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Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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

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®.

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How to Get More LinkedIn Engagement and Clicks

Do you share content on LinkedIn? Wondering how to publish LinkedIn content that gets more clicks and engagement? In this article, you’ll discover how to develop and share LinkedIn posts people click on. Content That Works on LinkedIn People want to know you—your passions, your sense of humor, and what makes you someone worth paying […]

The post How to Get More LinkedIn Engagement and Clicks appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Ecommerce emails not selling? Bump your conversion rate by sending email recipients to landing pages custom-built for each promotional offer.

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When creating a social media strategy for your brand, there are two things you want to focus on – how you’re talking to your Read more...

This post Social mentions 101: What are they and why they’re important originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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5 Old Habits B2B Marketers Should Leave Behind in the 2010s

Old Habits B2B Marketers Should Leave Behind in the 2010s

Old Habits B2B Marketers Should Leave Behind in the 2010s

New decade, who dis?

We’ve officially turned the calendar to 201… er, 2020! First the first time in 10 years, we’ll all be writing a different numeral as that third digit. That’s a new habit that’ll take some getting used to. 

As B2B marketers, perhaps we can take advantage of this opportunity to form a few other new habits. Specifically, I’m talking about making adjustments to the way we approach our craft, so to align ourselves with the evolved marketplace of the 2020s. 

The New Year is always a fitting time for resolutions and aspirational goal-setting. With this particularly momentous milestone, I’m urging all my B2B marketing peers to think big and commit to some major shifts in mindset for the decade ahead.

These five habits ought to be left in the 2010s along with fidget spinners and the Mannequin Challenge.

5 Habits for B2B Marketers to Leave Behind in the 2010s

#1. The Desktop Mentality

Chances are, you spend your days creating content or managing campaigns on a desktop computer or laptop. As such, it’s all too easy to assume your audience will consume it in the same way. But, chances are, they won’t. 

The explosion of mobile usage has been among the most unmistakable sea changes of the past decade. In 2010, the iPhone was still a relatively new product and mobile accounted for 2.9% of all web site traffic. By 2018, that figure was up to 52.2%. Smartphone ownership rose from 35% in 2011 to 81% in 2019. Mobile overtook desktop in 2016 and there’s been no looking back. 

Despite this, I still routinely encounter websites, landing pages, and content experiences that look great on desktop and clunky on a smartphone or tablet. Too often, mobile is an afterthought. Instead, it should be our first thought. Bringing a mobile-first mindset into the 2020s will position marketers to be on the same page as the people they’re trying to reach.

What To Do: Scrutinize your most critical existing content assets — visuals, responsiveness, usability — on multiple different types of devices to ensure you’re delivering a quality mobile experience. Also, resolve to test all new content on mobile before desktop in 2020.

via GIPHY

#2. Aimless Creation

At the start of the decade, content marketing was in a relatively nascent stage. The primary objective for marketers was simply to produce, as reflected by the first-ever B2B content marketing benchmark report from newly established Content Marketing Institute (CMI) in 2010. In this report, the top-cited challenges were:

  • Producing engaging content
  • Producing enough content
  • Budget to produce content

All that production, so little direction… It’s a problem that hasn’t gone away despite content marketing’s maturation over the course of a decade. In general, there’s still too much focus on the creation and not enough on the strategy. In many programs, promotion and measurement take distant back seats. 

In the 2020s, let’s start looking at the big picture, and channel the same enthusiasm we show for creation into all the other elements of successful content. A holistic approach to the discipline begins with documenting your content strategy and adhering to its vision, as will a robust list of content promotion tactics to draw from.  

[bctt tweet="In the 2020s, let’s start looking at the big picture, and channel the same enthusiasm we show for creation into all the other elements of successful content. @NickNelsonMN" username="toprank"]

What To Do: Create or refine your documented content strategy. Take a gander at our top B2B content marketing trends and predictions for 2020 to ensure you’re fully up to speed.

#3. Email Abandonment

It’s been an interesting decade for email marketing. The tactic’s popularity endures – email newsletters were cited as the third-most common type of content for B2B marketers in the latest CMI benchmarking report – but confidence in this channel has evidently waned. 

According to research by the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), only 55% of marketers believe more than half of what they send out is useful to subscribers, and more concerningly, only 14% of subscribers feel that way. 

I’m on record as saying email marketing is not dead, it just needs rejuvenation. I think the inbox will be in again in the 2020s, as practitioners get back into touch with the fundamentals that make it such a powerful communication channel to begin with. Through stronger segmentation, audience insight, and relationship-driven strategy, we can get back to capitalizing on a space where the average professional spends 3+ hours of their workday.

(Source)

What To Do: Subscribe to a few newsletters from leading brands to do some recon, and adopt the subscriber-centric practices you like best.

#4. Influence for the Sake of Influence

I wonder if we’ll all look back at the 2017 Fyre Festival fiasco – and the documentaries it yielded – as a turning point for influencer marketing. 

In a way, that whole ordeal was damaging, casting a light on the total fraudulence of paid Instagram celebrities hawking products they had no connection to, or understanding of, merely to seem hip and raise awareness. But I view it as more of a positive: That seedy side of “influencer marketing” needed to be exposed, enabling us all to acknowledge it and move past it.

Fyre Festival didn’t prove that influencer marketing is ineffective; it proved that prioritizing reach and status above all else is the wrong way to do it. At TopRank Marketing, we have long asserted that relying on popularity metrics alone is a mistake, while aligning influencer type and topic is critical. 

[bctt tweet="Fyre Festival didn’t prove that influencer marketing is ineffective; it proved that prioritizing reach and status above all else is the wrong way to do it. @NickNelsonMN" username="toprank"]

LinkedIn’s* Judy Tian recently shared her views on this essential nuance: “Even though I think reach is part of the equation, and we want to work with influencers who have a substantial amount of reach ... the relevancy and engagement are what’s important. Are the influencers actually experts in the areas you wanna talk about? And are they gonna have credibility with their end users? And then are they going to shed credibility onto your brand as a result?”

These are the true objectives of B2B influencer marketing. It’s influence with a purpose. And that mindset should drive our strategies in the years ahead.

What To Do: Review influencer lists to make sure expertise and credibility aligns with the audience for your campaigns, and start prioritizing relevance over reach for future initiatives.

#5. Talking About Ourselves

I’ll close with perhaps the single most important shift for B2B marketers in 2020 and beyond: Moving the spotlight from our own products and services to our customers. This is a crucial area where data tells us we’re coming up short.

A recent report from Forrester, titled Customer-Centered Messaging Helps Boost B2B Revenues By Motivating Buyer Action, shows that:

  • 88% of B2B marketers admit their homepages talk primarily about their companies, products, and services
  • 13% of B2B marketers use narrative to tell a story, walk buyers through a persuasive argument, or show some empathy with customer concerns
  • 28% of B2B marketers mirror the language that their target audiences and decision makers use when talking about those problems

These are troubling numbers. In the 2020s, we need to take the next step in customer-centricity, going beyond connecting our solutions to the audience by doing so from their point of view. It’s not an easy thing to master – as the Forrester report indicates – but it is a very worthy pursuit. 

We should all be striving to develop empathy, as it’s defined by Intuit’s Brian Hood: “Having such a strong understanding that it’s hard to tell the line between us and our customers.” And our content should convey it.

What To Do: Walk the walk when it comes to being customer-centric. Put customer insight in the driver’s seat for everything you create in 2020. Be cognizant of how often you’re centering the conversation on your brand and its solutions.

Here’s to a Decade of Dazzling Results

The next 10 years are going to be exciting and invigorating. Technology, creativity, and data-driven insight will commingle in new ways to reinvent what is possible for digital customer experiences. We’re excited to venture into this great unknown alongside all of our clients, partners, and peers. 

From my view, B2B marketers who are best-prepared for what lies ahead will be:

  • Mobile-first
  • Thoroughly strategic with creation
  • Adamant about energizing email engagement
  • Focused on influencer relevance
  • Keenly customer-centered in approach

Want to further ready yourself for the year and decade ahead? Check out our robust pieces on 2020 trends and predictions:

*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 5 Old Habits B2B Marketers Should Leave Behind in the 2010s appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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The post How to Develop a Unique Instagram Marketing Style appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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The post Twitter Adds New Ad Unit and Alters Core Features appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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The post The Power of Perceived Value: Discover how a well-marketed banana & roll of tape produced a windfall appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

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The post YouTube Trends: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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