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What do B2B Customers Want in 2018?

January 23, 2018 By Carla Johnson Getting their message and content in front of their target audience is the biggest challenge B2B executives say they face in 2018, according to Bridge the Gap: The State of B2B Marketing Communications 2018, a report published by communications technology company Ytel. In fact, 55 percent of the 2000+ CEOs and other top executives …

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Does Innovation Make a Company Innovative?

January 18, 2018 by Carla Johnson I have a client that’s proud of his new innovation center. It’s well thought out. He’s hired the best-of-the-best across the board. Design thinking is core to their innovation discipline. They bring customers in for focus groups and collaborate on product development. He’s able to deliver products that solve problems in the marketplace. But …

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Five Ways to Keep Your Marketing Plan on Track

January 11, 2018 by Dean Kaplan As a business owner, I really enjoy working with my marketing team. I find their creativity and flexibility to be inspiring and they work hard to develop great strategic plans with detailed timelines.  But we all know that sometimes schedules go off the tracks and I admit that often it’s due to company leaders …

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10 B2B Women CMOs to Keynote Your Next Event

January 9, 2018 by Carla Johnson CES received a backlash when it announced the roster of keynotes that was barren of female representation. Kristin Lemkau, CMO JPMorgan Chase responded with a list of 22 “amazing women innovators in tech and media who would slay any keynote anywhere.” And she came up with this list in less time than it took …

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How Well Do You Trigger Anticipation?

January 4, 2018 by Carla Johnson When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for Sunday nights. I grew up on a farm and work was never a 9-to-5 gig. With crops, hogs and cattle, we worked whenever work needed to be done. But Sunday nights were different. Sunday night was when we had milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches for …

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Why B2B Brands Should Jump on the UGC Bandwagon

January 2, 2018 by Mitch Duckler For years, the world’s biggest B2C brands (e.g. Starbucks, Target, Coca-Cola) have been riding the user-generated content (UGC) wave, while B2B brands have only recently begun to gain traction in creating and distributing UGC. Between 70 and 90 percent of the buyer’s journey is complete before engaging with a vendor, and according to Forrester, a customer …

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What “It’s a Wonderful Life” Teaches Us About B2B Branding

December 21, 2017 By Carla Johnson Sally Hogshead teaches people and brands how to be fascinating. I love her approach to branding because how many people would describe our companies as fascinating? Few. The other day she wrote a story about the holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Released in 1946, it tells the story of an angel sent from …

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What 2017 Budgets Mean for 2018 CMOs

December 19, 2017 By Carla Johnson John Wanamaker was a successful merchant, religious leader, a political figure and a U.S. Postmaster General. Some considered him to be a pioneer in marketing and many know him through his infamous quote on advertising: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” This sentiment …

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How a B2B Technology Company Evolved Their Content Purpose

December 14, 2017 by Carla Johnson In Silicon Valley there’s a large B2B software firm (yes, there are a lots of them…this is the point). This company sells different software across several business functions. John, a new senior-level enterprise sales representative, was brought on to work at the company. Management wanted him because of his deep expertise in the financial …

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Experiencing Customers To Deliver Customer Experience

December 12, 2017 by Carlos Hidalgo In a newly published study, nearly two-thirds of buyers told Merkle that they are challenged by vendors and sales reps that are more interested in selling their products and services than listening to buyers needs.  While this feedback from prospective customers speaks specifically to their buying process, it does provide a glimpse into the lack …

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It’s Time for HR to FINALLY Get Serious About Strategy

December 7, 2017 by Michelle Smith Let me state right up front that I’m a huge fan of yours, HR. But it’s time for you to get serious about making some very long-overdue changes. I’ve spent the better part of my career as an advocate and unabashed champion of the HR profession, and nothing has changed there. What you do …

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Stuck on Words: How Can Marketing Connect With Customers Better?

December 5, 2017 by Brian Carroll How can marketers better connect with people we hope will become our customers? Over the past year, I’ve been researching why there’s such a disconnect between marketing and customers so I can understand how to bridge that gap. Why? Because right now, the trust gap between marketers and customers has never been bigger. For …

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Engineering a Voice to Reflect Your Brand

November 30, 2017 by Mitch Duckler In 1962, TV viewers were first introduced to an animated sitcom about a futuristic world of flying cars, cities in the sky, and space tourism. It was The Jetsons: adoring couple George and Jane, their kids Judy and Elroy, Astro their dog, and housekeeper Rosie the robot. The show lasted just one season (24 episodes) …

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Five Customer Experience Challenges That Must Be Overcome

November 28, 2017 by Carlos Hidalgo Customer experience continues to take center stage with high-performing B2B organizations.  According to a Forbes Insights, EY Study on Customer Experience, 69% of CMO’s state customer experience was vital to their organizations growth strategy. While the majority of organizations have their sights set on delivering customer experience, the task of implementing the focus largely falls …

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B2B Marketing Lessons from Stove Top’s Thanksgiving Dinner Pants

November 23, 2017 by Carla Johnson To allow people to “enjoy more of Thanksgiving in comfort and style,” Stove Top designed a pair of unisex maroon pants with an elastic waistband. But they didn’t stop there. They fashionably accented the pants with a stretch band featuring an image of stuffing. And because you’ll be hungry later in the day, they …

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The 23 Best Free Google Chrome Extensions for Digital Marketers

November 21, 2017 by Tom Pick To enhance and automate marketing functions, businesses need to invest in online tools, integration, and training. No question. That said, however, it’s amazing how much can be done without spending any money—or even leaving whatever web page is currently open in your browser. These Chrome browser extensions perform all sorts of interesting tasks, from …

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Social Media Isn’t Very Sociable After All

November 14, 2017 by Michelle Smith I offer a cautionary tale here for every generation about our over-reliance on technology when being ‘social….’ While a technology fan and an active social media user, I contend that e-friends aren’t the same as real life friends, and no matter how awesome the technology, communication tools can’t begin to replace being sociable and …

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3 Forces Shaping The Future of B2B Marketing

November 7, 2017 by Tony Zambito Many executives, particularly Chief Marketing Officers, are in constant pursuit of understanding changing buyer behaviors and markets.  Which, for the most part, remains an elusive and challenging endeavor.  In the past ten plus years, we have seen a tumultuous upheaval in both the world of buyers and how marketing is adapting. As business leaders …