The B2B community is home to some of the most talented individuals in marketing. We spotlighted 17 B2B marketing professionals who are consistently breaking new ground in content marketing, lead nurturing, ABM and other emerging areas. Here’s a sneak peek of the list, and check out the full list over on the B2BMX blog.
We recommend you follow and connect with these industry thought leaders, and see what you can share and learn.
Jeff Marcoux, CMO Lead, Worldwide Enterprise Marketing, Microsoft
Jeff is an award-winning marketer, marketing growth hacker, MarTech expert and marketing professor at the University of California, Irvine Extension. He is a frequent industry event speaker, and even took the stage at this year’s B2B Marketing Exchange. Jeff’s specialties include demand generation, content marketing, social media marketing and advanced web analytics.
Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffmarcoux
Jennifer Pockell Dimas, VP of Integrated Marketing & Business Operations, Plex Systems
Jennifer is an expert marketer with 20 years of experience in the technology industry. She has a successful track record in account-based marketing, demand creation, marketing automation, sales and marketing alignment, customer relationship management and reporting and analytics. Jennifer manages the integrated marketing team and the market development team at Plex, and has previously held leading positions at Demandbase and Polycom.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jenpwkboxer
Nick Ezzo, Vice President of Demand Generation, Host Analytics
Nick is marketing strategist with 15+ years of experience leading enterprise and product marketing and both large and small organizations. He leads the team at Host Analytics by focusing on building and accelerating market leadership, launching products and driving demand.
Follow Nick on Twitter: @NickAEzzo
Christine Elliott, Content Strategy & Operations Executive, Crowe Horwath
Christine is an award-winning marketing executive with 20 years of experience, including five years of content strategy focus and 13+ years of digital marketing expertise. She leads a team of 14 professionals to drive content strategy across seven industries at Crowe Horwath.
Follow Christine on Twitter: @lm_Christine44
Jeff Reekers, VP of Demand Generation, Handshake
As a long-time marketing leader, Jeff works closely with his team at Handshake to build marketing systems that deliver revenue and scale a predictable demand gen/pipeline machine at Handshake.
Follow Jeff on Twitter: @JeffReekers
There's more where that came from. See the complete list of top B2B marketers to follow here.
The role of marketing is changing, moving beyond acquisition and deeper into the funnel to support sales, according to C-level marketers and experts at the B2B Marketing Exchange (B2BMX) in Arizona in February. As part of that, B2B marketing executives are shifting more focus on the overall customer experience (CX) and customer life cycle.
Marketers know CX is very important, but they have yet to master it, Jeff Marcoux, CMO Lead for Worldwide Enterprise Marketing at Microsoft, shared during his keynote address. He suggested building marketing strategies around buyers’ or customers’ challenges on a human level and identifying what motivates them.
B2B marketers are challenged with delivering an exceptional customer experience (CX). They all know and say that CX is very important, but they have yet to master it, according to Jeff Marcoux, CMO Lead for Worldwide Enterprise Marketing at Microsoft, during his keynote at the B2B Marketing Exchange in Arizona.
Marketing automation software provider Act-On Software has launched a new product bundle to complement Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Power BI and Microsoft Outlook. The company said the bundle will help front-office departments deliver more intelligent customer engagement at scale.
Adobe Systems and Microsoft have entered a partnership to deliver Adobe’s cloud services — including Marketing Cloud, Creative Cloud and Document Cloud — on Microsoft’s global cloud and data platform, Azure.
Microsoft has also made Adobe a “preferred marketing service” for its Dynamics 365 Enterprise CRM platform, and Adobe will also now have access to the artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics capabilities of Microsoft’s Cortana Intelligence Suite and SQL Server.
Salesforce has reached an agreement to acquire Quip, a word processing, spreadsheet and collaboration platform, for approximately $582 million, not including Salesforce Ventures’ existing investment in Quip, according to recent SEC filings. The acquisition is a step toward the productivity suite business for Salesforce and a clear competitive move against Microsoft as the two companies vie for leadership in the cloud-based tech market.
With Microsoft spending a whopping $26.2 billion to purchase LinkedIn, the company is positioning itself with the likes of Salesforce to offer businesses a connected community and technology stack. However, thought leaders in the space are hesitant to call the purchase a win or a loss — It ultimately depends on how Microsoft intends to incorporate LinkedIn into its current offerings.
We asked five industry experts how Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn will positively and/or negatively impact B2B marketers in the coming future. Read on to see how experts in the space are evaluating one of the biggest martech acquisitions in history.
The potential impact, positive or negative, really depends on the direction that Microsoft takes with LinkedIn and its execution of that vision. Since Microsoft has very little experience building thriving online communities outside of its investment in Facebook and the Xbox Live community, which are consumer communities, my concern is that LinkedIn is going to transform from a professional networking site to something more like Facebook. Some might say it’s already starting to look and act like Facebook. If it becomes a B2B social community fueled by ads and random acts of content, the educational value of the content and the quality of the connections you make on LinkedIn will continue to suffer and ultimately drive members away. If, on the other hand, LinkedIn stays true to its original purpose of being a professional network and a place where keeping your contact information up to date is purposeful, then the value of that data and the network will be invaluable to B2B marketers and to businesses.
Just imagine the power of having every business and working professional on LinkedIn. Imagine the power to use LinkedIn for knowledge and research, staffing and staff development, as well as the ability to use it for the exchange of business resources and content. Accomplish that, and you’d have an invaluable database for B2B marketers. But go further, with the right interface and API’s, and you could create a whole new paradigm for CRM and communication. You could have an e-commerce exchange that would give Ariba some real competition. You could have a platform for exchanging contracts through it. You could manage shipments and inventory between suppliers through it. You could link business applications to it and through it. Done right, Microsoft could make LinkedIn the world’s network for business.
The potential upside for B2B marketers from the acquisition is significant. Integrating LinkedIn with Skype and other Microsoft-owned technologies could be a great enhancement to the platform that marketers will utilize. Of course, there is always the chance that this acquisition will cause LinkedIn to become too commercial for B2B, and instead of increasing the value of it as a media company and content resource, it will degrade it. Only time will tell, but I believe the positives outweigh the negatives for this acquisition.
In the short term, LinkedIn will apparently remain a separate company so the impact on marketers will be minimal. It’s reasonable to expect a slowdown in new offerings as the company adjusts to new ownership. But the overlap between LinkedIn and Microsoft’s other businesses is relatively low, so I don’t expect much disruption from consolidation, as acquisitions sometimes cause. Longer term, it’s possible there will be some clever ways that Microsoft can use LinkedIn data, although what those are is not yet clear. So maybe some good things will happen, and maybe not much at all will change. Either way, there’s not much downside for marketers.
The potential of a vertically-connected ecosystem in the digital channel is what makes Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn so powerful. Although Microsoft already has positions in all three stages of this channel, its primary strength was in client software (Windows, Xbox, Internet Explorer) and the company’s secondary strength was in marketing software (Dynamics CRM, Office, Cortana). Microsoft’s Internet services were a distant third, as Bing struggled against Google Search. They had no dominant exchange social media property.
Microsoft could probably use greater strength in the marketing software stage of the channel, as well — which is why the company was rumored to be interested in acquiring Salesforce last year and Marketo this year. I think something like that will happen eventually. (As an aside, I think Satya Nadella’s Microsoft might be a better cultural fit for HubSpot than when the firm was in the Ballmer years.)
For all these reasons, LinkedIn becomes a strategic crown jewel for Microsoft — and makes this the largest martech acquisition in history.
Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn is a great fit. Why? Because emails are at the heart of the online experience — 85 % of people online communicate through email. Microsoft owns the lion’s share of business communications via Outlook in the e-mail channel. Microsoft’s ability to dominate the business communications channel is clear. With the acquisition of LinkedIn, Microsoft now owns business communications in the social channel. Bravo Microsoft! LinkedIn also benefits heavily with the umbrella of Microsoft in the enterprise space. It’s a match made in heaven.