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A Marketer’s Search for Meaning: 5 Attributes of Relevancy

April 28, 2015 I read an article the other day that said that people are hired for hard skills and fired for a lack of soft skills. I’ve found this to be true, and even more so for marketers as our pace of change keeps picking up speed. I listen to marketers talk about the struggles they have in their …

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What Marketing Can Learn from IT About Content

April 14, 2015 Marketing sets the tone and pace for content strategy, but there’s a great deal marketers can learn from their IT counterparts. More than a decade ago, 17 software developers gathered for a weekend to talk about development methods. One of the outcomes was the Agile Manifesto – a document that shared the groups’ belief of a better …

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Overt or Covert: What’s Your Content Culture?

March 31, 2015 One of the questions I’m asked most often is, “How do I convince my boss/CMO/executive to do content marketing?” I tell these people what every great sales person knows – you don’t convince anyone of anything. Despite what the old adage says, it can be nearly impossible to lead a horse to water, much less teach him …

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Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing

March 23, 2015 I’m excited to share that today marks the release of a new book that I’ve co-authored with the uber talented Robert Rose – Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing. As anyone who’s written a book knows, it’s no small feat. We’ve spent the last year synthesizing five years of research, workshops, consulting engagements and conversations with more …

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Using Purpose-Driven Content to Create B2B Buyer Experiences

March 10, 2015 It’s no secret that the information pools that buyers can tap are overflowing. It’s time, however, that we start looking at the customer decision journey with a different perspective and begin focusing on purpose-driven content that creates distinguishing experiences for audiences. For the past few years, we’ve belabored the point that marketers need to map the customer …

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How Emerson Made Science Sexy with Storytelling

February 24, 2015 One of my favorite quotes from marketing icons about B2B marketing is that it doesn’t mean “boring-to-boring.” And, while logically we know that doesn’t have to be case, it’s rare that hard-core B2B companies do anything to break that stigma. Unless you’re Emerson. Of any B2B company that’s earned the right to stay in the obscure, gray …

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Content Marketing and the Rise of the Citizen Storyteller

February 17, 2015For companies to make the transition from telling stories to creating brand experiences, they have to focus on the power of amplifying the essence of their brand story. Confining storytelling strictly to the brand or PR teams limits the value and impact that can be had. Creating citizen storytellers isn’t only about tapping the ranks for ideas to …

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How to Create a Thought Leadership Strategy That Supports True Innovation

February 3, 2015 Thought leadership is a common approach for companies wanting to establish credibility within their industry and stand apart from the crowd — and for good reason. It’s true that thought leaders tend to be the most successful professionals in their fields, and because of this, have more influence over their audience. The problem is that people throw …

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How to Build Strong Brand Storytelling From the Inside Out

January 20, 2015 How to Build Strong Brand Storytelling From the Inside Out As marketers, we focus a lot of our time and attention on outside audiences, which makes sense. We’re trying to get people to buy what we sell. We want them to get to know us, like us, talk about us and think what we sell is a …

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12 Months of Learning From 12 Top B2B Marketers

January 6, 2015 One of the things I love about looking at the clean slate of a new year is 365 days of possibilities. Part of what gets me excited is taking one idea, focusing on it, and then putting it into practice little by little. Huge change all at once can be hugely overwhelming. But what I find is …

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Creating Purpose-Driven Marketing Departments

December 9, 2014 by Carla Johnson In the late 1990s, Philip Kotler wrote a book called Kotler on Marketing. In it, he said that “marketing will be re-engineered from A to Z. Marketing will need to rethink fundamentally the processes by which they identify, communicate and deliver customer value.” For the last decade, people have talked about changing buyer behavior. …

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Are You An Agile Content Creator? 6 Traits of Change Agents

November 25, 2014 In a previous post, I talked about why marketers need to embrace change to survive in today’s environment. Beyond just surviving, what do content professionals need to thrive and prosper? An agile learning mentality. As we adapt to new behaviors along the evolving buyers’ journey, content marketers have to prepare to draw on new insights and expertise …

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Want to Keep Your Marketing Job? Why You Must Embrace Change to Survive

November 11, 2014 How buyers buy has changed how we need to think and act as marketers. If you love uncertainty, then being a marketer today feels like being a kid on summer vacation – so many opportunities, ideas and inspiration. But apprehensive marketers are holding onto traditional practices. They think that if they ignore the disruption, they won’t have …

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31 Scary B2B Marketing Statistics

October 28, 2014 The scariest holiday of the year is just a few days away. There’s plenty of challenges that marketers have all year long, whether it’s trying to better align with sales, help employees tell our story, get better at execution or just figuring out what our role is in the changing world of marketing. With that I wanted …

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Back to the Basics: Marketing with a Strategy

October 14,2014 The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs released their annual research on the state of content marketing. B2B Content Marketing 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America highlights how far we’ve come in the last 12 months as it relates to the adoption and sophistication of practice in content marketing. I won’t go into details about the research …

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Performance Anxiety and the Modern Marketer

September 30, 2014 For all the change that’s taken place in how buyers buy, it’s no wonder that marketers feel uncertain. It’s not just about learning new skillsets and making sure teams are staffed and equipped with enough resources. It’s about realizing, understanding and then doing something about the new roles that we need to have as marketers and marketing …

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Sales and Marketing: Moving From Content to Conversations

September 16, 2014 Equipping B2B sales teams with the relevant content that helps them have long-term conversations with buyers is hard. Few marketers understand the strategy behind it and even fewer execute it well. It’s an area that’s vitally important to marketers and was the topic of a panel I moderated last week at Content Marketing World in Cleveland. I …

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Content Marketing: Don’t Knock it ‘Til You’ve Actually Done It

July 29, 2014 I’ve seen plenty of headlines lately about why content marketing doesn’t work, why it’s a fad or why it’s a fading fling. But nothing will work – regardless of how foolproof it is – if you don’t actually do it. The complainers and naysayers are quick to point out the shortcomings of content marketing. But what they’re …

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B2B Content Marketing Execution: We’re Not as Mature as We Think

July 16, 2014 B2B Content Marketing Execution: We’re Not as Mature as We Think Today, the Business Marketing Association (BMA), Forrester and the Online Marketing Institute released the results of a survey about the maturity of content marketing practices in business-to-business (B2B) organizations. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I serve as the Vice President of Thought Leadership for BMA …

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Ideation and Brainstorming: The art of team building through agreement

July 1, 2014 What’s better than sitting in a bland conference room, sun beating through the windows and fluorescent lights buzzing while your boss drones on about a brainstorming session? Probably everything. Brainstorming. It always begins with that cliché, “Remember, there are no bad ideas.” Which actually isn’t true. There are lots of bad ideas: The mullet. Parachute pants. New …