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10 Women in Technology Speakers to Keynote Your Event

February 13, 2018 by Carla Johnson Last month I wrote the first in a series of blogs about why and how we need to bring more women onto the main stage at events. The response has been incredible, and I want to thank everyone who has shared the post, commented, sent me emails, texts and picked up the phone to …

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Sorry…That’s Not What Our System Says…

February 8, 2018 by Carla Johnson I went to my local library yesterday to use their production studio to make a higher-quality voiceover recording than I could do on my laptop. My schedule’s tight so I reserved the room online ahead of time. I checked in with the woman behind the desk when I got to the library. She checked …

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How Brands are Using Artificial Intelligence in Customer Segmentation

February 6, 2018 by Mitch Duckler With another year of rapid advances, artificial intelligence (AI) was the marketing technology buzzword in 2017. And in 2018, AI and machine learning will become even more accessible to brands. AI will pave the way for marketers to laser focus on target market segments and reach customers, while attracting new prospects and leads, with highly-personalized …

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Is Marketing Its Own Worst Enemy?

February 1, 2018 by Carla Johnson People have been talking about marketing’s need to change for as long as marketing’s been around. We’re told to adjust or perish. Choose between surviving and thriving. Stop taking orders and start creating value. But marketing has the potential to be much more than any of these best-case scenarios. Which is exactly the point …

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The Multidimensional Customer: Building Experiences from the Outside In

January 25, 2018 by Carla Johnson When, where, why and how do people spend money? The motivations that make up how people make decisions have become incredibly complex in the last few years. And while businesses keep gathering bigger and bigger data, customers feel brutally frustrated with how brands interact with them. The outcome is that companies find that they’re …

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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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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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How Giving Useful Ideas and Secrets Builds Trust

May 4, 2017 by Brian Carroll I had coffee with a potential partner, and our conversation ebbed to us talking about business philosophy, marketing, and lead generation. I talked about freely sharing ideas and helping people. He replied something like,  “I think companies [like yours] give away too many of their trade secrets on their website and blogs. They provide …

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Building a B2B Brand Starts with Stories, Not Standards

April 20, 2017 by Chris Schermer As a B2B marketing agency, SCHERMER often gets asked to do “branding.” Typically, it’s marketers who want help with their brand positioning, messaging and identity so that they can create more consistent and compelling communications. These initiatives generally spawn a standards manual, website and marketing campaign, but not truly complete and compelling brand experiences …

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Stop Burning Budget on Inefficient Strategies

April 18, 2017 by Chuck Frey Would you stack bagfuls of cash into a crude pyramid, and then set it on fire? Of course not! That would be stupid, and you’re not stupid, so you’re not going to ignore inefficiencies in your content marketing initiative, are you? Here are five areas that are especially problematic: 1. You’re producing content, but …

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RESEARCH: B2B Enterprise Content Lacks Audience Centricity

April 13, 2017 by Carla Johnson Research from the Content Marketing Institute, released yesterday, shows how far B2B marketers still have to go to put customers squarely in the middle of conversations. Too many B2B marketers still focus on their brand, rather than their audience. In fact, 53 percent of respondents say they focus on creating content for audiences versus …

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How Creative Are You? Take the Test.

March 28, 2017 by Carla Johnson A Harvard grad, Dr. Donald W. MacKinnon was a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley who researched creativity. In 1949 he founded The Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR). After his retirement, he was a visiting fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership. Throughout his career, MacKennon dug deep into …

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2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing

February 16, 2017 by Carla Johnson B2B marketers are finally getting a handle on some big digital challenges. That’s the message from DemandWave’s recently released 2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing. The research shows that the quality of sales leads is marketers’ top priority. That ousted last year’s biggest hurdle of measuring and proving ROI. Perhaps one of the reasons …

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CEOs Put CMOs in the Hot Seat to Deliver Disruptive Growth

November 3, 2016 by Carla Johnson In a new report from Accenture Strategy, The C-Level Disruptive Growth Opportunity. Chief Marketing Officers: What your CEO Might Not Be Telling You, authors Kevin Quiring, Rachel Barton and Joanna Levesque bring to light a lurking threat of which CMOs may not be aware – CEO expectations to drive new growth opportunities for the enterprise. …

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[RESEARCH] B2B Marketers Getting Smart with Content Marketing

September 29, 2016 by Carla Johnson Last year’s lessons are this year’s successes when it comes to content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs released their 2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends for North America and B2B marketers are experiencing more success than they did a year ago. One of the key findings from last year’s research …

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From Stories to Experiences: Marketing’s Evolving Role in Creating Value

September 27, 2016 If ever there were a profession suffering from motion sickness, it’s marketing. Upheaval from a sea of constant change is truly the new norm. Sure footing is a thing of the past. As we look to deliver value within our organizations, we find that our arms need to span greater breadths and depths. First we thought alignment …

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Three Reasons Marketing Technology is a Must

June 23, 2016 by Tim Cook Sometimes it seems like marketing technology’s promises are just too good to be true. I can’t tell you how many marketers I’ve met who start out excited, confident in the value a new system will offer — only to give up before making an investment, frustrated by the sheer number of available options. The truth …

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The 14 Best Content Planning and Research Tools

May 26, 2016 by Tom Pick With 93% of B2B marketers now using content marketing to build brand awareness and generate leads, success going forward will require producing higher-quality content—not just more of it. Creating high-quality content starts with planning (deciding what to write about) and research (determining what to say about those topics). Those decisions will start with your …