Monday, August 25, 2014

FIR B2B #14: Yes, You Can Be Funny Just Like Tim Washer

FIR B2BPaul again anchors the podcast solo this week. In this episode:

News & Trends

Google has taken it upon itself to move “unsubscribe” links to the top of emails, as if it’s encouraging marketers to clean out their email lists. At the risk of being a bit schoolmarmish, Google is actually enforcing some good marketing practices. No one should be proud of 20% open rates. Another Google innovation we like is phone numbers tied to AdWords. Marketers can now match phone numbers to click patterns to see which sequences prompt people to pick up the phone. This could be particularly useful to B2B marketers.

Could LinkedIn be a future competitor to It isn’t saying that at the moment, but some of its recent moves around content marketing and lead generation make LinkedIn look an awful lot like a CRM provider. Now we understand why it’s never licensed that user database.

Elisa Gabbert’s interview with Moz’s Erica McGillivray on how to manage online communities is worth a read for any B2B marketer who manages a LinkedIn group or other community. The principles that Moz practices - be responsive, reward contributors and don’t tolerate trolls - are appropriate for any situation in which many people gather online.

Special Guest: Tim Washer

Our special guest is Tim Washer, who may be the funniest person in B2B marketing. Washer’s breakthrough work was Mainframe: Art of the Sale, a hilarious serious of six videos he produced at IBM that spoofed the technology selling process and earned his employer praise for its willingness to laugh at itself. It also drove a 25-fold increase in traffic to the mainframe website.

Washer joined Cisco four years ago, where has continued his gift for absurdity with classics like The Perfect Gift for Valentine’s Day, from Cisco and Engineer Battles the World’s Most Rugged Router. He’s also appeared on popular comedy shows like Last Week Tonight, Conan, SNL and The Onion Sports Network. In this interview we discuss the mechanics of humor, the merits of lightening up and how B2B marketers can learn to be funny, even if they aren’t natural born comedians like Tim Washer.

You can find much of Tim’s best B2B work on his YouTube channel. You an also follow Tim on Twitter.

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About Your Hosts

Paul GillinPaul Gillin is a veteran technology journalist and a thought leader in new media. Since 2005, he has advised marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach buyers cost-effectively. He is the author or co-author of five books, including Social Marketing to the Business Customer (2011), the first book devoted entirely to B2B social media marketing. He is also a social media trainer and coach at Profitecture, a training firm for B2B companies and their channel partners.

Allan SchoenbergAllan Schoenberg is based Vice President, Corporate Public Relations and Communications at TIAA-CREF in New York. As part of the firm’s Enterprise Communications team within Marketing, this role helps the team drive firm-wide corporate communications, employee communications, reputation and crises management, social media, CEO positioning and public policy communications. He has more than 20 years of experience in B2B communications, including his work for Accenture, Edelman Worldwide, Fleishman Hillard and CME Group..

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Posted by Paul Gillin on 08/25 at 09:39 AM
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