The Unmuted Marketer

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

What’s New in B2B Marketing Planning: Interview With a Fractional CMO

by Marissa Lavigna on April 19, 2017

This is the first of our blog series entitled “What’s New in B2B Marketing Planning: Interviews with Thought Leaders." In this kickoff, we talk to Debra Andrews, the President and Owner of Marketri, for some insight into her experience as a Fractional CMO.

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Topics: B2B Marketing Plans, B2B Marketing Strategies, Marketing Departments, Strategic Marketing Consulting, Fractional CMO, B2B Marketing Planning

Tactical vs. Strategic Marketing Professionals: What’s the Difference and Why Should You Care?

by Debra Andrews on April 11, 2017

No Marketing Results. Marketing Staff Turnover. Wasting Valuable Time. Wasting Financial Resources. These are a few of the most important reasons why Presidents, Owners, Executives, and Partners need to care about understanding the difference between strategic marketing professionals and tactical marketing professionals.

If you’ve been spinning your wheels with marketing, maybe this blog post is your tow truck to better marketing outcomes.

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

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. 

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Topics: Marketing Departments, Strategic Marketing Consulting, Fractional CMO

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

by Debra Andrews on May 17, 2016

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 Strategies, Marketing Departments, Strategic Marketing Consulting

Why Marketing Coordinators Deserve Unlimited Therapy and Stiff Martinis

by Debra Andrews on October 13, 2015

Marketing Coordinators are typically the neophytes of the profession – energetic, impressionable, and eager to soak in the practical experience that very few receive in their undergraduate studies.  Junior marketers don’t have to take an entrance exam and rarely receive formal training which is offered to other professionals such as attorneys, engineers, doctors, and architects.  For better or worse (mostly worse), they are left to figure things out.  It’s the ol’ ‘sink or swim’ motto which personally doesn’t translate into a very nice visual.  Before continuing, I must share one caveat.  Most of my observations related to Marketing Coordinators pertain to those employed by small to midsized businesses that don’t have formal marketing departments.  This post, therefore, does pertain to most of corporate America.  Now, get your metal shaker, olives, and finest bottle of gin and let’s continue.

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Topics: B2B Marketing Challenges, B2B Marketing Strategies, Marketing Departments

Is Your Marketing Department Treated Like a Flunky?

by Debra Andrews on March 3, 2015

Now there's a word you probably haven't heard in a while - Flunky.  No, not cool and funky.  We're talking flunky, and it's anything but hip!  If you're not familiar with the term, it means:

"A person who does small jobs for someone powerful or important."

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Topics: Content Strategy Steps, Marketing Departments, Strategic Marketing Consulting

Five Signs That Your Marketing Department is Rocking it in the Fast Lane!

by Debra Andrews on February 13, 2015

It's 2015 and marketing is moving fast.  If your marketing department is constantly seeking more cost effective ways to push out your firm's message and thought leadership in a way that speaks directly to your customers and top prospects, then it gets an A+ for attitude!  According to Brian Miske, Chief Marketing Officer of KPMG, the most successful marketers are technology savvy, proactive change agents.  They look to stay close to the customer and help shape the customer experience.  

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Topics: B2B Marketing Strategies, Marketing Departments

Why Do Marketing Departments Fail?

by Debra Andrews on November 12, 2014

As an experienced business professional, you have likely worked for multiple organizations.  Do you remember your opinion of the marketing department?  Were marketing professionals an integral part of the firm in the same way as operations, finance and human resources?  Did marketing team members hold seats at executive tables?  

Unfortunately, the marketing department in many companies is often thought of as pure overhead and is a bit of an afterthought when it comes to being included in serious business decisions.  I've seen it firsthand during my career and it's unfortunate and frustrating!! A world class marketing department has the potential to transform companies and drive strategic goals.  

But more often than not, marketing departments live up to the low expectations that are placed on them and fail to deliver results. The big question is, why?  From discussions with senior executives, fellow marketing professionals and my own observations, here are some of the top reasons marketing departments fail:

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Topics: B2B Marketing Strategies, Marketing Departments