Ashley Zeckman

Imagine What’s Possible: Top Insights & Favorite Marketing Moments From #MPB2B 2019

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 22nd, 2019     B2B Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum, Online Marketing

If we had to describe the experience at this year’s MarketingProfs B2B Forum in one word, we would probably have to go with “neighborly.”

Yes, this vibe was intentionally embedded by the event organizers, who constructed the main stage and supporting elements at MPB2B around a “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” theme. But the speakers and attendees at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center all did their parts to foster a helpful, friendly, and kind environment. 

As a result, we’ve returned home with our mental batteries recharged, full of inspiration and motivation to help our clients, partners, audience, and coworkers achieve new heights with B2B marketing strategy.

Nick Nelson

How Intuit Surmounted Stagnating Lead Gen with Customer Insight

Nick Nelson on Oct 21st, 2019     B2B Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Here’s something you might already know about Intuit: The leading financial software company has been around for 35 years, buoyed by its primary software offerings, TurboTax and QuickBooks.

Here’s something you might not know (at least it was news to me): While Intuit does market to consumers, B2B customers comprise a large portion of the company’s base – its ProConnect division sells products to tax and accounting professionals, while Intuit, in general, is reliant on such pros to recommend TurboTax and QuickBooks to their own clients.

And on this B2B front, Intuit was facing a challenge: Leads had been flat for five years. Despite extremely high product awareness (I doubt anyone reading this hasn’t heard of those two main products) and strong tax firm industry retention rates around 90%, Intuit simply wasn’t bringing in new business at the desired rate.

Ashley Zeckman

Tales from the B2B Influencer Marketing Trenches with Leaders from Dell & SAP #MPB2B

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 21st, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

When was the last time you made a purchase without reading multiple reviews, asking your friends for recommendations or relying on an endorsement from someone that you know and trust? The likely response is: “I can’t even remember that far back.”

While trusting the insights of others to inform our purchasing decisions has become second-nature for both personal and business purchases, influencer marketing for B2B organizations is still fairly new. In fact, only 24% of marketers are currently partnering with influencers to expand their reach (CMI & MarketingProfs). 

Last week at MarketingProfs B2B Forum, seasoned influencer marketing leaders Konstanze Alex and Janine Wegner from Dell* and Amisha Gandhi from SAP* teamed up to share tales from the trenches of influencer marketing at their respective organizations. Below is just a sampling of the insights they shared that can help guide your approach for your brand. 

Nick Nelson

Breaking Down Barriers for Healthy B2B Marketing with Lee Odden #MPB2B

Nick Nelson on Oct 18th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

On Thursday morning at MarketingProfs B2B Forum, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden asked a room full of marketers, “Who here has tried starting a diet or exercise program before?” Pretty much every hand in the room shot up.

The percentage of those individuals who would rate their efforts as a satisfying success? Not quite so high.

Falling short of aspirations with fitness endeavors is an almost universally relatable experience. We embark on a diet plan, but we slip. We go all-in on a workout regimen, but we stop. Life gets in the way, and other priorities demand our attention. Alas, any temporary progress we make ultimately proves to be only that.

Many marketers are familiar with this pattern in their jobs: Campaigns yielding strong results, which quickly fade and leave us unfulfilled.

Nick Nelson

A Primer on Combining Account-Based Marketing and Social Selling, from LinkedIn’s Ty Heath #MPB2B

Nick Nelson on Oct 17th, 2019     B2B Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Lines are blurring. The B2B funnel is no longer tidily divided between marketing (top) and sales (bottom) because the buying process has grown more complex and less linear. 

Account-based marketing and social selling are both practices built for the new era of convergence, encouraging marketers to think more like sellers and vice versa. On Wednesday afternoon at MarketingProfs B2B Forum, Ty Heath of LinkedIn* offered her perspective on bolstering alignment by combining ABM and social selling, while calling out tools and tactics that can aid these efforts.

ABM, Meet Social Selling

At B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange a couple months ago, Sangram Vajre of Terminus kicked things off with an opening keynote in which he declared “ABM is B2B.” He argued that the principles of account-based marketing have become so ingrained in the fabric of B2B marketing that virtually everyone operating in the space is adopting an ABM framework to some degree. This was a sentiment echoed by others at the conference.

Nick Nelson

The Truth About Marketing Personalization, According to Arm Treasure Data’s Tom Treanor #MPB2B

Nick Nelson on Oct 17th, 2019     B2B Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Personalization is one of the most-discussed topics in marketing today, B2B or otherwise, and with all the chatter it can be a little tricky to separate fact from fiction. At MarketingProfs B2B Forum on Tuesday afternoon, Arm Treasure Data’s* Global Head of Marketing Tom Treanor took the stage to serve up some truth. 

By offering clarity around what separates the leaders from the learners on this critical frontier, his session provided a blueprint for refining and improving our efforts to get in sync with customers and prospects.

B2B Personalization Is Challenging (But Critical!)

During another session earlier in the day, Samantha Stone of The Marketing Advisory offered up some truth of her own, which resonated with Tom and I: “We need to worry less about creating scale, and more about creating relationships in our marketing.”

Nick Nelson

A Journey Through Always-On Influencer Marketing with Ashley Zeckman #MPB2B

Nick Nelson on Oct 16th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Ashley Zeckman Presenting at MPB2B 2019

What is that makes Alice in Wonderland so powerful and resonant? It’s a tale that’s been retold – through books, movies, TV, video games, and various other content formats – time and time again. Terms like “down the rabbit hole” and “through the looking glass” are now fixtures in our collective lexicon. Almost everyone is familiar with Lewis Carroll’s whimsical world of fantasy.

Why?

There are many reasonable answers, but for me, it comes down to the characters. From Alice to the Mad Hatter to the Cheshire Cat to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the denizens of Wonderland are deeply memorable, and – in their own ways – relatable. As humans, we connect with people on a level that transcends things or places. 

Nick Nelson

12 Must-See Sessions at MarketingProfs B2B Forum #MPB2B

Nick Nelson on Oct 10th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

MarketingProfs operates on the belief that learning changes lives. And from that perspective, it might be fair to suggest next week’s B2B Forum will be a life-changing experience for those in attendance, because there is a whole lot of learning in store.

Dubbed by MarketingProfs as the “most let’s get down to business but not take ourselves too seriously while doing it marketing conference on the planet,” B2B Forum brings together many of the brightest minds in the industry around a singular focus: improving. The well-rounded agenda on tap will run the gamut of vital topics in the modern B2B marketing environment, offering opportunities to improve by learning from foremost experts and leaders in the field.

These 12 sessions, in particular, stand out to us as must-see attractions amidst a schedule brimming with brilliant business minds. 

Lee Odden

B2B Marketing Fitness: 16 B2B Experts Share Top Tips for Optimized Performance #mpb2b

Lee Odden on Oct 9th, 2019     B2B Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

B2B Marketing Fitness

In a world where shiny object marketing and weight loss fads equally distract from reaching our potential, there are many parallels between improving physical health and optimizing B2B marketing effectiveness.

Just like world class athletes, top B2B marketers focus on key areas for improvement starting with goals and including the right mix of data insights, tactical best practices and ongoing performance optimization.

To help B2B marketers achieve record breaking levels of marketing fitness, we’ve tapped some of the top B2B experts from brands like MarketingProfs, LinkedIn, Content Marketing Institute, SAP Ariba, Dell Technologies, Facebook, Skyword, Arm Treasure Data, & Engagio.

B2B Marketing Experts

We also collaborated with B2B marketing influencers like Ann Handley, Pam Didner, Michele Linn, Christopher Penn, Ashley Zeckman, Keith Reynold Jennings, and Kathleen Booth for their best advice to help marketers on their fitness journey.

Lee Odden

B2B Marketing Spotlight: Neen James on How to Make Attention Pay #mpb2b

Lee Odden on Oct 3rd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Interviews, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Neen James Interview

Neen James is the author of Folding Time™ and her most recent book, Attention Pays™. She is frequently named one of the top 30 Leadership Speakers by Global Guru because of her work with companies like Viacom, Comcast, Cisco, Virgin, Pfizer, BMW, and the FBI, among others.

Neen is a leadership expert who delivers high-energy keynotes that challenge audiences to leverage their focus and pay attention to what matters most at work and in life.

She’s also originally from Australia but now lives in Florida. Neen and I are both members of a secret or not so secret society of speakers and although we have never met until today, the energy she shares through her digital communications makes me feel like we’ve known each other for years.

Lee Odden

B2B Marketing Spotlight: Ty Heath on Optimizing ABM & Social Sales with LinkedIn #mpb2b

Lee Odden on Sep 26th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Interviews, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Ty Heath Interview B2B Marketing

Ty Heath is one of those people whose reputation precedes them. I had heard of Ty as a marketing industry speaker and force for change working at LinkedIn before finally meeting her in person. The IRL Ty experience did not disappoint. Each time I meet with Ty, ideas pop like popcorn – who needs coffee with such inspiration around what’s possible?

Currently Ty is Global Lead of The B2B Institute at LinkedIn where she is responsible for scaling education on LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions product globally. She has previously worked for major brands including IBM, Nestle and over 7 years at Google – plus she’s had her own consultancy.

Lee Odden

B2B Marketing Spotlight: Jay Baer on Employee Generated Content #mpb2b

Jay Baer Interview B2B Marketing

It was back in 2010 at SXSWi that I was in the blogger lounge networking with other social media savvy content creators and thought leaders like Brian Solis, Chris Heuer, Amber Naslund, Chris Brogan and Rohit Bhargava, when I met a fellow marketer who shared a metal bottle opener as his business card.

What a brilliant idea! Package your identity around something useful to trigger conversations.

Fast forward to 2019 and Jay Baer has continued to carry that message of utility, talk triggers and clever marketing savvy to his online media empire of Convince & Convert that includes an award winning blog, a network of podcasts, professional speaking, training and consulting.