Author: Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist and CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. where she helps companies with complex sales use persona-driven digital strategies and content marketing to turn prospects into buyers and ensure that existing customers choose to stay. She’s the author of Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results and eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. She has been voted one of the 50 Most Influential People in Sales and Lead Management for the past four years and was selected a 2014 Woman to Watch in B2B Marketing by FierceCMO. Ardath is also an instructor for the Content Marketing Institute Online Training and Certification program. Follow her on Twitter @ardath421.

By ardath published September 8, 2015

IKEA Executes B2C Video Storytelling with Style


I don’t think [innovation] requires someone who is just digitally savvy; it involves someone who’s a game-changer. You have to have conviction. You can’t let fear be the thing that stops you from moving forward – Alia Kemet, Integrated Marketing Week, 2015

Video is one of IKEA’s core content marketing approaches, and Alia Kemet, U.S. media and web manager, is a pro. Alia has taught the company to show – not tell – customers how to improve their lives. When she first started with IKEA, she says the goal was to extend the message by telling a story bigger than a commercial allowed.Continue Reading

By ardath published September 1, 2015

Get Your Fans to Share Their Love: What Every Brand Can Learn From GoPro


We’re not just a camera anymore. We’re an enjoyment platform for people around the world to watch.

— Paul Crandell at Ad Age’s 2014 CMO Strategy Summit

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By ardath published August 25, 2015

Ingenious Storytelling Gets Great Response From Science Nerds


In an age of such tremendous transparency with Glassdoor, Facebook, and other networks, you’ve come to a point where you are telling your story 24 hours a day. There’s a big dialogue going on. So you can let it happen to you or you can participate in it.

  • Kathy Button Bell, chief marketing officer, Emerson

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By ardath published August 20, 2015

Scaling Content Marketing: How CSC Put the Content Hub to Work


One of the keys to thought leadership-based communications on a global scale is to make relevant points that are focused on specific audiences that happen to be operating in a global environment.

  • Patty Brown

While content marketing may seem like an easier endeavor for large brands because they have bigger budgets, they actually are more challenged with every aspect of content marketing. A key reason: It’s tough to scale efforts across an organization while keeping the content relevant and consistent across so many geographies, industries, and personas.Continue Reading

By ardath published August 11, 2015

How to Deliver Quantifiable Content Marketing Success With a Small Team


Our goal is not necessarily to keep users engaged within our website, but instead to try to move them from the web to email or phone because that’s where the sale is going to happen.

With only 21% of B2B marketers saying they are successful at tracking content marketing ROI, it’s inspiring to see success in an unexpected (even perceived as stodgy) environment: academic medical centers. We’re proud to share the story of Wake Forest Innovations, the commercialization arm for Wake Forest University and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. I was fortunate to speak with its Director of Marketing and Business Development, Vishal Khanna, who is a finalist for Content Marketer of the Year. (Editor’s Update: Vishal was named Content Marketer of the Year at Content Marketing World.)Continue Reading

By ardath published August 4, 2015

Marriott’s Influencer Marketing Program Breaks the Mold: A Look at Their Strategy


It’s no longer about brand-first. It’s about giving consumers content that adds value to their lives, and in return adds value to us.

Influencer marketing is a popular strategy for B2C content marketers, but none have approached it with a more solid foundation and open mind than Marriott. In the past, influencer marketing was focused on the appeal well-known celebrities could establish with their endorsements, but this has evolved.Continue Reading

By ardath published March 17, 2014

Why Marketers Need More Education to Push Content Publishing Forward

keyboard-training-developmentOne of the areas of content publishing that has become voluminous over the last few years is research studies. Whatever you want to know about what marketers are doing, you can find out. Not that research studies are always representative, but when hundreds, or even thousands, of marketers agree on a certain premise, it’s worth considering.

However, lately I’ve seen research studies that are concerning. When I look at the sentiments these studies reflect, and the questions they raise about our industry, I get a bit queasy thinking about whether our profession is as advanced as it should be. I get a sense of inertia — of doing the same things we’ve always done but expecting different results — that makes me wonder if we’re really making progress now that continuous change has become, well, a constant.Continue Reading

By ardath published January 2, 2014

B2B Buyer Personas: Don’t Keep Them In the Closet

[Editor’s note: Happy Holidays! This week, the editorial team at Content Marketing Institute wanted to share some of the best content marketing blog posts we’ve seen from the CMI Online Training and Certification program’s roster of expert instructors. Today’s post originally appeared on Ardath Albee’s Marketing Interactions blog on February 9, 2013.]


b2b keyMany of the projects I do for companies start with buyer personas. After all, it’s a logical place to start, as it’s next to impossible to develop a content strategy without a keen understanding of the people involved in buying complex B2B product offerings. But I’m noticing a trend I hadn’t foreseen:

Marketers are keeping buyer personas in the closet. Yep, it’s true.Continue Reading

By ardath published December 23, 2013

Why B2B Content Marketing Must Go Beyond Random Acts of Publishing

[Editor’s note: Happy Holidays! This week, the editorial team at Content Marketing Institute wanted to share some of the best content marketing blog posts we’ve seen from the experts who have developed classes for the CMI Online Training and Certification program. Today’s post originally appeared on Ardath Albee’s Marketing Interactions blog on October 14, 2013

random images-b2b publishingThink like a publisher! That’s been the rallying cry for B2B content marketing for the last few years. But, I’d like to submit that content marketing takes a whole lot more than publishing — especially for B2B companies with complex sales.

I’ve been getting a lot of calls lately from B2B marketers who are saying, “We bought into the idea of content marketing. We’ve created great content. It’s getting read. But it’s not moving the needle.”Continue Reading

By ardath published December 31, 2012

Can B2B Marketers Become Content Whisperers?

[Editor’s note: Happy Holidays! This week, the editorial team at Content Marketing Institute wanted to share some of the best content marketing blog posts we’ve seen from our CMI Consultants. Today’s post originally appeared on Ardath Albee’s blog, Marketing Interactions, on May 13, 2012.]

strategies for b2b marketersOne of the mandates bandied about lately is that B2B marketers need to become listeners. They should set up listening posts and they must listen first, before launching marketing programs. You’re told listening is a requisite for establishing two-way dialogue and sustaining relationships across the buying process. If you’ve “listened” to all of this, then you know that listening informs (or should) how marketers respond to prospects’ online behavior.

Anyone who is married or in a relationship can relate to “listening.” Trust me, I’ve been married to a wonderful Italian man for 16 years, and it’s not so much what’s being said, but what it means, that counts.

This is great and dandy for one-on-one relationships, or even among small groups of people, family and friends. But what happens when you’re a B2B marketer with thousands of contacts in your database? How the heck do you manage listening to that level of volume? In other words, the input of a few will not necessarily correlate to the wishes or intentions of the many. Continue Reading