What can B2B marketers learn from family history research?
Family history research offers a surprising number of valuable lessons for marketers looking to hone existing skills and build new ones.
For starters, genealogy research can teach us about:
Knowing Your Marketing Roots
Sharpening Your Research Skills
Building Enduring Passion
Aside from childhood school family history projects, I first stared researching my roots in earnest in 1994, and a decade later for several years I worked as a professional genealogist.
It’s still a passion, and a pursuit that has for millions of people of all ages around the world become not only one of the fastest-growing pastimes — spurred on by popular shows such as Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr., Who Do You Think You Are and others — but a multi-billion dollar industry.
“Learning to sing one's own songs, to trust the particular cadences of own's voices, is also the goal of any writer.” — Henry Louis Gates Jr. @HenryLouisGatesCLICK TO TWEET
Let’s open your own B2B marketing book of life, with 10 tips genealogy offers marketers.
1 — Know Your Marketing Roots
Family history gives researchers 工作职能邮件数据库 newfound understanding, insight, and appreciation for the very real people who form our own personal ancestry.
Marketers too can gain a great deal by learning more about marketing through the lens of the people who played instrumental roles in marketing.
Genealogy reminds us to take the time to learn about the origins of our particular marketing specialty.
Are you involved in B2B influencer marketing? Learn about the professionals who first innovated B2B marketing by applying the strongest aspects of influencer marketing — people like our own TopRank Marketing CEO and co-founder Lee Odden.
At its root the underlying truths of influencer marketing aren’t new at all, as I took to its ultimate conclusion in “10 Tips From Influencer Marketing’s Hidden 1,000-Year History,” with insights to help inspire your marketing from the likes of Hildegard von Bingen through Phineas Taylor “P.T.” Barnum and David Ogilvy.
Invest some time learning about people such as Edward Louis Bernays, the father of public relations, or even the early pioneers of the Internet and the web, who had such a profound effect on how marketers — and pretty much everybody else these days — perform work. Last year when the Internet turned 50, I wrote a celebration in “Classic Marketing Insights to Celebrate the Internet’s 50th Birthday,” and took a look as some of the key pioneering figures.
“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” — Winston ChurchillCLICK TO TWEET
Take-Away: The more you know your marketing roots the better your own marketing will be.
2 — Sharpen Your Research Skills
At the heart of genealogy sits sharp research skills, to such an extent that many genealogists have to force themselves to occasionally stop researching in order to dedicate time to publishing the results of all that work.
Marketing generally doesn’t involve nearly as great a percentage of time researching as genealogy, yet the benefits of strong research are undeniable, and are often what sets apart run of the mill promotional efforts from those that lead the industry and win awards.
We’ve explored original research in various forms, and you’ll find helpful information in the following articles from our archives:
How to Optimize Original B2B Research Content For Credibility and Impact
What You Can Learn from Competitive Research to Improve B2B Content Marketing Performance
Always-On Influence: Why B2B Needs Brand Research
10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers
“You have to know the past to understand the present.” — Dr. Carl SaganCLICK TO TWEET
Take-Away: Research is vital in marketing, so try incorporating more time to research in your marketing efforts, and to improving your research skills — because the smarter you are when it comes to research, the more efficient the process becomes.
3 — Build Enduring Passion Into Your B2B Marketing
Are you being the best marketer you can be? Are you creating the kind of marketing your descendants will be proud of in 200 years, or at least be able to understand and feel some sense of compassion for?
One key ingredient of successful and genuine marketing is the passion of the person creating it. Share your unique voice to tell compelling stories in your marketing efforts, and when possible humanize your work using anecdotes and history from your own journey.