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From Great to Good: What’s Causing CMO Tenure Decline?

March 15, 2016 Last week, Spencer Stuart released the results from its most recent study on CMO tenure. In looking at the profiles of chief marketers from 100 of the top U.S. advertised brands they found that, for the first time in a decade, CMO tenure is on the decline. The average tenure for chief marketing officers dropped almost 10 …

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Super Bowl 50: Why Some Ads Work and Others Fall Flat

February 9, 2016 The best Super Bowl ads have one indisputable trait: They tell fabulous stories. And beautiful stories are what you want, especially if you’re forking over $5 million for 30 seconds of prime-time viewer real estate. But what makes some ads sizzle while others sink? Here’s three key qualities that work every time: Make it relatable. If you’re a football fan, …

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102 of the Most Inspiring Storytelling Quotes of All Time

February 2, 2016 Stories have been shared in every culture for millions of years – starting with rudimentary drawings by people who lived in caves – as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and instilling moral values. The ancient art of storytelling has made its way to the boardroom, but some people – including marketers – still wonder if …

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The Theory of Relativity and Brand Storytelling

January 26, 2016 In 1905, a rather unknown German physicist named Albert Einstein published three papers about the theory of relativity. Eleven years later, Einstein came up with the general theory of relativity which has become the accepted description of gravitation in modern physics. In a nutshell, Einstein’s formula shows how gravitation force can be calculated like this… Take the …

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Are CMO Ambitions Too Low?

September 29, 2015 Ambitious CMOs focus on building credibility for their team. Is that enough? Some wonder if CMOs have what it takes to become the next CEO. Are we setting our sight too high? Actually, I read a report this week that points out that even these ambitions are too low. The Report – When and How Does Board-Level …

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What Does a Content Marketing Plan Look Like?

September 22, 2015by Michael Brenner Whether you are new to content marketing or not, developing a successful content marketing strategy can be very challenging and time-consuming. Where do you start? How do you know if the content you’re producing will reach your target audience and generate more leads or sales for your business? I frequently present a roadmap (below) for …

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How Marriott and GE Built Audiences Through Experiences

September 8, 2015 In 1990, there were only eight channels to reach someone – events, direct mail, fax, TV, radio, phone, billboards, and print magazines and newsletters. We didn’t have a lot of competition for someone’s attention. But today we do. Marketers constantly battle to prove how we’re “better” than the competition and we’re terrible at it. We’ve created so …

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How to Get Sales to Use Your Marketing Content

August 11, 2015by Matt Sharrers Your marketing team spends time and money to produce quality content. So why won’t the sales team use it? The hard truth is often Sales doesn’t know how to use marketing content. They don’t know what is applicable when during the buyer’s journey. From prospect to customer, Sales may be unclear what is helpful during each …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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; …