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ArdathAlbee
Sunny Southern California
Ardath is a B2B Marketing Strategist who helps companies with complex sales use multi-channel. contagious content marketing strategies to turn prospects into buyers.
Interests: storytelling, publishing technology, gamification, writing, word games, mass customization, cooking from scratch and playing with my Australian Shepherd, Bella
Recent Activity
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B2B marketers know there are a number of people involved in a complex buying decision. What often goes overlooked is understanding not only who the marketing programs can reach and engage but how content gets shared among the group. It's common sense that the more people within an organization your content gains exposure with, the more opportunity your ideas and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at Marketing Interactions
Hi Phil, Thanks so much for your comment. I agree that the politics can be challenging. And I think one leader means that they will lean more heavily toward either sales or marketing. The trick is in them having an open mind and a curiosity to learn and evolve their knowledge in the less dominant discipline. I'm starting to see instances of it being really effective.
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I keep seeing that statistic - you know - the one that talks about how far through the buying process prospects are before they talk to salespeople. It's flawed. Here are a few reasons why: Prospects don't care if they're interacting with marketing or sales, they care about the quality of the conversation or interaction and that it's giving them... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2014 at Marketing Interactions
Hi Stuart, Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. As for the sales and marketing culture, please tell me that it's a matter of when, not if :) Ardath
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I was watching the video for the second roundtable video that I participated in at Content Marketing World and Nick Panayi from CSC said, "the funnel is more like a pinball machine, with leads bouncing everywhere" - I'm not sure that's verbatim, so go watch it. Anyway it got me to thinking about one of the big concepts in my... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2014 at Marketing Interactions
Hi Dan, thanks for the comment. That is an interesting discovery, but it doesn't surprise me. And I love that it validates the point :)
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In writing my new book, Digital Relevance, I spent a lot of time thinking about how a digital approach changes a lot of things, including the opportunity we have to become more relevant to our audiences. An obvious line of thought, given the title of the book, right? But here's the thing. Most marketers have gotten so tied around the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2014 at Marketing Interactions
Thanks, John! I feel your pain :)
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I interview a lot of people during buyer persona projects. This includes representatives from product development, customer service, sales teams, marketing professionals of various flavors, and, of course, customers and prospects. The thing that continues to astound me during internal interviews is the lack of knowledge about how buyers get here. In other words, how buyers become customers. Each of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2014 at Marketing Interactions
Hi Mark, Interesting post - thanks for sharing it. But I'd argue back that you can help prospects avoid pain by showing them the positive outcomes you can help them to achieve. Kind of splitting hairs but it's in how you go about it. And I'd also agree that there are both carrot and stick-driven people. This being said, I also know that the programs I help clients run that talk about positive outcomes result in more sales conversations than do the more "painful" ones. When a buyer meets with your salesperson and holds up a printed version of a web article your company published and says, "show me how 'this' would look at my company," you've made an emotional connection. So perhaps it's dependent on seniority and level of comfort and position in their role. As you become more senior, have more experience, perhaps this makes it easier to rely more on intuition than data. What do you think?
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It does - thanks!
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Hi Stephanie - thanks so much for sharing the reports. The link doesn't work, though. Can you repost it? Those excerpts make the point. I agree there is a lot of opportunity. Success will be based on how well we can identify commonalities that allow us to ramp emotional relevance when communicating with a segment, rather than one person at a time.
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For some reason, in B2B content marketing, we seem to forget about the "whole" buyer. More and more marketers are embracing buyer personas and the idea of becoming customer centric, but we often only focus on the business side of the buyer, as if they walk into the office and leave the rest of themselves outside. In the personas I... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2014 at Marketing Interactions
Thanks, Matt. Interesting how out of sync things can get.
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Hi Phil - you make a good point with "short-term" focus and the possibility of desperation. However, I see many more instances of this type of messaging than what I've posted here. It's not an isolated incident. And, it doesn't mean that being irrelevant and screwing up a prospect's impression of the company is going to help them do so... Just saying :)
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Hi Dara, Thanks for sharing your experience. As for SLAs, it's an interesting thought, but I'm not sure they apply well to relevance. This is more of a process and tools issue. It's also about developing the mindset of "customer first." I do agree that there must be a champion to affect change.
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Yasmine. You make a great point about accountability and transparency.
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Thanks, Carmen! Your example is even worse than mine.
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So, Geoff, what you're saying is that it's okay for salespeople to be irrelevant and irritating if the buyer hasn't been nurtured? And it's not frustration as much as it's wondering how much of a hit marketing performance is taking based on how salespeople attempt to engage.
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I sat pondering another in a burst of self-serving emails sent last week by salespeople who obviously lack any discipline in prospect research or the energy needed to attempt meaningful personalization. As one of the emails was from a company I'd thought "got it," it occurred to me that the salesperson just screwed up my perception of the company they... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2014 at Marketing Interactions
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Thanks for your comment, Alex, and for writing the post. Three blog posts makes for a nice little dialogue! Your question about why things haven't changed is a good one. Change is hard, no one likes it, but it is the order of the day. We need to become better at adapting.
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Thank you, Nida!
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Thanks, Phil. Good points!
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The buying process has gotten messy for B2B marketers. This easy access to information means that engagement one second can turn into disinterest in the next. Every new channel puts a hole in your funnel. (Although I've never liked the funnel construct, it's appropriate for making the point.) Marketers who don't integrate new channels into their content marketing strategy will... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2014 at Marketing Interactions
Thanks, Cliff! Love the "Tale of Two Cities" reference :)
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