Lane Ellis

Unconventional B2B Marketing: 5 Of The Most Woke Marketers

Lane Ellis on Mar 27th, 2019     B2B Marketing

Bearded punk man in glasses with purple hair image.

Five of the most unconventional marketers are infusing a punk rock ethos and energy into their marketing efforts—and B2B marketers and brands should take notice.

The examples we’ve lined up here skirt the marketing norms and represent unconventional marketers who shoot for the moon and win. Using wit, humor, bold actions, and tales of death-defying feats, lessons from these marketers may just inspire you to push beyond boring and into breathtaking territory.

With messaging and tactics that might seem more at home in the mosh pit than the corporate boardroom, these marketing revolutionaries are dead set on breaking free of boring by replacing stodgy campaigns or yawny white papers with marketing messages that would have made Joey Ramone wail a speedy “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!” and “Gabba Gabba Hey!”

Caitlin Burgess

Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Today’s B2B Content Marketing Landscape

Caitlin Burgess on Mar 20th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Everything—no matter how innocuous or dated—had its use. It was a mantra he lived by. Born in 1946 to an Irish immigrant father and an American mother of French-Canadian descent, his parents’ coming of age was marked by the Great Depression plus decades of war.

Unsurprisingly, this meant that his parents, Pat and Stella, were more than practical when it came to purchases and investments. They were intentional. They were frugal. It was “waste not, want not.” And they never threw anything away—a way of life that he held on to long into adulthood.

But one day, Pat and Stella’s hoarding and his resulting belief that everything was useful, changed my life.

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.

Caitlin Burgess

The Intersection of SEO & Influencer Marketing: What B2B Marketers Need to Know

Caitlin Burgess on Mar 12th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, SEO

The Intersection of SEO & Influence

Peanut butter and jelly.

Milk and cookies.

Steak and potatoes.

Wine and cheese.

Bread and butter.

SEO and influencer marketing.

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All of these exceptional pairings have something special in common: They work together.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. And I get it. From red or white to pungent or salty, there are several incredibly important variables to consider when crafting the perfect wine and cheese combo.

via GIPHY

For real, though. Integration is key for B2B content marketing success. But some tactics and strategies seem like natural fits, while others seem a bit mismatched. If you feel like SEO and influencer marketing fall into the latter category, it might be time to flip your thinking.

Nick Nelson

What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Data Privacy Today

Nick Nelson on Mar 6th, 2019     B2B Marketing

Data Privacy in B2B Marketing

You enter a dim and shadowy room. Sitting before you is a wizened fortune teller, staring deeply into the mysterious glowing orb before her.

As her hands hover over the crystal ball, she notices your skeptical frown. So, in order to validate her mystical powers, the stranger begins reciting facts about you: your name, where you’re from, where you went to college, which restaurant you ate at last week.

“What is this sorcery?” you cry, your face growing pale.

She pauses, smirks, and turns around her orb for you to see within. Turns out it’s merely a computer display, with your personal online data aggregated and readily available. The fortune teller reaches up and pulls off her mask to reveal… she’s an advertiser! And suddenly she’s pitching you on accounting software!

Ashley Zeckman

That’s A Wrap: Top Takeaways From 2019’s B2B Marketing Exchange

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 4th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

Last week the TopRank Marketing team had the opportunity to attend the annual B2B Marketing Exchange conference in Scottsdale, AZ. This event featured insights from speakers on everything from marketing for the greater good to encouraging true alignment between sales and marketing teams.

For those of you who weren’t able to attend (or who attended but didn’t have a chance to see everything), here are our top insights from this great event.

B2B Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden helped attendees break free of boring B2B marketing when he took the stage and shared examples of brands that are winning with content that excites their audience. Here are some of the key takeaways:

Caitlin Burgess

The Real Value of Martech & Automation? The Humanization Potential, According to Liz Cope

Caitlin Burgess on Mar 1st, 2019     B2B Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

Liz Cope at B2BMX

Standing before a room of eager-to-learn marketers at B2B Marketing Exchange, Liz Cope, Director of Marketing Technology and Operations at Ingersoll Rand, was an open, honest, vulnerable … human.

“This is so embarrassing,” she said, admitting that some fundamental marketing functions were missing the mark at her multi-billion-dollar company.

Liz’s candor helped audience members feel right at home and not alone. After all, we’ve all been disappointed to learn that one of our core marketing functions or strategies needed to be reworked, rebooted, or reimagined entirely. Her candid approach also tied well into her session’s theme: Martech, Process and People: Humanizing the Journey to Channel Transformation.

Liz’s presentation was robust, detailing key technologies, processes, and the organizational structure she and her team have put in place to transform their channel marketing strategy. But her message was simple: Automate to humanize.

Ashley Zeckman

The Future (& Present) of Marketing: Collaboration, Technology & Innovation

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 28th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing & PR Industry

What do you get when you combine an enterprise CMO and a partner at one of the world’s largest professional services firms?

I can’t speak for all scenarios but at B2BMX in Scottsdale this week, it led to an entertaining and insightful conversation, from two different perspectives.

Jeanniey Mullen, former CMO of Mercer and Vince Walden, Partner at Ernst and Young led an engaging discussion on the importance of innovation within organizations (large and small) as well as opportunities for better operationalizing your marketing department. Below are three ideas for how to future and present-proof your marketing.   

3 Ideas for Future-Proofing Your Marketing

Encourage Cross-Functional Collaboration

Often when brands talk about collaborating with others, it’s in the context of their own departments. Marketing teams look for insights from other marketers, salespeople look to a top seller and so on.

Caitlin Burgess

Sales & Marketing Alignment: Shahid Javed Shares How to Go from Hate to Love in 60 Days

Caitlin Burgess on Feb 28th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Marketing & PR Industry

It’s a tale as old as time. The marketing team is hyper-focused on awareness campaigns, events, and driving more leads to fill the funnel. Meanwhile, the sales team is hyper-focused on meeting sales and revenue goals, and nurturing relationships to empty the funnel.

These two teams occupy two very different functional areas within a company. They’re moving at completely different speeds. They’re operating under their own rules. And as a result, there’s tension, misunderstanding, and even … hate.

But according to Shahid Javed, Director of Enterprise Marketing for Hughes Network Systems, B2B marketers can be change agents here. They can give and get love from their sales teams. And they can do it in as little as 60 days.

Caitlin Burgess

Bye-Bye Boring B2B: Lee Odden Shows B2BMX Attendees the Power of Interactive Influencer Content

Interactive Influencer Content Marketing

Quick question, B2B marketers: How many of you wake up feeling like this about your B2B content?

via GIPHY

Not so much? Hey, it’s OK. You’re a passionate and proud B2B marketer. But finding a way to create exciting, inspiring, infotaining content that connects with your audience is hard work. After all, B2B isn’t innately sexy—it’s booooooring. Oh, and between content overload, changing consumer preferences for personalization, and diminishing audience trust, it’s increasingly hard to capture and keep attention.

So, here’s another question: Are you ready to say bye-bye to boring content and hello to exciting, inspiring, and infotaining content experiences?

Yes so much? Good. Because, as TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden told a packed room at B2B Marketing Exchange this week, you can.

Ashley Zeckman

Carlos Abler of 3M Asks B2BMX Attendees: Can Marketing Save the World?

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 26th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

For many B2B marketers, it can be so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tactics of marketing to where we don’t take the time to pause and ask ourselves: Can marketing save the world?

To help us answer that question, Carlos Abler, Leader of Content Marketing & Strategy at 3M took the stage for a keynote at the B2B Marketing Exchange conference in Scottsdale, AZ.

In his keynote, Carlos shared a variety of ways that B2B marketers can approach marketing differently to increase their impact on customers, prospects and the world. Below are some of the key takeaways.

3 Ways Marketing Can Save the World

Marketers as Publishers

In the 21st century, it’s no surprise that the internet has become THE location for conducting business. We know that the majority of customer relations are done through content. Why? The internet allows consumers to self-serve.