TMI 3 in 10 Video Series
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Issue #26
January 19, 2022

My take on the intersection of marketing + life

Hi , 👋

I always wanted to be a war-time reporter.

So, I did everything I could to make it happen. I was the editor of my high school and college newspapers and majored in Political Science — all so I could write about crises abroad.

And then, as I graduated college, I realized going to Afghanistan for the next 20 years wasn’t the best idea I’d ever had.

Instead, I got a job as a trade magazine editor. While editing a contributor’s work one day, I wondered why I wasn’t a contributor, too?

In 2004, well before anyone could have predicted today’s content marketing boom, I gave notice at the publishing company and walked out the door with a single client – a business owner on the magazine's editorial board. A decade later, I was hired as a ghostwriter for a large commercial insurance brokerage.

I fell in love with the risk and insurance world because it continually brings me back to my days pining to be a war time reporter. From emergency vaccine mandates shot down by SCOTUS to catastrophic weather disasters and cyber threats lurking around every corner, I sometimes feel like a war-time correspondent right here in my home office in 2022. Every story comes full circle. 🌎  

Telling your brand story is the subject of this month’s TMI 3 in 10.

Courtney Malengo, founder of Spark + Buzz Communications, talks about aligning your brand story across internal and external communications channels.

For my full 10-minute interview with Courtney, take a listen here.

Just seeking her 3 tips on branding? Read the Cliff Notes below.👇

Here are Courtney’s 3 trends for B2B branding in 2022:

1. Your story = your strategy.
Keep your story central to your marketing efforts, from PR to advertising and branding. Every business, no matter what you do, must figure out how to communicate your mission, vision and what you’re hoping to achieve both internally and externally. For me, that always goes back to “What is your story?” Identify what makes you unique and sets you apart in the marketplace.

TIP: Make sure your employees know your story too. It’s not just about the customer experience. In 2022, it’s about the employee experience, too. Don’t let your internal team learn things about your company from external partners. Whether it’s a new logo or marketing campaign, get internal buy-in first. If not, you’re missing out on an opportunity for employees to be your best brand ambassadors.

2. Make your story an experience.
When I talk about branding, I’m really talking about an experience, one that your organization created not only for your customer, but for your employees – really anyone that has any interaction with your organization. Your logo and color palettes and your website are not the essence of who you are organizationally. Tell your story well.

3. Weave your narrative together from across your organization.
Take from every department internally — sales, marketing, customer service, operations. They all need your story. Look at the narrative you’re telling and make it nuanced for the different audiences it serves. Without a cohesive narrative that everyone shares and repeats, confusion ensues.

TIP: Train employees on your story and how to share it so they’re not coming up with their own narrative or filling in blanks. When everyone is singing the same song, a chorus can be heard in unison.

Thank you, Courtney, for your branding

Are you a marketing ⭐️? If so, I’d love to feature you in a future TMI 3 in 10 episode. Reply to this email and tell me about your specialty marketing focus and what you’d like to talk about.

All the best,
Stuff worth reading

Forbes:  Three foundational components for B2B marketing in 2022.

CMS Wire: What is inbound marketing and how does it support marketing strategy?

Forrester: Employer branding: The new marketing frontier.

Marketing Week: Bringing brand characters to B2B marketing.

New to the Zissman Media Portfolio
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