FIR B2B Podcast: More on fake news and gaslighting

In our last podcast, we spoke about the rise of fake news. Turns out we have more to say on the topic, which has ballooned across mainstream media in the past couple of weeks. Paul talks about building brand loyalty and trust from his research. I mention this article in Teen Vogue of all places, where the reporter brings up the movie/play Gaslight and how our future president is using similar tactics to setup problems and then offer “solutions.” And we cite a column by Christina Farr who talks about how PR reps need to stop inserting themselves in the conversation when not requested or needed. You can listen to the podcast here:


FIR B2B #61 podcast: The care and feeding of fake news

We  are awash in a sewer of fake news stories, and we only have ourselves to blame. It has become an epidemic, and a profitable one at that for these purveyors of click-bait that sound like the truth but are far from it. In this episode, Paul and David discuss why this has happened, who are the players who profit from these stories, and what the major web operators such as Google and Facebook can do about it.

Listen to the 12 minute podcast here:

FIR B2B podcast: do’s and don’ts of marketing research

Grant Gross’ excellent story in goes into more detail about why you can’t pin the exit polling failures of last week’s general election on big data. Paul and I use these failures as a starting point to discuss the lack of quality in survey research, particularly in the B2B tech marketing space. Both of us have been the recipients of lousy survey “results,” or more accurately, wishful thinking on the part of marketing and PR people. So save everyone’s energies: don’t produce these 200-person SurveyMonkey polls that have no real meaning. Better yet, when a reporter wants to see the survey instrument and the underlying methodology, send it. You’ll gain plenty of street cred and may even get some ink too.

Our recommendations are to pay careful attention to survey size, understand the sampling methodology, make use of a professional pollster or research analyst or statistician and learn from the experts.

Listen to our podcast here:

FIR B2B Podcast: PR tips and my 21-year newsletter streak

In this week’s podcast with Paul Gillin on B2B marketing, I talk about my 21 years of writing a weekly Web Informant email newsletter. Last year I summarized my efforts in this piece with lots of links back to the early days.

Also in our podcast, we pay tribute to Bill Machrone, editor of PC Magazine and an all-around fine human being, for his recent passing after battling brain cancer for two years. And we address a listener’s questions about the importance of images and about C-suite demands that PR pros support the brand’s lead generation efforts.

Listen to the 15-minute podcast here:

FIR B2B Podcast with Andy Hoar

We talk today with Andy Hoar, the Vice President and Principal Analyst for Forrester Research for many years. Andy wrote a seminar work 18 months ago called The Death Of A (B2B) Salesman. In that piece, he stated that a million US B2B salespeople will lose their jobs to self-service eCommerce websites by the year 2020.

“If I know what I want, I should be able to buy it immediately,” Hoar says. “When it comes to cross selling and qualifying buyers, all of this can be done better in a digital environment. There are a lot of impatientB2B buyers these days.”

Listen to our 22 min. podcast with Hoar below:

FIR B2B #57: Shelley Harrison on marketing for startups

In this episode, Paul and I talk to Shelley Harrison, owner of LaunchPad. She has helped start more than 200 tech companies over the years, including cc:Mail (acquired by Lotus), Socialtext (acquired by PeopleFluent), Postini (acquired by Google), Vermeer (acquired by Microsoft) and others. She often follows a serial entrepreneur from startup and startup, and spoke to us about what makes for great partnership between founder and director of marketing. She offers plenty of advice, including what attributes the serial entrepreneurs she has worked for over the year have in common that make for compelling marketing of their businesses: she presents a very long list, which happens only a fifth of the companies that she has worked for. And she talks about what happens when a marketer’s advice conflicts with the founder’s vision, and the people whom she has been able to persuade, or at least listen to her point of view. you can listen to the 20-minute podcast here:

FIR B2B #56: The art and science of international marketing with Frank Cutitta

Frank Cutitta has been around the tech industry for decades and both one of his plum assignments was managing the international expansion of IDG properties during the company’s glory days. As a result, he has been to more than 100 countries and understands how to adjust your marketing plans and messages accordingly. In this 27 minute podcast, we spoke to him about what marketers need to know to work with non-American audiences and product teams, and how they should become more sensitive to local customs and ways of doing business. Listen to the recording here: