The Value of the Visual

August 22, 2013

By Tim Riesterer

The B2B Rising road show includes a stop at the 2013 Marketing Technology Summit in Phoenix, Arizona. Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer at consultancy Corporate Visions, will kick off the event, which is co-hosted by BMA Phoenix and the Arizona Technology Council. His message: “You must be able to tell your story in a visual way.”

BMA Buzz: How has technology impacted the way B2B marketers tell stories?
Tim Riesterer: Technologies have made it easier for B2B marketers to tell engaging, visual stories with low-cost, easy-to-use video tools. Marketers can create stories using emotional, contrasting visuals. [These images] appeal to the decision-making part of the brain, to help it to see the need to change, and the [difference] between a solution, the status quo and competing alternatives.

BMA Buzz: You’ve challenged the notion that sales interactions have been pushed to the end of the buying cycle. What does the model look like, and how should it impact storytelling?

Riesterer: Marketers need to equip sales people with stories to get two ‘yes’ [responses]. The first ‘yes’ is the agreement to change, to do something different. The second ‘yes’ is to choose one solution among competing alternatives. 

Many companies spend all of their time on the story for the second yes. They tell it in isolation. In reality, the majority of selling conversations require a distinct, provocative point of view to dislodge the current situation.

BMA Buzz: What new marketing technology developments are you watching? 
Riesterer: The proliferation of tablets among sales forces means we have to adjust collateral strategy significantly. How do you create content that leverages the tablet to drive selling conversations?

Also, how do you create content and strategies that leverage your salespeople and their potential power as social-selling engines? If done right, marketers will be able to leverage the expansive social network created by field and channel partners.


"The Value of the Visual." Tim Riesterer. BMA Buzz. 8/22/13.