Michael Brenner

Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, and teaches marketing at companies and business schools around the world. She is past chair of the DMA Business-to-Business Council, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York. Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain's BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She is the author of Maximizing Lead Generation: The Complete Guide for B2B Marketers, and Trade Show and Event Marketing. Ruth serves as a director of Edmund Optics, Inc. She has held senior marketing positions at Time Warner, Ziff-Davis, and IBM and holds an MBA from Columbia University.

Ruth is a guest blogger at Biznology, the digital marketing blog. Email Ruth at ruth@ruthstevens.com, follow her on Twitter at @RuthPStevens, or visit her website, www.ruthstevens.com.

Top 10 lists are everywhere this year. I even ran across a top 10 list of top 10 lists—hilarious! My list is about the most interesting people that I came across in B2B marketing during 2017. I find them fascinating not only as interesting people, but also for making valuable contributions to our business and our world. So, meet this year’s fascinating B2B marketers.

I listened to Michael Brenner recently give a keynote talk on B2B marketing at the MeritDirect Coop client conference, and picked up scads of great insights, tips and strategic wisdom I’d like to share.

It’s a pretty compelling question: What is the future of content? What does the future hold in store for content marketing? With the growing adoption of brand publishing and convergence of paid, owned, earned and shared media, many companies are looking forward to what’s next. In retail, "multichannel" is now "omnichannel" and single-format storytelling has evolved into "transmedia" storytelling. Computers are becoming the fax machines of Internet-connected devices as smart phones, tablets and laptops become the norm. To answer the question about the future of content, it’s important to think about the relationship of information, technology and the human experience

Much like how fire still burned before people “discovered” it, the principals of content marketing and even interactive content have been effective well before they took on the names we know today. Fortunately, the proof is in the pudding, or, well, the practitioners making the pudding, so to speak. These influential companies and individuals have been practicing and preaching the key points of content marketing and interactive content for a long time, and their lessons and successes are valuable examples of what these principals can accomplish. Adam Helweh: Founder and CEO of Secret Sushi Creative

The world of content marketing is full of mystery and intrigue with companies leveraging every possible resource to achieve a competitive advantage. In the fast changing world of digital marketing, no resource is more valued than the coveted “content marketing secret agent.” These covert content operatives perform their customer segmentation, persona development and editorial planning in the dead of night while most marketers are asleep, snug in their beds. ... You can download the e-book pdf file directly here: Content Marketing Secrets eBook.

Have you noticed how marketers are focusing on attribution these days? "Which media channel is really driving the sale?" they ask. "What touch sequence is most productive?" "Where should we assign credit?" There is much confusion and gnashing of teeth on this subject. But I say in B-to-B these are the junior questions, and just building blocks to the bigger issues.

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