Why WordPress for B2B is Like the Stage For Madonna

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Last week, I saw Madonna in concert.

I’ve been wanting to see Madonna for the last 25 years.

First, as a young teenager, I was fascinated by her teased hair, fishnet gloves, torn cropped tops and dance-groove tunes. Years later, I was inspired by her rebellious lyrics and her determination to push the envelope. Then, it was her transition into the role of mother, actress and humanitarian.

This concert was fraught with violent imagery, vocal pleas for tolerance and a sense of desperation that was uncharacteristically Madonna.

Madonna is a marketing genius

Truthfully, Madonna doesn’t really sing all that well. She’s not particularly beautiful. She doesn’t write most of her lyrics. But she has figured out what her audience wants, and she has mastered the delivery of those gifts.

She is a marketing genius.

The stage is Madonna’s blank slate and she leverages its reach for maximum impact.

Watching her do this so effortlessly got me thinking.

Wordress for B2B is like the stage for Madonna

Ultimately, Madonna is selling something. Her music; her concert tour; her movies; her clothing line; even her message.

And she uses the stage as her platform to sell.

Any B2B company that wants to sell their products and services online needs a similar platform – and at MarketingWise, we believe that WordPress for B2B is the most robust, flexible and easy-to-use option.

Here’s why.

WordPress is accessible

Before other artists jumped on the bandwagon, Madonna recognized the accessibility and importance of MTV and video. It was a newly emerging medium and Madonna used that platform to make her music accessible to her fans.

WordPress is the MTV of the digital world – it makes online sales accessible to the masses.

Unlike other platforms, WordPress for B2B is affordable, scalable and easy-to-use.

In fact, if you have the time and patience (and a little bit of technical savvy) to learn it on your own, WordPress is essentially free.

And pretty much anyone can get started on their own. Even if you hire a professional to design your WordPress site and load it with a robust set of plugins, you can easily learn how to maintain it, make changes, upgrade and optimize.

WordPress is flexible

With WordPress for B2B, the design options are entirely limitless.

You can customize the site to your unique brand.

And you can reinvent yourself whenever you please, easily and effortlessly.

Hmmm…kinda sounds like Madonna! Madonna has reinvented herself repeatedly over the years, transforming the stage to suit her needs and interests, depending on the decade (and possibly her whim).

WordPress is open source

This means that pretty much anyone can introduce a new plugin or feature and make it available. And the backend of WordPress is accessible to anyone who wants to tinker around and make changes – as the site’s owner, you aren’t beholden to anyone else to make the changes that YOU want when YOU want them.

Now, I can’t really argue that Madonna is ‘open source’, but what I will say is that she really does assert herself in support of the underdog. She wants to make sure that everyone’s rights and interests are protected and that nobody’s freedoms are usurped.

And Madonna uses the stage to herald this message, loudly.

Okay…maybe it’s a stretch of a comparison, but this post would really be lacking if I didn’t make the point about WordPress being open source.

WordPress prioritizes content

For B2B, this is key. As content becomes an increasingly critical tool to fuel the sales pipeline, companies are looking for CMS systems  that are:

  • easy to manage
  • optimized for search
  • robust and flexible

WordPress places a premium on the importance of content, and at MarketingWise, content is top dog.  Which is why we love WordPress for B2B :-).

The stage allows Madonna to prioritize her message – when I was at the concert last week, she was lecturing the audience about the perils of ego (sort of ironic for Madonna to be lecturing about ego). No matter her music, when Madonna is on stage, it is all about the message.

WordPress helps with SEO

Because WordPress prioritizes content, and because it is open source, WordPress allows you to optimize your website for search.

And search is still critically important if you want to be found by your target client.

On it’s own, WordPress is very SEO friendly. But there are scores of plugins that supercharge your website for search and really provide competitive advantage.

Just as Madonna wore outrageous clothing, stripped down to her skivvies, kissed Britney Spears and pulled all kinds of outrageous stunts so that she would be squarely on people’s radar, so too will WordPress shine that SEO spotlight on your site.

Your Turn

Obviously this post is a bit of a tongue in cheek and roundabout way of sharing why we feel that WordPress is the best platform choice for your B2B website.

I was actually inspired by my friend Jens to write about this topic and you can read more about it over at his blog.

What’s holding you back from using WordPress? Do you agree with my analysis? Are you a Madonna fan? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share this post if you found it helpful.

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24 Comments

  •    Reply

    I like your analogy and agree wholeheartedly but why only B2B?

    •    Reply

      WordPress is definitely not just for B2B – it’s great for any business, any size, any vertical. Our clientele is comprised mostly of B2B, so I’ve focused on those types of companies. Thanks for your comment Tami and glad you enjoyed the analogy.

  •    Reply

    Hi Ruth,

    I have been to a Madonna concert as well, it was a few years ago in Sweden and I agree that she’s amazing on stage. I feel like I have been watching her all my life, from Like a Virgin to her latest hits, and she’d definitively a marketing genius. She adapting to the trends, and she’s making waves and new trends.

    Your comparision with WordPress for B2B is very interesting. I’m telling all my clients to switch to wordpress for the same reasons you are. And, I have added that the community and support is huge, and that many big corporations are using wordpress as well. This makes it easier for clients to switch.

    •    Reply

      Hi Jens – yes, I saw your post about WordPress (I linked to you here). It was really interesting to learn about other huge companies that have embraced WordPress and I agree, that it helps to reassure clients about its viability as a platform.

      As for Madonna – that’s precisely why she fascinates me. She has been around my whole life, evolving, changing, having impact with her audience. That alone is impressive!

  •    Reply

    Ruth,
    Interesting analogy. If Madonna is WordPress for B2B, then is Lady Gaga Twitter for B2C?

    I get WordPress. As a platform it’s wonderful for all the right reasons, open-source, flexibility, plugins, its power.

    The other side is that its WordPress is intimidating for most people small businesses. An in house web developer or one on retainer is probably needed to get the most from it.

    We both understand the importance of fresh content for you websites, query demands freshness! However, place a person whom is savvy with MS office and able so surf the web and ask them to add copy to a page and write a posts that is visually appealing and they probably will not succeed. Not the fault of the person. WordPress is not a turnkey platform.

    Look again at the dashboard from a ‘virgins’ perspective. where do you begin? Appearances, tools, setting, its overwhelming!

    Very few small business owners would invest the time and effort needed to learn the features needed to, insert a few links, source images, crop them aesthetically, alt tags, title tags, or write a compelling meta description. Let alone understand the taxonomies choices (not that I do) or understand how or which SEO plugin is appropriate (not that I do).

    The back-end UI is a big barrier to entry for small business owners. This is also opportunity for Matt Mullenweg here.

    I love WordPress and am singing its praises to all that will listen. but, singing (cover your ears) with the caveat that serious time and effort are needed to extract any useful and appealing posts and pages. (mine need improving)

    Thanks for letting me comment (rant?).

    •    Reply

      Thank you for your thoughts Urban. We definitely concur on the fact that the WordPress admin UI can be quite daunting and intimidating for individuals with little or no web experience.

      Like any piece of software, it does have a steep learning curve, particularly if you want to truly harness the power behind its core.

      But here’s where the genius of wordpress really shines. Because it is fully open source, we are able to customize the admin UI in order to make it easier for the client(s) to interact with their website and make wordpress work for them. We tailor the wordpress UI to our client’s needs and create an environment that is not only simple and elegant, but that allows for content to be driven to fit their marketing strategy.

      This makes a world of a difference to our clients. This leaves our clients investing their time and efforts where they truly need to be–getting more business.

      •    Reply

        Rodrigo,
        “we are able to customize the admin UI”
        Did not know you could customize the UI. I bet most SME looking for a CMS/website do not know either.

        That is a very nice unique selling point…. maybe should be the homepage as one of your differentiators…. also maybe a series of blog post (long tail keyword) targeting those deeper in the funnel that are choosing between vendors….

        #justsaying …..

    •    Reply

      Funny that everyone is mentioning Lady Gaga – I wrote a post about her as well, early in my blogging ‘career’.

      As for the usability of WordPress for small businesses and ‘newbies’, I can speak from some measure of experience. When I got started with blogging, I had absolutely NO idea what platform to use, how to code, what best practices were acceptable. I was as unsavvy and illiterate as they come! I started with one of those drag and drop platforms that hosting companies often provide. It was a disaster. The site looked amateur; it was awful for search, and there was still a learning curve.

      Eventually, after reading about the flexibility of WordPress, I switched over. Certainly, it took some time and I am still no ‘expert’ in the back end. But I was able to figure it out. On my own. Without any real cost. There was indeed an investment of time – but I suspect that because I taught myself the basics, it has saved me time and money going forward, so it’s probably a wash.

      In any case – I hear what you’re saying – it’s not quite as simple as signing up, clicking a few buttons and ‘voila’, you have a beautiful kick-ass site. But compared to Joomla and Drupal, WordPress is an absolute breeze! Thanks for your comment (and rant :-)).

      •    Reply

        Ruth,
        I was in the same concert as you. did not know what platform to choose and I have no experience with Joomla, Drupal, just that they are powerful. But, I did choose WP.

        Yep a big time investment. but you get what you pay for (with time or money)

        Thanks for the reply

  •    Reply

    Ruth, you are spot on with the Madonna comparison. She is a marketing genius. So is Lady Gaga, and there are others. Why reinvent the wheel? These performers have proven strategies — we should use them.

    I, too, have been recommending WordPress for all the reasons you list. I can clearly see a difference in the performance of my clients’ WP vs non-WP sites.

    I have a client/supplier (we do work for each other) who doesn’t like WordPress for security reasons (says it’s too easy to spam and hack). But there are security steps even non-techies can figure out. As long as you don’t have highly confidential information on your WP site, the benefits far outweigh the risks.

    •    Reply

      Hi Jacquelyn!
      You bring up an interesting point: security. In today’s day and age, any website can be hacked. WordPress is no different. But serious steps can be taken to prevent and in most cases, fully avoid a security breach.

      The main issue is that most WordPress users don’t fully secure their sites and often fail to keep their site cores updated. Failing to update wordpress on a regular basis is the number one reason most WordPress installs fail to avoid a security breach.

      Keeping WordPress and its database backed-up on a regular basis is also important. A website security breach without a WordPress backup of your site and database can be catastrophic.

      That being said, a well armed and up to date WordPress website can be quite the fortress; it can make it really challenging to breach and in most cases impossible.

  •    Reply

    I use to often times think why some people are popular when they can’t sing or act. Yeah, some of these people I continue to scratch my head over but just like you mentioned here, Madonna is one of them. But she has something that people are just drawn to. It keeps them coming back for more.

    I definitely have to agree with you Ruth. WordPress is the best platform for B2B companies and having the right theme and layout is an added bonus. Just put them in your trusted hands and they can’t go wrong.

    ~Adrienne

    •    Reply

      Ya, Madonna isn’t everyone’s cup of tea Adrienne. And her talents aren’t all that obvious to many. But she’s definitely plugged into her audience’s needs and that’s ultimately what a content marketing strategy is all about. And WordPress lets you do that effortlessly!

      Thanks, as always, for your comments Adrienne. Hope you’re having a great week!

  •    Reply

    Hey, I use WP (albeit the free one); think I can kiss Britney Spears…….Madonna………..both?

    Just like blogging and writing for your audience, Madonna certainly has been able to ‘master’ that for quite sometime.

    I like the way you were able to tie that performance into content marketing and how well it works with WP. Effortlessly is good, I like that……….

    •    Reply

      Hi Bill – I’ll see what I can do about that kiss ;-).

      You need to bite the bullet and dump your free blog. People show up for you (which is good reason) but once you take the plunge, you’ll wonder what took you so long. WordPress.org is free as well, by the way (as long as you already have hosting).

      I’m all about less effort :-).

  •    Reply

    I love analogies, and this is a good one ;)

    I agree with all of your points, Ruth. WordPress is the best platform for business owners to promote their business online – it’s almost free (well, the software, all you need to pay is for the hosting, the theme and maybe some premium plugins if you need) and open source. What I like best about WordPress (Compared with Blogger.com, which I have used in the past) is WP’s plugins – lot’s of them. If we have an idea, there is high chance that there is a plugin for it (or we could hire someone to make us that plugin or we could do it ourselves).

    I am not really a Madonna fan (Well, I am not anyone’s fan, because I don’t listen to music that much, and the ones I do are most likely in my language :D).

    •    Reply

      Hi Jeevan, thanks for stopping by.

      Yes, the open source code and the limitless availability of plugins definitely distinguish WordPress from other platforms.

      I know a lot of people aren’t Madonna fans, but from a marketing point of view, and as an entrepreneur, you have to admire her tenacity, longevity and creativity!! No?

  •    Reply

    Hi Ruth: Yes, I have always maintained Madonna is a marketing genious. That aside, I loved your creative analogy to Word Press. I just took a 6 hr. course in WordPress. It is a very steep learning curve but i am hopeful that once i get through the notes, it will prove to be beneficial. Just a little daunting to get started, but i will get the hang of it. Mostly, thank you for your most thoughtful and well written post.

    •    Reply

      Hi Judy – stick with it. The best way to master WordPress is to roll up your sleeves and get busy in the back end. The learning curve is steeper at first – you can always hire a professional to help you out. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and good luck – make sure to tweet me when your site is all prettied up :-).

  •    Reply

    Great post here about WP and Madonna.

    Over the years Madonna has accumulated several fans and may be an equal number of haters. They try to critizise everything she does and find ways to attack her. I think the same goes to WP. Since thousands of indivudals and business are big fans of WP, WP has picked up lots of attention from hackers too.

    In the last 2 months, my WP site was attacked 2 times and last week, all my 3 years content was entirely wiped out. The fault was entirely mine and I was using the default admin user all these years. Thanks to my GoDaddy back up and the entire content was restored in 12 hours.

    •    Reply

      Great comparison Annetta between the criticism that WordPress attracts and the Madonna haters :-). There are a lot of ways to really secure your WordPress website tightly – in fact, that is one of our particular areas of expertise. In my opinion, WordPress really allows for enhanced security, which considering it is an open source environment, really offers the best of all possible worlds.

      Thanks for your comment!

    •    Reply

      Hi Annetta,

      Sorry to hear about your security breach. When a website built on WordPress gets hacked, people often blame the CMS. The truth is that even though any website can be hacked, a well secured wordpress site is very difficult to hack. But securing a WordPress site takes more than just creating a strong password. Keeping the site updated as well as the plugins you use is also key.

      Keeping plugins updated can be the most difficult thing to manage because some plugins are created during a specific version of WordPress and if the developer of the plugin stops updating it can leave your website vulnerable to attacks.I always suggest to visit your installed plugins and check if the plugin is kept up to date. If a plugin is not kept to date, find a replacement that is.

      If you want more information on securing WordPress, you can always visit their resource page.

      I hope this helps!

  •    Reply

    […] you share relatable, meaningful content, across platforms, it resonates with your target customer. Rather than representing your brand with a static […]

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