation, we discovered that we needed to update each founder's bio and develop core positioning statements about their venture. We rolled that work into the website build. To ensure our client put its best foot forward at launch, we also edited articles for its company newsletter and designed infographics (Figure 2) to accompany newsletter articles.
3. Engaging decision makers
To provide plenty of reason to engage at the Academy Leaders website, the team built landing pages where visitors could download literature, and ensured newsletter subscribers could control the frequency at which they received updates. All available downloads were organized in a Resource Room.
4. Publicizing the venture on social media
Meantime, the team prepared a company LinkedIn page and company Twitter account, and set them to automatically update with any new articles that Bob and Steve published through Hubspot. This marketing automation combined with Bob and Steve's consistent drumbeat of original articles enabled our client to steadily gain new company page followers (Figure 4)—surpassing Leadership & Change Magazine and other comparables within months.
5. Engaging more decision makers
With branding and website launch complete, we'd achieved two of three project milestones. But harder work lay ahead: actually filling upcoming seminars. B2B and Academy Leaders divided a hand-built a list of prospects and contacted each to introduce Academy Leaders and explore needs. At the same time, Academy Leaders steadily published newsletter articles optimized for local search; issued search optimized press releases targeting the city where the seminar would be held, and built a presence in social media.
Recap: Swift progress through senior-level collaboration
Within six months, the veteran-entrepreneurs had gained:
- Website built for lead generation
- Active blog with growing readership
- Customer success stories
- Templates for future press releases, case studies, flyers, email invitations, and other marcoms
- Familiarity with inbound marketing processes and best practices
- Growing following in social media
- Enhanced traction in its target markets
* Note: The original brand, website, blog, social presence etc has evolved since this engagement. As of around 2016, most of the assets shown here are no longer online, so screenshots shown are not linked externally.