MarketingProfs’ annual B2B Forum was filled with insights from marketers and influencers alike. Common themes included artificial intelligence in marketing, voice of the customer, and humanization of your brand. My colleague Rebecca Haynes talked about content, personalization and memorable marketing in her takeaway post here.
The overarching themes that stuck out to me were thought leadership and the value of trust.
To humanize your brand, you must be willing to take risks.
Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners spoke about building a learning culture within your team, your department, and your company. Accept humility and be tolerant of failure. If your team is taking the right steps with experimentation, your failures will be beneficial to your strategies.
Beyond trust, it is important for marketers to remember this: We need to understand that sometimes things just don’t work. We have a massive amount of qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate. The data doesn’t lie; accept it and move on. Marketers fear failure – but to be successful, we need to welcome it.
Support thought leadership efforts with data stories.
When marketers think about using original data to fuel content marketing, many think they need to spend time and money on benchmarking research pulled together in a full report or eBook. But Clare McDermott (@clare_mcd) from Mantis Research preached the benefits of thinking like a data journalist. Larger benchmarking surveys are always an option. But consider stories you can tell from polling and mini-surveys, or even analyzing external data with your own creative spin.
If you start with your dream headline, you can structure your research to find the stat that’s frequently asserted but rarely reported, OR the stat that’s frequently asserted but not true. And with that, you begin your story. This story is what helps to make the data meaningful – and gives your brand or your leaders a thought leadership platform.
To gain the attention and trust of B2B buyers, you must lead with ideas, not force.
Attention is meaningless without trust, and buyers seek voices of authority. With content marketing budgets increasing more and more each year, our audience can still consume only so much of the content that is created. With so many sources of information, buyers are becoming stressed out and uncertainty is increasing. Trust is fading.
Katie Martell (@KatieMartell) believes that brands cannot afford to play a passive role in the narratives of their industries. We as marketers must commit to educate the world on a better way to make talent happen. According to the research, poor thought leadership leads to a 45% decrease in respect and causes 30% of leads not to do business with a company. Build trust through your content and thought leadership platforms – and stand for your point of view as leaders, and as a brand.
Over the past several years the catchphrase has been “content marketing is king.” But in today’s world of fake news and overwhelming amounts and sources of content, the new marketing catchphrase should be “trust is king.”
What were your thoughts and takeaways from #MPB2B? Join the conversation @PANcomm.