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There is a game B2B marketers around the globe play every day. The stakes are always high, the rules are never the same, the goals can change during the game, and it often takes months to determine a winner. The game is played in every industry and with all types of products and services. Any number can play, but in most instances, there are five or six participants—all with different roles, agendas and experience levels. Players can come from the client side, the agency side or an outside consultant. This challenging contest has no official title. In fact, most B2B marketers don’t even realize they’re playing. For the sake of this article, we’ll

Have you ever watched YES? (We see you nodding, 368,000 Yankees fans.) How about the Magnolia Network? (We see you too, 170,000 Chip and Joanna Gaines fans.) Anyone binging on NFL Network? (Wow, you’re over 50 million strong, football fans.) Those networks are, at their essence, brand channels. Each one offers content targeted to a specific audience that’s all in on the brand or lifestyle they reflect. How many people are tuned into your B2B brand channel right now? Believe it or not, you have one. More importantly, you have a large audience of potential fans. You simply need to give the people what they want when it comes to content. For a little more clarity,

A major B2B program status meeting is about to start. Every key department is represented, including the C-Suite, Strategy, Analytics, Category Marketing, Sales, Logistics, Social Media, Programming, IT, Finance and Account Services. To underscore the importance of this cross-functional gathering, no one is checking their phones, not even covertly. At precisely 9:00 am, the big meeting begins. First, the CEO reinforces the overarching objectives of the program: capture more market share, achieve better visibility with key decision makers, build brand equity, and make the shareholders happy. Then, Strategy shares a massive omnichannel plan designed to realize those ambitious goals. Next, Analytics weighs in with the KPIs the project must achieve to be considered a

What will AI ultimately mean to humankind? According to business leaders, social influencers, legendary intellects and emerging thinkers, AI will: Put an end to work Change the world more than anything else in history Amplify human intelligence Reinvent the way people interact with technology Lead to the end of the world Challenge our ethics Optimize production Exploit workers Increase bias and discrimination Allow us all to be more creative Affect billions of people’s privacy Make mistakes Be the best or worst thing for humanity Those wildly disparate beliefs come from sources as varied as Stephen Hawking, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Kathy Pham, Elon Musk and Alan Turing. We won’t use this space

In marketing, you rarely heard the phrase “on the job training.” This was because experienced marketing professionals were supposed to know everything necessary to perform at a high level. No questions asked. Theoretically, a full career’s worth of knowledge was gained in college, internships, graduate school, or during the first few formative years on the job. In fact, the only time on the job training was openly discussed in marketing was when a new technology platform rolled out. Most other professions already embraced ongoing education in the workplace because they accepted that change was constant. Everyone from accountants to zoologists were trained to adapt as new thinking or programs came along. Then, marketing

By Randy Mitchell Here's a New Year's resolution for every marketer out there: Change the world in 2023. Believe it or not, it's entirely possible. And your ideas have the power to make it happen. You simply need to share them on the right stage. That’s a promising sentiment, but where is the right stage? What account, media channel or agency has the reach and resources to unleash your breakthrough ideas on humanity? It would be natural to assume that your best shot would be to work on mega brands, like Coca-Cola, Nike or McDonald’s. They have massive budgets, devoted consumers and household brand recognition across the globe. Your ideas could really shake things up on

By Randy Mitchell There are some moments when the world of B2B does not make sense. Thankfully, these meltdowns are few and far between. I had one of them last week and I’m still reeling.   My moment of madness happened because I read the following statistics from Hubspot: 73 percent of B2B firms have increased their marketing spending in 2022 63 percent of B2B firms do not follow a formal marketing RFP process   The first stat made perfect sense. The second one is stupefying.   Let’s say you work at a B2B firm that’s planning a major marketing initiative like a social media program launch, website redesign, video production or full-on rebranding. What’s the first logical step

By Randy Mitchell If you were a student in my marketing class back in 2009, I am deeply sorry. Like a fool I stood in front of you and babbled on about strategy, concepting, workflows, tactics and the emerging role of social. And somewhere in that caffeinated wall of words, I devoted 30 seconds to the creative brief. Wait, what?  It may provide little consolation now, but please know that I have learned my lesson. Over and over again. The creative brief is a topic that everyone wants to discuss in depth. In fact, it has become a focal point in every class I teach, from MBA level marketing down to creative basics. We debate the creative

by Randy Mitchell, Creative Director This summer I witnessed true genius take shape. For a few memorable weeks, the world’s greatest rebranding expert set up shop under my own roof. It was a wild, exhilarating and constantly surprising experience. In fact, I’m still trying to find the right words to capture it all, so please bear with me.  Legend in our garden This unexpected story started back in early August. It was a warm, tranquil summer evening and my wife and I were catching up on our yard work. I was watering a parched garden bed when I had the unsettling sensation that someone was silently observing me. I cautiously looked up, and there