Episode 530 of Marketing Smarts covers a lot of ground. Content development is a multifaceted topic, and the dialogue generated between content expert Ahava Leibtag and host George B. Thomas is a mosaic of valuable information.

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On why marketers need to be strategic with their content in 2023: "The basic premise is that any B2B buyer is going to want to touch your website, look at your social media channels, encounter you in multiple ways before they actually do the old-fashioned pick-up-the-phone experience."

On what content strategy really is: "I talk about a decision triangle, where data is one point, common sense is another point, and politics is another point. Sometimes in organizations, we have to create content to satisfy stakeholders because if we don’t, we’ll lose the good fight. Strategic content is writing a page on your website so it makes some stakeholder happy and then not optimizing it for search so that nobody ever sees it, or whatever. That might be a strategic move on your part, because keeping stakeholders happy is another part of the job that is important."

On the negative hype surrounding AI-generated content: "For the last month or so everyone is freaking out about AI, like we’re not going to have any jobs anymore. I’m like, don’t worry, there’s more jobs than we know what to do with... [it's] just so clear that it’s not high quality, that it’s not for your customers."

On a good starting point for strategic content: "You should fall in love with your customer. You should want to know everything possible you can know about them....You get on the phone with them, you talk to them, you shadow the sales team, you hear the questions that come in, you look at your search data."

On content hacks: "I really believe in just going for a walk. I think some of my best ideas have to come to me through walking. I think there’s a lot to be said for putting your head down and doing the work, and I think there’s a lot to be said for pulling your head out and resting. Usually, in rest or just diversion there comes the good ideas."

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Full Transcript: How Being Strategic About Content Development Can Boost Results

George B. Thomas: I am super excited because today we are talking about the topic of how being strategic about your content development can boost results and save time and money, both things that we probably are thinking about as B2B marketers.

I’m double excited because today we have Ahava Leibtag with us. Ahava is a 2020 inductee into the healthcare internet hall of fame as an innovative individual. She has 20+ years of experience in content. She has consulted with some of the world’s largest firms to attract and grow their audiences. Ahava is the president and owner of Aha Media Group, LLC, a copywriting, content strategy, and content marketing consultancy, so you know we have come to the right person for today’s topic for you to learn from.

She is also the author of The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web, and loves a great logic puzzle, a long game of Apples to Apples, and anything that has chocolate. Dare I say, we may be kindred spirits because I love me some chocolate as well. I also love value, and that’s what we’re going to bring to you in this episode. It really is good. We talk about the why, the what, the how, the hurdles, and what success looks like.

Let’s get into the good stuff with Ahava Leibtag. I’m excited today because we’re going to talk about how being strategic about your content development and how it can boost results and save time, and something that is precious to many of us, money. I am here with Ahava and I’m super excited. I think this is going to be a great interview.

Let’s start where I always like to start with these. Because you are in the thick of this with your life, what keeps you up at night on the topic of strategic content development?

Ahava Leibtag: Let me just take one step back. Thank you so much for having me. It’s really great to be here. I think that what keeps me up at night is misinformation and the fact that we are creating more content than ever with fewer mechanisms to fact check it, to make sure it’s accurate, that news media organizations are for profit now, so they will do anything that they can to get clicks, if it bleeds, it reads, so now everything is bleeding. That’s what keeps me up at night about content in general, specifically in the healthcare market where I spend the most time.

In terms of what keeps me up at night from a strategic content perspective, I don’t know if it keeps me up at night, but it keeps me crying at night in the sense that I’ve been in this field for 17 years and I feel like we haven’t solved basic problems: problems around approvals, problems around stakeholder engagement, problems around the importance of content and how it contributes to the bottom line and isn’t a cost center but rather a revenue generator. That there’s still all these misconceptions about what it is that we’re really doing, most people think it’s just copy. That to me has been a difficult thing to galvanize myself every time I come up against it because I feel like I’m knocking my head against the wall.

The good news is that if you’re listening to this podcast, you probably feel the same way, so you’re not lonely because there’s a lot of us out there. I do reach out to friends and colleagues and share the experience, because they can laugh and tell me a story that’s just as ludicrous. I think those are the things that concern me. All in all, I think it’s a great profession and a chance to do good in the world, so I’m pretty happy about the corner I’ve chosen to plant myself in.

George: There you go. It is hard to sleep when you’re crying, but you can cry yourself to sleep, so there’s kind of a happy mix in the journey that we just went down. I will tell you this, Marketing Smarts listeners, Ahava listed out multiple things that I hope you have your notepad and pen out. If you were to rewind and write down the things that were listed out, but in the mindset of how do I attack or eradicate those things in my organization, you will be doing yourself a great service as you move forward.

Here’s the thing. I fully realize that for many of us, we’ve being doing content development, content marketing, content strategy for years. I also realize that some of the listeners of the podcast, some people that will come across this article on the MarketingProfs website, it may be their day one. When we’re talking about content development, those words particularly, what the heck do we really mean?

Ahava: That’s a good question. Ann Handley talks about how content is everything the light touches. I think that when we think about any idea or communication that comes out of an organization, that’s content. If I’m talking to somebody about Aha Media Group, which is the company that I run, that’s content even though it’s not written down anywhere, even though it may not be recorded. If Ahava is speaking in a forest, does anybody know? I think that’s the thing that we have to remember.

When we talk about strategic content development, we’re always thinking about a basic user experience rule, which is how does content help the business and how does content support the user in accomplishing the user’s tasks. For a lot of us, we think about readers, viewers, consumers, listeners, whatever the verb appropriate to the noun attachment is for the way that people actually take in content and use it to make decisions or to be entertained, or that kind of thing.

I just think about it as any communication or idea that comes out of an organization.

George: So good. To piggyback on that, now that we know what it is that we’re talking about, why now more than ever, at the beginning of 2023 as we’re recording this, do B2B marketers need to be strategic with their content and the content they’re developing?

Ahava: I love the people on LinkedIn that talk about what they predicted for 2022 and what really happened. I appreciate that intellectual honesty. Nobody has a crystal ball. I forget who did the research, but I think there are 14 touchpoints of content before a B2B buyer actually contacts an organization in order to have a conversation about buying the service or product that’s offered.

I think particularly a lot of us work in competitive marketplaces where there’s an array of choices and levels that people can choose. You can buy HubSpot, or you can buy Salesforce, or you can buy a customized version of Salesforce. Somebody looking at CRMs and project management systems and digital marketing tools, sometimes it can just be overwhelming the amount of possibilities that are out there. I think the basic premise is that any B2B buyer is going to want to touch your website, look at your social media channels, encounter you in multiple ways before they actually do the old-fashioned pick up the phone experience.

When I say pick up the phone, I’m talking about a clear Sales-qualified lead where they have given you enough signals that they are ready to have a substantial conversation. I’m not talking about signing up for a newsletter, because they might be using you for educational purposes. That’s great and that’s a metric you should track and it’s a marketing channel that you should use when appropriate.

What I mean is that if you’re a B2B marketer, at the end of the day, your job is going to be secured by what the numbers look like at the end of the Excel spreadsheet or the P&L. If they ain’t round and green, nobody cares how many pieces of content you created. They care if you pushed people into a funnel and made them come out the other side a customer. That’s why I think it was incredibly important, it continues to be incredibly important.

The other thing is for the last month or so everyone is freaking out about AI like we’re not going to have any jobs anymore. I’m like don’t worry, there’s more jobs than we know what to do with. It reminds me of, I always show this picture of Buckingham Palace when they used to route the phone lines before they got automatic routers for the telephones, and I don’t think you see a dearth of telephone repair people out there, because there are still cell towers and technology keeps moving along. Back to my original premise of AI writing, that just is so clear that it’s not high quality, that it’s not for your customers. I think that’s even another reason why it’s really important for B2B marketers to be as strategic as possible.

George: I love this idea. There’s a couple of things, and you really are speaking my content love language, if you will. Things are always changing, so you have to be paying attention to the landscape and what new technologies like AI might mean for you and your process, but the strategy that you apply to it.

Also, you referenced CRMs and HubSpot and Salesforce, and having the tools to be able to measure and backup and create the process for your people to actually have the content be strategic and measure. Then absolutely when you said if it’s not round or green for the P&L. I have talked to so many people and they’re like, “What should my content KPIs be?” I’m like your wallet gets fat, that’s what your content KPI should be. So, I absolutely love it.

With that being said, how does being strategic with your content development boost results for B2B marketers? This could go in probably 12 different directions, but in your mind, when we say boost around the content and that the marketer cares about, how is it impacting their life?

Ahava: I think the first thing you want to do when you do that is define what a strategy really is. A strategy in my interpretation of it is a clearly documented way that you are going to do tactical things that are going to solve a business objective. There needs to be an overall what are we doing, where are we going, who are we talking to, what are we trying to say, that kind of thing.

From my perspective, one of the things I always think about, and this is another thing that keeps me up at night, is the lack of data-driven decisions that get made in a lot of organizations. I talk about a decision triangle where data is one point, common sense is another point, and politics is another point. Sometimes in organizations, we have to create content to satisfy stakeholders because if we don’t, we’ll lose the good fight. Nobody wants to fall on their sword about some stupid press release that isn’t really going to matter at the end of the day if it’s not hurting the business.

One of the things I say is you might have to rejigger your thoughts around what strategic content truly is. Strategic content is writing a page on your website so it makes some stakeholder happy and then not optimizing it for search so that nobody ever sees it or whatever. That might be a strategic move on your part, because keeping stakeholders happy is another part of the job that is important.

If a strategic need is to retain customers, I think we think a lot in B2B marketing about pulling people into the funnel, but I think marketing serves the function of retention as well. What are doing on that side? What kinds of content do salespeople and account people find that they need to satisfy current customers? Are you talking about those things?

I don’t really know if I answered your question, but defining what strategy really is and then what that looks like within each particular organization is important. There are plenty of people who work on content who don’t see clear revenue connection between content and revenue. Your wallet can get fat for some people, but that might not be the measurement within your organization. I’m thinking about the very small B2B shops.

There’s a lot of people listening right now who are one person within an organization doing all this work. Then there are a whole group of other people who are within these huge bureaucracies, and they cannot move the mountain because it’s a mountain. I think that for those people, they’re going to have to get laser focused on strategically what they are supposed to be doing with their content. Whether that’s building a customer base, retaining a customer base, or satisfying a stakeholder, or all of the above.

George: I love so much in there. I love the idea of the triangle and being strategic to how you’re going to implement each point or pseudo-implement some of those points. Then I think you gave us a marketing gold nugget, but it might even be a life gold nugget, it’s definitely a parenting nugget; learn how to choose your battles. Some of them, you just let them roll. Some of them are worth fighting.

One of the things you first started to talk about when you were talking about strategy is knowing the people and knowing the things and documenting. Documentation is key. As the marketing brain, when you were talking, I’m like persona, ideal client profiles, which equals these blog articles, which equals this pillar page, which then needs these landing pages for conversion, which then needs these sales enablement elements as far as emails, and then I knew, oh my gosh, she even referenced what does your sales team need from a content perspective to actually be successful, which is interesting because you could either drive that way on this next question or there might be multiple lanes that we take on this.

The shop of one or the shop of a bunch, at the end of the day, you’re going to want to know how the heck should I get started if we’re not doing this thing that Ahava and George are speaking about today: the question, Where should B2B marketers start when developing their content in 2023 and beyond? Is it the customer, the problems, the sales team, the CEO? I’ll just let you go with that one.

Ahava: You should fall in love with your customer. You should want to know everything possible you can know about them. Start with one customer profile, but you can have multiple customers. I think you just spend as much time as you can getting to know them. You get on the phone with them, you talk to them, you shadow the sales team, you hear the questions that come in, you look at your search data, there are multiple ways to find out who your customers are, what they care about, what their pain points are.

Jay Acunzo said something really great at the end of December, he talked about what are we going to be thinking about in 2023. The thing that I’m going to be thinking about, speaking as Jay, is whose problem are we solving. A lot of times, marketers are trying to solve the problems of the business, but if you remember, I said it has to be an intersection between what matters to the business and what matters to the users, or the reader, or the potential customer, or the current customer.

Thinking about whose problem is it is really the place to start and trying to figure out the answer to that question, whose problem are we solving, and really focusing yourself on the customer and what their problems are is the best place to start. Not with a blog, not with an ebook, not with a whitepaper, not with some fancy tool that you build. It’s with basic why are they coming to us for a solution.

George: What I love about doing these interviews is I let myself listen and I let my brain just kind of go as the guests are doing their thing. When you were starting in that section that we just finished there, to listen to you, I was like oh my god, it’s not marketing tactics and per se strategies and things that we’re trying to pull. You were almost explaining an intimate relationship, a deep knowing of, an understanding, the ability to reach a level of empathy. We were talking about real humans caring about real humans. When you were going through that, that’s where my brain was going.

Ahava: I don’t believe in B2B, I think it’s just people-to-people. Obviously, I believe in B2B, but you know what I mean, making a point. The truth of the matter is that one of the great ways that you can learn about people is to ask them what their daily life looks like. “Walk me through your day. What time do you wake up, what do you eat, what do you do?” You will learn so much about a person from what they do Monday through Friday. I think doing that with your customers can be a very elegant way into figuring out what their problems are.

When you start to hear what their days look like, you start to thematically hear where they’re constantly coming up against challenges, you can then start to think about drilling down into very specific questions. That’s one of my ways that I try to get to know them. Obviously, once somebody becomes a customer, I want to maintain the relationship with them.

I’m very lucky, I love my clients, many of them have become dear friends. I always like to ask them, “What does your day look like,” because it’s really interesting to hear what they talk about.

George: By the way, because you did mention Jay Acunzo, if you haven’t listened to the episode, a masterful B2B marketing unthinkable storytelling master class with Jay Acunzo, you should go and listen to that episode after this one. Ahava, since we just had that amazing human moment, I should probably swing right back to my marketing brain and ask you a question like is there a framework, a hack, a tip or trick that you would like to share around said strategic content?

Ahava: I think I just did. Right? Is there a hack? I really believe in just going for a walk. I think some of my best ideas have to come to me through walking. Sometimes I’ll be listening to a podcast like this one, and I’ll get an idea and I’ll type it into my phone. Sometimes I’ll listen to music, and just let my brain marinate on some ideas and things like that. I think there’s a lot to be said for putting your head down and doing the work, and I think there’s a lot to be said for pulling your head out and resting. Usually, in rest or just diversion there comes the good ideas.

The other thing I would say, and this isn’t a hack, but I think it’s like a life premise, not all problems are solvable, but they’re never solvable in a perfect way. We talk about this with design a lot. Design can solve a problem, but then it might create a host of other problems.

I think that’s true also within any professional career. Sometimes you’re going to have to make hard choices. Like we talked about before, do you satisfy a stakeholder or do you satisfy the business needs? I think that knowing that you’re never really going to be able to always find the perfect solution is a really great way to come into a working environment, particularly around content, when you have to satisfy so many different people and so many different needs.

That’s not really a life hack. I think it’s more like take it from somebody who has been in the trenches and been a war, it’s a good thing to know.

George: What’s funny though is I listen to you answer many of these questions so far, and the thing I keep coming back to is I can’t wait to ask her what her words of wisdom are because you keep dropping these human element knowledge bombs, simplifying the complex in the way that we’re talking about this topic today, which is good for those listening because if we keep it simple, we keep it tactical, we keep it actionable, then we’re going to help them make an impact.

Speaking of making an impact, one of the things in the title that might have grabbed their attention is the fact that we used save time and money in the title. When we think about everything that we’ve laid forth, how does strategic content and the use of it save me, you, them as a B2B marketer, time and money? Or is this more of a company time and money conversation, not necessarily the marketers?

Ahava: First of all, thank you for asking the question again. I think you asked it two questions ago and I didn’t really answer it.

The first thing I’ll tell you is that I’m married to an economist. An economist talks about resources. Time and money are resources, but so is energy. Emotional energy can also be saved through being strategic.

I’ll give you some tactical examples from our side of the house. We work with a lot of B2B healthcare companies who are involved in digital health, med tech, pharma, and they’re very often told by their stakeholders or executive sponsors, “We need to write content about X, we need to get this message out there. Go do it.” They’ll sit down and they’ll try to accomplish that, and their audience could care less. That’s nice that executives want to talk about something, but if there’s no marketplace or no listeners about that particular topic, then why are we bothering?

One of the things we’re always telling our customers and clients is, “Do you really know who you’re talking to, and do you know if that’s the right audience,” that’s actually either in a B2B world, because you have two personas always, the buyer and the signer of the contract. Meaning, the decision-maker always has to be the person you’re thinking about as well, arming the buyer to address the decision-maker.

CFOs exist to crush dreams. I mean, they’re great at what they do, and I love my CFO, she’s fantastic, but very often she’ll say to me, “Give me proof that you really need that.” That’s where if I’ve had a good salesperson on the other side, I can make a compelling case. If I haven’t, then I have no proof points.

When you’re strategic with your content and you document it, it saves you a lot of time and money because you’re targeting the right audience. It’s like spending ads into a space where nobody is buying. It would be like choosing the 14-year-old demographic to sell baby diapers to, it doesn’t make any sense.

From my perspective, when you think about another strategic element that can save you emotional energy, which is a resource, is if you have documented content strategy, then if a stakeholder comes stomping at you, “I want to do this,” you can pull out your beautiful slide deck or whatever it is and say, “I’m happy to do that. Show me how that fits into what we’re trying to accomplish, and I’ll be more than happy.” That can be a really great starting point for a great conversation. You want to talk about X, let’s frame that conversation around what the business priorities and goals are, and then a beautiful piece of content might come out of that. That’s where I think saving time and money is really important.

The other thing is when you don’t have strategy, you end up purchasing really expensive technology because you think tools are going to solve your problem. They never do. What tools do is facilitate more efficiencies within a business. People solve problems. What I find very often is they’re like, “We need a bigger CRM because we have a larger audience.” Then you ask them, “When is the last time you really looked through that data and figured out how clean it was?”

Those are the kinds of things where I think strategy is incredibly important. I’ll tell you from my own company. We’re a healthcare company. When COVID hit, it was like what are going to do, and we completely changed our strategy. We were like we’re going to be of service to our audience, we ungated all of our content, healthcare communicators need what we do, we produced plan language cheat sheets, and our business grew tremendously. Then in 2021, it was like what are we doing now? I worked on several projects myself because I felt out of touch with the marketplace, and I realized what we had to do. So, 2022 was the first year of a two-year strategy, and we grew tremendously and got everything done that we needed to get done.

My daughter plays high school basketball, she’s on the varsity. Her coach will often scream at them from the sidelines, “Move. We know what we’re doing.” That’s what strategy is. It gives you the freedom to say, “Do what you need to do, run the plays on the court,” because you know what you’re doing. If you know what you’re doing, you’re saving effort and energy, not wondering what’s happening and constantly feeling like you’re in a swirl of chaos.

George: So good. I honestly might have nerd goosebumps right now. The fact that we’re doing an interview on content development and content strategy, and you were able to slip in data cleanliness of your CRM is absolutely magical. I’m just going to throw that out there.

There’s probably people that are like, “Yeah, this is great, painting a vision of a perfect world and this isn’t a perfect world, you don’t know where I work or what I have to go through or the silos in my company,” so let’s address a little bit of that. When you think of the potholes or the hurdles, what are the hurdles that you’ve seen get in the way of most B2B marketers around content or strategy or creating strategic content as they move forward? What are the one, two, three hurdles that you would say watch out for this, and when you see it, start to think of these things?

Ahava: There’s only two, really. I think everything can ladder up to two. The first one is that people paying the salaries of the people doing the marketing work don’t value marketing or communications. The second thing is that executives and stakeholders do not fully understand who their true audience is and what they want to consume, how fast they need to consume it, and what really moves the needle for the organization in terms of audiences listening to them. There might be a third one, which is that digital marketing moves so quickly that it’s hard to stay on top of trends. That might be the third one.

Those are the hurdles, and I don’t think that those are internal hurdles, I just think that those exist. Medicine also moves at the speed of light and doctors have to keep on top of research. Technologists and software programmers need to keep on top of it. Oil rigs are constantly being refined. So, I think everybody in their field has to do that. In content marketing and in content, it’s that they’re not valued and the stakeholders aren’t close enough to the true audience.

George: I’m going to go off the beaten path for a second. I feel like it’s like there you go, we just gave it to you.

Ahava: I don’t feel like it’s a perfect world. I think I’ve been very honest about how imperfect I find it. Not to be Negative Nelly, because I’m very positive, I think, as a person. It’s not a perfect world.

I want to just tell a short story, and then we go off the beaten path. I was once on a panel with Drew Davis on financial marketing. I don’t know what we were even doing there. He was probably getting paid a lot of money, and I was just sitting there on a panel.

A woman stood up and she talked about how she worked for a very small local bank, and they wanted to do something to change their business strategy, they wanted to move from consumer banking to business banking, but she knew from talking to customers that there were really no business banking to be had in this local area and they were going to take their business to a larger bank, and how did she design content around that. Drew was like, “I think you should quit your job. If you’ve talked to the president of the bank and you’ve talked to the CFO of the bank, and you don’t like what they’re saying, then go get another job.” I looked at him and said, “When is the last time you’ve had to talk to your executives? When is the last time you’ve had to make an argument in front of your executives?” It was like this moment where everybody in the audience was loving it because usually panels are so boring, but here we were going at it. A few years ago, I reminded him of it, and he was like, “I didn’t say that.” So, it’s funny. I apologize to Drew, maybe I got the story wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s what happened.

In any case, being realistic about our jobs is really important. Remember, at the end of the day, nobody is going to write on your tombstone “did not win a content argument with a stakeholder.” No one is going to care. I think at a certain point you have to ask yourself, like you said before, “What are the battles I’m willing to fight and what are the battles I’m not willing to fight?”

I think that there is some value in what Drew was saying, because if you’ve knocked your head against the wall for a really long time and you don’t like the people you work with and you don’t like the industry that you’re in, go get a new job. Why be that unhappy at work? Life is too short.

George: I totally agree with your story and the words that you just dropped. Absolutely amazing. Off the beaten path, because we dropped two majors, the two that you first started with in the question before the story, was they don’t value and they’re not educated.

Ahava: Well, they’re educated, but they’re just not in touch with their true audience.

George: Okay. Let’s say they’re not in touch. So, they don’t value it and they’re not in touch. How do you fix those?

Ahava: It’s really interesting. During the pandemic, there was a lot of value seen in communications because they needed to communicate. All of a sudden, they were like, “There’s all these people that know how to do this. That’s cool.” Now the pandemic is over and they’re like, “Prove what have you done for me lately?”

I think the hardest thing right now in marketing is attribution. I think it’s really the most difficult thing. How do you prove that you’re really generating revenue for an organization rather than being a cost center? I think that whatever you can do to set up data points that help you make that point are incredibly important.

The second thing in terms of not knowing audiences is if you can get your executives in front of an audience that is partly their customers, it will change how they perceive what you’re trying to accomplish.

I recently did a big communications plan for an academic medical center, and I did 17 stakeholder interviews. I like to do projects. I don’t think a “general” should ever leave the field. I think it’s important if I’m going to get up in front of conferences and tell people things that I actually know what I’m talking about and that I do the work, so I try to take on three projects a year.

So, I did 17 stakeholder interviews. It was so clear to me that one group of people didn’t understand what the other group of people did, and that group of people didn’t understand what the other group of people did. It’s like job shadow each other for a day, walk with a doctor and see what a doctor is dealing with on a daily basis. Doctors, go in with business executives and watch how they’re crunching numbers and trying to figure out how to make your life easier. We would all be better off if we would have a little more love, kindness, and grace toward everybody who is working because we’re all working toward a goal, which is make people feel better and make them healthier.

That’s a really hard thing to do in a large organization, or even in a small organization. I don’t argue with that point, but I do think that’s one of the ways you fix it is you try to get those people in a room together, preferably with food. Everything always goes better when there’s food or alcohol. You say, “We have a problem. How are we going to solve it?”

George: So good. The fact that you just dropped words like love and kindness and grace. What was flooding through my mind when you were talking about follow the doctor around was my dad when I was growing up. We grew up in Montana, so we had some weird sayings.

My dad would always say, “Don’t judge a man until you walk a mile in his moccasins.” Which then leads you to this fact of if you did that, you would have empathy for who they are and the decisions that they’re making and the things that they need, which ties back to this conversation of content and enabling your sales teams, enabling your customers, and having your ear to the ground, and all of those things. What a nice little bow we just put on that.

To finish with our last question, I love that you’re in the trenches. You’re like three to four projects, staying in the trenches, if I’m going to speak it from the stage, then I have to know it’s truth. I love to end these episodes with words of wisdom. Through your journeys, through everything that you’ve gone through and people that you’ve helped, what are some words of wisdom that you’d like to share with the Marketing Smarts audience before we send them back to their regularly scheduled day?

Ahava: Always be reading. Just always be reading. Always be reading new things, novels, nonfiction, magazines, blog posts. Always be reading. Language is a technology, it’s a tool that we use to communicate with each other. It’s constantly changing, it’s constantly evolving. If you continue to read, I think you will always have a handle on those new adaptive ways to communicate. That’s my best words of advice. Or listen to books on tape, I don’t care how you do it.

I think always be learning is really what I’m talking about. I really genuinely believe that true marketers and communicators should be reading. I think there’s just something neurologically that happens when we do that that really keeps our brains spry, it’s like a form of exercise for your brain.

George: Marketing Smarts listeners, did you take lots of notes? I have to ask, what is your one thing, your number one execution opportunity after this podcast episode? Make sure you reach out and let us know in my inbox or on Twitter using the hashtag #MPB2B.

I also have to ask are you a free member of the MarketingProfs community yet? If not, head over to Mprofs.com/mptoday. You won’t regret the additional B2B marketing education that you’ll be adding to your life.

We’d like it if you could leave us a rating or review on your favorite podcast app, but we’d love it if you would share this episode with a coworker or friend. Until we meet in the next episode of the Marketing Smarts Podcast where we talk with Lindsay Boyajian Hagan about maximizing your B2B marketing budget, recession strategies and tips, I hope you do just a couple of things. One, reach out and let us know what conversation you’d like to listen in on next. Two, focus on getting 1% better at your craft each and every day. Finally, remember to be a happy, helpful, humble B2B marketing human. We’ll see you in the next episode of the Marketing Smarts Podcast.

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