The biggest mistake marketers make is trying to avoid them: Madlibs with Dennis Shiao

Fun fact: Dennis Shiao wrote a book, Generate Sales Leads With Virtual Events, that is not only a “must-read” for people who do virtual events or demand generation but I wrote the Forward. (My recommendation is to read the book!) He is thought leader on virtual events, demand generation, and overall marketing. In his day job, he is the Director of Product Marketing at INXPO. He is today’s participant on Madlibs. Enjoy.

    1. The b2b buyer is more elusive than ever.

    The b2b buyer has more control than ever. And guess what? The level of control will continue to increase. Marketers need to adapt accordingly.

    2. The biggest innovation in marketing is focusing on what’s not innovative.

    There’s an opportunity to go away from “what’s hot” and simply focus on the fundamentals. Despite all the talk of mobile, content marketing and infographics, marketers who are best at blocking and tackling still win, even if they never publish a single infographic.

    3. The coolest thing happening in b2b marketing is using marketing automation at scale.

    10 years ago, marketing automation didn’t exist. Today, it’s hard to imagine doing “marketing” without it.

    4. My favorite marketing book is The New Rules of Marketing & PR, by David Meerman Scott.

    I love how the book is not only informative, but also prescriptive.

    5. My favorite social media channel is Twitter.

    Why? Because it forces pithy marketers to keep it short and sweet. More than 140 characters, marketer? Save it.

    6. Social media for b2b is yesterday’s news.

    Everyone’s doing it (though yes, I know, some highly regulated industries make that a challenge). So why do we still mention it? Social media for b2b is simply b2b media.

    7. b2b video is what Gangnam Style was to the Gangnam neighborhood of Seoul.

    In other words, it’ll put b2b on the map. And, it can go viral.

    8. In b2b, the idea of a funnel is critical to the long term valuation of an organization.

    Whatever shape your funnel, the process for creating demand, converting demand into opportunities and opportunities into sales is the lifeblood of a business.

    9. The first thing every marketer should do is listen.

    Listening helps you stay in tune with your market, process input on your products and have empathy for issues faced by customers and prospects. Talking can’t do any of that.

    10. Content marketing is an overused term.

    I love the practice of content marketing, but am somewhat tired of the term. We’ve all been talking about “content marketing, content marketing, content marketing” of late, but really? We’ve been doing that since blogs first came out. And even before that.

    11. The biggest mistake marketers make is trying to avoid them.

    Good marketers are like good entrepreneurs. We learn best from failure. And you can’t fail if you don’t try.

    12. The biggest myth in b2b marketing is around SEO for your web site.

    Some b2b marketers haven’t caught up to the activities of these crazy animals called Penguin and Panda. The “tried and true” SEO practices of yesterday won’t work as well today. Here’s a toast to “quality content” over inbound links.

    13. My favorite marketing technology besides marketing automation is Twitter Ads.

    Their self-service advertising system makes it dead simple to set up campaigns (especially good for small businesses). And guess what? I’m using it in a b2b setting and finding success driving traffic to webinars and blog content.

    14. Besides revenue, the metric every marketer must track is lead source.

    OK, so that’s not really a metric. But the point is, take all your metrics (e.g. leads, opportunities, closed business, etc.) and be sure to segment each metric by lead source, to determine what’s working best (and what’s not). It’s the key to effective management of your marketing spend.

    15. My most forgettable marketing experience is scheduling a huge email blast, but pointing it at a very small (and wrong) list.
    16. Mobile marketing is a given. Get on board.

    Want to reach your target customer? She’s on mobile. Get there to be seen.

    17. The next “hot-thing” in marketing will be data lockers.

    Check out this New York Times article from December 2012. I think the future of lead generation could be around data lockers.

    18. In 2015, marketing will be the same as it’s always been.

    The fundamentals still matter. Perhaps that’ll change in 2018.

    19. Over the next couple years in marketing, I can’t wait to see more of its use in the political realm.

    Forget b2b. It seems the innovation in marketing is happening in presidential elections! In all seriousness, I think b2b marketers should study the Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012. There’s much to learn.

    20. Madlibs with the Funnelholic is the future of marketing.

    A great idea. B2b marketers should consider similar programs (i.e. soliciting input from the industry, aggregating and publishing it).

Dennis is Director of Product Marketing at INXPO and author INXPO of the book “Generate Sales Leads With Virtual Events”. At INXPO, Dennis is responsible for go-to-market strategy and execution, and for shaping product and platform evolution via the “voice of the customer.” Dennis has managed virtual event campaigns for Cisco, HP, Oracle and Microsoft, among others. Dennis blogs about virtual events at INXPO, and on his personal blog, “It’s All Virtual.” Dennis can be found on Twitter at @dshiao.