Thursday, May 6Digital Transformation
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Break Free B2B Marketing: Tamara McCleary of Thulium on Visions of the Future and Doing No Harm

Tamara McCleary

When it comes to B2B influencer marketing, it’s natural to wonder just what an industry influencer actually looks like?

Our third season of Break Free B2B Marketing video interviews feature conversations with top B2B influencers, looking closely at the issues that each expert is influential about in their industry.

For more than a decade our team at TopRank Marketing has fostered a strong community of leading influencers, developing close relationships with subject matter experts in many industries.

Sometimes you meet a person who ticks all the boxes: they’re smart, they’re funny, they’re connected, they’re brave, and they’re an expert — in not just one thing, but many. You can learn a lot from people like this: tips, tricks, advice, best practices, and more. The one thing they can teach you about more clearly than anyone else, however, is what’s going to happen next.

Tamara McCleary, CEO of Thulium, is just this sort of person. She’s been labeled a pioneer influencer of social media marketing for B2B, is the CEO of global digital social media marketing agency Thulium, and just recently enrolled to further her education at Harvard University. Tamara’s favorite thing to talk about is the future — the future of marketing, work, artificial reality, trust, life, and belief. These insights are valuable to any B2B marketer trying to figure out the next steps toward new successes, and they’re also the reason we asked her to speak with us for the latest episode of our Break Free B2B Marketing interview series.

Break Free B2B Interview with Tamara McCleary

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If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 2:48 – Meet Tamara
  • 4:05 – What does “do no harm” mean?
  • 11:01 – Concerns about privacy in the modern world
  • 12:33 – “Let’s talk 2030.”
  • 17:04 – How do we approach the risks that come with adopting technology of the future?
  • 22:15 – How do you think the global workforce will be operating in the next year and how has COVID influenced those changes?
  • 29:11 – Tamara’s experience pursuing further education at Harvard
  • 32:49 – How Tamara feels about the word influencer
  • 36:50 – Why should B2B marketers be working with influencers or thought leaders?
  • 44:54 – How do you figure out what’s important to your audiences?
  • 48:46 – Have you seen any B2B tech campaigns you like or are involved in that are something special?
  • 54:51 – How people can get ahold of Tamara
  • 55:57 – In conclusion: how can B2B leaders break free?

Sue: Most of our clients are tech clients. And of course, we’re all trying to rise to the next technology that eases our worlds. AI is massive, and for most of our clients, there’s a vision of it. We have to be communicating what the benefits are as marketers. But at the same time, I think we all understand, though, there’s a little bit of risk here. So how do we approach this? How do we reconcile ourselves to these things that are happening? What’s our job in terms of protecting humanity as we bring these things forth?

Tamara: You need the protection of policy, because I think it’s really difficult to say that marketing is going to have to be the policing agent for organizations as to whether or not something that they’re putting out there as proper, that’s a lot of burden to put. Not only that, it’s a conflict of interest. Because if that’s your client, and you’re running a business, and they’re a business, now we’re asking you to police. And that’s not right. Instead, I say that you need to be protected by policies put in place that say that these things are okay and lawful to do. And these things are unlawful because in marketing, we saw this happen, even with technologies that came out for social listening and monitoring — there were things that you can do, there were back-doors. I remember even 10 years ago, backdoor ways where you could see who was sending that email, who was clicking on on that tweet, who’s opening that Facebook ad? But the thing is, ethically, it’s not right. As an organization, I think it’s where you take a stand and go, you know — we will treat all people respectfully and within the law. And what’s nice is when you do have the law behind you, and you say no to something, these organizations that you and I work with —  their legal teams would never go for something that was unlawful, never. I really feel that the companies we work with are those A-plus companies that do care about being law abiding citizens, but there are those out there that don’t. And usually they don’t bother to hire agencies like ours. Because if you’re going to be underhanded, you’re not really going to pay for top level advice that’s going to tell you that you’re wrong.

“The more diverse your workforce is, the better your ideas, innovation, and problem solving are, because you don’t have a bunch of heads that look like one another nodding in agreement, which doesn’t get us anywhere.” — @TamaraMcCleary Click To Tweet

Tamara: From an HR perspective, what’s wonderful is the fact that we now are open to the ability to have much more diversity within the workforce, and what I mean by that is diversity of geographic location — diversity of education. Because I don’t think it’s about your education or your degree, as much as it’s about your willingness and your hunger to learn, earn and be agile, because everything’s changing, right? 85% of the jobs in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. I need agile diversity of people and ethnicities because we can go outside of our zone. I think that just having a remote workforce gives us the ability to have a better mix within an organization of diversity of thought, because the more diverse your workforce is, the better your ideas, the better your innovation, the better your problem solves are, because you don’t have a bunch of heads that look like one another nodding in agreement, which doesn’t get us anywhere.

So I love the fact that I think a year out from now we’re going to see that a remote workforce is a good workforce, and it allows us to include more people than maybe might have been included when they had to come into a physical office. And then on the other side and perspective, I think what we’re offering a year out from now is that people are going to be able to have a greater work experience, and the employee experience will be shifted, because you can get your work done and still do all the things in your life that you may need to do, whether that’s your 12 noon yoga class, or having lunch with your kids, or expanding your mind with painting or clay or taking a writing class. With the flexibility of a remote workforce, we have the ability now to express ourselves more, versus having these compartments that have never worked — a compartment that says “this is our personal life,” and the compartment that says “this is my work life.” Then I think we can finally stop talking about that really annoying work life balance that never worked.

Keep your eye on the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Also check out episodes from season 1 and season 2.

Take your B2B marketing to new heights by checking out out previous season 3 episodes of Break Free B2B Marketing:

 

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