How IBM’s Recent Acquisition Will Greatly Affect B2B Buyers

The decision made by IBM recently to acquire Red Hat, an open source software provider, for over $34 billion can potentially create a competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft in the cloud computing environment while also triggering several other M&A’s among B2B technology-driven vendors according to experts.

New York based IBM, Armonk, informed analysists that Red Hat will eventually become a distinct unit forming part of its team which focuses on hybrid clouds, using several private cloud services which the company runs on its own proprietary servers as well as those of a third-party provider of IT infrastructure and software. The recent deal took place a few months after GitHub was acquired by Microsoft, an extremely popular online company of open source code which was bought for around $7 billion.

Most organisations that are interested in running IT services and products via cloud are inclined by looking at AWS’s Elastic Computing services or Microsoft’s Azure. The executives at IBM suggested acquiring Red Hat as they own the most popular distribution when it comes to the Linux operating system which would make it the ultimate cloud provider. However, early reaction from experts in the tech industry, suggests that Big Blue is also looking for new ways to expand beyond its Watson AI technology.

Arguably it is the best backgrounder when it comes to IBM’s strategy, as well as the potential from the deal made with Red Hat, is available in Ben Thomson’s long post, an independent analyst who frequently publishes on Stratchery, the name of his own blog.

“The bet is: while the complexity of the internet during the 1990’s made it extremely difficult for organizations to go online, offering an opening for IBM to successfully sell solutions, these days IBM claims the reduction when it comes to cloud computing to 3 centralized providers, making businesses reluctant to pledge to any one of them,”

Ben Thomson wrote in his blog, expressing his doubt that a company like IBM will ever be successful in terms of hybrid cloud space. “With an enterprise concerned when it comes to lock-in, is IBM truly a better option? Should the answer be that Red Hat is indeed open when increasingly sophisticated organisations built it themselves?”

The Start of Martech M&A Chaos

Although CIO’s, as well as other IT decision makers, could explore their options once the Red Hat-IBM merger is completed, analysts in the financial industry suggest that the deal might be a catalyst for several other acquisitions. These include vendors like MongoDB, Okta, Workday, and many more.

Raymond James, a CNBC analyst at the firm stated, “Leading software companies like Tableau, Splunk, Workday, and ServiceNow, along with Nutanix, a converged infrastructure company, could eventually be taken as well.” Meanwhile, J.P Morgan experts managed to list over 15 different targets that could potentially be acquired in the wake of Red Hat. The cloud wars has just started, and there is certainly more acquisition deals in the pipeline.

B2B Company Examples on Instagram

There are loads of retail brands in the world, such as GoPro, Anthropology, and Starbucks making a significant impact, but how about B2B companies that are featured on Instagram? This social networking service isn’t only limited to companies targeting consumers directly. With over 800 million users every month, businesses shouldn’t avoid this incredible social networking service. However, which B2B companies are making the most out of Instagram?


Hootsuite is a social media dashboard with an extremely active presence on Instagram. Figuring out what this company is doing with their business is quite simple as they include a careers page link directly from their bio. The company posts loads of culture-rich pictures that show off how brilliant it is to work for them. From dogs in the office to team building activities, Hootsuite is certainly showing how awesome it is to work for them with their pictures.


Established in 2010, WeWork has a mission to build shared office spaces as well as a community successfully. By simply scrolling through their news feed you’ll find some amazing imagery. They utilise Instagram to show off their offices from across the globe and constantly encourage people not just to make a living, but to make a life.


Given the fact that the company is already so popular around the world, their business already has world-wide recognition. It’s for this reason that their Instagram account is mostly focused on attracting current and new audiences with a wide range of captivating tech photos as well as commentary that appeals to their followers. Intel perfectly illustrates how B2B companies that use photo-based networking in a truly light-hearted manner.


Oracle is considered a juggernaut in both the hardware and software industry with a well-established name that everyone knows extremely well. When you look through their Instagram account, you’ll find loads of photos that come with captions surrounding technology as well as the future. You will also notice that most of their posts offer humour and a distinctive personality that truly makes them stand out.


Adobe has done something truly amazing with their Instagram account. You won’t find a URL within their bio, like with most of the companies on this page. This is quite unusual as most businesses want you to visit their website and take action. However, Adobe decided to use their account to captivate and inspire the 600k followers through their shared images instead.


Like most activities that relate to marketing, improving and increasing brand awareness is at the top of everyone’s list in the business world. CBRE is a global real estate firm, and instead of it being a boring Instagram feed, the company decided to portray captivating architecture from across the globe. This ensures that they are making a name for themselves to people that would that have no idea who they are.

General Electric

GE is a popular household name which usually comes up when you think about home appliances. The company’s Instagram page provides a behind-the-scenes look at how they work with videos and pictures.

The Best Services and Products in B2B Marketing

Marketing is a vital aspect of any business. Convincing consumers or customers that your brand is more superior than others is not the easiest job in the world. However, there are multiple ways to market your product. Several marketing strategies can be used in the world today and the biggest of them is undoubtedly business to business marketing, or more commonly known as B2B marketing. This allows businesses to benefit from a wide range of other businesses.

How Does it Work?

B2B incorporates the sales of services or products from one business to another. B2B marketing, at a basic level, essentially relies on the principles of consumer marketing, but it works a little different. Let’s say you go to a store to buy a smartphone. You will obviously check the price, the status and popularity of the brand before you make your decision. There are loads of other emotional triggers that can influence your decision as a customer. However, B2B buyers don’t rely on this when making a decision.

The primary focus will be on the price of the service or product as well as the profitability that the consumer is going to enjoy. Most services and products these days are moving extremely fast due to B2B marketing. Let’s take a look at how these products and services are surviving in the B2B market.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO has increased in popularity over the last few years thanks to blogs and websites that pop-up almost every single day. More and more people are starting to realise that there is loads of money online and businesses are contacting SEO companies to help them get recognised online.

Reputation Management and Online Marketing

Websites also require someone to successfully market their business and their product or services. There are billions of people on the internet at any given time and tarnishing a business is very likely in the online environment. Therefore, companies require a reputable marketing agency to ensure their reputation remains spotless.

Database Administration Services

Most businesses realise the importance of asset data. It’s for this reason that companies around the world set up massive databases in order to store their data. To ensure the data is stored in a clean and safe place, most companies hire a database administrator to monitor it. To save money and time, most companies opt in for a database administration company to provide their services.

Telecommunication Services

Sprint is probably the best example when it comes to B2B marketing. This innovative mobile service provider is a world-leader in terms of B2B marketing. The business offers voice, data, and wireless services to both businesses and consumers. There’s no denying that telecommunication services are in high demand due to the fact that a business cannot operate without it. Some companies only opt in for internet services, while others will opt in for voice services as well. Nevertheless, it’s a service that won’t die out any time soon.

Answers to that One B2B Marketer Question

In B2B marketing no matter how experienced you are or how new you may be, everyone has only one question, and while the question never changes it is its answer that never remains the same. This question is neither complicated nor technical, it’s a question that circled the marketing arena for years maybe even centuries, and even with all the changes and advancements of the digital age, the question remains what differentiates an average B2B marketer from an extraordinary marketer? The answer is not a one-liner, there is no overnight success recipe, great marketers understand that they can never stop learning or acting immediately.

Great B2B Marketers

Some of the great marketers such as Shayla Price, Stefi Efti, Aaron Ross, Dan Shure and Aaron Orendorff realised early on in their careers that success in B2B marketing means you are committed to learning new things all the time. There are hundreds of books about B2B marketing, and from each, there is something that you can learn. Once you’ve spent some time reading them, you will have the tools you need to implement everything you’ve learned. We list some of the best B2B marketing books, well worth reading as they offer everyone the opportunity to learn from the best.

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie is the author of the classic must-read book recommended for anyone interested in B2B marketing. In the marketing field requiring marketers to communicate with people and to use their knowledge to influence clients to take the steps they want them to require relationship knowledge. In this book, Carnegie teaches readers the fundamental techniques in how to deal with people, and it explains twelve methods of how to make others see things your way as well as the best way to change clients minds.

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone

Successful B2B marketers are fully aware of the fact that sitting back is the last thing they can afford to do. The real breakthrough comes with commitment, experimentation and taking massive action. 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone is one of the books every marketer should read as he shared the steps needed in moving from a marketer to a successful B2B expert with tons of motivational guidance on how to deal when you get stuck.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

Robert B. Cialdini shares with marketers how to get the Yes more often from prospective clients. His book dives into the psychology behind the yes and explores the reasons behind that, that drives or motivates customers to agree to the idea or purchase.

Once marketers understand how the brain functions they find themselves in a much more favourable position to always get what they are aiming for and that is the golden “yes” from as many of their clientele as possible.

Other books that should be added to top reading lists for marketers include Martha Barletta’ Marketing to Women, Bob Burg’s The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea and David Ogilvy’s, Ogilvy on Advertising.

Marketing With A Difference

While marketing is for most quite a head-ache, B2B is a competitive arena, and you need to be on top of innovation if you wish to compete with the top dogs, others see opportunity in the strangest places, and even Modern Family is now part of realtors marketing strategies.

Due to the value of traditional platforms available as one of the main forms of advertising decreasing, brands are constantly on the search for new ways to reach their audience. A new trend that started over the past couple of years is the increase in content that is sponsored as well as native advertising. The most effective form of marketing currently is integrating brands with the content of the media.

More Than Just and Add

Brand-grafted messaging are now common in both entertainment programmes and the news, although this form of advertising requires more than just simply creating an add. It requires both the content vehicle and the brand to work closely together, to allow different sets of decision-makers and to relinquish control.

The most recent integration on Modern Family television show from ABC was subtle, and the partnering of the show’s writers and the National Association of REALTORS did not affect or compromise the entertainment value of the show at all. While he is one of the most loved actors in the Modern Family show, Phil Dunphy is also one of the greatest realtors. Played by Ty Byrrell, Dunphy is by far the most popular comedian of the show, he loves magic, is a great family guy, and he sells real estate. Elizabeth Mendenhall, president of the association, says that Phil Dunphy is the best-loved realtor in America.

The Realtor, Honest, Caring, Sincere & Helpful

Adweek pointed out why the integration looks both natural and easy, the hugely popular television series never focus on a product used by consumers but more a service or an organisation and that is what stood out. Phil Dunphy is a realtor, and he was one from the start as written by the creators of the show, this makes integration easy and natural according to the executive view president Sean McBride. The excellent character already created and developed embodies all the attributes that make part of a great realtor, Dunphy is sincere, helpful and most of all he is honest.

Phil Dunphy commented that he has always admired companies that allow themselves to be in the centre of fun, that doesn’t mind themselves seen in the imperfect light and in his own words that is the strongest play. With subtle and smooth partnership, everyone agrees that it was all done tastefully and with great care. One of the major fears was that the content that is sponsored would take away or interfere with the extremely popular show and with everything in place to avoid just that at all cost, Modern Talking could be the start of many brands going this route.