Oktopost, as a company, is extremely focused on marketing. More specifically, as a B2B company, we make it a point to leverage digital channels to our advantage. We realize that many other B2B marketers have been reluctant to embrace these channels, particularly when it comes to social media.
Our marketing strategy did not appear from thin air – we looked to the marketers who came before us for advice and inspiration. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery; in this case it’s not imitation, but more looking to the marketers we respect, taking aspects of what they are doing, and incorporating these ideas in our unique way. The result is a strategy that – while based on various aspects of other’s work, is our own.
Who are the people we look to when shaping the way we do our B2B marketing? They are our B2B Marketing Heroes.
What is a hero? Well, according to Dictionary.com, it’s:
A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.
While this generally refers to someone who saves the day, or rescues a kitten from a tree, it is equally as applicable to other feats – such as those achieved by people who have deeply impacted the way we view and practice marketing.
In honor of Oktober, the month when we celebrate all of the benefits social media has brought to B2B marketing, we encourage you to nominate your B2B Marketing Heroes. These people are the ones who inspire you on a daily basis, have most influenced the way you leverage social media for B2B marketing, and give you a boost of inspiration when you need it most.
So what makes a B2B marketer a hero?
1. First Mover
Who could have predicted B2B marketing evolving into what it is today? We certainly couldn’t. But, there are B2B marketers out there who anticipated the shift to digital and embraced social media as a marketing tool long before anyone else did. These are the people who blazed the trail for the rest of us, and we all should all be grateful to them.
By any definition, it is certainly heroic to take huge risks, and wade into waters yet uncharted. There were a select few marketers that did just that in terms of testing out social media’s benefits for B2B. In reality, these heroes could have failed miserably, causing untold negative effects to their marketing strategy. But, luckily for us, not only did they avoid failing, they also paved the way for the rest of us.
2. Highly Active
There are plenty of marketers who have been influential in the overall discipline, but aren’t really active in the social realm. In order to be a real B2B Marketing Hero in this day and age, a marketer needs to be highly involved in social media. He or she needs to constantly be communicating with the greater community, conveying valuable thoughts, and sharing best practices.
Philosophers in the 18th and 19th centuries suggested that inspiration was divinely received. In the case of B2B Marketing Heroes, it would probably be a stretch to describe inspiration in the same way. An inspirational figure in B2B marketing should be someone who has stirred a feeling that motivates you to continue learning and growing in your own marketing activities. It should be someone without whom you couldn’t have made it this far professionally. A B2B Marketing Hero inspires you to turn on your computer every day and start writing that white paper, blog, or social post.
There are people born with the inherent ability to lead, and others who just aren’t. Leadership, in its truest sense, is not something you can learn. It exists a priori – at least in some people.
It is these natural-born leaders who are the true heroes. They lead the charge from the front, take the big risks, and show the rest of us the way. The term “thought-leader” follows this same rubric. A leader in B2B marketing is someone who has taken risks, so the rest of us don’t have to. We all can learn from their successes and failures.
Sometimes “influencer” and “thought-leader” are used interchangeably. Though similar, they are not exactly the same thing. A thought-leader is someone who people listen to – which is also a highly important characteristic of a B2B Marketing Hero. However, an influencer is someone who personally has the power to be a changing force in the marketing discipline as a whole. These are people who, by their mere actions or words, have molded the practice of marketing.
Giving someone the title of B2B Marketing Hero is no small honor to bestow – it must be earned. Go through the list above and see if you can find a marketer who meets these requirements. If you do, let us know about it, so we can share your nomination!
Feel free to nominate your B2B Marketing Heroes on Twitter, using the hashtag #B2BOktober. Don’t forget to follow @Oktopost on Twitter to see our B2B Marketing Heroes throughout Oktober, the month to celebrate the amazing effects social media has had on B2B marketing.
Main Photo Credit: Angelina