In B2B Marketing: Tomorrow’s Best Practices Today, we feature expert interviews about the state of B2B Marketing and what the future holds. In this post, I interview Katie Robbert, CEO and Co-Founder of Trust Insights.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m CEO and Co-Founder of Trust Insights. All of my professional history (that matters) is on LinkedIn so I won’t bore you with those details.

I’m a total introvert and prefer hanging out with my husband and dogs, compared to attending big events and being around a lot of people. I get antsy if I go too long without spending time in the woods.

I’m a morning person, a disaster in the kitchen, I don’t take myself seriously, and I’m always cold. It can be 90 degrees outside and I’m still going to wear long pants and a hooded sweatshirt.

Note: Follow Katie on Twitter, @katierobbert.

The Trust Insights tagline is “We light up your dark data.” Tell us about that?

I love puzzles and unraveling mysteries.

The practice of data analysis is one big puzzle with lots of different pieces. What I’ve observed is that often times, marketers are sitting on piles of data that they have collected but they are so underwater with responsibilities that they don’t have time to think what’s useful and actionable.

That’s where Trust Insights comes in.

When we say, “We light up dark data,” what we’re saying is that we can shine a light on that pile, organize the chaos, and put the puzzle pieces of data together to tell a coherent story of what’s happening.

By having us do the heavy lifting, marketers can stay focused on what’s important: relationship building, customer service, insights, and action.

Note: Visit the Trust Insights website for information on their Data Detective Work offering.

Tell us about your background in B2B marketing?

“I feel like I’m still learning about how to be a better marketer all the time.”

I started to get into marketing when I was a product manager at a Health IT company. There wasn’t a formal digital marketing practice, we did more offline/traditional marketing.

While I was working there I got my Masters in Marketing and Technological Innovations. It was still around traditional marketing practices, nothing about digital. When I transitioned into agency life running a marketing team, I was a blank slate.

I learned a lot about digital B2B marketing really quickly, and my product manager skills helped me with that transition. I feel like I’m still learning about how to be a better marketer all the time.

What’s a best practice that B2B marketers should move on from?

Doubling down on social media.

Yes, it should be part of your strategy, but it’s changing so quickly from what it was and how effective it can be. The best practice that markers should move on from is an emphasis on social media and lack of channel diversification.

Many of the main platforms have structured their algorithms such that if you’re not paying to boost your post it likely won’t be seen if you’re reliant on organic social. You also need to do an audience analysis of each platform to ensure you’re even reaching the right people.

A better bet is to work on diversifying the digital channels so the journey is more balanced and that social media is just a percentage instead of a majority.

Tell us a best practice of tomorrow that B2B marketers should be doing today?

The only thing you can fall back on in marketing is the data that you own: your connections, your communities, your database.

Focus on building out your contact list. Email marketing is something you can control and rely on when the other channels are going through algorithm changes. Email is not dead. Create your own community of people who are the right audience and use them as a focus group and hive mind.

These are your loyalists, your evangelists, your people.

Note: Subscribe to Trust Insights’ In The Headlights newsletter.

You wrote a blog series titled “How to Find a 10x Marketer.” Tell us about that?

Note: here’s Part 1 of “How to Find a 10x Marketer.”

“I prefer to be a generalist. I find it keeps things more interesting and it continues to open up opportunities to learn and grow.”

When I was in high school, a teacher wrote a college recommendation for me that said I was a “jack of all trades, master of none” and I took it really hard.

I saw that as a negative, that I couldn’t stay focused on any one thing. Now I realize what a strength it is to be a T-Shaped person. Meaning that I have a main area of focus (marketing and analytics) but that I also have a well-rounded understanding in the subcategories under marketing: channel marketing, email marketing, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Organization Behavior, Governance, etc.

Marketers can either be specialists, where they only focus on one thing and become experts, or they can be generalists, where they dabble in a bit of everything. Personally, I prefer to be a generalist. I find it keeps things more interesting and it continues to open up opportunities to learn and grow.

Tell us about interesting guests you had on the “Punch Out With Katie and Kerry” podcast?

Note: “Punch Out With Katie and Kerry” is one of my favorite podcasts. I devoured all three seasons.

Podcast: Punch Out with Katie and Kerry

It’s funny. When we start these interviews, people often go in thinking, “I’m boring, I don’t have any interesting hobbies or stories to tell.”

As we get our guests to open up and start sharing, we find out things we never set out to talk about. One of my favorite stories is the one that John J. Wall told about fishing a chicken carcass out of a blocked toilet. It was so unexpected.

I work with him every day at Trust Insights and I’m still learning new things about him all the time. Other interviews that were unexpected: Bobby Lehew, for instance, grew up attending a school for juvenile delinquents. Scott Monty can do an impressive amount of Simpsons impressions. Katie Martell has a twin – imagine that there are TWO of them in the world!

Note: Along with Trust Insights’ Co-Founder Christopher Penn, Katie also hosts the In-Ear Insights podcast. Tune in to a recent episode:

You’re a guest on your own podcast. Share a hobby or collection that you have?
Stephen King profile photo

Stephen King. Photo via King’s Twitter profile.

I love Stephen King (and Joe Hill and Owen King) books and I feel like I should have one of those conspiracy boards that ties all the stories and characters together, putting Randall Flagg and Maine smack in the center.

He’s masterfully created this whole alternate universe where there are overlaps in characters, stories, and histories.

Sure, I could go onto forums to see what other people say but it’s something that I like to figure out for myself. It’s a fun challenge to try to piece together all of the connections.

As I said, I like puzzles.

If you happen to be reading this, Stephen King, Katie sends her regards: