As many of you may know, B2B NN is curating the first-ever 2015 B2B Influencer Index, thanks to many of our readers submitting nominees they deemed worthy of this auspicious honour.
We are looking for the top B2B professionals who are impacting their field and winning acclaim for successful accomplishments in 2015, and we will be publishing the list of the top B2B Influencers in 2015 on Dec. 31. We will also be asking for Influencers in specific fields such as logistics, security, research, marketing, etc in the coming weeks.
Before we unveil our 2015 list, we want to share some information about inductees nominated to the index. Also, you can still submit nominees using our form below.
First, let’s learn more about a B2B pro who will be making our Influencer Index this year. Here’s a look into the career of Shelly Lucas, content marketing director at Dun & Bradstreet, a specialist information service provider. Based in Austin, Lucas took some time to let us know about her major wins in 2015 and what she’s looking forward to in 2016:
B2B NN: What motivated you to get into this line of work?
My education, career and pastimes have always orbited around writing. But what we call “content marketing” today involves much more than creating cool stuff. It’s a strategic, data-inspired art that not many B2B brands do effectively. I feel like now is the perfect time for me to do B2B content because I’ve built up years of experience writing, editing and producing so many kinds of content – and examining it through diverse lenses – that I feel confident taking creative risks, articulating a distinct point of view and injecting emotion into my business writing.
These – and a solid marketing strategy – are must-haves for any content marketer who wants to stand out in a noisy space.
B2B NN: What are some of your significant accomplishments in 2015?
I created persona-specific interactive content (e-books) – a first in my career. One of my blogs, CMOs & CIOs: Relationship Co-Pilots, was recognized by McKinsey on Sales & Marketing as a “must-read.” We partnered with Tom Fishburne (aka The Marketoonist), and rolled out a branded cartoon series, using humor to illustrate data-related challenges for B2B marketing executives.
I also earned the rare (and highly coveted) “Holy crap! I love it!” response from my supervisor and former Time Inc. executive Brad Young on two content pieces this year.
B2B NN: In business information in general, what would you like to see improved? In your field, identify a few areas that could be enhanced to create a better experience for both staff and customers.
On the customer side, businesses need to devote more time and attention to articulating what they really want to know. Organizations are so obsessed with data – its physical collection, management, accuracy and analysis – that they often fail to clearly articulate the specific question that they want their data to answer.
On the vendor side, companies need to get better at using their own data/information offerings internally – to build more valuable relationships and consistently deliver customer experiences that are relevant, timely and seamless across channels and devices.
B2B NN: You are very active on social media. Why is that important to you?
I used to be a full-time social media professional, so I guess it’s permanently changed the way I think and work. I have an insatiable appetite for learning, so in the content work I do now, I go where my curiosity takes me.
— Shelly Lucas (@pisarose) December 10, 2015
Social is a must for staying up to date on what’s happening in the zeitgeist. But in the course of spontaneous Twitter conversations, I’ve also discovered amazing people to interview and collaborate with – transformational thinkers at all levels, all the way to the C-suite. LinkedIn and Twitter are also excellent platforms for teasing out story angles, testing headlines and asking questions that lead you to white space.
B2B NN: What are your goals for 2016?
I want to to provide the best answer to our customer’s question; to ask – and answer – questions our customers should be asking, but aren’t (yet); to reinvent industry ideas by crossing conceptual borders; to increase the impact of the content I create, so that it inspires positive change and fortifies business growth; to improve my storytelling à la NPR: “Be informative without oversimplifying, engaging without pandering, and surprising without wasting the audience’s time.”
It’s not too late to nominate someone you know in the B2B space for our Influencer Index of 2015! Fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch soon to let you know more about your pick!
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