Tell us about the idea behind starting a B2B thought leadership company?
As a whole, the B2B marketing sector has not evolved at the same pace as the media industry. The marketing solitons of yesterday, namely trade advertising, will not work today and we’ve built MediaVillage to address the new realities of marketing and brand reputation management.
It comes down to increasing positive perceptions and visibility in the marketplace. With so many choices in today’s world, no one wants to do business with a three-and-a-half or four-star entity if they can do it with a five-star entity. MediaVillage improves the perceptions of our clients’ organizations by strategically “influencing the influencers.” We’ve created an online community and trade marketing activation platform that informs them about their perceptions in the marketplace.
By producing exclusive content, we’re amplifying their positive perception against their general perceptions and distribute it to our audience of influencers. This is a first-of-its-kind model that allows for contextual communications to an exclusive audience of industry decision-makers via dedicated emails – all free from advertising or competitive clutter.
What are the tools and trends that are shaping the way B2B marketers communicate with their customers and partners?
With the exception of the advent of social, marketing is still largely based on older models. Legacy B2B marketing models have still not evolved to meet the challenges companies face in today’s ultra-noisy, ultra-competitive, “enemy-frenemy” world. In this era of content marketing, the next logical step in B2B marketing is perceptions management.
The tools and trends that are shaping B2B communications are embedded in what we bring to the marketplace. Which is a one-to-one contextual communication delivered directly to the stakeholders of our clients without the advertising or competitive clutter.
We looked at the value proposition of one to one contextual communication – general market communications, thought leadership and taking a stance in the industry. Based on the perception that the marketplace has around their company products and services in a variety of areas.
With an exploding B2B sales tech landscape, what are the major opportunities and challenges for CMOs to meet changing definitions of personalization and customer experience?
The most valuable asset is your perception and relationship. There will be perceptions of you, your company, product, services, and executives. How you manage perception depends on whether or not a company’s management is proactive, reactive.
We study your brand reputation and guide your strategic and tactical actions to positively impact your market influence. The opportunities lie in tackling that roadblock by creating and maintaining a positive perception and having a 60% greater market value.
What is the next frontier for digital media advertising technologies in a fraud-shaken and brand safety-centric ecosystem? Do you think advertisers can ever completely neutralize fraud and transparency issues?
The advances being made in Blockchain technology and initial coin offerings are already finding their way into advertising and media buying, and could represent a significant leap forward in addressing concerns over fraud and lack of transparency. The vast number of companies that insert themselves into the transactional process will also be reduced as marketers, agencies and publishers connect directly to manage the transactional process.
What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
We look at the market holistically – from startups to larger entities, we’re observing those that do B2B marketing differently.
For example, AdAge has had their magazine and website around for a long time and it has quality news and information. But today there are new ways of disseminating information, through email, social channels, aggregators, etc. But the startups we see are all really miniature AdAges disseminating information rather than valuable knowledge and insights. They are all dependent on ad revenues, which means pushing clicks and mass market traffic rather than imparting real knowledge to a pre-qualified recipient in a user-friendly context. We’ve re-invested the B2B business model without dependence on advertising or subscriptions.
This is why we have a completely different model that is not based on advertising, subscription or revenue from conferences.
What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
In B2B marketing, it’s not necessarily about using a more effective stack of technology or doing account-based marketing or audience-specific targeting. These days it’s the ability to capture and articulate thought leadership and then the ability to put that thought leadership directly in front of the audience that matters.
And it can’t be written blindly. Thought leadership content needs to be written from an informed standpoint. We know that the information being delivered is correctly in line to offset or amplify perceptions that the marketplace has about that client. Through proprietary marketplace intelligence, strategic counsel, research analysts and a team of professional journalists producing exclusive content, MediaVillage not only shapes the perceptions that influence key decision makers in the media buying, planning, and selling process but distributes contextual content directly via a robust distribution platform and social media.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Email is still the killer app on my mobile device.
What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari.
- The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google by Scott Galloway.
- Re-reading The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century by Jack Myers.
The Content Trap by Bharat Anand. It’s about the need to rethinking digital marketing strategy and how companies can foster relationships with customers through digital channels. It all comes down to the creation and distribution of content and how you build networks that consume content in today’s digital world. It’s a perfect analogy for what we are doing with our clients and a great read.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“When you’ve made up your mind, no use lagging behind. Let your youth have free reign – it won’t come again. So be bold and no repenting.”
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Thank you Jack! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Jack Myers, author of The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century, is a recognized cultural visionary, award-winning documentary film producer, advisor to hundreds of leading corporations on media and technology trends, and founder of MediaVillage.com, a community of advertising and media company sites and home to MediaBizBloggers, Stuart Elliott Report, Planet Ed, Wall St. Speaks Out, Lunch at Michael’s and more. Jack is also author of Hooked Up: A New Generation’s Surprising Take on Sex, Politics and Saving the World, winner of the International Book Award for Youth Issues. His prescient insights and counsel make him one of the foremost global experts on the impact of technological advances on culture, society, business, advertising, marketing and human connections. He has been honored with a George Foster Peabody Award and Academy and Emmy Award nominations for Best Documentary Feature. He has been presented a World Music Award and co-produced the GE Focus Forward Films documentary series with Morgan Spurlock’s cinelan group, in which he is a partner. Jack is founder of Women Advancing, an all-women’s dual-mentoring support group; he has been an advocate of empowering young people as mentors and founded 1stFive.org and Media Legends & Leaders.
MediaVillage is the media and advertising community’s leading site for search, original journalism, thought-leadership and native content serving the media, advertising, marketing and entertainment communities. The platform hosts an archive of more than 5,000 commentaries on a wide-range of relevant industry topics and serve as the publishing home of more than 60 industry leaders and popular journalists MediaVillage content and community channels include MediaBizBloggers, WomenAdvancing, 1stFive, Legends & Leaders, Planet Ed, Lunch at Michael’s, Wall St. Speaks Out on Media and Jack Myers’ TomorrowToday.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.