Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Ilene Rosenthal is the CEO of White Space Marketing Group, fulfilling her aspiration to bring hybrid marketing expertise to the mid-market. With a deep love for the brand, and a practical passion for marketing that delivers results, Ilene runs the Strategy Lab at White Space, and serves as a fractional CMO for small and mid-sized businesses.

Author's Posts

CEOs: Have You Really Defined What “Success” Means for Your Business?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

How are you, as a business owner, defining success… for YOURSELF?

Of course, the revenue, the unit sales, the audience expansion—all of that’s important. But, we know that other objectives might be part of the plan. For example...

  • Do you want to sell your business?
  • Make an acquisition?
  • Retire (like, for *real* retire)?
  • Expand the geo-footprint of your business now that everything is remote?
  • Do you really just want to work LESS (and enjoy more of life)?

Your marketing investment may differ depending on your answer.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

CEOs: Mastering The Content Marketing Machine

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

For CEOs and their marketing teams, two words can spike blood pressure in an instant: content marketing.

It’s daunting to think about all the content you need (or want) to produce, who is going to do that, who has time to do that, which channels to distribute to... the unanswered questions go on, and on.

Let’s take a moment to think about how to approach your content marketing strategy so it’s not such a conundrum. In my experience, a few key steps can make a significant difference in effort, investment, and results.

Build Once, Use Often

Content marketing is one area of your overall strategy where you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The concept is to build once, then use often.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

Customer Relationship Status: “It’s Complicated”

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Is your marketing budget taking a steep cut these days? Many marketing leaders across North America are seeing budgets fall from 11% to only 6.4% of their company’s revenue.

If that sounds familiar, the best next step to keep growing your business is to get even smarter with your marketing investments. Time to stop leading with your creative side (ouch, I know) and start leading with a more strategic approach.

Making a smart, strategic investment is going to mean a deeper understanding of your buyers and their journey to conversion. So, as a CEO, it’s important to consider what the buyer journey really is… and what it’s not. 

[Spoiler: it’s not tactical… It's complicated.]

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

How “Intimate” Do You Want to Be with Your Marketing?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

It goes without saying, but it's worth reiterating: marketing is an ever-evolving business function. There is always a new tactic or technology to consider incorporating into your marketing efforts. I’ve referred to it before as the “new and shiny.”

As CEOs, COOs, and CFOs diligently work to stay ahead of the curve and optimize the overall business strategy, in-house marketing professionals may struggle to fulfill all the needs of developing and executing a well-rounded marketing strategy.

Hiring others as marketing experts, consultants, or freelancers to assist—for the short or long-term—is one way to advance an organization’s goals. However, business owners and leaders have some key decisions to make when enlisting external help.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

Where’s the Hidden Gem in Your Small Business?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

The ambitions of the small business owner are unmatched in enthusiasm, nimbleness, creativity, and sheer grit. These admirable attributes can come along with a huge dose of impatience. As a small business CEO, you think: I’m moving fast, so the world is going to move fast with me.

I’m a big believer in taking the long view of marketing--because all marketing lives to serve clear and specific actions we want to see in our businesses. Success is the process of doing the reps, not a swing of the magic wand.

But, sometimes impressive strides can be made in a short amount of time to yield results--as long as you make time to step away and think through the possibilities. This helps break away from the randomness of “let’s try this!” look under the hood.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a story for you.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

CEOs: How to Avoid Waste and Risk in Marketing

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

I’m curious… What’s the most over-promised/under-delivered marketing solution you ever invested in?

I’ll bet you can rattle off an entire list of marketing initiatives that fell short of your expectations. It’s no wonder CEOs are hesitant to invest in marketing at all.

I feel terrible about this because I really DO believe in marketing. It has a job to do, and I expect it to do the job it should. But, when I say that I have three simple solutions for investing smartly, I understand when CEOs are still reluctant to proceed.

3 Steps You Can Take NOW

One of the things I’ve seen make a significant impact (and which I explore in this week’s video) is when business leaders start to look inside their own company, before paying for outside marketing services or solutions.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

CEOs: I’m Spilling Some Small Business Secrets

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Lean in, and I’ll tell you a secret…

Marketing decisions are actually easier than many CEOs think.

Marketing decisions aren't just about marketing. They’re connected to your P&L, in-house resource management, and talent. That’s why these decisions cause CEOs stress, indecision, and major second-guessing.

So, how can marketing decisions be easier to grapple with, considering everything else on your plate?

Applying a Business Approach to Marketing

Think about it...

You use the same disciplines in making decisions about your company as a whole. You focus on the most important things; what’s yielded results in the past.

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

The Content You Keep: Common Content Marketing Misconceptions

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

I ask the CEOs and other business leaders I work with to consider this: Know what you know, and know what you don’t know.

One area of your marketing strategy you can know (or learn to know) is content marketing.

What’s Preventing Success in Your Marketing Programs?

In their collection of content assets (blogs, white papers, ebooks, etc.), companies often talk about themselves in terms of products, services, or features. But, how does that really differentiate from others in your space who do exactly what you do?

Simple answer: It doesn’t.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

Do Your Marketing Timelines Need a Reality Check?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

No one really enjoys a reality check. It means we’re forced to look in a mirror and really examine the “uglies” (flaws, gaps, errors) in our expectations.

For a busy CEO, reality checks are the Mt. Everest of planning… especially when it comes to marketing.

And, to be truly effective, a marketing reality check has to involve more than the “logistical” stuff like spending and budget limitations. Much, much more.

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

The CMO Solution to Small Business Marketing

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

For several years, many companies eliminated the role of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), choosing to bring in talented marketing specialists instead. 

How’d that work out? You can see where I’m going with this…

At the time, company leaders who didn’t value the CMO role made one key (and common) mistake: They didn’t understand the value of a strategic view that connects marketing to business. Instead, they believed the collective expertise of these specialists would create, and then fulfill, their marketing mission.

A shift is now occurring. CEOs who recognize they don’t have the capacity to effectively map marketing strategy to business goals are reconsidering the CMO role. But, there are important factors to keep top of mind so business leaders don’t make the same mistake as years’ past.

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

watch the WEBINAR: how to AVOID random acts of marketing 

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