January 03, 2018
Case Study

Most Popular MarketingSherpa B2B Articles and Case Studies of 2017


As we embark on a new year of B2B marketing, we’ve all set goals to drive more revenue and conversions, generate more traffic and create killer multi-platform content — but where do we begin?

To help inspire you, we’ve compiled a list of our readers’ favorite B2B content from last year. Read on to learn how to avoid the 3 most common social media mistakes, 5 Inbound marketing hacks that can be applied to B2B marketing, how to avoid automated personalization mistakes and more.

(As seen in the MarketingSherpa B2B newsletter. Click to get a free subscription to the latest research and case studies from MarketingSherpa.)

by Tara Marotta, Manager, Content Operations, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute


We looked at some of our analytics, and here are the B2B articles that were most popular with MarketingSherpa newsletter subscribers in 2017.

What You Can Learn about Automated Personalization from Google’s Hilarious Mistake

We all know that personalizing your marketing collateral helps it stand out. When a customer sees their name in an email or a piece of direct mail, it feels more like a one-on-one conversation. So, it makes sense that personalized mail and email traditionally have a higher open rate.

To capitalize on this personalization effort, we must rely on data captured through our marketing automation system. But, personalization can end up being a detriment to your campaigns if this data is incorrect.

Read the full article to see a hilarious example of when the data was wrong and learn some ways to prevent it from happening to you.

5 Inbound Marketing Hacks Your B2B Company is Missing Out On

There’s a common misconception that B2C marketers get to have all the fun. But, as the B2B marketing space relaxes and focuses more on humanizing the marketing approach, there are a lot of traditional B2C tactics that can be applied to B2B marketing.

For example, ecommerce bulk book provider BookPal took a few tips from its B2C comrades when redesigning its website to promote a better customer experience. “Even though B2B customers might be utilizing their employer’s checking account versus their own, you want to give them an experience that resonates with what they’re familiar with and rewards them for similar behaviors,” said Tony DiCostanzo, President, BookPal.

Read the full article to learn four more inbound tactics that can be applied to your B2B marketing efforts.

Avoiding 3 Common Mistakes in B2B Social Media Marketing

When it comes to social media, personality is key. There are too many social media accounts out there that have a generally polite and cordial tone but no real personality. Having an online personality can be especially difficult for a B2B company since your customer is yet another faceless, personality-seeking corporation.

 “In today’s digital age, it has become increasingly hard to provide a level of face-to-face interaction, and we have found that our video responses have helped bridge that gap,” Max Anderson, Video Producer at cloud-based software company Nextiva, said.

At Nextiva, the team often records a quick web cam video of themselves answering customer questions, and posts these videos on social media if they believe the answer will also help other users. This allows them to provide value to their customers while also showcasing “the man behind the curtain” and giving Nextiva’s social media account a personality.

Read the full article to learn about other mistakes B2B marketers make when it comes to social media and tips on how to avoid them.

B2B Marketing: Continental Office’s customer-first brand and website redesign increased traffic 103%

Continental Office, a customized workplace solution provider, had just undergone a brand refresh. The next challenge was to redesign its website to reflect this new brand strategy.

“We looked at our brand and what we noticed was it was really hard to tell a succinct story,” said Rachel Iannarino, Vice President of Marketing, Continental Office. “We looked like separate brands; we didn't even really appear that we were under one umbrella. So, it could appear like we had a separate flooring brand and a separate furniture brand, for instance.”

In addition to telling a succinct story, the team wanted to ensure they were integrating buyer personas to provide an engaging user experience complete with relevant content marketing.

Read the full case study to learn how they used this strategy to increase traffic to their site by 103%.

B2B Email Marketing: How to integrate transparency into the process for quicker turnarounds, better emails and fewer mistakes

As marketers, we know email is a great channel for driving conversion and revenue. However, this may not be common knowledge to others within our organization, especially if they’ve never been privy to a successful email program and the results it can achieve.

So, how do you gain the buy-in you need to grow a virtually nonexistent email program into one that drives revenue while also informing and engaging your customers?

Mary Abrahamson, Email Marketing Manager, Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., was faced with this exact problem. She had a vision for what Ferguson’s email program should look like but knew it would take a bit of work to get there.

“We wanted to work toward always being able to deliver on our turnaround times [and] building relationships with stakeholders internally, while creating a better understanding of what we do,” she said.

Read this full case study to learn how Mary redesigned the email program within her organization, built a successful email marketing team and generated significant revenue for Ferguson while keeping her customers top of mind.

Related Resources

B2B Marketing: How Optum developed a distinct social identity with a thought leader approach to content and social media channels

B2B Email Marketing: How Ferguson created valuable, personalized content through industry-specific holiday sends

Email Marketing: 5 tactics to personalize your email message for better results

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