Caitlin Burgess

Break Free B2B Season 1 Wrap Up: Top Insights from the Marketing Industry’s Best and Brightest

Caitlin Burgess on Feb 6th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Marketing Round Up

Three different hosts, 19 jam-packed episodes, 20 incredible guests—countless amazing insights gained.

TopRank Marketing’s inaugural season of Break Free B2B, a video podcast series featuring the expertise, experiences, and advice of diverse marketing minds, is officially wrapped. 

With the goal of delivering B2B marketers the encouragement and inspiration to break free of business-to-business norms to drive bigger, better, bolder results, we covered everything from change management to visual storytelling to what’s next in B2B influencer marketing. And of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to reflect and share some of our favorite tidbits from each of our incredible guests.

Throughout the season, there were a few key topical areas we honed in on:

Caitlin Burgess

Break Free B2B Series: Margaret Magnarelli on the Psychology of Trust for Better Content Marketing

Caitlin Burgess on Jan 30th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Interview with Margaret Magnarelli

Trust in marketing—how to build it and how to wield it for good—needs to be top of mind for every modern marketer. Why? Because nearly every decision people make, especially when it comes to purchasing decisions, has an element of trust built in. And content marketers have the opportunity to become trusty guides.

“No one knows everything about everything,” Margaret Magnarelli, Executive Director of Digital Product Evolution and Growth Marketing at Morgan Stanley, shared with us in a recent Break Free B2B interview. “So, we have to be able to give our customers as much information as we can… and take them as close to the line of purchase—to the experience of purchase—as we can.”

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.”

Caitlin Burgess

Break Free B2B Series: Tom Treanor on Perfecting B2B Marketing Personalization

Caitlin Burgess on Dec 19th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Tom Treanor

In any conversation about customer experience, the topic of personalization is bound to come up. After all, 91% of customers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations. 

However, personalization isn’t as easy as flipping a switch. If poorly executed, personalized marketing campaigns can alienate potential buyers and customers. And, it’s not just a matter of making sure your email to Dapper Dan isn’t addressed to Fancy Nancy. 

As Tom Treanor, Global Head of Marketing at Arm Treasure Data*, affirms: Perfect personalization requires the right data to create the right content and deliver it at the right time. Be too familiar, too soon, and your customers are looking for every digital restraining order they can find. 

Caitlin Burgess

Break Free B2B Series: CMI’s Stephanie Stahl on Data-Driven Event Planning and Promotion

Caitlin Burgess on Dec 17th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing World, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Interview with Stephanie Stahl

Planning events isn’t easy. Heck, scheduling a meeting with a small group of colleagues can be an exercise in strategy and patience. Now imagine if you were responsible for creating the preeminent educational experience for 4,000+ content marketers, featuring 225 inspiring speakers, and over 123 hours of amazing content? 

That’s what Stephanie Stahl, General Manager at Content Marketing Institute, and her event team does each year while planning the Content Marketing World Conference and Expo.

Joshua Nite, our Senior Content Marketing Manager, was able to snag a few minutes with Stephanie on the last day of Content Marketing World 2019 to learn how her team delivers an amazing experience year after year. Unsurprisingly, success requires a lot of work, data, and content.

Caitlin Burgess

Break Free B2B Series: Maliha Aqeel on How to Ace B2B Company Culture

Caitlin Burgess on Dec 12th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Video Interviews

Maliha Aqeel, Assistant Director of Brand, Marketing and Communications at Ernst & Young, is known for being a staunch advocate of the three C’s that drive brands: content, customer, and culture.

But when Maliha sat down with TopRank Marketing’s Joshua Nite for a Break Free B2B interview at Content Marketing World this past fall, she had one “C” at the top of her mind: culture, and its role as a driver for both employee and customer satisfaction. 

“Whether we’re working for someone, or we’re actively purchasing their products, or just engaging with their brand, it matters to us what others think,” she says.

While many employees still see corporate culture as solely a function of HR, Maliha says this is not the case. She believes that all employees have a responsibility to help propagate and model a company’s values, both inside and outside the organization.

Nick Nelson

Break Free B2B Series: Judy Tian on Humanizing B2B Through Influencer Marketing

Nick Nelson on Dec 10th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Video Interviews

As the world’s largest social network for professionals, LinkedIn* lies at the epicenter of people and business. 

Profiles on the platform put a real face on our professional brands, allowing visitors to learn about our interests, career experiences, and personalities. Emphasizing this human element, and creating a genuine sense of community among members, is paramount to LinkedIn’s brand mission according to Marketing Manager Judy Tian

“As a platform where so much of people’s job opportunities and personal and professional development takes place,” she says, “we really sought to humanize the brand and make it a more community-based platform, where real stories can be told and people would feel like they have relatable experiences there with others.”