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Lee Odden

The B’s in B2B Are People Too – A More Human Approach to Business Marketing

Lee Odden on Oct 1st, 2014     B2B

People focused B2B marketing

Answering any question about what’s next in B2B marketing must involve the increasing attention on buyers as people vs. simply “business to business”. The human element of business marketing has attracted a lot of play in the B2B marketing conversation and rightly so.

While there are many changes and trends to consider to stay ahead in the B2B marketing game (paid, earned, owned and shared media for example) the thing that unites departments, tactics and technologies is common ground and common goals. By viewing B2B marketing from the buyer’s perspective, whether it’s an individual or committee, business marketers can start to break free of the mechanical and start creating more meaningful marketing experiences for buyers.

Lee Odden

B2B Marketing Convergence: Disappearing Silos, B2C to B2B Mind-Meld, Inbound Outbound Mastery

Lee Odden on Sep 29th, 2014     B2B

convergence b2b marketing boston

My first experience with B2B Marketing in the digital marketing industry started as the worlds of Public Relations and SEO started to collide early in 2001.

Our tiny agency won a media relations account for a $1 billion company in the high tech industry. What set us apart from all the other big PR shops was how we used SEO with PR content to attract incoming media opportunities on top of outbound media pitching and brand content creation. As time went on and content as the key player, other disciplines converged in our B2B marketing practice.

Since then, the coming together of marketing/communications disciplines in the B2B world has accelerated. Why? Changes in technology and buyer behaviors for sure (like prospects pulling themselves through 60-90% of the sales cycle before contacting sales). Other driving forces range from the need to achieve greater impact to delivering a more congruent experience for buyers through the sales cycle.

Lee Odden

31 Predictions on the Future of B2B Marketing

Lee Odden on Sep 23rd, 2014     B2B, Marketing & PR Industry

B2B Marketing Forum eBook

Precognitive Marketing, neural interfaces to marketing dashboards, Google cranial implants – is this science fiction or is it the future of B2B marketing? Maybe a bit of both!

These and many more insights (of the predictive and practical kind) can be found in our latest eBook, The Future of B2B Marketing as part of our promotions for MarketingProfs B2B Forum. With a conference theme of “Marketing for What Comes Next” we’ve connected with 31 of the top B2B marketers from Xerox to LinkedIn to Marketo to get their predictions about the future of marketing to businesses.

The future of B2B marketing is far from boring and now, more than ever, B2B marketers are thinking creatively and dreaming big about new ways to attract, engage and inspire business buyers.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Make B2B Marketing Stories Bigger With Social Media Microcontent

Nick Ehrenberg on Sep 17th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing

storytelling in b2b marketing

Storytelling is a fundamentally human experience. We love to tell stories, ranging from whimsical fantasy to tense political thrillers. Some psychologists believe storytelling is actually necessary for human survival — we are hard-wired to respond to compelling narratives.

Storytelling is frequently cited as a best practice for content marketers, but what happens when your publishing space is limited? B2B social media marketers only have enough space for 1-2 sentences per post, so how can they tell a story with such little space?

When it comes to effective B2B social storytelling, it’s not about shrinking the story to fit within character limits. Rather, it’s about using social tools to make the story bigger. Here’s how you can make your story bigger on social networks:

Visualize the message

social media marketing, star wars, cisco

Lee Odden

What’s Next in B2B Marketing? #MPB2B Interview with Scott Stratten @UnMarketing

Lee Odden on Sep 1st, 2014     B2B, Interviews, Marketing PR Conferences

Scott Stratten

Customer acquisition without marketing. Is that even possible in the business to business world? Not only is it possible, it’s what’s next.

If you’re a business to business (B2B) marketer, you’ve undoubtedly seen the “be human” and H2H meme. Funny thing is, humans have always been behind all those business product and service purchases. What’s not so funny are the continued fails in how B2B companies communicate, the experiences they create for business buyers and the unrealized marketing power of delivering awesome.

It’s time to shine a light on how B2B marketers can elevate their “human” approach to buyers and one of the best people to do that is Scott Stratten.

Lee Odden

Digital Marketing – What Does It Really Mean? Insights from 9 Brand Digital Marketers

Lee Odden on Jul 16th, 2014     B2B, B2C, Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

Have you noticed the phrase “digital marketing” being bounced around a lot more lately? Me too.

I admit that I’m one of the sources of that bouncing. With the rate of change occurring in the marketing world, I think describing what we do is something that isn’t really satisfied by just one phrase.  Content, Search, Inbound, Multi-Channel, Integrated, all seem to have their place, but “Digital” seems to express what most companies are creating in their marketing right now.

As much as people toss around “digital marketing”, I get the impression that we’re not all on the same page in terms of what it actually means. Just a few weeks ago, we posted a digital marketing predictions post that now has nearly 8,000 social shares. Both the answers and the feedback were quite varied.

Lee Odden

Is Your B2B Company Getting Ahead or Dead on these 21 B2B Marketing Basics?

Lee Odden on Jul 7th, 2014     B2B, Online Marketing

B2B Marketing Tactics

Staying competitive in the B2B marketing space seems overwhelming for a lot of marketers right now with all the hype about everything from content marketing to programmatic ad buying.

While I am a firm believer companies do need to stay on top of what’s new, continuously experiment, adapt and evolve, there’s still quite a bit of low hanging fruit when it comes to B2B marketing tactics.

What are those easy pickings you ask? It’s marketing fundamentals! But you say, “Nah, we’ve been to the basics mountain, summited and back. Been there, done that.”

Here’s the thing about online marketing basics: the nature of the tactics persist, but the data that supports them along with execution have undoubtedly changed.

Lee Odden

How SEO and Inbound Marketing Can Grow Your B2B Marketing Performance

Lee Odden on Jun 26th, 2014     B2B, Online Marketing, SEO

B2B SEO Inbound Marketing

Call it organic marketing, call it inbound marketing or even content marketing – the practice of creating useful information to generate demand and attract an audience of buyers vs. buying ads to push messages out to them is one of the highest impact, low cost approaches to digital marketing a business can take.

The practice of optimizing content for better search visibility goes hand in hand with the broader approach of inbound marketing. SEO best practices can be applied to content across the entire sales cycle to surface brand content during awareness, consideration and purchase behaviors as well as after the transaction to reinforce retention and advocacy goals.

Lee Odden

12 B2B Content Marketing Examples and Case Studies for 2014

Lee Odden on Jun 25th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing

Killer B2B Content Marketing

Content Marketing has long been a staple for the B2B Marketing world with an increased boost in popularity due to changes in consumer information discovery and consumption. Over 90% of B2B marketers are using content marketing according to CMI and MarketingProfs. Far more research is conducted before sales contacts are made providing B2B companies an opportunity to satisfy buyer information hunger with some killer content.

But what works and what doesn’t? What are B2B brands, big and small, doing to achieve results with content marketing? Those are great questions we’re answering every day through our own work with B2B companies and through industry examples.

For some inspiration for your B2B content marketing programs, check out these mini-case studies from the 2014 C2C Killer Content Awards, which include a mix of brand content marketing program examples and the results they produced. From print to video to coordinated multi-channel content programs, there’s a nice variety here.

Lee Odden

Facts Tell, Stories Sell – How Infotainment Inspires Action in B2B Marketing

Lee Odden on May 20th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing

10 B2B Marketing Masters

In the B2B marketing world, there’s a perception that “B” means “boring”.  Of course that’s just not the case with modern B2B marketing.

According to a recent CMI & MarketingProfs study, 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing across an average of 15 different tactics. But it’s not just quantity that wins with B2B buyers.

Individual buyers and buying committees have to sort through a lot of information to make decisions and the marketers that can make the experience of information discovery, consumption and next steps a easy and positive one, will win the day.

One of my favorite expressions that illustrates this evolution in B2B content is:

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Trifecta: How to Repurpose, Reuse & Refresh Content – Intel’s @PamDidner at #C2C14

Lee Odden on May 7th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

repurpose content

We all know the importance of creating original content, but the reality is, it’s hard.

Out of necessity many content marketers have developed their skills at “re-imagining” (h/t Ann Handley) their content to extend the life and value it can deliver.

Beyond the value extension of content through repurposing is the function of personalizing content for different markets and using a modular approach to segmenting useful information for specific audience targeting. Reusing content is efficient and it’s also effective when architected through a smart strategy that sees beyond simply publishing the same thing 3 ways.

At the B2B Content2Conversion conference in New York this week, my friend Pam Didner (Global Integrated Marketing Strategist at Intel) gave an excellent presentation on repurposing content.

Lee Odden

The Hidden Value of Influencers in B2B Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Apr 17th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing

B2B influencer marketing

In the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, the top challenges that B2B content marketers face include: lack of time, not being able to produce enough content, not being able to create the kind of content that engages, lack of budget, and lack of content variety.

Sound familiar?

Stats like “Buyers are two-thirds to 90% through the sales funnel before they contact sales” (Forrester) and “72% of B2B buyers use social media to research solutions to purchase.” (DGR 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey) have a lot of B2B marketers focusing on content and social media programs that require far more resources and time to deliver leads than most business managers have patience for.

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