Maribeth Ross is the Chief Content Officer and Managing Director at Aberdeen Group. She is a veteran B2B marketer fascinated with cracking the code of what makes customers engage, buy from, and champion a brand. As Chief Content Officer of Aberdeen Group, Maribeth oversees all business strategy for the content business, leveraging a team of deep subject matter experts and creative content marketers to create and deliver compelling content marketing solutions. Maribeth was a content marketing maverick long before content marketing was mainstream.
Here’s what she sees coming in 2016.
What role do you see Influencer Marketing playing in brand marketing strategies in 2016?
Influencer marketing has to become more of the marketing mix in the future. With so much focus on buyer personas in recent years, hopefully companies have finally identified who plays what role in the purchase of their products. The challenge, of course, is figuring out how to identify who all these people are, tag them appropriately in systems, and leverage technology to ensure their experience with a brand is customized to their role. I think it is the data part of this that scares folks the most – amassing the right data and knowing what to do with it is hard, but worth the work. Good content marketing is more about data than ever!
What is the most widespread mistake you’ve seen brand marketers make in 2015 that you hope they learn from in 2016?
The mistake I see the most has been around much longer than 2015. My wish for 2016 is that we marketers would take a stand and just flat REFUSE to publish inwardly-focused stuff. If every piece of content could be written in “you messaging” and be focused on the buyer in terms of their wants, need, and what they need to know, this world would be a better place! We need a support group and 12-step process for CEOs that think every piece of content should talk about product features. Who’s with me?
What word do you hope is officially banned from marketing vernacular in 2016?
Oh gosh, there are so many buzzwords that should be banned, it is almost too hard to pick. I have several pet peeve words around products: “scalable” is one of the worst. Like, if your product is not scalable, then what is it and why would anybody want it? Is there a market for stuff that can’t grow with your business?
A marketing buzzword that I’d like to kill is “resonates;” as in “content that resonates”. What is the point of creating content that doesn’t resonate? And, by the way, why is it that we have to make it seem like we are specifically trying to create some flavor of marketing content that has this high resonating factor? How about just creating stuff that is useful to people?
What marketing events are you looking forward to this year?
I’ve always been a big fan of MarketingProfs B2B Forum. Ann Handley and the profs team put on such a great event – educational, yet super fun, and a true feel-good gathering that is a celebration of marketers. Everyone leaves recharged. If you’ve not been, it is worth the trip! Besides, it is in Boston across the street from my office, no less! Talk about convenient! If you’re in town, look me up!