Targeting B2B Buyers Takes Long-Term Lens, Where CMOs Are Spending, ABM Use Rises In B2B, US Influencer Spending To Top $3B, & Media Price Inflation Concerns


2021 July 23 Sprout Social Chart

US influencer spending to surpass $3 billion in 2021
An increase of over 33 percent in influencer marketing spending is expected for 2021 — reaching $3.69 billion — recently-released forecast data shows, with a 12.2 percent rise predicted for 2022 and 11.5% in 2023, climbing to $4.62 billion, according to the forecast. eMarketer

Ehrenberg-Bass: 95% of B2B buyers are not in the market for your products
As many as 95 percent of businesses aren’t presently in the market for most services and goods, however not in all sectors, according to newly-released data from client LinkedIn and its LinkedIn B2B Institute. Marketing Week examines the data, and interviews Jann Martin Schwarz, global head of the LinkedIn B2B Institute, on targeting long-term B2B marketing goals and more. Marketing Week

B2B Marketers’ Biggest Lead Gen Challenges
45 percent of B2B marketers find creating targeted and engaging content the most difficult challenge when it comes to lead generation, followed by difficulty gathering quality data at 43 percent, and managing and tracking leads at 38 percent, according to recently-released B2B marketing survey data of interest to digital marketers. MarketingProfs

Account-based marketing propelled forward by the pandemic
80 percent of B2B buyers plan to do more business online after the pandemic than they did during pre-covid times, while at the same time 77 percent say purchases have become more complex and challenging, with six to 10 people now comprising the median size of buying groups, newly-released survey data shows. MarTech

CMOs: Budgets, Resources Are Constrained, Digital Investments Most Popular
Digital commerce, marketing operations, brand strategy and marketing analytics are the top content marketing officer investments, according to Gartner’s latest CMO Spend Survey, which also showed that over 72 percent of total marketing budgets are now pure-play digital channels. MediaPost

Google Launches New Way to Optimize Videos For Search
Google has brought easier markup to video content hosted on brands’ own sites with the latest Google SeektoAction change, making non-YouTube video segmentation and chapters possible, the search giant recently announced, expanding the previous beta test of the feature to a wider audience. Search Engine Journal

2021 July 23 Statistics Image

Ad Market Grows 35.2% In June, Marks Fourth Consecutive Month Of Expansion
Strong year-over-year growth has continued for the U.S. advertising economy, with June’s 35.2 percent increase in ad spending representing the third month in a row of growth, according to newly-released advertising index data of interest to digital marketers. MediaPost

Instagram Stories Drafts are Now Available to All Users
Crafting more thoughtful and detailed content is likely to become easier with the return of Instagram’s option to save Instagram Story drafts — a feature that had previously been removed, the Facebook-owned platform recently announced. Social Media Today

YouTube Begins Adding Chapters to Videos Automatically
Optional artificial intelligence (AI) generated video chapter splitting has come to certain eligible videos on Google’s YouTube platform, with the option being turned on by default, in an effort to provide a more helpful user experience, YouTube recently announced. Search Engine Journal

What Makes a Brand Best-in-Class on Social Media
Marketers and consumers hold differing viewpoints on the qualities that comprise best-in-class experiences on social media, with 48 percent of marketers noting that they saw audience engagement as the most important factor, while 47 percent of consumers said that they viewed strong customer service as the most important element, according to newly-released social media survey data. MarketingProfs

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2021 July 23 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at the “back to the office” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Italian Museums Are Using AI Cameras to Determine if People Like the Art — PetaPixel

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • TopRank Marketing — Influencer Marketing In A B2B World – Don’t Miss Out! — Crowd Media
  • TopRank Marketing — Why Website Accessibility Is Critical To The Digital Experience — Dan Gingiss
  • Lee Odden — Top 45 Twitter Accounts on Marketing You Should Follow — Signum.ai

Have you located your own key B2B marketing news item from the past week of industry news? Please drop us a line in the comments below.

Thank you for taking the time to join us for this week’s TopRank Marketing B2B marketing news, and we hope that you’ll return again next Friday for more of the week’s most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.





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5 Multifaceted Tactics To Boost Your B2B Marketing Clarity & Commitment This Summer


A diamond aside a laptop image.

How is successful B2B marketing like a master jeweler working with diamonds of the digital marketing variety?

Diamonds are forever, as the 1971 James Bond film and its title song made famous, and with the archival global power of the web, your B2B marketing efforts are also likely to endure — so why not strive to make them truly memorable?

Also like diamonds, B2B marketing is a multifaceted endeavor.

Let’s explore five enduring tactics that can help you achieve B2B content marketing clarity and create your own digital marketing diamonds.

1 — Achieve Content Marketing Clarity

via GIPHY

Bring diamond-like clarity to your B2B content marketing by identifying and focusing on the heart of your effort’s primary goal.

While it can be tempting to digress into periphery elements of the topic at hand, honing in on the purpose of your content and delivering a clear answer in providing it will make your marketing creations shine with diamond-like brilliance.

Part of providing content marketing clarity is knowing what your audience is hoping to learn from what you’ve got on tap, and this type of knowledge can come from a number of places.

One of the best sources for finding the root topics that your audience is seeking information about are the tools and services that show the questions people are asking online.

Some of the question research tools that B2B marketers can benefit from include:

  • Answer the Public
  • StoryBase
  • SEMrush’s Topic Research Competitive Research Tool
  • Ahrefs
  • Google Search Console
  • KeywordTool.io
  • BuzzSumo’s Question Analyzer

Other often-untapped resources for finding out what your audience is looking for include:

  • Asking Directly with Polls, Surveys, Focus Groups & Questionnaires
  • Tapping Into Search Intent From Voice Search & Chatbots
  • Online Form Queries, Server Log Files, & E-mail Questions

You can learn more about each of these tools and tactics in my “10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers,” and also dig in to other relevant questions in the following helpful articles:

Clarity in B2B content marketing can help deliver a diamond rating to your efforts, so take the time to research and fully understand what you’re trying to achieve with any written, visual, or audio marketing efforts.

“Honing in on the purpose of your content and delivering a clear answer in providing it will make your marketing creations shine with diamond-like brilliance.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

2 — Get a Cut Above With a Marathon of Commitment

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In today’s B2B marketing world it takes more than a little commitment to get a cut above when it comes to crafting the best digital diamonds of content.

B2B marketing’s lengthier sales cycles mean you’ll need dedication and commitment to achieve the type of long-term success that powers businesses outside of the B2C realm.

You don’t necessarily need to be Batman or Robin to craft compelling and memorable B2B content, however you will need commitment.

B2B marketing is more akin to a marathon than a sprint, and I’ve explored the similarities between marathon running and marketing in “26.2 B2B Marathon Marketing Lessons,” along with the importance of proper pacing when you’re in it for the long marketing haul, in “5 Payoffs B2B Marketers Win From Precision Pacing.”

“B2B marketing’s lengthier sales cycles mean you’ll need dedication and commitment to achieve the type of long-term success that powers businesses outside of the B2C realm.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

3 — Finding Hidden Gems Can Sometimes Be Key

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Not all that glitters is gold, yet what’s hidden out of sight just below the surface are often gems that can digitally bejewel your B2B marketing content, if you know where and when to look.

Although no handy treasure maps are on offer, B2B marketers can use a number of tactics to unearth the hidden gems that will set your content apart.

Doing your own research and investigation can often be the best way to go beyond what everybody else is doing, allowing you to go far beyond the same few tactics and techniques that are often repeated in perpetuity in all-too-similar how-to guides and lists.

Creating original B2B research that’s both credible and impactful is the focus of our CEO Lee Odden‘s insightful “How to Optimize Original B2B Research Content For Credibility and Impact.”

“Brands that co-create experiential content with relevant experts and influencers can build industry confidence, grow brand trust, create a more effective digital customer experience and drive business growth.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet

4 — Making The Hardest Substance Into a Softer Journey

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Diamonds are famously and unyieldingly inflexible, but that doesn’t mean that the marketing journey you offer your audience can’t be a pleasant one.

Some B2B industries may have notoriously friction-riddled obstacles, and smart marketers will turn these challenges into opportunities.

By helping audiences smoothly navigate around troublesome hot-spots, the best B2B content marketing offers the kind of smooth sailing that competitors can’t easily match.

Easing the B2B customer journey is key in 2021 and will most likely become even more critical in 2022, as increasing competition and an influx of more B2C-like tactics mean you’ll need to serve up diamonds and not just more disposable digital dust.

These resources offer fresh takes on the B2B audience journey and using storytelling to smooth the way:

“Brands want to transact with people who are showing high levels of empathy.” — Miri Rodriguez @MiriRod #B2BMX Click To Tweet

5 — Keep a Watch Out For Imposters In The Search For Authenticity

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If it appears too good to be true, it’s wise to be wary and take extra measures to make sure the information and answers you’re providing are genuinely helpful and contain the latest accurate information.

Authenticity in B2B marketing is a subject close to our heart at TopRank Marketing, and as such we’ve developed several approaches marketers can take to achieving the most genuine and human connections.

A selection of some of our recent efforts highlighting the importance of authenticity in B2B marketing include:

“Part of the benefit of working with influencers is that they have a different lens on what’s happening in the world and what’s happening with your company.” — Paul Dobson @svengelsk Click To Tweet

Digital Marketing Diamonds Last Forever & A Day

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We hope that these five tips for achieving B2B content marketing clarity by getting a cut above with commitment, finding hidden gems, making a softer audience journey, and keeping watch for imposters, will help as you create your own digital marketing diamonds.

Creating award-winning digital experiences and storytelling takes significant time, resources, and effort, which is why many of the world’s top B2B brands choose to partner with a leading B2B marketing agency. Contact us today and learn why for more than 20 years brands from LinkedIn and 3M to Dell and Adobe have chosen to work with TopRank Marketing.





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Write from the Heart for More Memorable B2B Content Marketing


Hands holding illustrations of a human brain and heart image.

B2B marketers have been pushing for personalized content for a good long while. Now we’re also trying to humanize content — to make the case that B2B buyers are human beings who want to connect with other humans on an emotional level.

Isn’t it remarkable that we still have to make that argument? 

But I’m not here to write another 1000 words about humanizing content. I want us to take it a step further, beyond personalization, humanization, personality and empathy.

B2B content marketing needs to come from the heart.

True, genuine heart is the last frontier in content. Every brand has an Instagram with behind-the-scenes content to boost authenticity. Every brand is striving to give at least the appearance of sincerity, personality and transparency.

A lot of it is about as deep as the checkout clerk telling you to “have a nice day.” To stand out now, B2B content needs to hit on a more fundamental level. 

Why Write from the Heart?

Even as we talk about “human to human” or “B2Me” marketing, we still tend to think that B2B content needs to be head-driven, mostly logic and reasoning, with a thin gloss of personality and emotion on top to “humanize.” 

The truth is, of course, that humans are inherently emotional creatures who seek connection with each other. We most often decide with our hearts first, then apply logic in retrospect. 

B2B content with heart seeks to make a connection first, then supply value, then finally ask for a next step. It has to be in that order.

So, what does it mean to write from the heart? 

1. Upgrade Personality to Passion

 I am not passionate about, say, a software-as-a-service platform that collects customer data for marketers. And I’m not sure I want to meet the person who is. 

But I am passionate about less intrusive marketing, about people getting connected with solutions that meet their needs, and about a future where marketing is helpful and productive, not annoying. So I can lead with the passion, the why that drove us to create this solution, and then I can talk about the product’s capabilities.

2. Upgrade Empathy to Compassion

Let’s face it: The marketing term ‘empathy’ sometimes has little to do with what the word actually means. While we may strive for truly feeling someone else’s hopes and fears, it tends to be in the service of persuasion, rather than connection.

Compassion is more than just walking a mile in someone’s shoes. It’s sincerely desiring to help them — to ease suffering, bring joy, and help them be successful. Do you care if the people you’re marketing to get promoted, get to spend more time with their kids, can finally afford to buy a starter home, and so on?

If you can show that you have true compassion for your audience, beyond the solution you’re offering, you’re far more likely to make a connection.

3. Upgrade Authenticity to Vulnerability

Here’s a hard one. Very few brands want to seem vulnerable or fallible. Even with behind-the-scenes content, they tend to present a highly sanitized version of the business. If you admit a fault, or share an obstacle you had to struggle to overcome, will you lose people’s trust and confidence in your brand?

Absolutely not. You’re writing to people who experience hardships and make mistakes. You’ll make a better connection if you show that your brand is made up of fallible human beings, too.

There’s nothing more authentic and transparent than a warts-and-all look at the problems your company faces and the ways in which you try, fail and ultimately succeed. 

4. Upgrade Thought Leadership to Humility

What’s the fastest way to make a connection with a stranger? Ask them to do you a favor. Ask for help. Most salespeople are familiar with this phenomenon, sometimes called the “Ben Franklin Effect.” The idea is that if someone does you a favor, they’re demonstrably more likely to do a second one, and to regard you more kindly than if you had done a favor for them. 

I think the same is true with content marketing. Thought leadership content tends to lack the notion of humility — it usually focuses on establishing knowledge and authority, of the author as an inerrant source of truth.

The problem is, no one really likes a know-it-all. A hefty dose of humility can make thought leadership content much more engaging, and much more likely to start a conversation. 

Imagine a blog post that goes, “I’ve seen success in my business with x, y, and z. But I’m still not sure how to best go about a, b, and c. What are your experiences? What do you do in this situation?” 

The thought leader in this case is adding value by sharing their own experience and success, but also allowing others to share their expertise as well. The result can be a conversation that benefits everyone involved – author, audience, and brand.

Your Heart Will Go On

As Maya Angelou famously said, people may forget what you say, but they will never forget the way you made them feel. And the best way to engage someone’s emotions is to share your own. We can’t settle for the shallow marketing equivalents of passion, compassion, vulnerability, and humility. 

We need to embrace the difficult but rewarding task of bringing our whole hearts to what we’re creating.

How do you create content with heart? Let me know in the comments.

And take our B2B Influencer Marketing Survey to share your opinions.





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Share Your Expertise in the 2021 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Survey


2021 B2B influencer marketing survey

The past year or more has taught B2B marketer many lessons, especially the importance of creating digital first experiences that are credible, authentic and relevant to specific buyers. As part of the digital transformation of marketing, many B2B companies have adjusted their go-to-market approach to satisfy the changing customer expectations that have evolved during the pandemic.

One of those adjustments in B2B marketing has been the increasing role of influence in delivering  credible, authentic and relevant digital experiences. Our initial B2B Influencer Marketing research from 2020 showed that going into the pandemic, confidence in working with B2B influencers was very high as were expectations of outcomes.

Despite the growing confidence in working with B2B influencers over the past year, today there are important questions to be answered as more B2B brands enter the realm of influence and grow more sophisticated with the practice.

Much of B2B influencer marketing has emphasized working with industry experts external to the organization, but what about growing influence from within? How does influencer marketing work across departments? How do employee advocacy, growing executive influence and working with industry influencers intersect to deliver better customer experiences and marketing performance?

At TopRank Marketing we are proud to work on influencer content marketing and executive social programs for some of the biggest B2B brands in the world. We also know that our blog community represent a wealth and depth of B2B marketing experience.  We invite you to share that expertise in our 2021 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Survey.

Your insights will help elevate the practice of B2B Influencer Marketing and help the industry see what’s working, what’s not and where the future of influence is in 2021 and beyond.

For the 2021 report, we’ll be collecting data on all aspects of influencer marketing for B2B brands as well as insights from practitioners like you.

B2B Influencer Marketing Report 2020
In the 45 page 2020 report we featured key findings and statistics about strategy, tactics, budgets and measurement as well as B2B influencer marketing case studies from SAP, LinkedIn, Cherwell Software and Monday.com. We also highlighted influencer marketing insights from B2B executives at Adobe, AT&T Business, IBM, MarketingProfs, Salesforce, SAP, Traackr, Treasure Data and more.

For the 2021 report, we’ll be sharing insights on growing marketing momentum with influence, the next level of Always-On influence, new best practices, budgets, technology and measurement plus all new case studies and insights from B2B marketing professionals. We’ve also been working on a fresh list of the most influential voices in the B2B world on the topic of influence in marketing and their predictions for the future.

If you have worked with influencers in the past year, then you’ll have valuable insights to share. You can also enter our giveaway of five $100 Amazon gift cards and early access to the findings of the report.

The survey takes just a few minutes and that investment in time will go a long way towards helping answer some of the key questions about working with internal and external influencers.

Optimizing marketing experiences with influence represents one of the most important digital growth strategies in 2021 and beyond. Take the 2021 survey today and join us in helping B2B marketers at all levels of influencer marketing experience level up their strategy, best practices and operations to build momentum in 2021 and beyond.

 

 





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B2B MarTech Spending On The Rise, More Brands Turn To Personalized Content, Microsoft’s New Multimedia Ads, & The Power Of B2B Storytelling


2021 July 16 MarketingCharts Chart

Twitter’s Fleets Format To Disappear, Just Weeks After Ads Test Commenced
Twitter has abandoned its Fleets feature that automatically deleted messages in the format after 24 hours, noting that the format and its accompanying full-screen vertical ads, hadn’t performed as well as initially envisioned, the firm recently announced. MediaPost

Digital to power a 10.4% recovery in global ad spend
Global digital advertising spend will ascend to $311 billion to hit 15.6 percent growth in 2021, according to newly-release forecast data from Dentsu, the firm recently announced. Social ad spending is expected to rise even more swiftly at 23 percent, with video ads predicted to rise by 17 percent, according to the forecast data. The Drum

Facebook Launches New ‘Creative Guidance Navigator’ To Provide Marketing Stats and Tips
Facebook has launched a new mini-site of interest to digital marketers, highlighting a variety of the social giant’s ad campaign options, with best-practice examples of how many of the formats are being put to use by top brands, Facebook recently announced. Social Media Today

Text Marketing On The Rise, 61.8% Of Consumers Have Opted In To Messages: Study
78 percent of consumers say they most often use their phones for texting, with 61.8 percent having chosen to receive texts from a business over the past year, while 59.5 percent said the top reason they’ve opted out of business texts was for receiving too many texts, according to newly-released survey data. MediaPost

US Ad Spend Projected to Soar This Year
A 23.3 percent increase in advertising spending is expected in the U.S. in 2021, with some 57 percent of the entirety of U.S. ad spending going to pure-play online channels, according to recently-released forecast data of interest to online marketers. MarketingCharts

Gen Z and millennials seek diverse voices in audio
58 percent of millennials and some 48 percent of the Gen Z demographic say that they have actively looked for audio content from more diverse creators over the past year, with 40 percent of the two demographic groups saying that they have greater trust for podcasts than tradition sources of news, according to data from Spotify’s Culture Next report. Campaign US

2021 July 16 Statistics Image

IBM CMO is taking ‘a completely new approach’ to B2B marketing
Telling B2B technology marketing stories and creating relationships that add value are key in a fully new approach to B2B marketing, according to Carla Piñyero Sublett, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at IBM. Campaign Asia

Microsoft Debuts Multimedia Ads For Search
Microsoft has launched new responsive machine-learning Bing advertising options for its Microsoft Advertising program, which bring more multimedia ad format choices to digital marketers, the firm recently announced. MediaPost

Augmented Reality Ads See Better Reception Than Other Digital Formats
Some 75 percent of consumers say that they are more likely to notice ads that utilize augmented reality (AR) features, with 70 percent noting they’d like to view more AR ads in the future — two of several statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in recently-released survey data. Adweek

2 in 3 B2B Marketers to Up Their MarTech Spend
68 percent of B2B marketers say they plan to spend more on marketing technology in the coming year, with more than a quarter planning to significantly increase their martec budgets during the same timeframe, according to newly-release survey data. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2021 July 16 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at the “marketing myopia and brand choice” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

AT&T Fiber Drafts Kevin Garnett to Poke Fun at Slow Web Connections — Adweek

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lane R. Ellis — What’s Trending: Summer Standouts — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden — 10 Online Marketing Tips to Gather and Convert More Leads — Small Business Trends
  • TopRank Marketing — 4 SEO Factors to Consider Before Removing Outdated Website Content — Content Marketing Institute
  • Lee Odden — GUEST COLUMN: What marketers will need to learn about voice and audio — Indian Television
  • TopRank Marketing — Are there lessons to be learned from Love Islanders? Brand influencing confirms its worth in the B2B space — IBA International
  • Lee Odden — The 12 Best Ecommerce Marketing Strategies You Should Try in 2021 — eCommerce Fastlane
  • Lee Odden — Your Website – Another Business Asset — WrightIMC

Have you come across your own top B2B marketing news item from the past week of industry news? Please drop us a line in the comments below.

Thanks for joining us for this week’s TopRank Marketing B2B marketing news, and please return again next Friday for more of the week’s most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.





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Blast Into Orbit With 5 Efficiency Boosters For B2B Marketers


Purple interstellar galaxy of B2B marketing efficiency boosters image.

How can B2B marketers boost content creation productivity and avoid that dreaded black hole of inefficiency?

As TopRank Marketing chief executive and co-founder Lee Odden said in 2018 in 16 Ways to Be More Efficient with Content Creation, “Without additional budget or writing resources, the most practical way to squeeze out more content creation productivity is by being more efficient,” and the same may be even more true today in 2021.

There’s no denying that better efficiency offers benefits in many areas of a B2B marketer’s work, so we wanted to share some of the galaxy’s top tactics, methods, and tips to improve your productivity through efficiency as we make the push through the rest of 2021 and plan ahead for 2022.

Let’s strap on our B2B marketing jet-packs and hyperspace forward with five productivity pulsars to improve your efficiency.

1 — Work Smarter For Out-Of-This-World Marketing Efficiency

Working in a smarter way saves time and increases productivity, and part of that boils down to saving time through efficiencies.

At first saving a few minutes here and there throughout the day may not seem all that important — or worth devoting much effort to achieve. However, keep in mind that saving two minutes each day equates to eight and a half hours over a standard business year. That’s valuable time that can be reinvested for countless other B2B marketing activities.

For marketers, boosting efficiency doesn’t only come from the time saved. It’s additional time that can be used for many things such as experimenting with new technologies, taking on additional projects, or optimizing previous or current campaigns.

Finding and using scheduling, planning, and calendaring applications that work well for you can be one of the bigger time and efficiency boosters.

It’s important, however, to find ones that fit well with how you work best, so that you’re not working against systems designed to make things easier. Just as we all have various styles and tactics for tackling challenges, applications that help us manage time come in a big array of digital flavors with more in 2021 than ever before.

If you’re not happy with what you currently use, it can be worthwhile to experiment with new time management methods and apps that you haven’t yet taken for a spin. Until you do, you may be missing out on a new time management tool that suits you to a tee.

Most marketers today schedule, plan, and calendar completely in the digital realm, using software such as:

  • Calendly
  • Google Calendar
  • Mavenlink
  • monday.com (client)
  • Workfront
  • Microsoft Bookings
  • Setmore

These are only a tiny traction of the available options. A few of the most productive people I know still also include some variation of the old-fashioned pen and paper, too.

Simply using time management software isn’t enough, however, especially if it isn’t a solution that works with you but against you, so take the time to investigate what’s available and what works best for you.

“If you’re not happy with what you currently use, it can be worthwhile to experiment with new time management methods and apps that you haven’t yet taken for a spin.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

2 — Harness Productivity Propulsion With Marketing Passion

You’ll also increase your productivity by tapping into your internal passion and energy, which can help propel your B2B marketing to new heights.

When you find yourself in an especially productive period, it’s wise to take advantage of it and ride that wave of productivity to get as much done as possible while the creative B2B marketing iron is hot.

Unfortunately, we can’t control when we’ll be at our peak combined levels of energy, productivity, and efficiency. However, by quickly recognizing when such a period hits us, we can put our nose to the grindstone and get in as much work as possible before that big wave of energy eventually peters out.

How can you best take advantage of these times when they arrive, or even help make them happen? Here are three strategies:

  • Turn off anything you can that normally distracts you, such as alarms, message notifications, or whatever causes you to break stride while working at your best
  • Try to include short micro-breaks — even if only for a minute or two — to keep your overall energy up, and use the time to focus on what you want to accomplish next during the session
  • When your highly-productive period comes to its inevitable end, it can be worth if to take some time and write down what you think made for such a good working session, and what you’d do differently next time to make it even better

A study by the National Association for Professional Organizers found that 82 percent of respondents believed that if they were more organized, their quality of life would be better — a statistic that shows how powerful time management and organization can be in both our professional marketing and private lives.

“When you find yourself in an especially productive period, it’s wise to take advantage of it and ride that wave of productivity to get as much done as possible while the creative B2B marketing iron is hot.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

3 — Tiny Elements Make Massive Differences On Interstellar Marketing Journeys

While “don’t sweat the small stuff” is good advice for some areas of life, when you’re looking at the big picture and looking at long-term results, the opposite can often be just as true.

Take for example the simple act of copying and pasting text — something we all do dozens or even hundreds of times every day.

Did you know that you can slice your cut-and-paste keystrokes or mouse clicks in half?

Decades ago I started setting up all my computers with one very simple adjustment that has saved me millions of repetitive keystrokes or mouse and touchpad clicks — a trick so easy that most people don’t even realize it’s possible.

My all-time top cumulatively small time-saver that adds up over time is setting up my computers to automatically copy and remove formatting for any text I highlight.

If you think of how many times you cut-and-paste something every day, imagine cutting the keystrokes fully in half, and that’s just what you can do by using one any many available auto-copy utilities.

Whichever browser or operating system you use, you’ll find an array of extensions or add-ons that will copy whatever you highlight into your computer’s clipboard. Most also come with the option to clear all or just certain text formatting, which is another time saver because you’ll never again have to go in and manually edit out unneeded formatting or markup code.

Examples include:

  • AutocopySelection2keyboard for Firefox
  • Auto Copy for Chrome
  • Ctrl+C for Windows Cortana
  • AutoCopy for Safari

Changing what you’ve always done to find more efficient methods doesn’t have to be difficult, as Danny Nail, account based engagement specialist at Microsoft told us a while ago.

“You have to let go of templatized, old ideas. You have to break free of thinking about things the way we’ve always thought about them, and start really digging into how you can change what you’re doing and make it more efficient, more effective, but be creative about that,” Danny said.

You can watch our full interview with Danny in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Danny Nail on Creating a Global ABM Platform.”

“You have to let go of templatized old ideas…and start really digging into how you can change what you’re doing and make it more efficient, more effective, and be creative about that.” — Danny Nail @DannyNail Click To Tweet

4 — Build A Constellation of Content Co-Creation & Crowdsourcing

The co-creation of content can be likened to a constellation of interconnected subject matter experts, influencers, and other B2B marketing professionals.

Working with industry experts and influencers to co-create content is a proven tactic for adding more inherent promotion right from the start of your campaign, as Lee Odden explored in “How to Win at B2B Influence With The Magic of Content Co-Creation.”

When you work with noted figures in your profession and include their insight along with your own, you’ll both end up reaping the rewards on several levels by joining together.

Co-created content by its very nature provides promotion potential that is greater than the sum of its individual parts. The value and relevance that industry experts add to your content makes it something that not only your target audience will want to learn from and share, but it will also see additional sharing and social amplification opportunities.

Using influencer optimized co-creation of content results in the kind of authoritative content that earns, grows, and keeps audience trust, and it’s also a great way to boost efficiency.

To learn more about influencer optimized content, start with Lee Odden’s insightful “How to Accelerate 2021 B2B Marketing Success with Influencer Optimized Content.”

“Using influencer optimized co-creation of content results in the kind of authoritative content that earns, grows, and keeps audience trust, and it’s also a great way to boost efficiency.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

5 — Take Your B2B Marketing To Interstellar Heights With Influence

Speaking of influence, harnessing its power can propel your B2B marketing efforts to new heights, and at the same time turn up the volume when it comes to productivity.

Developing relationships with influencers builds a framework of productivity than can be used not only on immediate projects, but when done carefully will also lead to the type of long-term collaborations that thrive as always-on marketing.

Here are five recent articles we’ve published that can help you understand what always-on influence is, and how influence increases engagement, productivity, and credibility:

“Developing relationships with influencers builds a framework of productivity than can be used not only on immediate projects, but also for successful long-term always-on marketing collaborations.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

Sleek Marketing Can Warp You To New Dimensions

via GIPHY

By using these tips and tactics for working smarter, harnessing productivity passion, paying attention to the small details, using content co-creation, and playing off the power of influencer, you’ve got the productivity fuel needed to bypass a slow-moving star-field of B2B marketers stuck in the mire of inefficient workflows.

Working smartly and efficiently is key in today’s global B2B marketing universe, which is why many top brands choose the help of an award-winning digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Contact us and find out how we can help, as we’ve done for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and others.





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Three Post Pandemic B2B Marketing Trends


Post Pandemic B2B Marketing Trends

For many, the past few months have opened up giving us a taste of “return to normal” but what does that mean?

When most people say normal, what they often mean is comfortable. In the business world pre-pandemic comfortable is a dangerous place to be.

Any company that did not adjust, adapt or pivot over the past year and a half probably isn’t in business or doing as much business as they should. There have been many changes during the pandemic from digital transformation across all aspects of business to evolving expectations of customers. Companies and their marketers must be in tune with all of these changes in order to survive and thrive in a post-pandemic business environment.

One way customers have changed in B2B is that they expect more from the digital experience. Recent research shows 90% of B2B buyers will turn to a competitor if a suppliers digital channel doesn’t meet their needs. The elevation of expectations extends to service as well. “Expectations for experience have gotten so high that our traditional means of customer service simply aren’t sufficient anymore.” says Vivek Ahuja in a piece on Forbes.

Marketing is no different and the experiences companies create through their marketing are more important than ever.

As the former Salesforce chief marketing officer Kraig Swensrud, who is now co-founder of Qualified.com says, B2B marketers must prioritize “personalized, real-time experiences” to win over decision-makers who are increasingly digital-first.

There are important connections to be made between changes born of the pandemic and the trends that B2B brands need to be aware of as we enter the next phase marketing for 2H 2021 and into 2022.

Experience is Everything

“Research shows a strong correlation and interconnectedness between brand experience, customer experience and employee experience.” Forrester

Digital first B2B buyers expect continuity across channels for the information they seek as they pull themselves from awareness to consideration to decision in the sales journey. B2B brands that have adapted their marketing for digital first buyers must deliver best answer experiences that are both findable and credible.

Being the best answer for your customers with content that is comprehensive, relevant, engaging and actionable is more important than ever as competition for digital attention rises in B2B communication channels.

Optimizing best answer content experiences by making them easy to find and relevant is something many B2B marketers are tackling through renewed focus on SEO. Being found is a great start, but being found and trustworthy is even better. That’s why it is more timely than ever for B2B marketers to integrate efforts to optimize content for findability and credibility by incorporating influencers.

Many successful B2B marketers have already made this connection between SEO and influence when creating content experiences for customers. In our research for the State of B2B Influencer Marketing, we found that 50% of B2B marketers surveyed are integrating influencer marketing with SEO.  We also found that there is a connection between the elevated credibility of content from trusted industry experts and the experiences B2B brands are so focused on. 74% of B2B marketers believe that influencer marketing impacts both prospect and customer experiences with the brand.

Content Really is King

“The average number of buying interactions has risen from 17 to 27 and 60% of purchases have 4+ people involved.” Forrester

Those interactions are powered by content. As B2B marketers have shifted much of their marketing efforts to digital, content plays a more important role in delivering information and experiences that satisfy the buyer’s intent. And there’s more buyers involved in the process creating even more reasons to produce highly relevant, engaging and trusted content.

While many marketers are already challenged to create enough content, our research found that by partnering with industry experts, content credibility and reach objectives are both positively affected.  In fact, 70% of B2B marketers say influencers improve the credibility of brand content and 75% say influencers help drive more views of brand content.

The transformation of B2B to digital means B2B marketers must approach content intelligently and not alone. Partnering with the voices in the industry that have the trust and attention of the customers helps create a quantity of quality content that has credibility and reach that brands are having a hard time achieving on their own.

Executive Influence Drives Sales

“Salespeople must become recognized thought leaders in their fields and contribute to digital conversations in new and provocative ways.” Harvard Business Review

The value of influence for B2B brands is not limited to salespeople. In fact, there’s value in every public facing executive at a B2B brand to grow their influence in the industry and help drive revenue outcomes. Many B2B key opinion leaders and subject matter experts within companies may not have sales responsibilities, but the trust in their expertise can help create confidence in the brand and those who are tasked with sales.

Some B2B marketers area already seeing lift in lead generation and sales by working with industry influencers. For example, our survey of hundreds of B2B marketers found that 53% of B2B marketers have increased leads by working with influencers. 34% say their work with influencers have increased sales.

So why limit the value of influence to only working with external influencers? Why not develop the influence of appropriate subject matter experts and executives within the brand as well?

In fact, many B2B brands are finding the combination of developing social influence of their executives can be facilitated by partnering those internal opinion leaders with external industry experts. Whether it’s content co-creation, a LinkedIn Live event, webinar Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse chat, podcast interview or recorded video, there are many opportunities for B2B brands the create mutual value and lift for their executives in partnership with industry experts that can result in those internal executives having more influence on prospects and customers.

There are more than enough emerging technology trends happening with the transformation of B2B marketing and business to digital first. But there is a human side to B2B marketing that has too often been overlooked in the past. If there’s one thing that past 18 months has taught us as we’ve come to know our business customers better than ever, is that the human connection – the customer experience, the value of content and the power of your own executives being influential all play important roles in connecting with customers in ways they expect and are necessary.





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B2B Marketing & Sales Exec Brand Study, LinkedIn’s Marketing Diversity Insights, & Instagram’s New Link Options


2021 July 9 LinkedIn Chart

Buoyant B2B: Firms Stress Marketing As They Enhance Their Brands
59 percent of B2B marketing and sales executives say their businesses are active in social media, while 39 percent of employees say that they don’t understand their companies’ brands, according to newly-released survey data of interest to digital marketers. MediaPost

What Makes A Brand Best-in-Class on Social?
47 percent of U.S. consumers said that strong customer service made for best-in-class brand social media communication, followed audience engagement with 46 percent, transparency at 44 percent, and creating memorable content at 39 percent, according to recently-released social media survey data. MarketingCharts

Facebook is testing drastic changes to Instagram to make it more like TikTok
Facebook has begun testing changes including full-screen video and more immersive experiences for its Instagram platform, in a move aimed at bringing more entertaining and mobile-first video experiences that better compete with TikTok, the social media giant recently announced. CNBC

Experience Marketing Returning To Normal: 75% Of Brands Have Resumed Live, In-Person Events
Some 75 percent of brand marketers said that they have returned to live and in-personal experiential marketing, with 68 percent of consumers reporting participating in forms of in-person experiential marketing as of May, 2021 — up from just four percent a year earlier, according to newly-released global survey data. MediaPost

Norway Introduces New Law Forcing Disclosure on Retouched Photos Posted Online
Norway has introduced regulations requiring advertisers and influencers to clearly note any retouched online photos, a potential harbinger of similar more expansive future global laws that could affect B2B marketers and influencers. Social Media Today

Instagram tests letting anyone share a link in stories
Instagram has begun a new trial that brings expanded linking capabilities via sticker taps, which could lead to eventual easier link sharing for marketers on the platform, the Facebook-owned firm recently revealed. The Verge

2021 July 9 Statistics Image

TikTok to roll out option to create longer videos of up to three minutes
Short-form video platform TikTok will expand the maximum length of footage shared on the popular app from 60 seconds to three minutes, creating new content opportunities for marketers, the firm recently announced, with the change expected to take place within the coming weeks. Reuters

Twitter considers letting you limit tweets to ‘trusted friends’
Twitter has tested a variety of new methods for limiting who can view content on the platform, including tweet audience categorization that could help marketers refine their messaging on Twitter for specific audiences, the firm recently revealed. The Verge

Media KPIs That Matter [ANA Study]
Efficiency is the most-used key performance indicator (KPI) in media, while outcome is seen as the most important — two of numerous findings of interest to digital marketers contained in newly-released Association of National Advertisers (ANA) survey data examining 39 top KPIs. ANA

LinkedIn Shares Insights Into Gender and Racial Diversity in the Marketing Field
60 percent of the marketing profession is comprised of women, with the top three growing marketing job titles among women being director of growth, account strategist, and creative strategist — several findings from expansive recently-released study data from LinkedIn (client) of interest to online marketers. Social Media Today

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2021 July 9 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at the “The 7 Deadly Sins of Innovation” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Americans Eagerly Check To See If They Got Any Emails Today — The Onion

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • TopRank Marketing — 17 Best Examples of B2B Influencer Marketing Campaigns — Audiense
  • Lee Odden — 60 Best Marketing Quotes to Boost Your Business — Quoteistan

Have you found your own vital B2B marketing news item from the past week of industry news? Please drop us a line in the comments below.

Thank you for joining us for this week’s TopRank Marketing B2B marketing news, and we hope that you’ll come back again next Friday for more of the week’s most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.





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11 Ways Top B2B Marketers Are Breaking Free of Boring B2B


Black Woman Breaking Through A Yellow Wall Image

How can B2B marketers in 2021 break free from conventional and oftentimes boring B2B efforts?

We’re fortunate to have 11 takes on this important topic from some of the top subject matter experts in B2B marketing, with a wide range of insight on how marketers can smash through traditional boring-to-boring marketing.

Our third season of the Break Free B2B Marketing series of video interviews has given us a new group of experts, influencers, and future-thinkers all gathered for one purpose: sharing the ways they’ve broken free and how you can do the same for yourself, your brand, and your business.

Let’s jump right in and see how 11 influential voices in B2B marketing go about breaking through, with actionable tactics you can implement in your own marketing efforts as we head toward 2022.

Minda Harts of The Memo on Having Courageous Conversations

Minda Harts

Minda Harts
CEO and Founder, The Memo

“I think in order to break free, it starts with ourselves,” Minda said.

“We have to be willing to have those courageous conversations and we have to be willing to be courageous listeners, and once we’ve had some time to sit with ourselves and educate ourselves, then I think we allow ourselves to break free,” Minda added.

“We have to be willing to have those courageous conversations and be courageous listeners. Once we’ve had some time to sit with ourselves and educate ourselves, then I think we allow ourselves to break free.” — Minda Harts @MindaHarts Click To Tweet

Watch, listen to or read the full interview by checking our the full blog post “Break Free B2B Marketing: Minda Harts of The Memo on Having Courageous Conversations.”

Keith Townsend of The CTO Advisor on Bringing Value Through Friction

Keith Townsend

Keith Townsend
Co-Founder, The CTO Advisory

“One of the toughest things as a leader in my own organization — what helped me break free is when I’m willing to have the difficult conversations,” Keith noted.

“Things that we say are difficult conversations, because we’re fearful of the outcome — I’m a big believer that friction brings value at the end of the day. When — you not necessarily inject — friction, but not avoid friction, it usually brings pretty good value.”

“When I’m willing to tell one of my employees or one of my contributors that, ‘You know what, the piece of work that you brought me just isn’t up to our standard.’ None of them just go away and don’t bring me back a revised piece of work. They usually come back with work that impresses me. Because we engage them for a reason and hire them for a reason.”

“To stand out, don’t avoid those difficult conversations.”

“I’m a big believer that friction brings value at the end of the day. When — you not necessarily inject — friction, but not avoid friction, it usually brings pretty good value.” — Keith Townsend @CTOAdvisor Click To Tweet

Watch, listen to or read the full interview by checking our the full blog post “Break Free B2B Marketing: Keith Townsend of The CTO Advisor on Bringing Value Through Friction

Dez Blanchfield of Sociaall on Joining the Conversation

Dez Blanchfield

Dez Blanchfield
Founder, Sociaall Inc.

“My only ask is that people join the conversation. That’s all I want people to do. I think that if there was one phrase that if I was going to be buried and put in the grave, on my tombstone would be ‘Just join the conversation. If and when it suits you,’” Dez said.

“The advice I’ve been giving people in the last three to five years is that it was a time when you could do it all yourself. If you were an airline, or a bank, or if you were in health care, or wealth management, if you’re a telco, there was a time when you could do it all, you could run your own telephone systems, run your own technology, stack your own email servers, your own domain name servers. But the complexity is so great now and the speed at which we have to move, is so rapid, and so short, and you know that the demand is for reduced time to market,” Dez added.

“The advice I’m giving people now is: find the best partner choice. In each of the segments, you need to be able to address problems. So if you’re a bank, be a bank, focus on being the best bank, you can, and look for things that are going to disrupt you. But don’t try to be a phone company. Don’t run your own PBX, don’t run your voice systems. If you own a website, don’t become a hosting company. Don’t waste your time running web services,” Dez explained.

“If you’re a bank, be a bank, focus on being the best bank you can, and look for things that are going to disrupt you. But don’t try to be a phone company.” — Dez Blanchfield @dez_blanchfield Click To Tweet

Watch, listen to or read the full interview by checking our the full blog post “Break Free B2B Marketing: Dez Blanchfield of Sociaall on Joining the Conversation.”

Tamara McCleary of Thulium on Visions of the Future and Doing No Harm

Tamara McCleary

Tamara McCleary
CEO, Thulium

“It’s tough right now for B2B leaders, and I have a heart for B2B leaders. I have a huge heart for B2B marketing leadership, because marketing budgets are being hacked away — with COVID, 2020 was a huge shake-up, we didn’t even have those live events anymore — think of all the marketing dollars that were going around big events,” Tamara shared.

“It’s always been difficult for the B2B enterprise — whether you were in marketing, sales, IT, or HR — it doesn’t matter. What you’ve been tasked with is, ‘Hurry up and digitally transform yourself to meet the future,’ but you have limited resources to do that, and oh, by the way, continue doing everything you were already doing, under budget.’”

“Be gentle and kind to yourself, because all the stress and pressure you’re under right now — you’re not alone. It’s a new world for all of us, where the paradigm has shifted, and although you have to be mindful of this particular quarter that you’re in, don’t become myopic and focus your thinking only about this quarter. You absolutely owe it to yourself — you’re worth it — to be able to think, ‘What do I need to do to learn how to stay ahead in this technologically advanced world?’ Where in the very near future brands will not own the relationship with the customer — platforms will.”

How are we creating an ecosystem of partners with platforms out there — whether that’s the Googles, the Amazons, or the Microsofts of the world — how are we creating partnerships so that our products and services are offered through those intermediary digital assistants that will become the primary person functioning and giving all the information? Your digital assistant — your little Echo or any other device you would like to use, is going to become more sophisticated very soon, and that is going to be what your customer — your human — is going to for information and to handle all of its mundane tasks.”

“If you don’t have relationships with the platforms that house these digital assistant devices, you’re out.”

“Be gentle and kind to yourself, because all the stress and pressure you’re under right now — you’re not alone. It’s a new world for all of us, where the paradigm has shifted.” — @TamaraMcCleary Click To Tweet

Watch, listen to or read the full interview by checking our the full blog post “Break Free B2B Marketing: Tamara McCleary of Thulium on Visions of the Future and Doing No Harm.”

Nicole Brady of SAHM Reviews on the Importance of Empathy in Reaching Your Niche

Nicole Brady Image

Nicole Brady
Publisher, SAHM Reviews

“Think outside the box — if you see your competitors doing something, don’t do it — do something else,” Nicole said.

“You have to really make a name for yourself — whatever it is — whether it’s sharing your flaws, creating interviews, asking for real feedback from the people who are your consumers, whether it is on a B2B or B2C basis — the people who are utilizing your product or service, and talking to them to find out why they’re dealing with you and why they’re buying your product or using your service instead of somebody else’s.”

“Find out what makes you different and what makes people want to talk to you, and then leverage it. Share those details, and create content around those details. As more and more people are on social media, being able to find those out-of-the-box environmental things that make you tick — that you might not have known — showing them off, that’s the way to do it.”

“Find out what makes you different and what makes people want to talk to you, and then leverage it. Share those details, and create content around those details.” — Nicole Brady @SahmReviews Click To Tweet

Watch, listen to or read the full interview by checking our the full blog post “Break Free B2B Marketing: Nicole Brady of SAHM Reviews on the Importance of Empathy in Reaching Your Niche.”

Eric Vanderburg of TCDI on The Changing Cybersecurity Landscape

Eric Vanderburg

Eric Vanderburg
Vice President of Cybersecurity, TCDI

“Stop looking at security as something that’s going to hold you back, or as this big cost factor, and start looking at it as something that will free you. When you talk about breaking free — many companies are held back right now, because of fear,” Eric urged.

“They may not enter that market or do business in this space, or they may not collect this private information, because they’re afraid that it may be exposed — that they may subject themselves to additional liability, and all these other fears — rather than looking at this and saying, ‘OK, I want to do this business.’”

“Certainly it comes at a cost, right — I need to invest in so many different ways, and security is another way to invest. Invest in that and now it allows me to move forward with confidence, rather than shoring up my defenses and only doing what I’m comfortable with.”

“Stop looking at security as something that’s going to hold you back, or as this big cost factor, and start looking at it as something that will free you.” — Eric Vanberburg @vtamethodman Click To Tweet

Watch, listen to or read the full interview by checking our the full blog post “Break Free B2B Marketing: Eric Vanderburg of TCDI on The Changing Cybersecurity Landscape.”

Sarah Barnes-Humphrey of Shipz and The Art of Consistent Change

Sarah Barnes-Humphrey Image

Sarah Barnes-Humphrey
CEO, SHIPZ

“Lean into your teams and allow them to really shine from a social media perspective. I say that from a LinkedIn perspective, because I think we need more voices on a platform like LinkedIn — interacting, sharing thoughts, and really supporting teams, and being able to share those thoughts,” Sarah noted.

“I also think that teams are handling a lot of things right now — there are a lot of things coming at them — they’re handling a lot of emotions when it comes to their teams. I want to make sure that supply chain leaders and marketing leaders are taking time for themselves and making sure that they are not only checking in on their teams, but checking on each other and themselves as well.”

“I want to make sure that supply chain leaders and marketing leaders are taking time for themselves and making sure that they are not only checking in on their teams, but checking on each other and themselves as well.” @bevictoryus Click To Tweet

Watch, listen to or read the full interview by checking our the full blog post “Break Free B2B Marketing: Sarah Barnes-Humphrey of Shipz and The Art of Consistent Change.”

Liam McIvor Martin of Time Doctor on The Revolutionary Power of Remote Work

Liam McIvor Martin

Liam McIvor Martin
Co-Founder, Time Doctor

When it comes to remote and hybrid work, Liam has years of experience and plenty of helpful advice.

“Do it. Try it. Pre-COVID I would have told everyone, ‘Hey, you know what — why don’t you make a couple people remote?’ Or why don’t you make a department remote? You can’t do that right now — you have to jump in full-on. If you’re not already remote, you’re probably not going to do that, because of how long we’ve already been in COVID — but fundamentally, measure your metrics, create very clear documentation of all of your processes, and communicate effectively with your team,” Liam said.

“If you can do those three things, and people can continuously report metrics to you, regardless of whether you’re using a tool like Time Doctor or even if you’re using an Excel spreadsheet — defining those metrics and saying, ‘I got X amount of leads today, and this is on target for my Q3 goal.’ That’s going to be great — you’re going to be doing better than 90 percent of people.”

“Even if you choose to go back inside of an office, those things that you’ve done are fundamentally going to make your company run faster.”

“My estimate is that after COVID is over, we’re probably going to float to around 50% of the US workforce working remotely.” — Liam McIvor Martin @vtamethodman Click To Tweet

Watch, listen to or read the full interview by checking our the full blog post “Break Free B2B Marketing: Liam McIvor Martin of Time Doctor on The Revolutionary Power of Remote Work.”

Oliver Christie on Making Life Better With AI

Oliver Christie of PertexaHealthTech Image

Oliver Christie
Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer, PertexaHealthTech

“I think it’s about asking a big question, and some of it is quite challenging — where could your company or industry go if you have a blank slate? We need that big question. We need leadership to get the artificial intelligence (AI), the tools, and the data — that’s all secondary — but what is that big question? I think that’s the best that any leader could ask,” Oliver noted.

“I think that the next big leap is going to be our products and services are going to be much more reactive to who we are.” — Oliver Christie @OliverChristie Click To Tweet

Watch, listen to or read the full interview by checking our the full blog post “Break Free B2B Marketing: Oliver Christie on Making Life Better With AI.”

Tim Crawford of AVOA on The New Normal

Break Free B2B Marketing Tim Crawford

Tim Crawford
CIO Strategic Advisor, AVOA

“The big thing is understanding your customer and their customer. Once you understand that second degree of separation — not just the first degree — it really puts you in a differentiated position,” Tim explained.

“Understand what’s in your wheelhouse and what’s not, but never, ever forget to always look at it from the customer’s lens. Don’t just look at it from your lens of ‘Hey, this is what we do. This is what we sell. Our product can do X for you.’ That’s a bad place to start.”

“A better place to start, and a place I look for as a customer is, ‘Who are you in the relationship for?’ If you start with understanding me, and have shown you’ve done a little bit of homework, that’s going to take my wall down a little bit, and start to build trust.”

“Building that trust in those relationships is key to success moving forward. Authenticity, experience — add it to the list.”

“The big thing is understanding your customer and their customer. Once you understand that second degree of separation — not just the first degree — it really puts you in a differentiated position.” — Tim Crawford @tcrawford Click To Tweet

Watch, listen to or read the full interview by checking our the full blog post “Break Free B2B Marketing: Tim Crawford of AVOA on The New Normal.”

Kevin L. Jackson of GC GlobalNet on the Future of Cloud Computing

Kevin L. Jackson of GC GlobalNet

Kevin Jackson
CEO, GC GlobalNet

“You operate in a global and interconnected industry. Realize that you contribute most to your industry when you build and contribute to that global network,” Kevin observed.

“You really break free through collaboration and open dialogue with your colleagues and partners.”

“You operate in a global and interconnected industry. Realize that you contribute most to your industry when you build and contribute to that global network.” — Kevin Jackson @Kevin_Jackson Click To Tweet

Watch, listen to or read the full interview by checking our the full blog post “Break Free B2B Marketing: Kevin Jackson of GC GlobalNet on Cloud Computing.”

Smash Through Boring B2B Marketing

via GIPHY

We hope you’ve found the tactics, insights, and tips from Kevin, Tim, Oliver, Liam, Sarah, Eric, Nicole, Tamara, Dez, Keith and Minda to be eye-opening as you plan your own B2B marketing in the lead-up to 2022.

For even more insight from leading B2B marketers, be sure to also check out our Inside B2B Influence series of video interviews and podcasts, including the latest featuring Justin Levy of Demandbase (client), in “Inside B2B Influence: Justin Levy of Demandbase on Optimizing B2B Marketing with Influence.”

Creating award-winning B2B marketing with an artful mixture of influence takes considerable time and effort, which is why many firms choose to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Contact us today and let us know how we can help, as we’ve done for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and others.





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B2B Demand Gen KPI Study, Edelman Trust Barometer, Instagram Gets Desktop Posting, & Gen Z For B2B Brands


2021 July 2 MarketingCharts Chart

Edelman Trust Barometer special report: Brands must be agents of societal change, say consumers
63 percent of consumers say they are more attracted to brands that focus on making the world a better place, while 78 percent said they believe their influence goes beyond the consumer experience to business operations — two of several statistics of interest to digital marketers in newly-released survey data from Edelman’s Trust Barometer report. PRWeek

Most Demand Gen Marketers Hit Their KPIs in 2020
43 percent of B2B demand generation marketers say they met their original key performance indicators (KPIs) in 2020, with 35 percent topping their original targets, according to recently-released survey data. The survey also showed that 18 percent expect their demand gen budgets to significantly expand in the coming 12 months, with 49 percent expected some budget growth. MarketingCharts

Focusing on gen Z: how B2B brands can hook this new generation of customers & candidates
LinkedIn’s (client) vice-president of marketing solutions Penry Price has shared insight into how B2B brands can better connect with buyers in the Gen Z demographic, including a heightening importance for live video, audio content, and brand values. The Drum

Facebook Adds New ‘Optimize Text Per Person’ Option for Automated Ad Customization
Facebook has begun rolling out a new feature that aims to deliver ads on the social platform in the format that each user most favorably responds to, bringing marketers new options for experimenting with the per-person optimization capability, the firm recently announced. Social Media Today

Brave Search Launches, Roadmaps A Privacy Search Engine Without Bias
A new search engine striving to provide greater privacy, Brave Search, launched in beta format recently, using its own search index and expecting to eventually offer ad-supported search capability, the firm announced this week. MediaPost

Instagram now lets you create and publish posts on Mac, but iPad not supported
Desktop PC and Mac systems have gained the ability to post natively to Instagram, bypassing the long-standing former mobile-only requirement, the Facebook-owned social platform recently announced, in a move that could make it easier for marketers using traditional desktop computer systems. 9to5Mac

2021 July 2 Statistics Image

Social Media Marketing Update: Preferred Platforms and Content Types in 2021
Some 79 percent of marketers said that they plan to maintain or increase their use of LinkedIn over the next year, making the Microsoft-owned professional social platform fourth behind Instagram’s 87 percent, Facebook’s 84 percent, and YouTube’s 83 percent, and ahead of fifth place Twitter, recently-released social media usage trend survey data of interest to digital marketers. MarketingCharts

Wavemaker Finds Consumers Becoming Less Attached To Brands, Especially Online
The number of brands that consumers consider when purchasing is conducted solely online is some 50 percent greater than purely offline purchase paths — one of several statistics of interest to online marketers contained in newly-released survey data. MediaPost

Facebook Tests New Reels and Rooms UI, Integrated Into the Facebook Stories Panel
Facebook has begun testing options to gain a wider audience for Instagram Reels content, offering users alternate feeds showing a variety of content types including live video, Instagram Reels clips, Stories, of audio room content, observers of display changes at the social media giant have recently discovered. Social Media Today

Here’s What B2B Content Works at Each Stage of the Funnel
In-depth white papers or e-books, customer case studies, and virtual events were the top three most effective content types for customers in the bottom funnel closest to purchasing, according to newly-released B2B technology marketing survey data. On the opposite side of the funnel, blogs, infographics, and video assets were the most effective content types to buyers beginning their purchasing journey, the survey data revealed. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2021 July 2 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at the “influencer marketing and authenticity” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

3 Must-Know Consumer Behavior Predictions for Hot Tech Summer — Adweek

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — 10 Tips for Nurturing Business Relationships and Marketing a B2B Brand — Small Business Trends
  • Lee Odden — 60 Best Marketing Quotes to Boost Your Business — Quoteistan

Have you found your own top B2B marketing news item from the past week of industry news? Please drop us a line in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the time to join us for the TopRank Marketing B2B marketing news, and we hope that you’ll return again next Friday for more of the week’s most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.





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