The Unmuted Marketer

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

Are B2B Strategic Marketing Consultants Relics?

by Debra Andrews on November 10, 2016

"He’s such a relic!”

That’s what me and my never-catty (wink) girlfriends would say about jocks when they’d come back for homecoming and hit the party circuit with their “Natty Bohs,” acting just like they did when they ruled the school. You could tell they were clinging to the past, but their time had passed. 

So, what do washed-up jocks have in common with marketing?

Read More
 

Topics: B2B Digital Marketing Strategy, B2B Marketing Plans, B2B Marketing Strategies, B2B Strategy, Strategic Marketing Consulting

3 Common B2B Marketing Challenges

by George Jacob on October 28, 2016

If you’ve had a marketing seat in a smaller organization, I feel for you. Those can be tough seats.

I know, because I’ve sat in a few of them myself.

Read More
 

Topics: B2B Marketing Challenges, B2B Marketing Plans, B2B Marketing Strategies, Strategic Marketing Consulting

B2B Marketing Strategies: Getting Started With Content

by George Jacob on October 18, 2016

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.

Read More
 

Topics: B2B Digital Marketing Strategy, Content Strategy Steps, B2B Marketing Strategies, Strategic Marketing Consulting

The Secret to Earning a Higher ROI on your B2B Marketing

by Debra Andrews on October 10, 2016

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.

Read More
 

Topics: B2B Digital Marketing Strategy, B2B Marketing Plans, B2B Marketing Strategies, B2B Strategy, Fractional CMO

Take a Ride with a Fractional CMO (Part II)

by Debra Andrews on October 3, 2016

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!

Read More
 

Topics: Content Strategy Steps, B2B Marketing Strategies, Fractional CMO

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

by Debra Andrews on September 6, 2016

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.

 

Read More
 

Topics: B2B Marketing Strategies, B2B Strategy

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

by Debra Andrews on July 26, 2016

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.

Read More
 

Topics: B2B Marketing Strategies, Strategic Marketing Consulting, Fractional CMO

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

by Debra Andrews on July 18, 2016

 

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. 

Read More
 

Topics: Content Strategy Steps, B2B Marketing Strategies

Are You Making Your B2B Marketing Professional Miserable?

by Debra Andrews on June 21, 2016

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. 

Read More
 

Topics: Marketing Departments, Strategic Marketing Consulting, Fractional CMO

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

by Debra Andrews on June 7, 2016

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. 

Read More
 

Topics: B2B Marketing Strategies, Fractional CMO