Holograms, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Reality: The Future of Marketing?

Brooke Beach, Founder and CEO at MarketWake (Atlanta, GA), a results-driven, strategy-focused digital marketing agency, partners with medium to large companies looking to grow, scale, or introduce new products or penetrate new markets. In this interview, she explains how her company “partners” with its clients to take them to “the next level,” how she expects AI, A, and holographic technologies will play out in the marketing world, and how Google’s OKR system keeps her company on track.


MarketWake consults with client companies, determines business goals, executes in-depth company and market research, develops plans, identifies marketing channels, and either implement the plans or works with in-house marketing teams to track timeliness, deliverables, and targeted goals. Unique about the company is the close alliances it forms with its client companies, often functioning as an “outsourced CMO,” and its technological orientation: Six months after starting MarketWake, Brooke left her company in the hands of a business partner and served as CEO of a tech company for 15 months during its pivot . . . just for the experience.


Brooke also addressees what to do when a channel taps out. She believes that the well never runs completely dry?you might have to drill deeper, you might have to find new opportunities?but,

even when going into new markets, your current customers are often your best customers. Always market to your base by asking the questions: What they are happy with? What are they not happy with? and Where are the opportunities for upsell?


Brooke can be reached via email at: brooke.beach@marketwake.com.

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How Telling Memorable Stories Wins Hearts (and Gets the Business)

Cheryl McCants, Founder and CEO of Impact Consulting Enterprises (East Orange, NJ), took her journalism background and founded Impact, a communications/marketing/digital company. In today’s interview, she explains how “story” works as the foundation for an effective marketing campaign, why it is important to be mindful of industry trends and be ready to leverage experience to diversify into new customer populations, and the critical difference between a news release and a press release.


Cheryl provides a clear path for creating and communicating a client’s story:

  • Consult with client to identify the ideal customer and clarify the story that needs to be told to this target audience,
  • Develop an integrated cross-channel promotional strategy,
  • Research the market, the business environment, the client company, competitors, and customers,
  • Build a memorable story that resonates with the ideal customer at a psychological and  emotional level, and
  • Implement the campaign, keeping in mind the communication preferences of the ideal customer and potential cross-channel synergies


Impact Consulting Enterprises is a sponsor of New York and New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council’s Business Opportunity Exchange (June 12-13, 2018).


Cheryl can be reached by phone at 973.337.2028, through the company website at www.eimpactconsulting.com, on Twitter: @icebranding, on Facebook at Impact Consulting Enterprises., and on LinkedIn (Cheryl McCants), where, writing under a pseudonym, your Marketing Mama, she provides marketing tips. http://www.eimpactconsulting.com/success-blog/

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Scaling Your Resources for Dynamic Marketing Agency Growth

Mark Luckenbaugh, Cofounder of Local Client Takeover and Web 20 Ranker (South Central Pennsylvania), discusses the ever-changing challenges today’s digital marketing agencies face and his risk-minimizing scaling strategy.


Mark’s Web 20 Ranker provides “white label” products and services to help digital marketing agencies minimize manual work bottlenecks. White label services and products are supplied by a third party company and “resold” by the client company to its customers as part of its “branded” offerings. White label products and services allow a client company to offer more services to more customers than the client company’s own staff can support?smoothing the transition until economies of scale can justify taking those services in house.


Web 20 Ranker identifies internal operating challenges, develops and implements solutions, and then tests and evaluates these solutions as potential offerings for its clients. For instance, in response to Google’s increasingly stringent quality guidelines, Web 20 Ranker developed a hybridized SEO/PPC package to expedite lead generation.


Local Client Takeover (localclienttakeover.com), an education-focused site, provides over 50 free digital marketing agency growth and fulfillment strategy training modules, and higher level courses on how to build a consistent stream of local clients.

Mark can be reached on the Local Client Takeover website (localclienttakeover.com) and Web 20 Ranker website (web20ranker.com). On the latter website, make sure to check out his information-rich blogs.

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Out of the Big Black Box: The Happy Fun of Making Something New

Will Schenk, Cofounder of the product engineering firm, HappyFunCorp, based in Brooklyn, New York, talks about his company’s role in facilitating new product development. Do you have a great idea for an app and there’s nothing like it on the market? Have you been “spinning your wheels” trying to get some heavy-duty functionality built into a client’s website? Do you need some back-end client-management tools to eliminate agency workload bottlenecks?


Or, is your client struggling with a product development/manufacturing snafu? Release date delays can cause “hurry up and wait” headaches for marketing. Your client may miss the optimal marketing season for his product (Santa Mouse toys will not have much market in January). After years of work, your client could lose the first mover advantage. As a marketer, you know your success is closely aligned with that of your clients. What do you do when your client’s success is beyond your control?


You think like a marketer . . . out of the box.


HappyFunCorp’s team of engineers helps early stage startups, people with a specific ideas, or larger companies trying to build the first version of a product by:

  • Clarifying the vision,
  • Identifying objectives,
  • Defining scope,
  • Optimizing user experience design,
  • Streamlining the development process to cut costs,
  • Leading the iterative process of product design and development by:
    • Utilizing demo-driven engineering to distill product concept essentials
    • Discovering, defining, and redefining the solution that best meets the client’s needs/budget
    • Pruning non-productive branches early on in the process to eliminate wasted time/effort/$$
    • Adjusting the development path as the product and the client’s needs are better fleshed out.
  • Branding and deployment

Will notes that the best solution is often not a given “thing” on a particular platform. Engineering development/client teams may conclude that the function of a “thing” better meets the desired objectives on a completely different platform than first envisioned.


Will can be reached by email at: will@happyfuncorp.com, through a contact form on the website at: https://happyfuncorp.com/, and on Twitter.

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Laser-Targeting Your Customer with Customized, Personal Marketing Communications

Roxana Shershin, President and Cofounder of Digital Additive, an email marketing services agency, highlights the ability of email marketing communications to marry data, technology, and creative for truly personal marketing communications. Although email is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, it is constantly evolving. Today, the content of an email may be altered, depending on when it is opened. (The sale that was advertised the day the email was sent may be over two days later when the customer opens the email . . . but the customer will now see the sale which is in effect on the day the email is opened due to a technology called Movable Ink.) Today’s email can also be interactive, including the opportunity for customers to review products from within the body of the email. Roxana also discusses the opportunities which GDPR, General Data Protection Regulation, will afford marketers.

Roxana can be reached by email at: roxana.shershin@digitaladditive.com, on her company’s website at: digitaladditive.com, or on LinkedIn

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The Role of Content: Is Building Awareness & Driving Conversion Enough?

Lee Odden, Founder and CEO of TopRank Marketing, a B2B digital marketing agency, talks about how a customer-empathy-focused approach, building authenticity, and maintaining credibility can do more than convert prospects to sales. He suggests content can also be used to create anticipation, increase customer retention, and inspire advocacy – things that are far more important for long term company survival. In its efforts to improve its own marketing, TopRank developed tools which led to new lines of service when customers said, “We want that thing that you’re doing for yourself for our tech company.”

TopRank develops B2B influencer marketing services and integrated content marketing solutions for other marketers as well as tech, healthcare, and other professional services industries, and has an impressive client list that includes: LinkedIn, 3M, SAP, Dell, and McKessen

Lee, an active speaker in the industry, will be in Montreal June 13th for a content marketing conference; in Mumbai on June 28 for the Indian Digital Marketing Awards and Conference, and in Minneapolis on July 25 for another conference.

See Lee at this year’s September 4-7, 2018, Content Marketing World Conference and Expo https://www.contentmarketingworld.com/ in Cleveland, OH:

1.     On September 4, 2018, Lee will lead “Rocket Science Simplified: How to Optimize, Socialize, and Publicize B2B Content,” a workshop on how companies can more effectively promote and repurpose their content to increase ROI:

2.     On September 5, 2018: Lee will present “The Confluence Equation: How Content and Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success,” a seminar on enterprise B2B influencer marketing.

Author of Optimize, Lee has published TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog for 10 years, the only blog that has been ranked as the #1 content marketing blog three times by Content Marketing Institute.

Lee can be reached on his agency’s website at: toprankmarketing.com, through the agency blog at: toprankblog.com, on “the Twitter” @leeodden or on LinkedIn.

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Being Comfortable with the Uncomfortable and Persevering beyond Fear to Market Building Products

Zach Williams, Founder and CEO of Venveo, an agency providing building product marketing, addresses this niche market’s unique challenges (including “invisible products”) and diverse target audiences (big box stores, retailers, builders, contractors, and homeowners). In this interview, Zach:

  • Presents questions to ask when considering niche specialization: “Who do we do the best work for?” and “How to get into that market?”
  • Acknowledges the accompanying fear that “putting a stake in the ground” will mean turning away clients outside the targeted niche
  • Speaks to the importance of perseverance and education in building solid industry understanding, and
  • Admits that desperation can be useful in driving innovation and creativity.

His recommendation: Find something you love and, when you identify that niche, specialize sooner.

His warning: If you’re aiming for nothing, that’s exactly what you’re going to get.

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Sharpening the Saw for B2B Consumer Experience

Michael Barber worked for a number of agencies before he founded barber&hewitt in 2015. He intended for his new company to provide marketing strategy and planning for midmarket B2B brands, but ended up spending 50% of his time consulting with agencies dealing with growth and development issues. In February 2018, inspired by the opportunity to work with a larger team and by his client company’s culture, Michael joined Godfrey, based in Lancaster, PA, as SVP and Chief Creative Officer. For 70 years, Godfrey has been providing marketing services to midmarket tech-heavy industrial manufacturers?unknown brand names that produce automation, control, materials handling, logistics, construction, and medical equipment; building materials & systems; chemicals, OEM components; lubricants; and metal work.

Michael does not differentiate between B2B and B2C as “audiences”?both come down to people. With that in mind, he sees an increasing need to focus on creating a favorable B2B experience (paralleling that supporting good consumer experience in the B2C marketplace), and a need for marketing firms to be exposed to the non-marketing teams in client businesses in order to enhance the experience of the B2B clients’ customers. He predicts that long term survival will depend more on experience than on awareness or acquisition.


Michael is @michaeljbarber almost everywhere online, from Facebook to LinkedIn or Twitter. To learn more about Godfrey, visit: https://www.godfrey.com/.

Check out the episode here!

The Complex Sale: Leveraging B2B Account-based Marketing

What are the right tools, the right strategies and tactics, and the right content for a successful marketing and sales pipeline? These questions led Scott Armstrong, Partner, to start his agency, Brainrider, in 2010. Brainrider is based in Toronto and San Francisco. In this interview, Scott discusses his agency’s demand generation, prospect and customer nurturing, and lead management strategies for companies involved in “the complex sale,” and highlights the advantages of permission-based marketing.

Most companies he works with already have toolsets in place. Brainrider’s role is to provide effective strategic methodology, planning, execution, and results measurement, developing a hyper-segmented B2B pipeline that empowers his client companies to optimize the results of their marketing efforts. The base stack for today’s B2B marketer includes: a robust sales CRM, marketing automation (with pipeline awareness and engagement tracking), and a marketing-updatable website. Tool selection should be aligned with use objectives with the “Why?”

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From 0 to 80 people in 3 years: Selling IT Niche Lead Generation Services

Terry Hedden, CEO of Marketopia, a Tampa Bay, FL-based company that offers end to end sales and marketing solutions for IT companies, has grown his company to 80 employees in a little more than 3 years. Marketopia develops comprehensive B2B website-to-appointment-setting solutions to help IT service providers stand out in the crowded, often hard to differentiate channel. Terry attributes his company’s rapid growth to delivering “whole package solutions,” efficiency, economies of scale, automation, great systems, and a fantastic team.

Terry gets on stage about 65 times a year to teach and motivate people to do things to help themselves and their companies grow. Marketopia also offers free, no obligation sessions with a growth consultant to help entrepreneurs define business goals, develop necessary strategies, and understand resource options.

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