Editor's note: For our First-Ever MarketingProfs Essay Contest, we asked, "How could the MarketingProfs B2B Forum make you a better marketer?" Here's the essay that captured our attention (and won the writer a free trip to the Forum).

Being a copywriter used to be so simple.

I once read about a Mad Men-era copywriter named Terry Lovelock. When Terry was working on the re-launch of the Heineken beer brand, despite having months (yes, months) to come up with concepts, he didn't have a single idea. So, what did Terry do?

Did he invite some creative colleagues to a balls-out-beer-branding brainstorming session?

Did he lock himself in a room with a sheaf of crisp, white paper, a dozen No. 2 pencils, and a flinty resolve to birth some sweet word babies?

Nope. Terry hopped a plane to Morocco on the agency dime, where he proceeded to drink beer and shop. Finally, two lines came to him in his sleep, one of which Heineken used well into the 21st century: Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach.

In case you are keeping track, that's eight words. Eight.

You're probably wondering why I chose to start an essay that is meant to articulate why I deserve to attend a B2B marketing conference with a B2C anecdote. Here's the thing: Whether I am marketing to an IT decision-maker choosing enterprise software or a hipster choosing an Instagram-worthy place to brunch, both audiences are undeniably human. And the meteoric rise of mobile, Internet, and social has changed the way humans make decisions.

Like all humans, B2B audiences are consuming content with the voracity of army ants. Except B2B audiences don't indiscriminately devour everything in their paths. They want substance. They want thought leadership. And they want content that helps them solve business problems. Then, and only then, will they maybe consider taking action.

It's enough to make a marketer want to hide in Morocco.

Alas, there is no time for international travel and eight words ain't gonna cut it anyway. As a B2B writer, I need to educate and entertain. I need to generate leads and inspire action. I need to know how to roll out a cold lead nurture drip campaign, even though frankly it sounds like a grim sinus condition.

In short, I need to make marketing magic. Every day. Which is why I need to soak up as much awesome as possible at the MarketingProfs's B2B Marketing Forum.

I need to learn how to use Instagram for B2B.

I need to understand how to architect drip campaigns that convert leads.


And, oh, how I need to learn how to write B2B stories that are "This American Life"-compelling.

Being a copywriter used to be so simple. That's OK because I am not only a copywriter; I am a new breed of B2B marketer, with the heart of a storyteller and a brain for business.

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The New B2B Marketer Has a Heart for Storytelling and a Brain for Business

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image of Janet Armstrong

Janet Armstrong is senior writer at Milestone Integrated Marketing, a full-service strategic and creative agency creating highly engaging brand stories across an integrated marketing mix.

LinkedIn: Janet Armstrong