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 …

50 Statistics About B2B Sales and Marketing (Mis)Alignment

June 17, 2014 It’s hard to imagine a 2014 topic hotter than Jimmy Fallon right now. I mean, who would’ve imagined that lip syncing would have such a come back? But if there’s one, at least in the business world, it’s how to fix the chasm between sales and marketing so companies quit bleeding leads (qualified or not) and customers. Why …

BMA14: Where B2B’s Going

Photo caption: Steve Ligouri, (left) president, Ligouri Innovations and 2014-2015 BMA Board Chair and Kathy Button Bell, CMO, Emerson, and 2013-2014 BMA Board Chair kickoff the BMA 2014 conference in Chicago May 28.   Saturday, May 31, 2014 At the Business Marketing Association’s annual conference there were five themes that consistently rang loud and clear. (As a disclaimer, I’m on the …

Think Inside the Box: Freeing Creativity with Constraints

March 31, 2014 There’s a belief that in order to be truly creative, marketers must unshackle themselves from anything that could hinder their process. Give them their creative freedom. Let them have no bounds. The sky’s the limit. FLY ICARUS, FLY! In other words, we want them to “think outside the box.” But marketers are like toddlers on Christmas morning; …

2014 Content Strategy: Do Less

2014 Content Strategy: Do Less In the latest research from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America, content marketers show that they’re definitely making progress in understanding the uniqueness of the discipline and refining their skills. The results show that 44% say they have a documented strategy and 73% have …

Content Marketing and Sales Enablement: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

If content marketing is supposed to support the sales cycle, why are so many companies bad at it? Too many companies think the answer comes from the right marketing automation system or other technology that gets content in front of a customer or prospect. It’s not. It’s about sales and marketing not having walked the proverbial mile in each other’s …

Teach Employees to Tell Your Brand Story

September 24, 2013 “Let me tell you a story…” is one of the most powerful phrases you hear. Yet while people relish this from Hollywood movies and best-selling authors, they often shun it in the board room. They shouldn’t. Some companies are slowly starting to understand the power of storytelling. Cisco uses it to strengthen its brand through The Network …

The Financial ROI of Brand Storytelling

August 6, 2013 At the Society for Marketing Professional Services annual conference a few weeks ago in Orlando, people who attended my session asked me how to get executive buy-in on storytelling. My response? Talk to them in their language: money. Successful organizations of all sizes (Fortune 100 to small and medium size) are drawing on storytelling to bring their brands to life …

Is Your Content Marketing Scaleable?

One of the biggest struggles between sales and marketing stems from understanding what sales needs to turn a prospect into a customer and what marketing has the bandwidth to produce. It’s a battle that repeats itself regardless of company size or industry focus. To help remove some of the animosity from the relationship, it helps to have everyone on the …

The 50/50 Split Between External and Internal Branding

Last week I wrote a blog post for the Content Marketing Institute about Why Brand Storytelling Must Start With Human Resources. Based on the responses I’ve received, this definitely hit a chord. A colleague of mine is a CMO for a multi-billion dollar technology company, and we talked about the piece. Interestingly, with this of a global size firm, I assumed …

The Aura of Authenticity

Photo :: Jay Baer, Convince & Convert (left) moderates the morning keynote panel “Are We Getting Better or Just Busier,” with Mario Sundar (LinkedIn), Chris Brogan (Human Business Works) and Mark Schaefer (Schaefer Marketing Solutions). I spent the early part of last week at the Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego, one of my favorite cities. The marketing hype was no lie, it …