Beyond Buzzphrases: How emerging tech could actually change everything for marketers

Beyond Buzzphrases: How emerging tech could actually change everything for marketers

Content, Data, Digital, Intelligent, Marketing, Strategy
For the past several years, there's been plenty of buzzphrase mania around topics such as IoT (internet of things), connected devices, big data / deep data, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, machine learning, and virtual / augmented reality. And while many of these concepts may still feel abstract and fuzzy, these emerging technologies are taking tangible shape right now in many businesses. In fact, new research just released by Forbes today, based on Salesforce's Fourth Annual State-of-Marketing Report, shows that: Markers plan to increase use of artificial intelligence by 53% in the next two years; and Internet of Things (IoT) / connected devices will see a 34% increase in the same time period. Before I go any further on this topic, I'll confess that I'm not a technologist. My views on…
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two or more Service Event: Feed My Starving Children

two or more Service Event: Feed My Starving Children

Authentic, Community, Event, Leadership
Join us for the two or more LAUNCH event on June 29th, 2017! (Updated) The first two or more service event is coming up, and we are now at capacity and taking registrations only on a wait-list basis. If you haven't done a meal-packing event with this organization before, you're in for a treat. And if you have done this before, you know just what a great experience it is - so grab a friend, colleague, or customer and let's do this. REGISTER HERE spots are limited, first come, first serve (literally!) **UPDATE: This event is at capacity, but you can register to join the wait list in case there are cancellations.** DETAILS Meal Packing Service Event June 29, 2017 2:30pm - 5:30pm Feed My Starving Children 18732 Lake Drive East Chanhassen,…
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Let’s be friends: How sales and marketing can help each other

Let’s be friends: How sales and marketing can help each other

Authentic, Brand, Content, Marketing, Messaging, Sales
What can salespeople do to help marketers? And conversely, what can marketers do to support sales? I love this question because I've been on both sides. I cut my professional teeth in B2B sales before shifting my focus to marketing, and then marketing team leadership. I've experienced the tension between these departments, and the reality is that it doesn't have to be that way. So, here's a little bit of advice for both sides, from someone who gets it. How can sales help marketing? (I'm putting back on my internal marketer's hat to answer this question...) Please, sales rep: Help me help you. Believe it or not, we in marketing want to help you sell. I know it makes you crazy when we hound you for customer testimonials, ask you to share content on…
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How Do We Get More Customers?

How Do We Get More Customers?

Brand, Content, Intelligent, Strategy
“How do I get more customers or clients?”  It sounds like a smart question, right? Because it's not asking "How do we get more leads?" but rather "How do we get more sales?", which should be the core metric of a growing business. But be careful here. We're living in an era of MORE. In an effort to reverse-engineer our pipelines, we've decided that in order to grow our businesses, we have to win more customers, by creating more opportunities, through more leads, via more engagement, accomplished by publishing more content. We've created so much (often poor quality) content that our audiences are over-saturated and overwhelmed. Our buyers don't need more information. They need more value. The digital era and explosion of channels swung the marketing pendulum hard toward "more". My sense is…
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Event Recap: DenamiCON17

Event Recap: DenamiCON17

Authentic, Brand, Content, Data, Design, Digital, Event, Intelligent, Strategy
Earlier this week, I had the privilege of being included in the speaker lineup for DenamiCON17, an inbound growth-focused event, hosted by Denamico (Hubspot-certified partner) and MentorMate (software development firm). Missed the event? Watch the recorded live stream here, and follow along with my mini blog series below that provides my expanded perspective on the topics discussed. [caption id="attachment_532" align="alignright" width="300"] Brendon Dennewill introduces Björn Stansvik[/caption] The event was kicked off with a keynote by my long-time friend and digital industry pioneer, Björn Stansvik, CEO of MentorMate. A former a skeptic of inbound (in his words, he once believed: “No serious B2B buyer of custom software would invite us to bid by finding us on Google."), Björn is now an advocate and evangelist of the SEO and content marketing discipline that helped grow his startup venture…
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Shocking But True: The Marketing Automation Disconnect

Shocking But True: The Marketing Automation Disconnect

Brand, Content, Digital, Intelligent, Strategy
I'll never forget the day I realized just how huge the gap could be between expectation and reality, relative to marketing automation. I had recently taken a new job, after 13 years in sales and marketing for a fast-growth technology consulting start-up; a firm that specialized in CRM and marketing automation. My new organization was a contrast to my start-up experience in every way: they were global, highly-matrixed, and about 10 years behind the curve when it came to marketing technology. But this day was a huge day. The head of corporate marketing was dialing into our team meeting with a big announcement: The company had just signed a contract with a major marketing automation vendor, and would be embarking on a global roll-out. My initial reaction was of excitement: I would finally have access to…
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The Hard Truth About Marketing Automation

The Hard Truth About Marketing Automation

Brand, Content, Digital, Intelligent, Strategy
It's one of the greatest misnomers of modern marketing: Marketing Automation. It's not a new term or technology. In fact, the pioneers in this space entered the market as early as 1999. And yet, despite its strong adoption and incredible growth (300 solutions added in just the past year - see graphic below), businesses large and small still struggle with what marketing automation actually means, and the level of commitment and resources required to manage an effective program. [caption id="attachment_464" align="alignnone" width="1600"] From 2016 to 2017, 5X more marketing automation vendors were added than removed. Source: Chief Marketing Technologist Blog, Scott Brinker, April 2017[/caption] Here's the hard truth: There is nothing automatic about marketing automation. Yes, the tools can execute very sophisticated, multi-touch campaigns, and provide valuable insights that help marketers and sales people…
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Brace Yourself: It’s Marketing Conference Season

Brace Yourself: It’s Marketing Conference Season

Brand, Content, Design, Digital, Leadership, Strategy
It seems that every 18 months or so, the conversations around B2B marketing shift. The most obvious way to observe this evolution is through the themes and titles of marketing conference keynotes and breakout sessions. A few years ago, all the conferences were focused on social and mobile. More recently, inbound and content marketing have dominated the topic lists. Today, everyone's talking ABM, predictive analytics, and lifecycle marketing. And rumblings are picking up around artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual / augmented reality. Conferences are great for inspiration. They help us get outside the box of our everyday business, see what's new, and plan ahead. They motivate us to think bigger and push forward. They connect us with other smart people, doing other cool things. And that's all good. But conferences can also be really…
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The Problem with Modern Marketing

The Problem with Modern Marketing

Brand, Content, Strategy
If you're in B2B marketing, you probably feel it. Something's not quite right. I felt it, too. In previous roles as a corporate B2B marketing leader, I spent nearly two decades building marketing programs and teams, sensing along the way that - though we were constantly innovating, producing great content, and growing our engagement numbers - we were missing the mark somewhere. The marketing department - with its fancy martech stack - has in many ways become a production shop, churning out content and programs to hit metrics, tucked away in the corporate inner sanctum, a world away from the actual customer relationship. We're pushing hard for engagement, while missing the real opportunity for connection. Isn't marketing essentially supposed to be about communication? And isn't communication meant to be a two-way street? So why are we holed up in…
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My Goal: Grace

My Goal: Grace

Authentic
This post is not about B2B marketing, brand, content, data, or digital. This is just about me, being authentic with you. Because that's my brand, after all. And I'd like for you to know me. And my journey toward embracing grace. While I was still working as a corporate marketing leader, earlier this year, a younger female colleague approached me with a sincere question: "What are your big personal goals this year? What is driving you?" This colleague reminded me so much of myself, ten years ago. She had earned a senior role in the business through her intelligence, commitment, work ethic, grit, and solid interpersonal relationships. She worked hard, she played hard, and failure was never going to be an option for this gal. She was an absolute go-getter in life…
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