Lee Odden

Lee Odden

About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.

Lee Odden

Inspiring Examples of B2B Influencer Marketing in Action

Lee Odden on Apr 22nd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

B2B Influencer Marketing Examples

While Instagram influencer marketing is expected to hit $8 billion in spend by 2020, the growth trajectory of influencer marketing is not limited to consumer brands.

B2B companies are also realizing the value of collaborating with influential experts for marketing purposes and count the practice as one of the top 4 tactics planned for 2019, according to a study by Spiceworks of B2B tech marketers in North America and Europe.

Many B2B brands are considering engaging influencers for marketing but are not clear on exactly how or what the best practices are. Having worked with B2B brands that range from Dell to SAP to LinkedIn on influencer marketing programs over the past 6 years, I’ve had a chance to dig deep into exactly what makes influencer marketing work for B2B.

Lee Odden

The Future of B2B Content: Data-Informed, Interactive, and Influential

Lee Odden on Apr 8th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Future of B2B Content

Before starting on any new marketing initiative or trying a new tactic, B2B marketers need to answer and essential question: Why?

While most B2B marketers won’t admit it, many still practice some “spaghetti/wall marketing” wherein each year they throw new digital tactics “against the wall” to see what sticks without really knowing why a tactic would work for their audience over another.

This is not to say that you should slow down on innovating and trying new things. But it’s important for success to be strategic and test. I challenge marketers to do more research around customer insights and preferences so that any changes they make are driven by data and informed hypothesis—rather than simply trying new things just to see if they will work.

Lee Odden

Inspired Marketing: Interview with Kirsten Allegri Williams, CMO at SAP SuccessFactors

Lee Odden on Mar 28th, 2019     Interviews

Interview Kirsten Allegri Williams CMO SAP SuccessFactors

One of the great things about my job is connecting with inspiring marketers. While attending SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE conference last year, I had the good fortune to meet Kirsten Allegri Williams @kirstenallegriw thanks to Amisha Gandhi @AmishaGandhi. At the time, Kirsten was VP, Corporate Marketing at SAP Ariba.

In our short time meeting, we covered a lot of ground, from the need to elevate trust in marketing within the c-suite and on the street with customers to the role of purpose in marketing. She was highly focused, present and very smart. She made enough of an impression, that I included her in our annual list of Women Who Inspire in Digital Marketing.

Lee Odden

5 Key Trends in B2B Influencer Marketing Plus Critical Do’s and Don’ts

Lee Odden on Mar 13th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

B2B Influencer Marketing Trends

Overall Influencer Marketing attracted a lot of attention in 2018 for some good and not so good reasons. Luckily, most of those unfavorable reasons were in the B2C space. Within the B2B marketing world, influencer marketing has made many advancements and more organizations are evolving their testing, use and sophistication of the practice.

There are many trends happening with influencer marketing right now, but here are 5 relative to B2B marketing that are worth paying attention to:

1. Micro AND Macro influencers. A lot of marketing press has emphasized micro and even “nano” influencers over celebrities. There’s merit to that but in B2B, the tier one influencers are still important. Successful programs incorporate top influencers that have large, relevant networks with more niche influencers with high engagement. When mapped to the right kind of content in the buying journey, a mix of influencer types is very powerful for B2B marketing.

Lee Odden

Brian Solis on Lifescale – How to Live a More Creative, Productive and Happy Life Plus Improve Your Marketing

Lee Odden on Mar 7th, 2019     Book Reviews, Interviews

Brian Solis Lifescale

Brian Solis is an award-winning author of 8 books and an internationally known keynote speaker. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Brian for many years and he has consistently been one of the most thoughtful, inspiring and intelligent people I know.

Not long ago Brian and I had a chance to catch up and he shared with me the news of his new book Lifescale – How to live a more creative, productive and happy life. That’s a pretty compelling title and being up to my neck in digital distractions, multi-tasking and a need to break free out of that chaos, the notion of Lifescale was immediately interesting to me both personally and as a way to better empathize with customers as a marketer.

Lee Odden

Break Free of Boring B2B with Interactive Influencer Content

Lee Odden on Feb 18th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing




Click Here to see the Break Free from Boring B2B Guide in Full Screen Mode

B2B doesn’t need to mean “boring to boring” and yet much of business marketing has earned its reputation. In a world of information overload, buyers expect engaging content from sources they can trust.

So what’s the solution for marketers that want to break free of boring B2B marketing?

Since 81% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs attention more effectively than static content (CMI) and 70% say interactive content is effective at converting site visitors (ion interactive), B2B marketers need move away from simply educating and to start creating content experiences that allow customers to engage.

Lee Odden

Great B2B Content Isn’t Great if No One Sees It: Here’s a Solution

Lee Odden on Feb 6th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B integrated content marketing

If you want B2B content to be great, across channels you must integrate.

In B2B marketing, the expression “great content” should mean relevant, useful and maybe even inspiring information that connects with the intended reader. The problem is, even when business content fires on all of those cylinders it falls flat if few people ever see it.

That’s why business content promotion must go hand in hand with content creation.

While the previous sentence makes sense to just about everyone reading it, we also know that in practice, content promotion is more often an afterthought than a key part of content planning. It shouldn’t be a special case to improve organic search visibility, social engagement, industry media pickups and influencer shares of your content for all the (relevant) world to see, but the standard when it comes to B2B content marketing.

Lee Odden

Examples of B2B Influencer Marketing to Inspire You in 2019

Lee Odden on Jan 29th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

B2B Influencer Marketing Examples 2019

B2B brands don’t have it easy when trying to attract, engage and persuade today’s increasingly distracted and distrustful buyers. Many are experimenting with influencer marketing but results without an informed plan can be a mixed bag. Trust me, I know.

We’ve been experimenting heavily with B2B influencer marketing for over 6 years, partnering with hundreds of B2B influencers and B2B brands of all sizes while also learning a lesson or two.

Fast forward to today and we understand that for successful influencer marketing in the B2B world. Relationships are key, right along with shared values and some robust validation when it comes to topical relevance, ability to create and engage on-topic with an interested community.

Lee Odden

Top Marketing Resources for CMOs in 2019

Lee Odden on Jan 21st, 2019     Digital Marketing

Marketing Resources CMO

A seat at the executive table for marketers in the form of the CMO role has not come without costs. CMOs have half the tenure of CEOs and the spotlight is on marketing leadership like never before.

While it’s undoubtedly a tough job, there’s plenty of opportunity. More than 25% of CEOs at large publicly traded companies have a marketing background. A CMO title has become the ultimate goal for many marketers and those that make the grade have to continue working hard on advancing their knowledge, skills and staying on top of industry trends.

To help CMOs and aspiring CMOs connect to strategic, useful and engaging information, here are 5 of the top resources worthy of a CMOs time.

Lee Odden

How A Best Answer Content Strategy Drives B2B Marketing Results

Lee Odden on Jan 17th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Best Answer Content B2B Marketing

For many B2B marketers content is a numbers game, especially as the number of channels for discovery and engagement grow right along with competition for attention.

We all know how the information overload story ends: buyers disconnect, they start to ignore marketing content and they lose trust in the brands trying so desperately to reach them.

Smart voices like Ann Handley in the B2B marketing industry have called for a focus on quality and even brevity over the hamster wheel of content mediocrity. Many have listened and yet many more B2B marketers are still fighting the uphill battle of creating uninspired blog post after blog post, ebooks, white papers, case studies and who knows how many social messages – and to what end?

Lee Odden

BIGLIST of 50 Top Marketing Blogs for 2019 – Martech Edition

Lee Odden on Jan 7th, 2019     BIGLIST Marketing Blogs, Digital Marketing

top marketing blogs

During my marketing conference travels I was asked a curious question: Are blogs still a thing in marketing?

In my B2B marketing world, blogs are core to successful content, search, social and influencer marketing. It seems the business world agrees. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth ongoing study of blogging and social media reported in 2018 that 53% of Fortune 500 companies have a corporate blog (an 11% increase over 2017) and 55% of the Inc 500 companies are blogging,

Blogs are still an effective part of marketing however it can also be argued that many of them are not well maintained or updated very often. But here’s the thing: There’s more useful knowledge about marketing being shared than ever before, so where can marketers find the best marketing blogs to follow?

Lee Odden

Explore, Experience, Engage: 6 Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2019

Lee Odden on Jan 3rd, 2019     Digital Marketing

digital marketing trends 2019

With the excitement of every new year comes a new batch of marketing trends and predictions. Marketers all over the world are pondering what trends, tactics and technologies they need to focus on in order to attract, engage and convert towards reaching their marketing and business goals?

From one year to the next, there are often a mix of new trends, technologies and consumer behaviors combined with enduring best practices that marketers have yet to fully adopt. This year is no different.

As I contemplated the evolution of our own marketing efforts for clients reconciled with research on top marketing trends for 2019, I found a concentration of interest in a few specific areas like video, voice, AI and influencer marketing as well as a long tail of sorts ranging from AR/VR to camera marketing to visual search.