Who Is The B2B Marketing Insider?

profile-photoI was recently honored to be asked by IDG Connect to participate in their “20 Questions” CMO series. They asked me questions to understand who is the person behind the B2B Marketing Insider blog. The questions range from where I was born, to my favorite song, to what makes for great marketing and more.
While I would normally never devote a blog post to being all about me, I thought some of you might be interested to get a little bit more background on the guy behind the blog.  And since some of the questions are kind of fun and we’re about to enter a nice long weekend here in the US, I hope you find some of it interesting…
And I would love to get your thoughts on some of this, especially, what’s your favorite song ever?
  1. Where were you born and raised? Reading, PA – a smaller city about an hour west of Philadelphia, PA
  2. What was your first job?  I was a newspaper boy at age 12 and had more jobs through college than anyone I’ve ever met.
  3. What was the first product you got really excited about?  I helped Nielsen launch their first web-based software and marketing information services product. We formed a tight project team and tried to operate like a start-up to get it done faster and cheaper and better. It was fun, disruptive and successful. Then I was allowed to roll it out to a few countries outside the US.
  4. Who has been the biggest influence on your career? I’ve been inspired by so many influences. I learned lessons from my best and worst managers and colleagues. One of the best lessons I learned was from a former CMO I reported to who demanded a real business plan for each major marketing investment. He was tough but you had to have command of the facts and be able to prove a solid return.
  5. What has been your greatest achievement? I am most proud of being able to create a lead generation “machine” for SAP that produced a quantifiable return on investment many times over.
  6. What has been your biggest mistake? I burned a bridge once with a senior executive very early in my career. I was focused on making a point and should have been focused on the longer term relationship. It was a rookie mistake.
  7. What is your greatest strength? I am very results-oriented with a strong focus on meeting customer needs and just getting it done.
  8. What is your biggest weakness? I am impatient, especially when there is an imperative for change.
  9. What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?  Customer-focus. Too many of our marketing colleagues are going through the motions and just fulfilling orders from sales and executives and their managers when they should be asking: is this good for the customer? Will this produce a quantifiable business result?
  10. Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm? My mantra is customer focused business results. I think marketing is a strategic asset many companies neglect. What makes me squirm is too much attention to words and semantics over action and results.
  11. What makes you stressed? The definition of stress is accountability without authority. Not sure who said that (anyone?) but I repeat it all the time.
  12. What do you do to relax? I spend time with my family at the beach just under 2 hours drive from our house. Something about the smell of the salt air, the sound of the waves and my children’s laughter.
  13. What is your favorite song? Led Zeppelin – Fool In The Rain
  14. Which book taught you most? The Service Profit Chain.” Look it up and read it. Happy employees create happy customers who in turn create happy shareholders. A simple lesson we should always remember.
  15. Do you have a team or sport that you follow? I love college-level and professional (American) football (in that order). University of Notre Dame football is a small obsession and I am also a Philadelphia Eagles fan.
  16. Which country would you like to work in? I’m open to any new experience. Any country in Europe. Brazil. Australia or a major metro in Southest Asia could all offer a new experience.
  17. Which company do you think has the best marketing? Maybe a company that didn’t need to market much at all. I think everyone envies how Apple innovated across their product lines and let the innovation and the market do their marketing for them. It’s a great example of how marketing is what your business can do, not what you say about it.
  18. What do you love most about your job? I love the opportunity to help people: customers, employees, shareholders. I am able to do that by sharing content that I create or that comes from others. I make a point to share something amazing through social media at least once a day. It’s my attempt at giving a gift that always comes back to me ten-fold.
  19. What is your favorite book? Hemingway’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” quoting John Donne’s: No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
  20. What keeps you awake at night? My infant son mostly! Other than that, I sleep pretty well.

Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

3 thoughts on “Who Is The B2B Marketing Insider?

    1. Thanks so much Brian. I really held my breath when publishing that one. A little personal and didn’t want anyone to see it as narcissistic. So I really appreciate the support of my trying to let everyone know a little more about me.

  1. This is something inspiring for me. I’ma starter in B2B marketing. This could be even better to follow!

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