October 23, 2023

Renegade Marketing Review by Petra Bajdek

by Guest Post

Renegade Marketing: A Practical Guide to B2B Marketing

Written by Petra Bajdek, Student at Bentley University | August 2023

In the book, Renegade Marketing: 12 Steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands, marketing influencer and founder of CMO Huddles, Drew Neisser, explores the keys to successful business-to-business (B2B) marketing through a series of anecdotes shared by leading Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs).

Having worked with companies of all sizes – from start-ups to Fortune 100s – Neisser sought to break down the complexities of B2B marketing by interviewing more than 400 top marketing leaders to glean best practices across all facets of the practice – including brand building, value articulation, marketing technology, and customer obsession. What he discovered during the hundreds of hours of interviews is that the best marketers believe in simplification and often possess four essential characteristics.

These “renegade marketers” are Courageous, Artful, Thoughtful, and Scientific (CATS). From there, Neisser built a 12-step framework that utilizes these principles to help marketers transform their organizations and truly differentiate their brands.

From exploring their newfound courage to being artful communicators; from putting employees at the forefront of brand evangelism to setting the right benchmarks without over-investing, renegade marketers cut through the status quo to bring about productive and visible change.    

Renegade Marketing seems to be an incredibly useful book to a marketing practitioner in today’s B2B world. The 12-step framework is not just a theoretical tool, but rather a valuable asset to the marketer who is looking to learn by example.

One of the most interesting chapters talks about “automating attentively” and discusses how to get the most out of your marketing technology stack and how to measure the value of the tools you are using. Neisser layers in third-party industry analysis and anecdotes from the CMO at Postclick, Eric Eden. The chapter offers real-world guidance and suggestions (e.g., staff appropriately, conduct a “MarTech” audit, do not buy more than you need). Finally, Neisser sums up the chapter with key takeaways to further underscore his points. Every chapter follows this flow and format and could easily be seen as a handbook rather than a textbook.

As a Talent Marketing intern, I appreciated the chapter entitled, “Welcome We,” which highlighted, among other things, the importance of galvanizing your own employees and how critical it is to build effective teams, something made more difficult by the remote nature of work today. Not only must “artful” marketers prioritize customers and their needs, but they must also, as noted by Neisser, “shift from a “me” to a “we” perspective” (37) and recognize that marketing is a team sport.

I found the book’s recommendation to focus on talent, values, and team very compelling and it reminded me of my recent trip to my company’s headquarters. There, alongside hundreds of other interns, I listened to the top leaders in the organization talk about our purpose and mission as a company – the “why” we do what we do and the important role that every individual plays at the company. I felt proud in that moment and returned from the trip energized and excited to collaborate with my colleagues in both Brand and Talent.

Neisser just reinforced what I learned from our leaders – that to humanize our brand, we must first buy into the promise and then next work together as a team to tell the stories of the lives we impact, thus marketing our brand.

As I head into the final month of my internship, I will keep Neisser’s book with me, referring to it when I have questions or want to find inspiration. After all, I hope to be featured in Neisser’s next book as one of the CATS.