Nick Nelson

In a Fast-Paced Digital World, B2B Marketers Can Benefit from Slowing Down

Nick Nelson on Jan 27th, 2020     B2B Marketing

Why B2B Marketers Should Slow Their Marketing Roll

We are living in the age of speed: faster connections, faster answers, faster service. People expect many things to happen instantly, in real-time, and technological advancements are increasingly making it possible.

As such, it might seem counter-intuitive to suggest that we as B2B marketers are wise to slow our roll. Sometimes we tend to go through the motions too quickly, or in the wrong order, and it can hurt our results. In fact, it can prevent us from even accurately evaluating our results.

Sean Callahan recently wrote a post on the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions* blog arguing that a top priority in 2020 for B2B marketers should be to slow down when measuring ROI. The case is simple and convincing: Sales cycles have grown significantly longer but analytics haven’t responded in kind. Per the post, 77% of marketers are still measuring ROI in the first month of a campaign, even though the average B2B sales cycle is now about six months long.

Nick Nelson

Break Free B2B Series: Carol-Lyn Jardine and Heather Hurst on Effectively Managing Change in B2B Marketing

Nick Nelson on Jan 23rd, 2020     B2B Marketing, Video Interviews

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This phrase is often uttered with a negative connotation, but incidentally, it also represents an aspirational ideal for B2B marketing managers and leaders. 

In an environment that is constantly shifting, brands and agencies are tasked with navigating uncertainty while remaining steadfast in their pursuit of the same ultimate goals: engaging prospects, building relationships, driving business results.

As such, change management becomes a key aspect of the job, particularly for those in leadership positions. Focusing on “how to help employees embrace, adopt and utilize a change in their day-to-day work” (as defined by Prosci), change management is oft-overlooked but clearly essential for a profession where one day can look drastically different from the last.

Lane Ellis

What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Experiential Content

Lane Ellis on Jan 22nd, 2020     B2B Marketing, Interactive Marketing

Colorful round gems image.

Experiential content will help drive 2020’s digital agenda, and savvy B2B marketers should take notice.

Experiential is a word with subtly differing meanings depending on which setting it’s used in, however at the core of each definition is the fact that it all boils down to experiences.

Experiential content makes us a central part of a story, and not just a passive subject receiving a one-way brand message.

Experiential B2B Word Cloud Image

Use of experiential content has grown over the past several years as online technologies have reached a level capable delivering vibrant and engaging motion and sounds alongside clickable, swipable, and all other manner of interactivity to put you front and center.

TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden recently mentioned experiential content in his annual list of the top ten B2B digital marketing trends for 2020.

Nick Nelson

Break Free B2B Series: Emily Thompson on the Power of Content Marketing in Health Care

Nick Nelson on Jan 21st, 2020     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Interview with Emily Thompson

Trust is the linchpin of modern marketing. It plays a crucial role in every vertical, industry, or niche. But nowhere is trust a more essential crux than in health care, where the personal stakes are immense.

“We’re in an industry where, you know, it’s serious,” says Emily Thompson in her interview for Break Free B2B. “This is about people’s health and well being, and a lot of times people get very nervous — they’re scared, they’re sick.”

As a Boston-based freelance writer and content strategist who primarily focuses on the health care sector, where she has worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from startups to enterprise, Emily acutely understands the impactful nuances of messaging. She says seeing things from the other side — as a first-time mother who frequently sought information online — helped her develop a more empathetic view.

Lee Odden

Top 10 B2B Digital Marketing Trends in 2020

Lee Odden on Jan 20th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing

B2B marketing trends 2020

As a kid I was a big fan of Science Fiction with a rich imagination about the world in 2020 with flying cars, floating cities and the possibility of aliens among us that sparked numerous ideas about what’s possible.

Of course that’s not exactly how things turned out (not so sure about those aliens) but B2B marketing is definitely entering an age of possibility.

Without question, the future is bright for digital with Forrester predicting that digital marketing spending will reach $146 billion by 2023. In B2B, there are important shifts from more B2C inspired tactics to a more focused effort to engage Millennial age buyers: 45% of B2B technology buyers are now Millennials and more than 70% of millennials are included in B2B buying decisions.

Nick Nelson

Break Free B2B Series: Ben Wallace on the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ in B2B Marketing

Nick Nelson on Jan 16th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Interview with Ben Wallace

How does the air we breathe affect the work we produce?

It’s not a question I’d pondered very frequently, until I had the opportunity to chat with Ben Wallace for the latest episode of Break Free B2B. But it’s one of many considerations that came to light during his illuminating interview with TopRank Marketing President Susan Misukanis and myself.

As CEO of Link Positive, a clean-energy business development service, and co-founder of soon-to-launch energy optimization implementation startup Minify Energy, Ben consults companies about energy efficiencies, reducing environmental footprint, and creating a more comfortable workspace. As he explains, there are business and marketing implications that go well beyond what is apparent on the surface.

Lane Ellis

5 Free Online Courses to Sharpen Your B2B Marketing Skills

Lane Ellis on Jan 15th, 2020     B2B Marketing

Sharp Pencis and Shavings Image

No matter how much you already know, in 2020’s always-on B2B marketing landscape there’s always more to learn.

That’s why savvy B2B marketers are continually seeking out new methods and research, and refining and honing their existing skills.

Whether it’s influencer marketing, conversion optimization, or search engine optimization (SEO), with more options available for learning new marketing skills today than ever before, choosing where to start can sometimes seem overwhelming.

Online courses have proven to be an excellent way to enhance your career through learning, and by offering a work-at-your-own-pace cadence, you can fit in as much or as little instruction as your time allows, whenever and wherever you want.

With more than 70 percent of companies recognizing online learning as essential to long-term strategy (Digital Marketing Institute), it’s little wonder that in 2020 online courses are flourishing.

Nick Nelson

Break Free B2B Series: Adi Bachar-Reske on Taking the Lead in the Evolution of B2B Content Marketing

Nick Nelson on Jan 14th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Interview with Adi Bachar-Reske

Marketing leaders are at the forefront of a seismic transformation that continues to play out as we enter a new decade. 

Organizational dynamics are realigning. Power balances are shifting. Trust – both internal and external – is emerging as the most essential crux in business success. For people like Adi Bachar-Reske, it’s an exhilarating time to be leading the charge.

Her history in marketing dates back multiple decades, so she’s been helping shape this evolution. “Twenty years ago, everybody’s in a suit. I was the only woman in the room, always,” she says. “It has changed a lot.”

Nick Nelson

5 Old Habits B2B Marketers Should Leave Behind in the 2010s

Nick Nelson on Jan 13th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Old Habits B2B Marketers Should Leave Behind in the 2010s

New decade, who dis?

We’ve officially turned the calendar to 201… er, 2020! First the first time in 10 years, we’ll all be writing a different numeral as that third digit. That’s a new habit that’ll take some getting used to. 

As B2B marketers, perhaps we can take advantage of this opportunity to form a few other new habits. Specifically, I’m talking about making adjustments to the way we approach our craft, so to align ourselves with the evolved marketplace of the 2020s. 

The New Year is always a fitting time for resolutions and aspirational goal-setting. With this particularly momentous milestone, I’m urging all my B2B marketing peers to think big and commit to some major shifts in mindset for the decade ahead.

Nick Nelson

Break Free B2B Series: Adam Dunn on Creating Blockbuster Video Content in B2B

Nick Nelson on Jan 9th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Video, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Interview with Adam Dunn

Content has many aims. It should inform. It should assist. It should entertain.

But as B2B marketers, doesn’t it seem like if we don’t deliver on the latter – immediately, and convincingly – we don’t really get a chance to deliver on the rest? 

Given that our job is dependent on earning and keeping an audience’s attention, marketers are wise to take cues from entertainment-focused content formats like films and music videos. Even more so, we’re wise to take cues from the creators behind them. In a nutshell, that’s why Adam Dunn offers a particularly valuable perspective for people in our line of work.

Joshua Nite

B2B Content Marketing Lessons from 2019’s Nerdy Film & TV Franchise Finales

Joshua Nite on Jan 8th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B Content Marketing Lessons from Film & TV Franchise Finales

2019 may be remembered as the year we reached peak nerd.

When I was growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, nerd culture was still underground, something for weird kids and weirder adults. Now our biggest entertainment franchises are what used to be nerd stuff: High fantasy, epic science fiction, comic book heroe,s and horror movies. 

But 2019 was the year that cracks started to show in even the most lucrative franchises. Several high-profile series came to an end — and only one of them really stuck the landing. Let us take solace in the words of Jedi Master Yoda himself:

Yoda Captioned The Greatest Teacher, Failure Is

Marketers can learn a lot from each of the year’s biggest nerdy swan songs. 

Caitlin Burgess

Break Free B2B Series: Zari Venhaus on How to Scoot Your Way to Martech Transformation Through Storytelling

Caitlin Burgess on Jan 7th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Zari Venhaus

When it comes to securing buy-in from key stakeholders for marketing technology investments, are you preparing to deliver a pitch or to woo your audience through story?

According to Zari Venhaus, Director of Corporate Marketing Communications at Eaton, the latter is essential if you want to create understanding and gain approval from stakeholders at all levels—something she knows from experience.

“If they’re not marketers, they don’t understand what we do every day and the impact it has,” Zari told TopRank Marketing’s Susan Misukanis in a recent Break Free B2B interview. “So, we had to learn how to storytell. We had to take our roles as marketers and turn it internally and really do that for our senior leaders.”