The Unmuted Marketer

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

Running the Fly Route – My 2016 Fractional CMO Highlight Reel

by Debra Andrews on January 9, 2017

2016 was the fastest year ever, and I intentionally planned it that way. In football terms, I called one play exactly a year ago – the Fly Route. For those of you who don’t spend much of your fall and winter Sundays listening to Troy Aikman and Joe Buck, I’ll let Wikipedia describe this risky play:

Read More
 

Topics: Fractional CMO

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

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

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

Warning! You Might Have B2B Strategic Marketosis! 20 Symptoms that Should Send You to a Marketing Specialist

by Debra Andrews on February 2, 2016

Is your B2B company experiencing an acute lead generation deficiency? Are your employees falling off in chunks because your growth strategy is weak and pale or nonexistent?  Does your overhead look swollen causing a dehydrated bottom line?  Don’t ignore these symptoms any longer!  B2B Strategic Marketosis is not a diagnosis any company wants to receive.  The good news?  There’s a cure!  Understand the symptoms and seek treatment early to transform your company from one that just survives to one that thrives!

Read More
 

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

Riveting and Perilous – Inside the Hair-Raising World of a Strategic Marketing Consultant

by Debra Andrews on October 26, 2015

Blinding snow, dangerous cliffs, and air so cold and thin that it was nearly impossible to breathe.  Those were the conditions in which Rob Hall, an experienced Australian mountain climber, led a group of pinnacle-seeking thrill junkies through the Death Zone of Mount Everest back in May 1996.  Like Mr. Hall, strategic marketing consultants serve as guides as well.  While flirting with death isn’t in our job descriptions, there are a number of key parallels to be drawn.  We lead growth-minded, committed executive teams and their companies towards their lead generation and revenue goals.  Without our assistance, the path to the summit is often too confusing to navigate alone.  Companies – lacking critical knowledge of the terrain – waste their limited budgets, grow weary and, more often than not, retreat back to their base camp of flat growth.

Read More
 

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

The Top 4 Marketing Questions Asked by B2B CEOs (and answered by me)

by Debra Andrews on April 27, 2015

Marketing is complex – even for marketers, like me, who are obsessed with keeping up with best practices.  Many CEOs desperately want marketing to be an investment that helps their B2B enterprises gain a competitive advantage and grow but they simply don’t know how.  Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to a CEO Peer Group in the Midwest and here were their top four marketing questions and my answers:

Read More
 

Topics: B2B Digital Marketing Strategy, Content Strategy Steps, B2B Marketing Challenges, B2B Marketing Plans, B2B Marketing Strategies, Fractional CMO