The Unmuted Marketer

Sounding Off on Real-Life B2B Marketing Mistakes, Missteps and Miracles


Marketri Blog

October 18, 2016

B2B Marketing Strategies: Getting Started With Content

In the not-so-distant past, mid-sized B2B companies treated their websites like they were chiseled in stone. They hired companies to sculpt each page — to push pixels, write copy, and get the images just so — and they published their websites for all the internet to see.

Then they forgot about them entirely.

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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, B2B Marketing, Strategic Marketing Consulting

October 10, 2016

The Secret to Earning a Higher ROI on your B2B Marketing

Ready to learn how to secure a high return on your marketing dollars? Before I share the secret, we need to make a pact right now. Ready? Take a deep breath in, then let it go. Now say with conviction, “I will not fall prey to once and done marketing tactics.” Even if you are unsure about what I mean, trust me, say it, and read on.

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Topics: Integrated Marketing, B2B Marketing

October 3, 2016

Take a Ride with a Fractional CMO (Part II)

In Part I of my Fractional CMO series, I covered the basics of the model, and how it suits organizations with aggressive growth objectives that don’t need a six-figure, full-time CMO. (Hopefully I could make it clearer for you than my mom!)

In Part II, we’re going to examine more of what my work with clients looks like. Let’s take a look back at the last 60 days in my world as a Fractional CMO.

It goes pretty fast, so safety first and buckle up!

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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Inbound Marketing, B2B Marketing, Fractional CMO

September 6, 2016

Does Your B2B Company Score in the Red Zone? Make Your Proposals a Touchdown!

Your website is modern and up-to-date; your brochure looks slick and has copy that pops.  Having quality collateral, whether electronic or print, is typically a priority for most B2B companies.  Marketing collateral is often used during the early stages of the sales cycle.  It is used to get prospects interested and move them along the funnel.  So once a buyer has been qualified, you’re in the Red Zone and in a great position to score a big ol’ touchdown, many – too many – B2B companies lose focus and drop the ball.  Instead of celebrating with a spike, they are left with another notch in the loss column asking Why?  Why?  Why? 

The Answer:  B2B companies get lazy with proposals and most of the time, quite frankly, they stink.


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Topics: B2B Marketing, B2B Sales

July 26, 2016

Explaining the B2B Fractional CMO in Terms My Mom Can Understand – Part I

I - Debra Marie Collins (my maiden name) - was a very pampered child.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a very middle class upbringing and wasn’t necessarily spoiled with material things.  I was spoiled with love that continues to this day, especially from my mom.  Some days, I work from her house just to spend precious extra time together.  And, almost always, I catch her bragging about me as a successful entrepreneur during her many daily phone calls with friends.  Then I hear, “Well, I don’t know what she does…  It’s strange.  She’s a piece of a marketer for companies or something like that.”

These moments make me realize that my role as a Fractional CMO for middle market B2B companies is unique, leaving not just my mom but even seasoned business owners and executives saying, “Huh?”  In a nutshell, Fractional CMOs are strategic marketing consultants with a twist.  In Part I of this two-part blog series, I’ll explain the difference between the widely recognized strategic marketing consultant and the largely unknown Fractional CMO.  In Part II, I’ll reveal the types of exciting projects and challenges I tackle in any given month as a Fractional CMO and the ongoing responsibilities I own on behalf of my clients when functioning in this capacity.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Strategic Marketing Consulting, Fractional CMO

July 18, 2016

Don’t Start a B2B Inbound Marketing Journey with marketing automation software


You’ve probably heard about Inbound Marketing, a promising, digitally driven modern methodology that “pulls” leads into the sales funnel by attracting them with interesting and useful information.  No more interrupting prospects with cold calls.  No more once-and-done, overpriced ads.  Inbound Marketing sounds as refreshing and satisfying as a margarita on the rocks with salt after a long, hard day.  You’re ready to take a sip!  What aggressive, growth-minded company wouldn’t want to leverage modern marketing to gain qualified B2B buyers?  All you need to do is buy marketing automation / lead generation software to kick-start your efforts.  It’s a little pricey (usually between $7,500 - $20,000 + the cost of training), but you’re ready to commit because just one new customer will pay for the annual investment. 

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, B2B Marketing

June 21, 2016

Are You Making Your B2B Marketing Professional Miserable?

Be a Champion, Not a Challenge!

First one, then another.  Now it’s a pattern that I can’t ignore.  Marketing Managers and Marketing Coordinators who began their jobs at middle market B2B companies with great enthusiasm are coming to me to share their growing frustrations and ongoing struggles.  They have faced one too many impossible tasks or brick walls, and some are on the verge of giving up and moving on.  Senior executives – Owners, Presidents, Partners, Shareholders, and Vice Presidents – are almost always part of the problem.  The good news?  As you’ll learn, these same leaders can thankfully be part of the solution.

Life as the middle child:

Working in the marketing department of a middle market B2B company has the potential to be a very rewarding experience.  Unfortunately, many junior or mid-level marketers wind up discouraged and disappointed rather than feeling fulfilled and part of a productive team.  Lack of direction and education as well as a daily dose of isolation take a toll on these Marketing Managers and Marketing Coordinators.  The end result is often an abrupt exit that isn’t beneficial to the marketing professional or to the B2B company that will need to, once again, regroup.  This is clearly a “Lose-Lose” scenario. 

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Topics: Marketing Departments, Strategic Marketing Consulting, Fractional CMO

June 7, 2016

Ready!  Set!  Hire! . . . Top Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Fractional CMO

Congratulations!  You’ve heard the buzz, read my blog post, done your research, and decided that a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is just what your B2B company needs to help generate warm leads, engage new and existing clients, and accelerate revenue growth.  You’re ready to move from tired, once-and-done marketing into modern marketing guided by an experienced strategist – one who will provide ongoing, hands on, senior level support as you navigate through today’s highly competitive and ever evolving digital world.  Now what? 

Hiring a talented Fractional CMO who is a great fit for your company doesn’t have to be a difficult or frustrating process.  If you know what to ask and what you should expect to hear in response, your thoroughly vetted and carefully evaluated Fractional CMO will be on board and ready to go in no time. 

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Fractional CMO

May 17, 2016

Is Your B2B Company’s Marketing Department Top or Bottom Heavy?

It could be the issue weighting down your growth efforts

You know I’m referring to the sales funnel, right?  A few years ago, most marketers didn’t make a strong distinction between top-of-the-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel marketing and marketers.  But as I’ve structured and restructured more and more mid-sized B2B marketing departments, I’ve found that attention to both TOFU and BOFU marketing is essential to achieving a measurable return on investment. 

For mid-sized B2B companies to generate optimal growth results, the marketing function ideally should align with the sales funnel, from cold contact to red hot prospect.  The reality?  Marketing is typically skewed towards the top or bottom of the funnel based on the skills and preferences of in-house marketers.  This imbalance almost surely results in unrealized opportunities.  If you are underwhelmed by the ROI on your company’s B2B marketing program, it’s time to take a hard look at the “weight distribution” of your marketing efforts. 

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Marketing Departments, Strategic Marketing Consulting

March 18, 2016

Third Party Marketing Resources: Middle Market Misfires

Part II: Solving the B2B Middle Market Marketing Mess

In Part I of “Solving the B2B Middle Market Marketing Mess,” I spoke of the highly competitive worlds that most middle market B2B companies operate in and the urgent need for effective marketing to stand out from the crowd, attract prospective buyers who are becoming increasingly sophisticated online researchers, and nurture leads so that sales professionals can shift from hunters to closers.  Unfortunately, instead of hitting the bullseye with effective marketing plans, collateral, and campaigns, B2B middle market firms, misfire again and again.  Why? Non-marketing executives who don’t fully understand or know how to leverage modern marketing are largely making the decisions about marketing direction, hires, budgets, and third party partners.  The last scenario can be especially damaging.  Selecting the wrong marketing partner can have serious budget repercussions and cause paralysis among senior management fearful of making another expensive marketing mistake. Looking closely at typical third party marketing resources – advertising agencies, public relations firms, and freelance subcontractors – it becomes easy to see why many, if not most, are not ideal partners for the B2B middle market.

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