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MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2018: Top Highlights and Takeaways

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MarketingProfs B2B Forum is one of the top marketing events of the year. There we find today’s top CMOs and marketers learning from experts such as Dr. Konstanze Alex, Head of Corporate Influencer Relations, Dell; Janet Driscoll Miller, President and CEO at Marketing Mojo and Brian Fanzo, Founder & CEO at iSocialFanz, to name a few.

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs kicked-off Wednesday’s keynote alongside Donovan Livingston, Educator, Poet and Author and Gopi Kallayil, Chief Evangelist of Brand Marketing at Google. Together they emphasized that in today’s world, apathy can no longer be tolerated. Marketers should be striving to learn and do better on a daily basis. Handley spoke on embracing the ability to learn and the “always be learning” mindset. Kallayil then stepped in to detail how brands can better deliver value for their customers in this time of rapid change, recommending that they: “Show up. Speed up. Wise up.”

So, what were the top sessions and tracks at MarketingProfs B2B Forum thus far? Here’s a short breakdown:

1. The Secret to Memorable Marketing: Lessons from 300 MarketingProfs Podcast Interviews – Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, MarketingProfs, @KerryGorgone

Kerry Gorgone was a force to be reckoned with at this year’s conference. She spoke about memorable marketing and how it requires heart. She stated what Ann Handley preaches: “empathize with the people you’re trying to serve RELENTLESSLY.” It’s a marketer’s job to gain the trust of their audience. Providing them with answers to their questions and better ways to solve the problems they’re facing.

“We are in the business of human reactions.” – Jon Taffer, Bar Rescue

Gorgone encouraged marketers to “hug your haters.” Why? If a person is expressing negative sentiment online, they generally don’t expect a brand to respond like they would a phone call or in person complaint. If your brand responds and tries to delight in response, you might just turn that “hater” into a brand advocate.

If you haven’t listened to Gorgone’s podcast, I encourage you to start listening here.

2. How to Personalize Content Experiences at Scale – Randy Frisch, CMO & Co-Founder at Uberflip, @randyfrisch

Is your brand delivering a winning content experience? You might be churning out content but Randy Frisch encouraged his audience to think about what they were doing with that content afterwards. In fact, 70% of B2B content goes unused (resource: Salesforce).

If you’re producing content, you need to be thinking about the experience. Will it win over your audience? Is it personal? Is it helpful and valuable? Read your audience, engage with them and lead them on a journey, and of course, always be empathetic.

Rethink your content marketing process and ask yourself: “What is this content fueling?” Frisch encourages you to focus on the content marketing experience, at scale.

3. Building Better Mousetraps – How Content Inspires Your Visitors to Act –Andy Crestodina, @crestodina

Do you know what the #1 cause is of user failure? Andy Crestodina’s audience was surprised to hear that the answer was findability. Users simply cannot find what they’re looking for fast enough on your website and are jumping over to your competitors’ so they can find what they’re looking for.

Brands have a responsibility to understand the urgency in satisfying information needs. Does your marketing team know what questions their audiences are asking before making a purchasing decision? Crestodina explained that there are simply two types of conversions: awareness and action. Your website needs to cater to both. Anticipate questions that your audience will ask, have those answers on your website, back those answers up with evidence (ex. stats or testimonials) and include calls to action. If you start playing to emotion, reason and credibility you’re on the right track to success.

Having that evidence to back up your company’s claims is important – don’t undervalue that. He recommends not having a testimonial page, but weaving your testimonials throughout your website in relevant places.

It’s safe to say that Ann Handley has successfully pulled off another MarketingProfs B2B Forum. Marketers will be walking away thinking about how to have fun with purpose in their day-to-day and remembering to be empathetic to their audience at all costs.

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