Digital Marketing News: Micro-Influencer Trends, LinkedIn Adds Interactive Tools, Strong Online Ad Spending, & Google’s Cookie Drop

The post Digital Marketing News: Micro-Influencer Trends, LinkedIn Adds Interactive Tools, Strong Online Ad Spending, & Google’s Cookie Drop appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

The post Digital Marketing News: Micro-Influencer Trends, LinkedIn Adds Interactive Tools, Strong Online Ad Spending, & Google’s Cookie Drop appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Break Free B2B Series: Carol-Lyn Jardine and Heather Hurst on Effectively Managing Change in B2B Marketing

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This phrase is often uttered with a negative connotation, but incidentally, it also represents an aspirational ideal for B2B marketing managers and leaders. 

In an environment that is constantly shifting, brands and agencies are tasked with navigating uncertainty while remaining steadfast in their pursuit of the same ultimate goals: engaging prospects, building relationships, driving business results.

As such, change management becomes a key aspect of the job, particularly for those in leadership positions. Focusing on “how to help employees embrace, adopt and utilize a change in their day-to-day work” (as defined by Prosci), change management is oft-overlooked but clearly essential for a profession where one day can look drastically different from the last.

Carol-Lyn Jardine, who now serves as Vice President of Marketing Operations and Productivity at Alteryx, says she’s had the opportunity to enter new organizations multiple times in recent years, and one of the consistent themes she encounters is that employees are unsettled by the amount of change happening.

“As I have kind of unlayered that conversation, what really comes out is that they’re not necessarily saying that they’re unhappy with change, what they’re actually saying is that they’re unhappy with how change has been rolled out.”

Carol-Lyn has experienced plenty of change in her winding career journey, which crossed paths with Heather Hurst at Workfront a few years back. Heather, now Senior Director of Digital Engagement at Vivint Solar, has also witnessed a substantial amount of change — and the pains it can bring about — during her career. 

“I think we tend to forget that the first question that an employee is really asking is, ‘How does this impact me?’” Heather says of major organizational shifts. “They are concerned with their place in the company.”

Heather and Carol-Lyn were kind enough to join me for the latest episode of Break Free B2B — our first with multiple guests! Getting both of their varied perspectives felt fitting for the topic. Scroll forth to uncover them. 

Break Free B2B Interview with Carol-Lyn Jardine and Heather Hurst

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxH5BxkQM2s]


If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 02:53 – Managing change in marketing
  • 06:18 The evolution of change management
  • 08:40 – New roles, new perspectives
  • 10:41 – Big data and change management
  • 12:50 – Communicating around change
  • 16:20 – Barriers to efficient and effective organizational change
  • 21:16 – Aligning work with personal values
  • 24:23 – Breaking free in change management

Nick: What do you think are the sort of the most pressing, urgent changes that you’re seeing in the industry?

Heather: We talk a lot about trends in the way that we market and in the way that we bring products to life. I think one of the elements that we miss a lot in that conversation is the impact that change has on the employees. Whether you are a new leader coming into a department or whether you’re making another change, another shift within the organization, it’s really, really important to help lead and manage a group through any change. 

And, this is something Carol-Lyn and I are both really passionate about. How do you either come in as a leader managing change or how, as an employee, do you embrace change as well? I think that’s one of the biggest things that we overlook… leadership in marketing can have a pretty quick turnover sometimes. And you know, you forget what the impact that can have on employees. So we were really excited at the opportunity to talk about how you lead through change.

Carol-Lyn: I’ve had the opportunity to go into new organizations a couple of times over the past few years. And one of the consistent themes that I hear from especially employees is that they’re unsettled by the amount of change that’s happening in their organizations … I look at them, and I think, Wow, we work in technology. Why are we surprised that there’s change happening? 

So change is inevitable. And as I have kind of unlayered that conversation, what really comes out is that they’re not necessarily saying that they’re unhappy with change, what they’re actually saying is that they’re unhappy with how change has been rolled out. 

That’s something that I’ve really thought about: How do we roll out change? How do we hope people understand why we’re changing what the impact of changes and how those changes actually affect each individual employee? And are we being clear about that communication to help them see that vision?

Nick: What is an insight or recommendation that you have about breaking free?

Carol-Lyn: When it comes to change management and kind of breaking free, I think there are a few things I would keep top of mind. One, assume good intent from the people around you as you’re going through change behaviors. I always try and make sure that when I’m going through these things, I assume good intent until it’s proven that I can’t—but by and large, people don’t disappoint me in that way.

[bctt tweet=”I always try and make sure that when I’m going through change management, I assume good intent until it’s proven that I can’t. @cljardine #BreakFreeB2B #ChangeManagement” username=”toprank”]

Heather: I think that we can tend to get really sucked into work … I will completely echo the good intentions piece from Carol-Lyn. But I think also considering how we spend our time either at work or outside of work and how that time aligns up to our values and where we want to spend time. I think that some people—especially in marketing— we can become workaholics a little bit. 

So, are we spending our time on our hobbies or family or all of the places where we want to spend it? So we do become more. I think we’re better rounded employees if we figure out: What do I value? And then what does that equate to in the way that I spend my time?

[bctt tweet=”I think we’re better rounded employees if we figure out: What do I value? And then what does that equate to in the way that I spend my time? @hehurst #BreakFreeB2B #ChangeManagement” username=”toprank”]

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:

The post Break Free B2B Series: Carol-Lyn Jardine and Heather Hurst on Effectively Managing Change in B2B Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This phrase is often uttered with a negative connotation, but incidentally, it also represents an aspirational ideal for B2B marketing managers and leaders. 

In an environment that is constantly shifting, brands and agencies are tasked with navigating uncertainty while remaining steadfast in their pursuit of the same ultimate goals: engaging prospects, building relationships, driving business results.

As such, change management becomes a key aspect of the job, particularly for those in leadership positions. Focusing on “how to help employees embrace, adopt and utilize a change in their day-to-day work” (as defined by Prosci), change management is oft-overlooked but clearly essential for a profession where one day can look drastically different from the last.

Carol-Lyn Jardine, who now serves as Vice President of Marketing Operations and Productivity at Alteryx, says she’s had the opportunity to enter new organizations multiple times in recent years, and one of the consistent themes she encounters is that employees are unsettled by the amount of change happening.

“As I have kind of unlayered that conversation, what really comes out is that they’re not necessarily saying that they’re unhappy with change, what they’re actually saying is that they’re unhappy with how change has been rolled out.”

Carol-Lyn has experienced plenty of change in her winding career journey, which crossed paths with Heather Hurst at Workfront a few years back. Heather, now Senior Director of Digital Engagement at Vivint Solar, has also witnessed a substantial amount of change — and the pains it can bring about — during her career. 

“I think we tend to forget that the first question that an employee is really asking is, ‘How does this impact me?’” Heather says of major organizational shifts. “They are concerned with their place in the company.”

Heather and Carol-Lyn were kind enough to join me for the latest episode of Break Free B2B — our first with multiple guests! Getting both of their varied perspectives felt fitting for the topic. Scroll forth to uncover them. 

Break Free B2B Interview with Carol-Lyn Jardine and Heather Hurst


If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 02:53 – Managing change in marketing
  • 06:18 The evolution of change management
  • 08:40 – New roles, new perspectives
  • 10:41 – Big data and change management
  • 12:50 – Communicating around change
  • 16:20 – Barriers to efficient and effective organizational change
  • 21:16 – Aligning work with personal values
  • 24:23 – Breaking free in change management

Nick: What do you think are the sort of the most pressing, urgent changes that you’re seeing in the industry?

Heather: We talk a lot about trends in the way that we market and in the way that we bring products to life. I think one of the elements that we miss a lot in that conversation is the impact that change has on the employees. Whether you are a new leader coming into a department or whether you’re making another change, another shift within the organization, it’s really, really important to help lead and manage a group through any change. 

And, this is something Carol-Lyn and I are both really passionate about. How do you either come in as a leader managing change or how, as an employee, do you embrace change as well? I think that’s one of the biggest things that we overlook… leadership in marketing can have a pretty quick turnover sometimes. And you know, you forget what the impact that can have on employees. So we were really excited at the opportunity to talk about how you lead through change.

Carol-Lyn: I’ve had the opportunity to go into new organizations a couple of times over the past few years. And one of the consistent themes that I hear from especially employees is that they’re unsettled by the amount of change that’s happening in their organizations … I look at them, and I think, Wow, we work in technology. Why are we surprised that there’s change happening? 

So change is inevitable. And as I have kind of unlayered that conversation, what really comes out is that they’re not necessarily saying that they’re unhappy with change, what they’re actually saying is that they’re unhappy with how change has been rolled out. 

That’s something that I’ve really thought about: How do we roll out change? How do we hope people understand why we’re changing what the impact of changes and how those changes actually affect each individual employee? And are we being clear about that communication to help them see that vision?

Nick: What is an insight or recommendation that you have about breaking free?

Carol-Lyn: When it comes to change management and kind of breaking free, I think there are a few things I would keep top of mind. One, assume good intent from the people around you as you’re going through change behaviors. I always try and make sure that when I’m going through these things, I assume good intent until it’s proven that I can’t—but by and large, people don’t disappoint me in that way.

[bctt tweet=”I always try and make sure that when I’m going through change management, I assume good intent until it’s proven that I can’t. @cljardine #BreakFreeB2B #ChangeManagement” username=”toprank”]

Heather: I think that we can tend to get really sucked into work … I will completely echo the good intentions piece from Carol-Lyn. But I think also considering how we spend our time either at work or outside of work and how that time aligns up to our values and where we want to spend time. I think that some people—especially in marketing— we can become workaholics a little bit. 

So, are we spending our time on our hobbies or family or all of the places where we want to spend it? So we do become more. I think we’re better rounded employees if we figure out: What do I value? And then what does that equate to in the way that I spend my time?

[bctt tweet=”I think we’re better rounded employees if we figure out: What do I value? And then what does that equate to in the way that I spend my time? @hehurst #BreakFreeB2B #ChangeManagement” username=”toprank”]

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:

The post Break Free B2B Series: Carol-Lyn Jardine and Heather Hurst on Effectively Managing Change in B2B Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Experiential Content

Colorful round gems image.

Colorful round gems image.

Experiential content will help drive 2020’s digital agenda, and savvy B2B marketers should take notice.

Experiential is a word with subtly differing meanings depending on which setting it’s used in, however at the core of each definition is the fact that it all boils down to experiences.

Experiential content makes us a central part of a story, and not just a passive subject receiving a one-way brand message.

Experiential B2B Word Cloud Image

Use of experiential content has grown over the past several years as online technologies have reached a level capable delivering vibrant and engaging motion and sounds alongside clickable, swipable, and all other manner of interactivity to put you front and center.

TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden recently mentioned experiential content in his annual list of the top ten B2B digital marketing trends for 2020.

[bctt tweet=”“Visual, experiential content that is easy to find and satisfies business buyer’s needs to be informed, entertained and inspired will continue to be areas of focus.”  @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

With 98 percent of consumers more likely to make a purchase after an experience (Limelight), and 77 percent having chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that delivers a personalized service or experience (Forrester), why haven’t more B2B marketers begun to use experiential content?

Experiential Content’s Advantages

In a seemingly million-message-a-minute online world, experiential content offers a number of advantages.

It removes us from all other messaging, if only for a short while, and allows us to enter a world under our own control, where we can interact as we see fit, learning or buying at our own pace, all while creating a story that intertwines us with brand information and messaging.

In 2020 experiential content comes in many forms, no longer limited to just the real-world selfie booths and similar elements of the past, with just a few examples listed here:

  • Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Cloud-Based Digital Assets from Ceros and Other Platforms
  • Quizzes and Polls
  • Interactive Flipbooks and eBooks

In a way online gaming has been leading the way for decades when it comes to digital experiential content, and only recently have brands and marketers started to bring this power to B2B advertising campaigns.

An example of experiential content comes in the form of our Break Free of Boring B2B Guide, featuring interactive insight from a variety of B2B marketing industry influencers. Click here to enter the full-screen experience.

Experiential Marketing Embraces Digital Storytelling

Experiential content is also intertwined with both storytelling and customer experience (CX), together forming an extremely powerful triptych of B2B marketing strategy.

As a key component of experiential content, storytelling becomes even more personal and memorable when you’re a key part of the messaging experience a brand is sharing, and being remembered is more important — as well as more difficult — today than ever, which is why forward-thinking B2B marketers are utilizing experiential tactics in their 2020 tool-kits.

The importance of storytelling in the customer journey has become less of a secret in the past five years, as marketing experts and the data to back up the fact have combined to make brand storytelling a trend for the decade ahead.

[bctt tweet=”“Experiential content’s role in powerful storytelling will be an increasing theme among B2B marketers looking to drive next-generation brand efforts.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

Experiential Marketing Embraces Great CX

The other key element of experiential content — CX — appears to offer an ideal match, combining to form two important facets of successful B2B marketing.

What better way to deliver a stellar customer experience than by creating memorable brand storytelling using experiential content?

Two years ago we saw the rise of real-world physical pop-ups from the likes of 29Rooms achieving considerable success on Instagram and other social media platforms, however a shift to creating these worlds virtually online as immersive experiential content has taken place in 2019 and into 2020.

Experiential content also appears in WARC’s recently-released ninth-annual marketers report for 2020, which places it alongside purpose and product as three of the most important elements needed for brands to achieve greater success this year.

Some marketers and brands are pulling back from an over-investment in technology that has taken a certain amount of focus away from creativity, the same report’s survey data shows.

WARC Survey Image

Indeed, among the survey’s respondents — almost 800 global client and agency-side executives — one of the top elements comprising experiential content, VR and AR, was seen as being one of the most important emerging technologies in 2020.

Another big part of experiential content is online video, a near-unanimous selection on most top marketing trend lists, as it continues to receive the type of swift growth in ad spend dollars that has helped make online video a big success for Instagram, YouTube, and increasingly TikTok.

Over 80 percent of marketers plan to increase spending for online video in 2020, with 33 percent planning to boost spending on TikTok this year, according to the WARC survey. In the U.S. alone digital video spedning is expected to increase by over 31 percent in 2020, to $5 billion. (Winterberry Group)

[bctt tweet=”“Being creative while retaining consistency of brand is key to unlocking the benefits of brand-building: from forging emotional attachments, to driving long-term brand equity and sales influences.” — Simon Cook  @Cannes_Lions” username=”toprank”]

Cloud-based experiential content platform Ceros offers both an overview guide and an on-demand webinar for learning more about the technology, and offers up their own take on just what the term means.

“Experiential content is digital content that is purposefully designed to create an immersive experience for its consumers through some combination of interactions, animations, embedded media, and storytelling. It encourages active participation in an effort to form memorable, emotional connections between the consumer and the brand or creator,” Ceros notes.

[bctt tweet=”“Experiential content makes us a central part of a story, and not just a passive subject receiving a one-way brand message.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

Bake More Experiential Goodness Into Your B2B Efforts For 2020

via GIPHY

We’ve looked at what experiential content is, explored a few examples of how B2B brands are using it successfully, and showed how it is likely to see growing adoption in 2020 and beyond.

It takes considerable time, effort, and resources to implement a standout experiential content campaign, which is why many brands turn to a dedicated agency.

TopRank Marketing had the honor of being named by Forrester as the only B2B marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in its “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America, Q1 2019” report.”

Finally, here are several additional related resources we’ve put together to help you build your own interactive content:

Looking to learn even more about B2B marketing? Tune in to two free upcoming webinars with our CEO Lee Odden, with complete details here.

The post What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Experiential Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Colorful round gems image.

Colorful round gems image.

Experiential content will help drive 2020’s digital agenda, and savvy B2B marketers should take notice.

Experiential is a word with subtly differing meanings depending on which setting it’s used in, however at the core of each definition is the fact that it all boils down to experiences.

Experiential content makes us a central part of a story, and not just a passive subject receiving a one-way brand message.

Experiential B2B Word Cloud Image

Use of experiential content has grown over the past several years as online technologies have reached a level capable delivering vibrant and engaging motion and sounds alongside clickable, swipable, and all other manner of interactivity to put you front and center.

TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden recently mentioned experiential content in his annual list of the top ten B2B digital marketing trends for 2020.

[bctt tweet=”“Visual, experiential content that is easy to find and satisfies business buyer’s needs to be informed, entertained and inspired will continue to be areas of focus.”  @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

With 98 percent of consumers more likely to make a purchase after an experience (Limelight), and 77 percent having chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that delivers a personalized service or experience (Forrester), why haven’t more B2B marketers begun to use experiential content?

Experiential Content’s Advantages

In a seemingly million-message-a-minute online world, experiential content offers a number of advantages.

It removes us from all other messaging, if only for a short while, and allows us to enter a world under our own control, where we can interact as we see fit, learning or buying at our own pace, all while creating a story that intertwines us with brand information and messaging.

In 2020 experiential content comes in many forms, no longer limited to just the real-world selfie booths and similar elements of the past, with just a few examples listed here:

  • Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Cloud-Based Digital Assets from Ceros and Other Platforms
  • Quizzes and Polls
  • Interactive Flipbooks and eBooks

In a way online gaming has been leading the way for decades when it comes to digital experiential content, and only recently have brands and marketers started to bring this power to B2B advertising campaigns.

An example of experiential content comes in the form of our Break Free of Boring B2B Guide, featuring interactive insight from a variety of B2B marketing industry influencers. Click here to enter the full-screen experience.

Experiential Marketing Embraces Digital Storytelling

Experiential content is also intertwined with both storytelling and customer experience (CX), together forming an extremely powerful triptych of B2B marketing strategy.

As a key component of experiential content, storytelling becomes even more personal and memorable when you’re a key part of the messaging experience a brand is sharing, and being remembered is more important — as well as more difficult — today than ever, which is why forward-thinking B2B marketers are utilizing experiential tactics in their 2020 tool-kits.

The importance of storytelling in the customer journey has become less of a secret in the past five years, as marketing experts and the data to back up the fact have combined to make brand storytelling a trend for the decade ahead.

[bctt tweet=”“Experiential content’s role in powerful storytelling will be an increasing theme among B2B marketers looking to drive next-generation brand efforts.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

Experiential Marketing Embraces Great CX

The other key element of experiential content — CX — appears to offer an ideal match, combining to form two important facets of successful B2B marketing.

What better way to deliver a stellar customer experience than by creating memorable brand storytelling using experiential content?

Two years ago we saw the rise of real-world physical pop-ups from the likes of 29Rooms achieving considerable success on Instagram and other social media platforms, however a shift to creating these worlds virtually online as immersive experiential content has taken place in 2019 and into 2020.

Experiential content also appears in WARC’s recently-released ninth-annual marketers report for 2020, which places it alongside purpose and product as three of the most important elements needed for brands to achieve greater success this year.

Some marketers and brands are pulling back from an over-investment in technology that has taken a certain amount of focus away from creativity, the same report’s survey data shows.

WARC Survey Image

Indeed, among the survey’s respondents — almost 800 global client and agency-side executives — one of the top elements comprising experiential content, VR and AR, was seen as being one of the most important emerging technologies in 2020.

Another big part of experiential content is online video, a near-unanimous selection on most top marketing trend lists, as it continues to receive the type of swift growth in ad spend dollars that has helped make online video a big success for Instagram, YouTube, and increasingly TikTok.

Over 80 percent of marketers plan to increase spending for online video in 2020, with 33 percent planning to boost spending on TikTok this year, according to the WARC survey. In the U.S. alone digital video spedning is expected to increase by over 31 percent in 2020, to $5 billion. (Winterberry Group)

[bctt tweet=”“Being creative while retaining consistency of brand is key to unlocking the benefits of brand-building: from forging emotional attachments, to driving long-term brand equity and sales influences.” — Simon Cook  @Cannes_Lions” username=”toprank”]

Cloud-based experiential content platform Ceros offers both an overview guide and an on-demand webinar for learning more about the technology, and offers up their own take on just what the term means.

“Experiential content is digital content that is purposefully designed to create an immersive experience for its consumers through some combination of interactions, animations, embedded media, and storytelling. It encourages active participation in an effort to form memorable, emotional connections between the consumer and the brand or creator,” Ceros notes.

[bctt tweet=”“Experiential content makes us a central part of a story, and not just a passive subject receiving a one-way brand message.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

Bake More Experiential Goodness Into Your B2B Efforts For 2020

via GIPHY

We’ve looked at what experiential content is, explored a few examples of how B2B brands are using it successfully, and showed how it is likely to see growing adoption in 2020 and beyond.

It takes considerable time, effort, and resources to implement a standout experiential content campaign, which is why many brands turn to a dedicated agency.

TopRank Marketing had the honor of being named by Forrester as the only B2B marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in its “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America, Q1 2019” report.”

Finally, here are several additional related resources we’ve put together to help you build your own interactive content:

Looking to learn even more about B2B marketing? Tune in to two free upcoming webinars with our CEO Lee Odden, with complete details here.

The post What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Experiential Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Break Free B2B Series: Emily Thompson on the Power of Content Marketing in Health Care

Break Free B2B Interview with Emily Thompson

Break Free B2B Interview with Emily Thompson

Trust is the linchpin of modern marketing. It plays a crucial role in every vertical, industry, or niche. But nowhere is trust a more essential crux than in health care, where the personal stakes are immense.

“We’re in an industry where, you know, it’s serious,” says Emily Thompson in her interview for Break Free B2B. “This is about people’s health and well being, and a lot of times people get very nervous — they’re scared, they’re sick.”

As a Boston-based freelance writer and content strategist who primarily focuses on the health care sector, where she has worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from startups to enterprise, Emily acutely understands the impactful nuances of messaging. She says seeing things from the other side — as a first-time mother who frequently sought information online — helped her develop a more empathetic view.

She incorporates this into her craft, creating patient-focused copy designed to build trust and confidence, and offers valuable insight for B2B marketers everywhere. In the interview, she shares some tactics and techniques that are being used effectively in her industry to achieve this rapport, from smartphone apps to user-generated content to data-driven personalization and beyond. 

[bctt tweet=”Research says that 93 million Americans have searched for a health-related topic online. So If we know people are going online, we have to be there too. @BosCreativeCopy #HealthcareMarketing #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”]

Watch my conversation with Emily below, and let her experiences and perspectives help guide you toward building healthier relationships with your B2B customers. 

Break Free B2B Interview with Emily Thompson

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDZEDtOQ7rQ]
If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 03:46 – The emerging focus of content marketing in health care
  • 07:05 – Big data in health care marketing
  • 09:42 – Responsible data usage and personalization in health care marketing
  • 12:35 – Leveraging traditional and emerging channels in health care marketing
  • 13:42 – Counterproductive mindsets in health care marketing
  • 16:14 – User generated content in health care
  • 19:55 – Challenges that span across industries
  • 22:17 – Rising demands from patients for digital 24/7 access

Nick: Can content marketing build trust in the patient care continuum?

Emily: That’s really what, to me, content marketing is all about. It’s building trust with the consumer, whether that’s a patient or a referring physician. And, I think that … when an organization can deliver strong content that helps inform people, it only builds that trust. And if you think about the patients that are watching, often they’re frightened, they’re overwhelmed, they don’t know where to go. And so there’s just a lot of opportunity in health care for marketers to really rely on content to help them build that trust.

When an organization can deliver strong content that helps inform people, it only builds that trust. @BosCreativeCopy #BreakFreeB2B #ContentMarketing #healthcare

Nick: Transparency is key in managing health care data. How else can marketers benefit the health care system? 

Emily: I think it comes down to messaging too, and if you make sure that your content is ultimately really helpful to the consumer. So, for example, I was on these apps [after giving birth to my son], and I was being served up a toy that might work for my son in his age and developmentally where he was at. Or food — we were struggling with a type of formula or milk that would be good for him. 

Ultimately, people just want information that’s helpful to them. It helps calm them down whether they’re nervous about their health information or they’re, you know, a new mom. It’s hard to be frustrated when an app is using information about myself that is ultimately benefiting me, helping me out.

Nick: Is there anything that stands out to you as a real opportunity for marketers, and specifically those who are working in the B2B space, to break free of something that might be inhibiting them?

Emily: Yeah. Break free from fear. I think that health care can be a very conservative market. And, you know, to be fair, there are reasons for that. We’re in an industry where, you know, it’s serious. This is about people’s health and well being, and a lot of times people get very nervous — they’re scared, they’re sick.

But I think that isn’t a reason to hold back from trying new things. I think that especially with digital, it’s very easy today to try a new type of message, or a new type of way of communicating to someone. Let’s say you never blogged before, why not try a blog? Let’s say you never did email marketing, why not try it? Or a new type of message? 

The worst that can happen is you measure it, you learn from it, and you try something new. I think that often, as health care marketers, we can get stuck in the same way of doing things. And, a lot of times it’s a little too safe.

[bctt tweet=”As health care marketers, we can get stuck in the same way of doing things. The worst that can happen is you measure it, you learn from it, and you try something new. @BosCreativeCopy #BreakFreeB2B #ContentMarketing #healthcare” username=”toprank”]

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:

If you’re hungry for more insight and advice on the state of trust in marketing, check out our Trust Factors series:

The post Break Free B2B Series: Emily Thompson on the Power of Content Marketing in Health Care appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Break Free B2B Interview with Emily Thompson

Break Free B2B Interview with Emily Thompson

Trust is the linchpin of modern marketing. It plays a crucial role in every vertical, industry, or niche. But nowhere is trust a more essential crux than in health care, where the personal stakes are immense.

“We’re in an industry where, you know, it’s serious,” says Emily Thompson in her interview for Break Free B2B. “This is about people’s health and well being, and a lot of times people get very nervous — they’re scared, they’re sick.”

As a Boston-based freelance writer and content strategist who primarily focuses on the health care sector, where she has worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from startups to enterprise, Emily acutely understands the impactful nuances of messaging. She says seeing things from the other side — as a first-time mother who frequently sought information online — helped her develop a more empathetic view.

She incorporates this into her craft, creating patient-focused copy designed to build trust and confidence, and offers valuable insight for B2B marketers everywhere. In the interview, she shares some tactics and techniques that are being used effectively in her industry to achieve this rapport, from smartphone apps to user-generated content to data-driven personalization and beyond. 

[bctt tweet=”Research says that 93 million Americans have searched for a health-related topic online. So If we know people are going online, we have to be there too. @BosCreativeCopy #HealthcareMarketing #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”]

Watch my conversation with Emily below, and let her experiences and perspectives help guide you toward building healthier relationships with your B2B customers. 

Break Free B2B Interview with Emily Thompson

If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 03:46 – The emerging focus of content marketing in health care
  • 07:05 – Big data in health care marketing
  • 09:42 – Responsible data usage and personalization in health care marketing
  • 12:35 – Leveraging traditional and emerging channels in health care marketing
  • 13:42 – Counterproductive mindsets in health care marketing
  • 16:14 – User generated content in health care
  • 19:55 – Challenges that span across industries
  • 22:17 – Rising demands from patients for digital 24/7 access

Nick: Can content marketing build trust in the patient care continuum?

Emily: That’s really what, to me, content marketing is all about. It’s building trust with the consumer, whether that’s a patient or a referring physician. And, I think that … when an organization can deliver strong content that helps inform people, it only builds that trust. And if you think about the patients that are watching, often they’re frightened, they’re overwhelmed, they don’t know where to go. And so there’s just a lot of opportunity in health care for marketers to really rely on content to help them build that trust.

When an organization can deliver strong content that helps inform people, it only builds that trust. @BosCreativeCopy #BreakFreeB2B #ContentMarketing #healthcare

Nick: Transparency is key in managing health care data. How else can marketers benefit the health care system? 

Emily: I think it comes down to messaging too, and if you make sure that your content is ultimately really helpful to the consumer. So, for example, I was on these apps [after giving birth to my son], and I was being served up a toy that might work for my son in his age and developmentally where he was at. Or food — we were struggling with a type of formula or milk that would be good for him. 

Ultimately, people just want information that’s helpful to them. It helps calm them down whether they’re nervous about their health information or they’re, you know, a new mom. It’s hard to be frustrated when an app is using information about myself that is ultimately benefiting me, helping me out.

Nick: Is there anything that stands out to you as a real opportunity for marketers, and specifically those who are working in the B2B space, to break free of something that might be inhibiting them?

Emily: Yeah. Break free from fear. I think that health care can be a very conservative market. And, you know, to be fair, there are reasons for that. We’re in an industry where, you know, it’s serious. This is about people’s health and well being, and a lot of times people get very nervous — they’re scared, they’re sick.

But I think that isn’t a reason to hold back from trying new things. I think that especially with digital, it’s very easy today to try a new type of message, or a new type of way of communicating to someone. Let’s say you never blogged before, why not try a blog? Let’s say you never did email marketing, why not try it? Or a new type of message? 

The worst that can happen is you measure it, you learn from it, and you try something new. I think that often, as health care marketers, we can get stuck in the same way of doing things. And, a lot of times it’s a little too safe.

[bctt tweet=”As health care marketers, we can get stuck in the same way of doing things. The worst that can happen is you measure it, you learn from it, and you try something new. @BosCreativeCopy #BreakFreeB2B #ContentMarketing #healthcare” username=”toprank”]

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:

If you’re hungry for more insight and advice on the state of trust in marketing, check out our Trust Factors series:

The post Break Free B2B Series: Emily Thompson on the Power of Content Marketing in Health Care appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Unlocking the Power of Incentive: Three keys to mastering perceived value differential

(This article was originally published in the MarketingExperiments email newsletter.)

The use of incentives is one of the most effective ways to counter friction and anxiety, therefore it can have a significant impact on conversion. But if you are currently using an incentive and it’s not having a major impact, you’re probably not using the right one — or your presentation is lacking.

In this video replay, Flint McGlaughlin not only gives messaging strategies for presenting incentives but also explains how you can identify the best incentive for your offer by using the MECLABS Perceived Value Differential Heuristic. He explains how to apply it with step-by-step instructions and examples.

PVD = Vp — C$n

“PVD” = Perceived Value Differential

“Vp” = Perceived Value of incentive

“C$n” = Net delivered Cost of incentive

Watch the video to learn how you can combine customer psychology with the power of PVD, rigorous testing and a smart set of hypotheses around incentives to maximize response rates, generate more leads and increase sales.

Here are some key points in the video:

  • 4:53 Case study – Choosing the best Amazon gift card incentive
  • 8:15 Case study – Online people search company addresses cart abandonment issue with incentive
  • 16:33 The MECLABS Conversion Index
  • 19:25 Key Principle #1 The objective of an incentive
  • 25:37 Key Principle #2 Test your incentive
  • 26:10 Key Principle #3 The ideal incentive has three components
  • 27:49 Perceived Value Differential: 3 principles
  • 36:32 Four ways to improve the presentation of the incentive
  • 42:44 A step-by-step example of how to do a PVD calculation

Related Resources

MECLABS Landing Page Optimization Online Course – This on-demand course teaches more about incentive, PVD and ROI

Customer-First Marketing Strategy: The highest of the five levels of marketing maturity

Digital Marketing: 3 test ideas to optimize your incentive offers

Finding the Ideal Incentive

The post Unlocking the Power of Incentive: Three keys to mastering perceived value differential appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

(This article was originally published in the MarketingExperiments email newsletter.)

The use of incentives is one of the most effective ways to counter friction and anxiety, therefore it can have a significant impact on conversion. But if you are currently using an incentive and it’s not having a major impact, you’re probably not using the right one — or your presentation is lacking.

In this video replay, Flint McGlaughlin not only gives messaging strategies for presenting incentives but also explains how you can identify the best incentive for your offer by using the MECLABS Perceived Value Differential Heuristic. He explains how to apply it with step-by-step instructions and examples.

PVD = Vp — C$n

“PVD” = Perceived Value Differential

“Vp” = Perceived Value of incentive

“C$n” = Net delivered Cost of incentive

Watch the video to learn how you can combine customer psychology with the power of PVD, rigorous testing and a smart set of hypotheses around incentives to maximize response rates, generate more leads and increase sales.

Here are some key points in the video:

  • 4:53 Case study – Choosing the best Amazon gift card incentive
  • 8:15 Case study – Online people search company addresses cart abandonment issue with incentive
  • 16:33 The MECLABS Conversion Index
  • 19:25 Key Principle #1 The objective of an incentive
  • 25:37 Key Principle #2 Test your incentive
  • 26:10 Key Principle #3 The ideal incentive has three components
  • 27:49 Perceived Value Differential: 3 principles
  • 36:32 Four ways to improve the presentation of the incentive
  • 42:44 A step-by-step example of how to do a PVD calculation

Related Resources

MECLABS Landing Page Optimization Online Course – This on-demand course teaches more about incentive, PVD and ROI

Customer-First Marketing Strategy: The highest of the five levels of marketing maturity

Digital Marketing: 3 test ideas to optimize your incentive offers

Finding the Ideal Incentive

The post Unlocking the Power of Incentive: Three keys to mastering perceived value differential appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn’s Faster Than Expected Growth, Podcast Ads Booming, & Facebook Updates Audience Insights

The post Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn’s Faster Than Expected Growth, Podcast Ads Booming, & Facebook Updates Audience Insights appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

The post Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn’s Faster Than Expected Growth, Podcast Ads Booming, & Facebook Updates Audience Insights appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Break Free B2B Series: Ben Wallace on the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ in B2B Marketing

Break Free B2B Interview with Ben Wallace

Break Free B2B Interview with Ben Wallace

How does the air we breathe affect the work we produce?

It’s not a question I’d pondered very frequently, until I had the opportunity to chat with Ben Wallace for the latest episode of Break Free B2B. But it’s one of many considerations that came to light during his illuminating interview with TopRank Marketing President Susan Misukanis and myself.

As CEO of Link Positive, a clean-energy business development service, and co-founder of soon-to-launch energy optimization implementation startup Minify Energy, Ben consults companies about energy efficiencies, reducing environmental footprint, and creating a more comfortable workspace. As he explains, there are business and marketing implications that go well beyond what is apparent on the surface.

To illustrate this, he urges a focus on the “Triple Bottom Line”: Planet, Productivity, Profit. All three are intertwined, and they are critical to the way B2B organizations present themselves and succeed in the marketplace today and in the critical years ahead, factoring climate change and the values of new generations defining the workforce.

[bctt tweet=”Planet, Productivity, Profit: These components make up the Triple Bottom Line, according to @BenWallace. #BreakFreeB2B #SustainableBusiness” username=”toprank”]

In our wide-ranging conversation with him, Ben explores sustainability from many angles, including how it functions as a marketing tool, practical ways to make improvements, the concrete effects on employees, and what the future holds.

Break Free B2B Interview with Ben Wallace

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=speojMZ7D4Y]

If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 1:31 – Following in his father’s footsteps
  • 3:27 – Moving from consumer goods to B2B 
  • 10:50 – Shifting to building management 
  • 12:11 – The influence of air quality on cognitive ability
  • 16:56 – Equipping old building to meet new environmental challenges
  • 22:27 – Influencing employee health when you don’t own the building
  • 26:00 – The value of green buildings
  • 28:45 – The ultimate in user-centric building design
  • 29:55 – Sustainability as a marketing tool
  • 32:55 – The role of compliance programs in sustainability
  • 34:20 – Focusing on sustainability as a corporate value
  • 37:13 – Have we lost the war against climate change?
  • 42:19 – Does your company need a sustainability audit? 

Susan: Ben, could you talk a little bit about an “aha” moment which made you think you could help make workplaces more healthy environments? 

Ben: The vast majority of buildings out there don’t have smart sensing and controls in them—about 15 to 20% of the buildings have smart controls, and it’s mostly the class A high-rises for those who can afford it. But now, technologies are emerging with low cost sensors [such as] cloud compute—and the technology is there, especially with some of these born in the cloud, born digital, companies, making it accessible and affordable for pretty much everyone. And, also taking into account that usability factor and making it easy and so it’s not as complex to deploy … 

I think the biggest aha there … is occupant experience.  And, wellness and indoor air quality is one of the factors that has a huge impact on your cognitive ability. And there’s CO 2 levels … outside they’re around 400-500 parts per million, but in a building, they can rise up especially as people are breathing and you get a lot of occupants in a building … You know, you find you might be tired after lunch and blaming it on the pasta lunch you had, but when it’s quite often the CO 2 levels rising to a point where you’re really more lethargic, and have less cognitive ability. 

And so one of the big things that we saw there was the correlation of indoor air quality and productivity. And there’s something called the Cog Effect Study that Harvard has been working on for a few years now that has shown 100% cognitive ability improvement for green buildings that have better indoor air quality. 

And so the sad irony about that is many schools, for instance, have really poor air circulation … So the place where you need the most cognitive ability in a learning environment is often suffering the most are those with CO 2 levels. And so that was something that really was brought to light. The people in the building that are the ultimate customers—your tenants, your employees and everyone else.

[bctt tweet=”You might be tired after lunch and blaming it on the pasta you had, but it’s quite often the CO 2 levels rising to a point where you’re more lethargic and have less cognitive ability. — @BenWallace #Productivity #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”]

Susan: How can agencies make more sustainable choices?

Ben: You can take control of your waste stream and you know, give some upward pressure to your property owners … And as well, thinking about just the smart use of scheduling. I mean, there’s a lot of equipment that runs 24/7 out there and lights stay on. Buildings are the second-largest consumer of energy after transportation in the US. HVAC and lighting makes up somewhere between 40 and 60 percent of that typically. 

So, there’s quite a bit that can be done with just some smart scheduling and smart controls. … Start looking at some [energy-saving programs]. US GGBC is a great resource for that, which is the Green Building Council. And the Department of Energy, which is where the ENERGY STAR benchmarking program exists—quite a bit of resources available there … 

I think you, as marketers, and as an agency, you can do a few things. One, you can choose clients with that factor as well, just as they’re looking at choosing you based on that. Maybe look at those who are in the emerging new energy economy and sustainability-oriented organizations. But I think just bringing that forward as much as possible, knowing the factors from supply chain and renewable waste stream and highlighting what your employees are doing out in their homes and in their communities as well … Recognizing what you do collectively is something that you could just conscientiously keep track of and look at how to improve your energy efficiency and good corporate citizenship from a global climate perspective.

Susan: Can you speak to incorporating your sustainability efforts into company values and brand messaging? 

Ben: Absolutely. We’ve seen an even flow of sustainability messaging over the years. There’s a period of kind of heavy greenwashing that was going on in the ‘80s, in the ‘90s. And so you’ve seen recycling programs and you’ve seen a little bit of energy efficiency with ENERGY STAR products and things like that. But the sustainability and corporate citizenship story can get a lot bigger …

It’s really expanded and it’s more and more important, widely recognized as something especially critical for us. They are sometimes considered the triple bottom line benefits. You’ve got profits and it’s definitely good for profits if you’re saving energy, saving on maintenance, getting a better lease. You are creating a more productive environment—there’s a huge set of layers of profit opportunity.

Really what we come back to so much in this is: how is it supporting wellness and reduced absenteeism and, just a happy productive workforce? But then the planet impact is the third “P” of that … There’s a lot of companies and states and cities that are just plowing ahead with a path to 100% renewable or zero carbon footprint. And so it’s a long haul to get there. But there are ways that you can not only save money and reduce your carbon and start measuring … to get to net zero over time—consuming less energy or producing more energy than you consume is actually going to be positive. There’s opportunities around that from a corporate perspective and roadmap that will align more so with what cities and counties are doing. 

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:

The post Break Free B2B Series: Ben Wallace on the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ in B2B Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Break Free B2B Interview with Ben Wallace

Break Free B2B Interview with Ben Wallace

How does the air we breathe affect the work we produce?

It’s not a question I’d pondered very frequently, until I had the opportunity to chat with Ben Wallace for the latest episode of Break Free B2B. But it’s one of many considerations that came to light during his illuminating interview with TopRank Marketing President Susan Misukanis and myself.

As CEO of Link Positive, a clean-energy business development service, and co-founder of soon-to-launch energy optimization implementation startup Minify Energy, Ben consults companies about energy efficiencies, reducing environmental footprint, and creating a more comfortable workspace. As he explains, there are business and marketing implications that go well beyond what is apparent on the surface.

To illustrate this, he urges a focus on the “Triple Bottom Line”: Planet, Productivity, Profit. All three are intertwined, and they are critical to the way B2B organizations present themselves and succeed in the marketplace today and in the critical years ahead, factoring climate change and the values of new generations defining the workforce.

[bctt tweet=”Planet, Productivity, Profit: These components make up the Triple Bottom Line, according to @BenWallace. #BreakFreeB2B #SustainableBusiness” username=”toprank”]

In our wide-ranging conversation with him, Ben explores sustainability from many angles, including how it functions as a marketing tool, practical ways to make improvements, the concrete effects on employees, and what the future holds.

Break Free B2B Interview with Ben Wallace

If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 1:31 – Following in his father’s footsteps
  • 3:27 – Moving from consumer goods to B2B 
  • 10:50 – Shifting to building management 
  • 12:11 – The influence of air quality on cognitive ability
  • 16:56 – Equipping old building to meet new environmental challenges
  • 22:27 – Influencing employee health when you don’t own the building
  • 26:00 – The value of green buildings
  • 28:45 – The ultimate in user-centric building design
  • 29:55 – Sustainability as a marketing tool
  • 32:55 – The role of compliance programs in sustainability
  • 34:20 – Focusing on sustainability as a corporate value
  • 37:13 – Have we lost the war against climate change?
  • 42:19 – Does your company need a sustainability audit? 

Susan: Ben, could you talk a little bit about an “aha” moment which made you think you could help make workplaces more healthy environments? 

Ben: The vast majority of buildings out there don’t have smart sensing and controls in them—about 15 to 20% of the buildings have smart controls, and it’s mostly the class A high-rises for those who can afford it. But now, technologies are emerging with low cost sensors [such as] cloud compute—and the technology is there, especially with some of these born in the cloud, born digital, companies, making it accessible and affordable for pretty much everyone. And, also taking into account that usability factor and making it easy and so it’s not as complex to deploy … 

I think the biggest aha there … is occupant experience.  And, wellness and indoor air quality is one of the factors that has a huge impact on your cognitive ability. And there’s CO 2 levels … outside they’re around 400-500 parts per million, but in a building, they can rise up especially as people are breathing and you get a lot of occupants in a building … You know, you find you might be tired after lunch and blaming it on the pasta lunch you had, but when it’s quite often the CO 2 levels rising to a point where you’re really more lethargic, and have less cognitive ability. 

And so one of the big things that we saw there was the correlation of indoor air quality and productivity. And there’s something called the Cog Effect Study that Harvard has been working on for a few years now that has shown 100% cognitive ability improvement for green buildings that have better indoor air quality. 

And so the sad irony about that is many schools, for instance, have really poor air circulation … So the place where you need the most cognitive ability in a learning environment is often suffering the most are those with CO 2 levels. And so that was something that really was brought to light. The people in the building that are the ultimate customers—your tenants, your employees and everyone else.

[bctt tweet=”You might be tired after lunch and blaming it on the pasta you had, but it’s quite often the CO 2 levels rising to a point where you’re more lethargic and have less cognitive ability. — @BenWallace #Productivity #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”]

Susan: How can agencies make more sustainable choices?

Ben: You can take control of your waste stream and you know, give some upward pressure to your property owners … And as well, thinking about just the smart use of scheduling. I mean, there’s a lot of equipment that runs 24/7 out there and lights stay on. Buildings are the second-largest consumer of energy after transportation in the US. HVAC and lighting makes up somewhere between 40 and 60 percent of that typically. 

So, there’s quite a bit that can be done with just some smart scheduling and smart controls. … Start looking at some [energy-saving programs]. US GGBC is a great resource for that, which is the Green Building Council. And the Department of Energy, which is where the ENERGY STAR benchmarking program exists—quite a bit of resources available there … 

I think you, as marketers, and as an agency, you can do a few things. One, you can choose clients with that factor as well, just as they’re looking at choosing you based on that. Maybe look at those who are in the emerging new energy economy and sustainability-oriented organizations. But I think just bringing that forward as much as possible, knowing the factors from supply chain and renewable waste stream and highlighting what your employees are doing out in their homes and in their communities as well … Recognizing what you do collectively is something that you could just conscientiously keep track of and look at how to improve your energy efficiency and good corporate citizenship from a global climate perspective.

Susan: Can you speak to incorporating your sustainability efforts into company values and brand messaging? 

Ben: Absolutely. We’ve seen an even flow of sustainability messaging over the years. There’s a period of kind of heavy greenwashing that was going on in the ‘80s, in the ‘90s. And so you’ve seen recycling programs and you’ve seen a little bit of energy efficiency with ENERGY STAR products and things like that. But the sustainability and corporate citizenship story can get a lot bigger …

It’s really expanded and it’s more and more important, widely recognized as something especially critical for us. They are sometimes considered the triple bottom line benefits. You’ve got profits and it’s definitely good for profits if you’re saving energy, saving on maintenance, getting a better lease. You are creating a more productive environment—there’s a huge set of layers of profit opportunity.

Really what we come back to so much in this is: how is it supporting wellness and reduced absenteeism and, just a happy productive workforce? But then the planet impact is the third “P” of that … There’s a lot of companies and states and cities that are just plowing ahead with a path to 100% renewable or zero carbon footprint. And so it’s a long haul to get there. But there are ways that you can not only save money and reduce your carbon and start measuring … to get to net zero over time—consuming less energy or producing more energy than you consume is actually going to be positive. There’s opportunities around that from a corporate perspective and roadmap that will align more so with what cities and counties are doing. 

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:

The post Break Free B2B Series: Ben Wallace on the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ in B2B Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

5 Free Online Courses to Sharpen Your B2B Marketing Skills

Sharp Pencis and Shavings Image

Sharp Pencis and Shavings Image

No matter how much you already know, in 2020’s always-on B2B marketing landscape there’s always more to learn.

That’s why savvy B2B marketers are continually seeking out new methods and research, and refining and honing their existing skills.

Whether it’s influencer marketing, conversion optimization, or search engine optimization (SEO), with more options available for learning new marketing skills today than ever before, choosing where to start can sometimes seem overwhelming.

Online courses have proven to be an excellent way to enhance your career through learning, and by offering a work-at-your-own-pace cadence, you can fit in as much or as little instruction as your time allows, whenever and wherever you want.

With more than 70 percent of companies recognizing online learning as essential to long-term strategy (Digital Marketing Institute), it’s little wonder that in 2020 online courses are flourishing.

[bctt tweet=”“Learn everything. Later you will see that nothing is superfluous.” — Hugh of Saint-Victor” username=”toprank”]

To sharpen your B2B marketing skills, we’ve picked out five organizations offering a wide variety of online courses for boosting your marketing skills, and as with our previous popular list of “10 Free Online Courses to Optimize Your Marketing Skills,” each is either entirely free or offers a free trial to try out content.

Let’s start digging in.

via GIPHY

Course 1: Harvard University’s Causal Diagrams — Draw Your Assumptions Before Your Conclusions

Harvard University edX Course Image

Harvard University offers a free course of interest to B2B marketers, designers, and more in its universally-relevant “Causal Diagrams: Draw Your Assumptions Before Your Conclusions,” a nine-week course exploring methods to cleverly turn expert knowledge into everyday diagrams, and more.

Harvard also offers a surprising selection of additional free online courses, including 14 relating to data science and five in the computer science category.

[bctt tweet=”Best practices in marketing evolve faster than mutant DNA. Don’t rely on the same old messages in the same few channels and expect your audience to respond with enthusiasm. @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

Course 2: edX’s Marketing Analytics: Competitive Analysis and Market Segmentation

edX Marketing Analytics Course Image

The popular edX massive open online course (MOOC) organization, begun in 2012 by MIT and Harvard, offers “Marketing Analytics: Competitive Analysis and Market Segmentation,” a free four-week online course in competitive analysis and market segmentation, also exploring how to analyze and structure markets.

Additionally, through a wide array of educational institutions, edX offers an impressive number of free online courses of interest to B2B marketers, such as “Market Segmentation Analysis,” “Strategic Social Media Marketing,” and many others.

[bctt tweet=”“To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.” — Copernicus” username=”toprank”]

Course 3: The University of California’s Writing for Social Media

BerkeleyX Screenshot Image

Operating since 2012, BerkeleyX is the University of California at Berkeley’s program of free online learning resources, including “Writing for Social Media,” with its business-focused look at accurately assessing your audience, relevant content customization, and the importance of telling your brand’s story.

Berkeley, which also utilizes the edX platform, also offers the following marketing and technology related courses:

[bctt tweet=”Buyers desperately want to trust. And we can give them trust with relevant B2B content that features credible voices. – @LeeOdden ” username=”toprank”]

Course 4: University of Pennsylvania’s Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content

Penn’s Online Learning Initiative (OLI) Screenshot Image

The University of Pennsylvania’s robust Penn Online Learning Initiative offers up a healthy dose of free online courses for marketers looking to expand or augment their repertoires, including a course dedicated to exploring “Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content,” delivered through another popular digital education platform, Coursera, and taught by The Wharton School’s noted marketing professor Jonah Berger.

[bctt tweet=”“Virality isn’t born, it’s made.” — Jonah Berger” username=”toprank”]

Course 5: University of Colorado’s Digital Advertising Strategy Specialization

University of Colorado Screenshot Image

The University of Colorado offers over 130 MOOCs covering more than 25 specialized departments, including this three-month course exploring “Digital Advertising Strategy Specialization,” covering search advertising, social media and native ads, and other aspects of digital advertising.

Additional free online courses of interest to digital marketers offered by the University of Colorado include:

[bctt tweet=”Working with influencers to co-create content delivers mutual value. When that content is interactive, it creates an experience that is more engaging and inspires action. @AmishaGandhi” username=”toprank”]

Keep Growing Your B2B Marketing Skills With Free Online Courses

via GIPHY

B2B marketers who focus on making learning a lifelong endeavor gain an advantage in future-proofing the work they do today, and by growing your current skills and widening your marketing repertoire with new knowledge, whether you’re a CMO or chief executive you’re bound to see newfound success.

We hope the insight you gain from taking any or all of these five online course offerings — or others offered by these organizations — will help to make your 2020 a banner year for your B2B marketing and content marketing campaigns.

As a parting bonus list, here are three additional resources to help you expand your marketing knowledge:

The post 5 Free Online Courses to Sharpen Your B2B Marketing Skills appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Sharp Pencis and Shavings Image

Sharp Pencis and Shavings Image

No matter how much you already know, in 2020’s always-on B2B marketing landscape there’s always more to learn.

That’s why savvy B2B marketers are continually seeking out new methods and research, and refining and honing their existing skills.

Whether it’s influencer marketing, conversion optimization, or search engine optimization (SEO), with more options available for learning new marketing skills today than ever before, choosing where to start can sometimes seem overwhelming.

Online courses have proven to be an excellent way to enhance your career through learning, and by offering a work-at-your-own-pace cadence, you can fit in as much or as little instruction as your time allows, whenever and wherever you want.

With more than 70 percent of companies recognizing online learning as essential to long-term strategy (Digital Marketing Institute), it’s little wonder that in 2020 online courses are flourishing.

[bctt tweet=”“Learn everything. Later you will see that nothing is superfluous.” — Hugh of Saint-Victor” username=”toprank”]

To sharpen your B2B marketing skills, we’ve picked out five organizations offering a wide variety of online courses for boosting your marketing skills, and as with our previous popular list of “10 Free Online Courses to Optimize Your Marketing Skills,” each is either entirely free or offers a free trial to try out content.

Let’s start digging in.

via GIPHY

Course 1: Harvard University’s Causal Diagrams — Draw Your Assumptions Before Your Conclusions

Harvard University edX Course Image

Harvard University offers a free course of interest to B2B marketers, designers, and more in its universally-relevant “Causal Diagrams: Draw Your Assumptions Before Your Conclusions,” a nine-week course exploring methods to cleverly turn expert knowledge into everyday diagrams, and more.

Harvard also offers a surprising selection of additional free online courses, including 14 relating to data science and five in the computer science category.

[bctt tweet=”Best practices in marketing evolve faster than mutant DNA. Don’t rely on the same old messages in the same few channels and expect your audience to respond with enthusiasm. @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

Course 2: edX’s Marketing Analytics: Competitive Analysis and Market Segmentation

edX Marketing Analytics Course Image

The popular edX massive open online course (MOOC) organization, begun in 2012 by MIT and Harvard, offers “Marketing Analytics: Competitive Analysis and Market Segmentation,” a free four-week online course in competitive analysis and market segmentation, also exploring how to analyze and structure markets.

Additionally, through a wide array of educational institutions, edX offers an impressive number of free online courses of interest to B2B marketers, such as “Market Segmentation Analysis,” “Strategic Social Media Marketing,” and many others.

[bctt tweet=”“To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.” — Copernicus” username=”toprank”]

Course 3: The University of California’s Writing for Social Media

BerkeleyX Screenshot Image

Operating since 2012, BerkeleyX is the University of California at Berkeley’s program of free online learning resources, including “Writing for Social Media,” with its business-focused look at accurately assessing your audience, relevant content customization, and the importance of telling your brand’s story.

Berkeley, which also utilizes the edX platform, also offers the following marketing and technology related courses:

[bctt tweet=”Buyers desperately want to trust. And we can give them trust with relevant B2B content that features credible voices. – @LeeOdden ” username=”toprank”]

Course 4: University of Pennsylvania’s Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content

Penn’s Online Learning Initiative (OLI) Screenshot Image

The University of Pennsylvania’s robust Penn Online Learning Initiative offers up a healthy dose of free online courses for marketers looking to expand or augment their repertoires, including a course dedicated to exploring “Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content,” delivered through another popular digital education platform, Coursera, and taught by The Wharton School’s noted marketing professor Jonah Berger.

[bctt tweet=”“Virality isn’t born, it’s made.” — Jonah Berger” username=”toprank”]

Course 5: University of Colorado’s Digital Advertising Strategy Specialization

University of Colorado Screenshot Image

The University of Colorado offers over 130 MOOCs covering more than 25 specialized departments, including this three-month course exploring “Digital Advertising Strategy Specialization,” covering search advertising, social media and native ads, and other aspects of digital advertising.

Additional free online courses of interest to digital marketers offered by the University of Colorado include:

[bctt tweet=”Working with influencers to co-create content delivers mutual value. When that content is interactive, it creates an experience that is more engaging and inspires action. @AmishaGandhi” username=”toprank”]

Keep Growing Your B2B Marketing Skills With Free Online Courses

via GIPHY

B2B marketers who focus on making learning a lifelong endeavor gain an advantage in future-proofing the work they do today, and by growing your current skills and widening your marketing repertoire with new knowledge, whether you’re a CMO or chief executive you’re bound to see newfound success.

We hope the insight you gain from taking any or all of these five online course offerings — or others offered by these organizations — will help to make your 2020 a banner year for your B2B marketing and content marketing campaigns.

As a parting bonus list, here are three additional resources to help you expand your marketing knowledge:

The post 5 Free Online Courses to Sharpen Your B2B Marketing Skills appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Break Free B2B Series: Adi Bachar-Reske on Taking the Lead in the Evolution of B2B Content Marketing

Break Free B2B Interview with Adi Bachar-Reske

Break Free B2B Interview with Adi Bachar-Reske

Marketing leaders are at the forefront of a seismic transformation that continues to play out as we enter a new decade. 

Organizational dynamics are realigning. Power balances are shifting. Trust – both internal and external – is emerging as the most essential crux in business success. For people like Adi Bachar-Reske, it’s an exhilarating time to be leading the charge.

Her history in marketing dates back multiple decades, so she’s been helping shape this evolution. “Twenty years ago, everybody’s in a suit. I was the only woman in the room, always,” she says. “It has changed a lot.”

Today, she finds that she no longer tends to be the only woman in the room (though the balance is still a ways from where it needs to be), and that’s far from the only change she’s observed in her marketing leadership positions — most recently at Provenir, where she served as Vice President of Marketing before moving into a solo consulting role late last year. 

Much of her experience, including at Provenir, has come in the financial technology (FinTech) space, so during my interview with her for the Break Free B2B series, we zeroed in on some key topics tied to the vertical: proving the revenue impact of marketing, staying on top of content consumption trends, and building trust with customers when sensitive data is in play. 

Break Free B2B Interview with Adi Bachar-Reske

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shbOttuRJeI]

If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 1:00 — Introduction to Adi
  • 2:00 — Provenir’s marketing philosophies
  • 4:00 — How are content consumption trends changing?
  • 10:30 — Building trust in the financial industry
  • 13:15 — How technology helps with personalization and trust
  • 16:00 — Building trust in marketing internally
  • 18:45 Which types of content help sales most?
  • 22:00 How can B2B marketers break free?
  • 24:00 How to balance taking risks with playing it safe

Nick: What are you seeing from your end in terms of shifting content consumption trends and shortening attention spans?

Adi: I find that myself, I don’t read books anymore, my eyes get really tired and I just don’t have the time to sit down and actually read, but what I do do, I got addicted to Audible right? So I walk through a long airport, or I sit down and wait for my daughter to finish her guitar lesson, and I’ll just put it in my ears. I read at least two books a month that way and I love it because of the way Audible, they’ve changed too right? 

So you’ve got the authors now reading the story. It’s a bit like a TED Talk that lasts for a few hours, which is brilliant. And the same for blogs. Blogs were the big thing a few years ago, but again, we don’t have time to read, so we did this test here. We took some of the blogs and we kind of condensed them, shrank them up into a one-minute video. It was the same content, but obviously a lot less. And we captured the essence of it, and the engagement was just phenomenal. I think we’re all very curious people in the same way we were 10 or 20 years ago, we just consume information differently.

[bctt tweet=”I think we’re all very curious people in the same way we were 10 or 20 years ago, we just consume information differently. @AdiBacharReske #ContentConsumption #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”]

Nick: Being in the finance industry, I have to imagine that trust, data security, privacy, those are big issues. What are you seeing from your perspective as far as the condition of trust between customers and brands

Adi: Years ago the saying was, nobody’s going to lose their job for choosing IBM. If you were a big brand, you were safe, and the financial institution had an immediate trust in you. Easy peasy. But if you were a small brand then it was difficult to get in. They didn’t trust you. You were just small, maybe you’ll disappear tomorrow. It’s funny, things have changed. 

I speak to my customers, large institutions and small institutions, all the time and I ask them: why did you choose us? We’re not a big player, we’re not an IBM. In the past year or so, the answer I get is kind of surprising. They say, we chose you because you are small. We chose you because we wanted to work with somebody who’s nimble, who can work with us, who can focus on us, because all these large businesses, you know they have other things to worry about. They may not focus on us, they may not sit down, listen to what we need, build something special for us … 

So these days, the way you build the trust is showing how nimble and flexible you can be. Both in your development and your product, but also it has to be reflected in your marketing and your digital presence. You have to look accessible, you have to look open.

[bctt tweet=”These days, the way you build trust is showing how nimble and flexible you can be. Both in your development and your product, but also it has to be reflected in your marketing and your digital presence. @AdiBacharReske #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”]

Nick: As a marketing leader who regularly interfaces with other leadership in the company, what are your strategies for building trust internally, across departments?

Adi: Numbers, numbers, numbers. So again, I’ve been around for a long time and marketers used to be the first one — when the quota hasn’t been met or something happened like that — the marketers were the first people out the door. Why? Because we couldn’t really show any numbers. 

You know, we spend all that money on an event, or we spend all that money on a beautiful site … What did it do for us? What did we get back for it? Nothing, nobody knows really. I mean there were anecdotes here and there but we don’t really know. So over the years they created all these beautiful technologies that help us measure that, and it’s up to us to create the KPIs that ensure the bottom line. 

So my strategy from day one was to show the bottom line. We spent X, and therefore as a result we had Y inbound leads that turned into whatever converted and whatever closed … With management, the way I grew my team is, I was able to show the numbers and how they grew, and with that I got more investment, and I was able to show more and more and more.

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:

The post Break Free B2B Series: Adi Bachar-Reske on Taking the Lead in the Evolution of B2B Content Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Break Free B2B Interview with Adi Bachar-Reske

Break Free B2B Interview with Adi Bachar-Reske

Marketing leaders are at the forefront of a seismic transformation that continues to play out as we enter a new decade. 

Organizational dynamics are realigning. Power balances are shifting. Trust – both internal and external – is emerging as the most essential crux in business success. For people like Adi Bachar-Reske, it’s an exhilarating time to be leading the charge.

Her history in marketing dates back multiple decades, so she’s been helping shape this evolution. “Twenty years ago, everybody’s in a suit. I was the only woman in the room, always,” she says. “It has changed a lot.”

Today, she finds that she no longer tends to be the only woman in the room (though the balance is still a ways from where it needs to be), and that’s far from the only change she’s observed in her marketing leadership positions — most recently at Provenir, where she served as Vice President of Marketing before moving into a solo consulting role late last year. 

Much of her experience, including at Provenir, has come in the financial technology (FinTech) space, so during my interview with her for the Break Free B2B series, we zeroed in on some key topics tied to the vertical: proving the revenue impact of marketing, staying on top of content consumption trends, and building trust with customers when sensitive data is in play. 

Break Free B2B Interview with Adi Bachar-Reske

If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 1:00 — Introduction to Adi
  • 2:00 — Provenir’s marketing philosophies
  • 4:00 — How are content consumption trends changing?
  • 10:30 — Building trust in the financial industry
  • 13:15 — How technology helps with personalization and trust
  • 16:00 — Building trust in marketing internally
  • 18:45 Which types of content help sales most?
  • 22:00 How can B2B marketers break free?
  • 24:00 How to balance taking risks with playing it safe

Nick: What are you seeing from your end in terms of shifting content consumption trends and shortening attention spans?

Adi: I find that myself, I don’t read books anymore, my eyes get really tired and I just don’t have the time to sit down and actually read, but what I do do, I got addicted to Audible right? So I walk through a long airport, or I sit down and wait for my daughter to finish her guitar lesson, and I’ll just put it in my ears. I read at least two books a month that way and I love it because of the way Audible, they’ve changed too right? 

So you’ve got the authors now reading the story. It’s a bit like a TED Talk that lasts for a few hours, which is brilliant. And the same for blogs. Blogs were the big thing a few years ago, but again, we don’t have time to read, so we did this test here. We took some of the blogs and we kind of condensed them, shrank them up into a one-minute video. It was the same content, but obviously a lot less. And we captured the essence of it, and the engagement was just phenomenal. I think we’re all very curious people in the same way we were 10 or 20 years ago, we just consume information differently.

[bctt tweet=”I think we’re all very curious people in the same way we were 10 or 20 years ago, we just consume information differently. @AdiBacharReske #ContentConsumption #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”]

Nick: Being in the finance industry, I have to imagine that trust, data security, privacy, those are big issues. What are you seeing from your perspective as far as the condition of trust between customers and brands

Adi: Years ago the saying was, nobody’s going to lose their job for choosing IBM. If you were a big brand, you were safe, and the financial institution had an immediate trust in you. Easy peasy. But if you were a small brand then it was difficult to get in. They didn’t trust you. You were just small, maybe you’ll disappear tomorrow. It’s funny, things have changed. 

I speak to my customers, large institutions and small institutions, all the time and I ask them: why did you choose us? We’re not a big player, we’re not an IBM. In the past year or so, the answer I get is kind of surprising. They say, we chose you because you are small. We chose you because we wanted to work with somebody who’s nimble, who can work with us, who can focus on us, because all these large businesses, you know they have other things to worry about. They may not focus on us, they may not sit down, listen to what we need, build something special for us … 

So these days, the way you build the trust is showing how nimble and flexible you can be. Both in your development and your product, but also it has to be reflected in your marketing and your digital presence. You have to look accessible, you have to look open.

[bctt tweet=”These days, the way you build trust is showing how nimble and flexible you can be. Both in your development and your product, but also it has to be reflected in your marketing and your digital presence. @AdiBacharReske #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”]

Nick: As a marketing leader who regularly interfaces with other leadership in the company, what are your strategies for building trust internally, across departments?

Adi: Numbers, numbers, numbers. So again, I’ve been around for a long time and marketers used to be the first one — when the quota hasn’t been met or something happened like that — the marketers were the first people out the door. Why? Because we couldn’t really show any numbers. 

You know, we spend all that money on an event, or we spend all that money on a beautiful site … What did it do for us? What did we get back for it? Nothing, nobody knows really. I mean there were anecdotes here and there but we don’t really know. So over the years they created all these beautiful technologies that help us measure that, and it’s up to us to create the KPIs that ensure the bottom line. 

So my strategy from day one was to show the bottom line. We spent X, and therefore as a result we had Y inbound leads that turned into whatever converted and whatever closed … With management, the way I grew my team is, I was able to show the numbers and how they grew, and with that I got more investment, and I was able to show more and more and more.

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:

The post Break Free B2B Series: Adi Bachar-Reske on Taking the Lead in the Evolution of B2B Content Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.