Ruth Stevens

Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter who has written copy for more than 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Praxair, Intuit, Forbes, and Ingersoll-Rand. McGraw-Hill calls Bob “America’s top copywriter” and he is the author of 90 books, including “The Copywriter's Handbook.” Find him online at www.bly.com or call (973) 263-0562.

Ruth Steven's recent article "How Well Do You Know Your Customer Data" got me thinking about the important role data has played in my writing career. I totally agree with Ruth's advice, "It's a real disadvantage, professionally and personally, to shun data." Advice from Pat-your-fellow-writer: Don't let a spread sheet scare you.

Of all tactics in the B-to-B marketing toolkit, the most valued, the most used and the most effective is face-to-face events. It’s not digital, except tangentially. But, year after year, events like conferences and trade shows consistently show up at the top of the list. Why, and what does that mean for us marketers?

Speaking at a BMA conference in New York recently, I posed a question to the audience: “Are any of you happy with your marketing data?” To my surprise, two hands shot up.

Most B-to-B lead generation campaigns involve multiple touches via multiple media channels. But how do you decide which media are optimal, and more to the point, how they work together to generate a qualified lead?

Content is king, to be sure. But how did we end up on this crazy treadwheel, cranking out B-to-B content for content’s sake? Daily blog posts. Three tweets a day. Monthly whitepapers. Infinite infographics. We’re sacrificing quality for quantity. We’re becoming irrelevant. We’re knee deep in Content Spam. This has got to stop.

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