For the past three years, MarketingProfs has honored exceptional B2B marketers with the Bright Bulb Awards, given out at the B2B Marketing Forum in Boston. The awards recognize brilliance, excellence, and innovation in B2B marketing.

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This year, I managed to get several of our Bright Bulb Award winners to spend a few minute talking with me about their innovative campaigns for Marketing Smarts.

This special video edition of the Marketing Smarts podcast features B2B Marketer of the Year Gretchen Newby of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, Cindy Valladares of Tripwire (Best Large In-House B2B Campaign of the Year) and Michael Passanante of BESLER Consulting (Best Small Team In-House Campaign).

You can check out the video below, or download the audio version.

Here are some highlights from my conversation with three of our 2015 Bright Bulb Awards winners:

Educate your audience when new challenges arise (01:08) [Passanante]: "We had a product to launch into the hospital space called re-admissions analytics, and the product essentially helps hospitals diagnose and reduce some of the penalties that they pay to Medicare as the result of re-admissions to their hospitals. This is kind of a new problem for them. We had a few challenges to tackle. One was we had to educate them about the problem a little bit...kind of demystify some things, and also help them understand what was available to deal with that problem.

"By doing that, we were going to be setting ourselves up as thought leaders in that space, because we hadn't traditionally been there. So we needed to really flex our muscle and show our expertise in that area, which the campaign gave us the ability to do."

Never underestimate the importance of writing to effective marketing (04:13) [Newby]: "I always wanted to be a writer, and I think you get to do so much of that. I always say it's good that [Ritz-Carlton] hired a creative writer, because you have to tweet and you have to do blog posts and you have to do video scripts, so it's fun to see how you can use writing in different ways."

You can build an entire campaign around a single piece of content (but it had better be really good content!) (05:50) [Valladares]: "A lot of people can't consume 15 pages of documents of text, so how do we [turn that] into a very consumable piece as a hook to get them interested in the topic? And then, from there on, we created a webcast. It really started with one piece of content that we figured out how do we promote it and create it for the channel and the audience and how the people were wanting to consume that piece of content."

Creating innovative, buzz-worthy B2B marketing campaigns that still meet business goals requires the right mix of daredevils and cautious marketers (06:28) [Valladares]: "Part of [experimentation] is trust. [Tripwire] does have a culture of experimentation, and accountability as well, but if you don't fail, you can't learn from your mistakes. We do have the benefit of creating that culture.... There are certain people in the organization that are more risk-averse and some that are more apt to try [new things], and we all balance each other out."

Learn more about the B2B Marketing Forum and the Bright Bulb Awards at Here are some ways to learn more about Michael, Gretchen, and Cindy, the Bright Bulb Award Winners featured in this episode:

If you prefer audio to video, you can listen to the entire show above or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

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