The Buyer is not gonna take it anymore: Mad Libs with Michael Brenner

Today’s MadLibs features marketing thought leader Michael Brenner. Michael is truly one of the best minds in b2b marketing. (Considering how many followers he has on Twitter and how many top-XX lists he is on, I think everyone else knows that as well). When I get the chance to talk to him, I was learn something new. As someone from SAP once told me: “When I have a question, I just call Michael Brenner.” Enjoy!

    1. The b2b buyer is not gonna take it any more. They are sick and tired of the overly-promotional horse doo-doo you’re trying to pass as off as content.
    2. The biggest innovation in marketing is the social, mobile and digital tools that are empowering our buyers to take control of the process.
    3. The coolest thing happening in b2b marketing is the pace of change. Bad marketing was never in style but now, there is no much less room for error.
    4. My favorite marketing book is umm, The “Funnelholic.” Craig wrote a book right?
    5. My favorite social media channel is Twitter. I like that it is short and sweet and instant. Good content gets shared. Bad content is awesomely ignored.

    6. Social media for b2b is changing the way b2b brands think about the role of marketing and the kind of content and value we create for our audiences.
    7. b2b video is massively under-utilized as a content type. Video requires b2b brands to think about fun ways to possibly entertain the audience.
    8. In b2b, the idea of a funnel is just a metaphor for the buying process. It was never alive and will never be dead. You can draw any shape you want to reflect the process but in the end it comes down to buyer roles, buyer needs, the types and places buyers go to find solutions. Mapping that process will always be required.
    9. The first thing every marketer should do is shut up and listen. Understanding the fundamental needs of buyers has always been the key to innovation.
    10. Content marketing is more than a buzzword. It is the hottest trend in marketing because it is the biggest gap between what buyers want and brands produce.
    11. The biggest mistake marketers make is to make their content and messaging and brand all about them. Successful brands make their communications all about the customer. At SAP we help our customers “Run Better.” Our marketing and messages is focused more on telling their story, not just ours.
    12. The biggest myth in b2b marketing is that B2B isn’t cool or hip or innovative. I think B2B Marketing is in some ways harder than the consumer world and that makes it dynamic and yes, even fun!
    13. My favorite marketing technology besides marketing automation is the promise of big data marketing dashboards. I am really looking forward to the emerging combinations of big data and analytiucs for the marketing discipline which is already overwhelmed with the amount of information available today. Data is the new oil! Insights are the new gold.
    14. Besides revenue, the metric every marketer must track is Return on Marketing (ROMI). This is tough enough as it is but gets even more interesting when you think about the fact that very few sales will occur from a single marketing tactic. So getting attribution at the campaign or program level is really tough.
    15. My most forgettable marketing experience is Working 6 months on a direct mail campaign (this was a new product introduction over 10 years ago) and when we presented it to the CEO, his only comment was: “I don’t like that blue part. I like red better.”
    16. Mobile marketing is Hard. I know you said no one word answers but this is tough because who the heck wants their mobile experience interrupted by ads. I think mobile marketing makes the content marketing opportunity look even bigger.
    17. The next “hot-thing” in marketing will be Social Business strategy. As more businesses realize that social is not just a marketing discipline, they will seek to inject social marketing DNA into sales, product development, support, human resources, recruiting, etc. I know many people are talking about being a social business but very few have achieved the vision or even defined the path to get there.
    18. In 2015, marketing will hold a more prominent seat at the executive table. More CMOs will be digital natives who are actively social, highly technical and able to navigate an analytics dashbvoard better than the CFO.
    19. Over the next couple years in marketing, I can’t wait to see the revenge of the nerds. It’s time the dorky guys in the white trench coats who understand how data can drive insights and how marketing technology can drive a competitive advantage are given more senior roles in marketing organizations.
    20. Madlibs with the Funnelholic is awesome-sauce. That’s 2 words so I think I’ll just leave it at that.

Michael Brenner is the Vice President of Global Marketing and Michael_BrennerContent Strategy for SAP. Michael developed an award-winning inbound marketing content destination site for SAP called Business Innovation. He is the author of the B2B Marketing Insider blog, a contributor on Forbes and a frequent speaker at many industry events. Michael started his career nearly 20 years ago in sales, followed by field, product and corporate marketing positions at the Nielsen Company. He then led marketing for 2 companies prior to joining SAP. Follow Michael on Twitter (@BrennerMichael), LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.