Here’s to Having a B2B Happy New Year in 2017

In a previous post, we made five B2B predictions for 2017.

While such predictions are thought-provoking and a little fun, they rarely provide deep insight into the specific information most companies need to prepare for or take advantage of any predicted event. They tend to focus on the macro trend than the “Black Swan” event.

For most of us, looking for patterns of change in our own companies or business-verticals provide the most helpful insight into the future. That said, it is important to look for the data and trends that can inform and prepare us. Continue reading this article

BNP Media Provides More Than 7000 Meals for Gleaners Community Food Bank


BNP Media raised funds for Gleaners Community Food Bank to help feed hungry children throughout metro Detroit. This generous gift would normally provide 3,780 meals to neighbors in need, but with the matching sponsors from ‘Double Your Donation Day’ program, BNP Media will provide 7,560 meals.

BNP employees organized a special bake sale to raise the funds.  Fifteen employees volunteered to bake pies, cakes, and cookies.  This is the 13th year that BNP Media has contributed to the Gleaners initiative. Gleaners collects 34.5 million pounds of food a year and distributes 79,000 meals each day including providing nourishing food and nutrition education to 84,700 children a year. Continue reading this article

Five B2B Marketing Predictions for 2017

When it comes to predicting the future, the easiest thing to do is to think in a linear way: What is changing today that will likely be around tomorrow, only in a bigger and more important role. We will admit, some of these predictions are like that—forecasts based on an understanding of what is being worked on today. However, true disruptive changes rarely show up at the door and ring the bell. Rather, they tend to crash through a window. These five predictions are a little of both: They are continuations of things happening now. Others are wild cards that we can’t anticipate.

  1. Uncertainty

With a new administration that has promised change as one of its highest priorities, the early months of 2017 will likely be a time of wait-and-see. However, as we’ve written before, times of uncertainty typically benefit those who invest in marketing, while it drives others to the sidelines.  Continue reading this article

These Three Basic Charts Can Explain Any B-to-B Marketing Metric


Before focusing on the flare of infographics, review the basics of what you are trying to convey

With the proliferation of infographics and data visualization tools, hundreds of different types of charts seem to have burst on the scene. But for most marketers who are wanting to track and explain data, three basic charts can serve as the foundation to explain everything from market share to business performance.

And the biggest surprise? These are charts you’re already familiar with: Line charts, bar charts and pie charts. So before using all your 3D features in Excel or PowerPoint, stop and reflect on the simple facts you want to convey. Continue reading this article

Five Things Business-to-Business Marketers are Thankful for This Year

Two business colleagues shaking hands

We know that during the holiday season it is important to enjoy spending time with friends and family, but we also want to pause and reflect on a few of the things a business-to-business marketer should be thankful for over the past year.

  1. Clients. Simply put, you wouldn’t exist without the loyalty of your clients. They’re the reason your business thrives. Before focusing on anything else—such as metrics or data—take time to express gratitude for the people who look to you for products and solutions.

Continue reading this article

BNP Media Recognizes Employee Contributions to Making a Difference in Communities


During the Holiday Season, we spend time with family and friends, cherish these relationships and reflect on all for which we are thankful.  In 2016, the men and women of BNP Media were privileged to be able to lend a hand to someone in need and give back to communities everywhere, whether it was a local food bank, making a wish come true for a child with a life-threatening illness, or ensuring that students have proper nutrition and access to a safe and positive learning environment.

Some of the charitable causes that BNP Media and its people embraced this year include:

  • For a second year, BNP Media partnered with Make-A-Wish Michigan, donating $15,000 to help bring hope, strength and joy to Michigan children and their families at a time when they need it most. This year’s activities included a special party for a young girl to celebrate the granting of her wish of visiting Paris for a spa day.
  • BNP Media contributed to this year’s Habitat for Humanity Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Memphis, Tennessee with a $10,000 Hammer-level sponsorship. The donation was made in support of Rick Damato, a longtime Habitat for Humanity volunteer who is editorial director of BNP Media’s Roofing Contractor Magazine.
  • The innovative ACE Mentor Program of America supports and encourages high school students to pursue professional careers in architecture, construction and engineering. This year, BNP Media and its Engineering News-Record brand awarded $2,500 student scholarships in the name of each of six 2016 ENR-ACE Outstanding Mentors.
  • At this year’s 18th Annual Food Safety Summit, BNP Media donated $5,500 to the Feeding America Coalition. This donation provided 64,000 meals as this organization works to feed America’s hungry, including children and seniors, through a nationwide network of food banks.
  • Furthering the cause of ending hunger in America and globally, BNP Media people came together around Thanksgiving time to package 10,000 meals for the Stop Hunger Now program. This group distributes meals through partner organizations in developing countries that promote education, encourage children to attend school and improve students’ health and nutrition.
  • Striving again to improve the lives of children, BNP Media donated $1,500 to, which will help build a school cafeteria for students of the Kenya Relief Academy in the nation’s Migori community.
  • BNP Media aided the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which helps people with physical disabilities pursue active lifestyles. BNP Media’s donation of $2,500 was made in conjunction with the 39th annual Empire State Building Run-Up—of all 86 flights, and 1,576 stairs.  BNP Media Co-CEO Taggert Henderson was one of the participants.  The Empire State Building is home to BNP Media’s Architectural Record and Engineering News-Record brands.
  • In addition to the above, the people of BNP Media also participated in and contributed to the work of the Movember Foundation, the Gleaners Community Food Bank, Winning Futures, the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program, Anyone Corporation, Oil Heat Cares, the MTI Educational Foundation, Mission 500 and National Women in Roofing.

“These activities support BNP Media’s pledge as a business to act as a force for good in our society, helping achieve a higher quality of life for individuals and families.  We humbly thank the people of BNP Media for all their good work and charitable efforts this past year.  We look forward in the coming year to once again proving how much we can accomplish when we work together for shared goals,” said BNP Media co-CEOs Harper, Mitchell and Taggart Henderson.

How to Use Music Legally in Your Marketing Videos (And Where to Find It)

Copyright Laws Symbol Concept

Music can help you pump up the power of your presentations and podcasts

Music can often improve the quality and impact of a marketing-oriented video, podcast or presentation. However, the laws and usage rights that cover how copyrighted music can be used—and how much you need to pay for permission to use it—can be a confusing. It can also be costly, especially if you’re caught not following a confusing set of rules.

How do you want to use the music?

For presentations and podcasts, you’re most likely going to use music that falls into three categories.

Continue reading this article

Infographic Tips Will Power Up Your Posts and Presentations

Businessman at work

Infographics are a style of visual storytelling that seek to simplify complex ideas

The best infographics showcase vital, but perhaps dense and complicated information in a fun, interesting and visually arresting way. The least effective infographics list bullet points of familiar facts using clichéd clip art and outdated, dull fonts, turning viewers off from caring about the larger story. A better approach is to use graphics that explain, interpret, teach and provide customers with a deeper understanding of something important to them. But what’s the best way to synthesize and share that data? Continue reading this article

BNP Media Acquires Hotel F&B™ Magazine


Industry leader joins BNP Media’s new Gaming And Hospitality Group

BNP Media today announced the acquisition of Hotel F&B™ magazine, a industry-leading business-to-business publication that serves lodging and food and beverage professionals in hotels, resorts, and casinos worldwide.

As the voice of the $36.7 billion North American hotel foodservice industry, Hotel F&B—both in print and online—covers profitable and effective strategies in the development, operation, and marketing of hotel foodservice.

“We are thrilled to add Hotel F&B to our Gaming and Hospitality Group.  It is an exciting, fresh industry partner with comprehensive, quality editorial content and a loyal audience,” said BNP Media co-CEOs Harper, Mitchell and Taggart Henderson. Continue reading this article

Top Five Facets of Live Events Favored by Attendees

From tradeshows to educational seminars, we’re often spoiled when it comes to getting out of the office and heading to an event. As an attendee, the array of event options is great, but for an event coordinator, the task of planning a memorable event—and getting people to come—can be daunting.

Our research revealed that people who attend your Live Events are eager to learn more about your products and services—and you. They are not satisfied with simply looking at your website—they want to meet the people they are doing business with. Attendees think of Live Events as not only an opportunity to gain industry knowledge, but also a chance to network and forge lasting connections.

Continue reading this article

Secrets to Great Live Event Handouts

The ingredients that make Live Event promotional literature and specialty advertising items memorable and effective

BNP’s research into the role of Live Events in driving business-to-business sales reveals how important and effective such events are for both sellers and customers. Creating new relationships and networking with existing friends, colleagues and customers are among the top reasons sellers attend.

But attendance is only part of the puzzle. Breaking the ice with new people is awkward for some people. Having something to hand to a potential customer, media member or influencer can provide an opportunity to get through that first step. That’s the reason savvy and seasoned sellers put thought into the information and items they provide to the people they encounter. Continue reading this article

Live Events Swag: Items That Work

We were disappointed to learn recently that the highly publicized Oscar swag bags aren’t actually given out, but are instead a promotional event that is separate from the awards show. But it is understandable that not everyone who is nominated for an Oscar has the money to pay taxes on exotic merchandise priced at more than $250,000.

These specialty items may not be as swell as the swag bags at the Oscars (or have an impact on taxes), but they will keep customers thinking about you long after the Live Event is over. Continue reading this article

Hashtag Etiquette for Live Events Social Media

Drawing of a bird holding a hashtag for social media tag


An easy way to get your company noticed at the next Live Event is to perfect the art of hashtagging. Encourage attendees and potential customers to interact with you by tweeting or posting about the elements of the Live Event that really matter to them—from workshops’ valuable lessons to insightful speaker quotes to products that will make their lives better. Drive traffic to your booth with posts promising low-stress networking events or contests where they can win fun prizes. Hashtags are an online conversational hook—they grab loyal customers and curious prospects and bring everyone to the party.

Continue reading this article

Bonus: How a B2B Live Event First Made Twitter Famous


Caption: Twitter first gained fame in March 2007 at the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) Live Event in Austin, Texas. Here the founders of Twitter accept a SXSW Web Award in the Blog category. (Photo: Scott Beale)

It was a gathering of geeks where Twitter first got its groove

These days, it’s not unusual to attend a Live Event and see a monitor displaying tweets from the event or from people watching a live feed of the event. But most people have forgotten that Twitter first became popular thanks to a Live Event that displayed tweets (before they were called tweets!) in a similar format. Continue reading this article

What Drives Attendees to a Live Event?


BNP recently conducted a survey on all facets of Live Events and their role in the mix of marketing and media that a B2B customer finds valuable. Events must meet a high bar of importance for a business to agree to fund the travel and registration expenses of one or more employees. Such a high bar goes beyond those obvious expenses, however: There is also the time away from work and the missed opportunities of multiple employees. Attendance at an event must provide a convincing return on investment for the attendee to be able to justify it to his or her employer

For that reason, one of our areas of research was designed to help explore the factors that are considered by attendees and their managers in deciding whether an event is valuable enough to justify the investment.

Continue reading this article

BNP Survey: The Top Six Reasons Exhibitors and Sponsors Participate in an Event


Live Events are alive and kicking, according to research conducted by BNP. Although the digital era has made it easier to conduct business, our survey revealed that sellers and customers still place a high value on participating in Live Events. People who attend your Live Events are eager to learn about your products and services—and also learn more about the people behind them. Attendees view Live Events as a community gathering where they not only grow their list of sales prospects, but also grow their knowledge of the industry and friendships that can last an entire career. Continue reading this article

Five Ways B2B Marketers Are Using Social Media to Support Their Brand


Social media and B2B used to go together like peanut butter and mayonnaise. As in, they didn’t—or, at least, B2B marketers thought they weren’t friends. But not only are greater numbers of B2B marketers using social media to support their brands and engage with customers, they’re getting pretty good at it. For its 2016 Social Media Impact Report, marketing analytics provider TrackMaven analyzed more than 500,000 social media posts and over 100 million social interactions from 316 leading B2B brands on five key social networks from January to December 2015. They found large follower bases and impressive engagement ratios—some as high as those enjoyed by the biggest winners in the B2C space. How do they do it? By employing some of these ideas:

Thinking beyond LinkedIn: LinkedIn is used by the vast majority of B2B marketers (upwards of 90 percent use the platform), but it’s hardly the most effective platform when it comes to supporting their brand and engaging with followers, according to the TrackMaven report. For better results, look to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest. And what about Twitter? TrackMaven found that, across industries, B2B brands have an average engagement ratio on Twitter that is below two interactions per post per 1,000 followers.

Adding a human touch: “People don’t want to engage with a faceless robot,” explains Wendy Marx in a recent Business2Community post on B2B social media best practices. In posts, refer to your company as “we” and don’t be afraid to be conversational and even a little witty, like this funny Instagram post from Novartis:

Who says great scientists always have to be serious? #NextGenScience #CelebrateScience #HappyFriday ⚗

A photo posted by Novartis (@novartis) on

Perfecting the art of the brag: You don’t have to overtly pat your company on the back, but why not demonstrate your organization’s values by showcasing all of the ways you’re helping customers, communities and employees be the best they can be? Here’s one from Merck’s Facebook page showing the volunteer work of its employees:

Taking followers behind the scenes: Oracle, which made ClickZ’s list for 10 B2B brands that are killing it on social media, offers frequent glimpses into their offices. Here’s one of their fun tweets:

Encouraging user-generated content: Instagram has more than 1,000 posts tagged with #LifeAtCapGemini, a campaign Cap Gemini launched to help its followers learn more about the consulting company’s employees and culture. Here’s a sampling:

BNP Media Acquires Beverage World And BevOps Fleet Summit


Digital, print properties to be merged into BNP Media’s Beverage Industry publication

BNP Media has acquired Beverage World as well as its successful BevOps Fleet Summit. Through this acquisition, BNP Media will continue to produce and expand the BevOps Fleet Summit, while merging Beverage World’s digital and print properties into BNP Media’s Beverage Industry.

Under BNP Media’s ownership, there will be a combined, shared dedication to editorial excellence and integrity to help empower beverage market professionals through BNP’s resources and increase engagement across all media platforms.

“The acquisition of Beverage World fits well with our new strategy of being customer-centric across our Food, Beverage, Packaging Group (FBP), ” says John Schrei, Publishing Director of BNP Media. “It allows us to continue on our path of placing our customers’ success at the center of our business philosophy, operations, products and ideas.” Continue reading this article

Using Stories of Outrageous Customer Service to Strengthen Your Brand


Most companies would stop at nothing to right a wrong caused by their product or personnel. If they didn’t, they would risk losing a customer. But what happens when something goes wrong and you’re not at fault—but you also have the power to fix it? If you’re on the fence about braving a blizzard to solve a customer’s problem, consider this: Going for the outrageous display of customer service could help strengthen your brand.

Every company has a set of values that is reflected in their brand. Part of communicating your values is sharing examples of how they are displayed in the course of serving customers. Business-to-business customer service is all about building long-term relationships, trust and credibility. What better way to demonstrate that than by sharing how you do it, day in and day out? Follow these four tips for using stories of outrageous customer service to strengthen your brand. Continue reading this article

How to Help Your Company’s Experts Become Thought Leaders

BNP Solutions 48

We live in an era in which corporate executives are asking their marketing department to help them become “thought leaders.” Unfortunately, thought leadership is something that doesn’t start in the marketing department, it starts with identifying the experts in a company—and then helping them raise their visibility within a specific targeted audience.

Certainly, many corporate executives are experts. But typically they are experts in the successful management of people, processes and resources.

When people in an industry want to learn about something other than the financial or strategic plans of a business, they typically want to hear from the experts who work in labs or create products—those who can help decide whether to use the red widget instead of the blue widget. Continue reading this article

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