LAUNCHING TO LEADING                                                     

How B2B Market Leaders Create Flashmobs,  Marshal Parades, And Ignite Movements                      

By Ken Rutsky

Publisher: Morgan James

Publication date: February 2017

Price: $17.95 / trade paperback

ISBN: 978-1-68350-034-6


How Great Companies Capture Market Leadership

Business-to-business marketing as practiced by most companies remains wedded to traditional features and benefits messaging. This creates an opportunity for forward-looking B2B marketers to leapfrog competitors, rising above drab and boring content marketing by delivering messages, programs, and content that educates and compels potential consumers to action.

LAUNCHING TO LEADING: How B2B Market Leaders Create Flashmobs, Marshal Parades, And Ignite Movements, by veteran marketing consultant Ken Rutsky, provides a model for achieving industry leadership by relating a company’s value proposition to their customer’s reality, making the company’s solution integral to the customer’s market context and success.

Building on Rutsky’s 20-plus years of participating in and observing B2B markets, LAUNCHING TO LEADING is a playbook that lets marketers create the messaging and positioning that will vault their companies to market leadership. Rutsky’s clients have had IPOs, acquisitions, and private equity funding that have delivered over $10 billion of value to investors and entrepreneurs, and by following his game plan Rutsky says, “It is possible to show 6X improvement on key sales and marketing metrics such as leads to revenue in as little as six months.”

“Feature-benefit marketing and solution-based selling worked well in a world with tightly controlled information, high barriers to entry and sales-led selling cycles,” Rutsky says. “In today’s reality of information commoditization and buyer led purchases, if you cling to those ways, you will be forever in the weeds of priority and importance.”

Companies as diverse as FireEye, Zuora, Palo Alto Networks, Virgin America, and have achieved market dominance by re-inventing their messaging and positioning to be top-down, viewpoint-driven, and challenging. In so doing, they influence the way their customers see the world and how their solutions deliver meaningful, strategic value.

LAUNCHING TO LEADING presents a five-step plan to achieving market leadership:

  • Shift the Mindset
  • Identify Market Leadership Objectives
  • Create a Viewpoint
  • Articulate Value
  • Double the Experience

Rutsky, who is also a speaker and mentor, shows how to create a new kind of message, called a Viewpoint, which articulates the brand’s story to the marketplace, creating a powerful, shared context for a market conversation that both resonates with and influences customers. “Your Viewpoint is the well-planned and consistently articulated context that marries your value with the customer’s reality, taking them to a more successful result,” says Rutsky. “The Viewpoint sets the stage for your value discussion with customers and prospects.”

The book includes powerful techniques such as the Viewpoint Story Wheel, which enablescompanies to construct a Viewpoint that positions their value in a way that tilts the marketplace dramatically in their favor. There are four powerful types of Viewpoint stories:

  • Trendspotting stories jolt customers out of a state of complacency and alert them to the fact that the world around them has changed.
  • All Pain, No Gain stories take customers into the depths of despair because they are in pain or missing important opportunities. This type of story is effective when it is communicated in the language of risk and missed opportunity rather than fear and loss.
  • Better Mousetrap stories imbue customers with the power of the company’s new and radically innovative solution.
  • Brave New World stories inspire customers to transform their company and industry. In high-growth, new markets, when the transformation is large, this can be a very effective lead-story type.

Each of the book’s main sections includes Game Films, which are case studies and stories that directly or indirectly demonstrate or reinforce the content in the main body, and The Coach’s Corners, which are commentaries that add additional explanation and theory to the practical. An appendix is included containing all of the models used in the book.

By applying the techniques in LAUNCHING TO LEADING, chief marketing officers and other executives will attain market leadership by changing their stories, messages, and programs from me-too to unique, compelling, and breakthrough.

 About the Author

Ken Rutsky is a B2B marketing consultant focused on helping his clients break through and become market leaders. Rutsky has spent nearly 25 years in B2B marketing roles, launching the Intel Inside broadcast co-op program in 1994 and then the Internet’s first affiliate marketing program, Netscape Now, while at Netscape from 1995–99. Since then, Rutsky has been the CMO at several start-ups and ran network-security marketing at McAfee, where he developed and executed a marketing strategy that grew its web security business from $60 million to nearly $200 million.

Today, as KJR Associates, Inc. Founder and President, Rutsky leverages his knowledge from his extensive Silicon Valley career to help his clients lead their markets. He has honed his Breakthrough Marketing framework with successful implementation at dozens of client companies including FireEye, Nimsoft, Sophos, and more. In the seven years in his practice his clients have generated more than $10 billion in shareholder value through IPOs, acquisitions and late stage private equity rounds. A past contributor to Brand Quarterly, CloudExpo Journal and Cloudbook, Rutsky is a well-regarded speaker and blogger, having presented at conferences including SaaS University, CloudExpo, SIIA Conferences, the RSA Conference, and many other user groups, meet-ups, and events.

Rutsky has an engineering degree in Material Sciences from Northwestern and an MBA from Stanford.

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