The Unmuted Marketer

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

4 Ways to Make Your Strategic Marketing Plan Better

by George Jacob on March 16, 2017

We’ve all hit those problems. The stifling sort, that puzzle and stump, that confound and frustrate. But we’ve also experienced moments of solution. The Eurekas of enlightenment, when what was once so baffling suddenly becomes unstuck.

And perhaps it’s no surprise that often, the difference between unsolved and crystal clear is a change of perspective.

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

6 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Strategic Marketing Consultant

by George Jacob on March 6, 2017

Let’s say you’ve looked into the mirror, come to some terms, and decided you really do need some marketing help. You’ve hit the Google circuit, browsed some websites, and reached out to a strategic marketing consultant or seven.

Good start. But now the tough part. How do you pick one?

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

B2B Marketing Strategies: How to Create Clearer Messaging

by George Jacob on January 25, 2017

If you’re working on a small team with a limited budget and a growing to-do list, you might feel a hint of doubt creeping into your once-steeled resolve. After you’ve chosen the best B2B marketing strategies for your business, and you’re faced with the realities of execution, success might feel like a distant dream.

If that’s the case, take a moment, and a deep breath.

And remember that all good marketing only comes down to one thing. Resonance.

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Topics: Content Strategy Steps, B2B Marketing Challenges, B2B Marketing Plans, B2B Marketing Strategies, Strategic Marketing Consulting

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?

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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.

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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, if websites were included in B2B marketing strategies, they were considered chiseled in stone. Mid-sized B2B companies hired professionals 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: B2B Digital Marketing Strategy, Content Strategy Steps, B2B Marketing Strategies, Strategic Marketing Consulting

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.

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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. 

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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

Solving the B2B Middle Market Marketing Mess: Part I of II

by Debra Andrews on March 14, 2016

(Say the title ten times fast and continue!)  The concept of marketing can be confusing for even the most seasoned businesspeople.  In today’s ever-evolving digital world, it’s tough to know what makes a great marketer and what should be expected of the marketing function.  This is particularly true when it comes to the business-to-business (B2B) middle market, with its own unique set of demands and opportunities.  In this two-part blog series, I will explore the concept of marketing and summarize the most significant reasons for marketing failure in the B2B middle market.  Then, I will outline traditional marketing solutions and explain why they aren’t ideal for middle market B2B companies.  Finally, you'll learn about a new way of marketing that powers middle market B2B companies confidently and successfully forward through an integrated, comprehensive, and fresh approach.  For these companies, this new marketing model delivers an undeniable return on investment and the measurable results that convince any naysayer of modern marketing’s boundless potential.

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Topics: B2B Marketing Strategies, Strategic Marketing Consulting