Influencer Interview Series: How Top Marketers Shop for Father’s Day

Looking for ideas on what to get someone this Father’s Day? Then you came to the right place. The Callbox team recently reached out to a number of top marketing influencers and asked how they choose the perfect Father’s Day gifts. We rounded up their answers in this blog post, and we guarantee you can’t go wrong with the shopping tips they shared.

But besides giving out practical gift-buying suggestions, their responses also gave us a ton of insights on a crucial thing in B2B marketing: understanding what our audience really wants and being able to deliver on these expectations.

Whether it’s mapping content to relevant buyer personas, tailoring your messaging strategy to different segments, or adapting your value proposition to a new target market, most of the things we do as marketers simply boil down to figuring out how to best delight potential customers—which is a lot like picking the perfect Father’s Day present.

So, don’t worry if you haven’t yet started shopping for Father’s Day. Use this influencer roundup as your handy gift-buying guide:

Pam Moore (The Marketing Nutz)

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Pam Moore, CEO at social media training and consulting agency The Marketing Nutz, suggests finding two or three things that your dad, husband, or grandpa loves to do as a Father’s Day present. I totally agree with this, since I really think experiences make people happier than material gifts.

Keep it super simple. Think of what they love to eat, drink and do. Pick one or two or three. Here’s an example… buy them a new 32 oz Yeti cup at Sports Authority. While there pick up a gift card for them to use on their favorite sport or hobby. Then, take them out to eat and talk about all the things they are going to eat, drink and do the next year! You’ll be amazed what a fun day your dad, hubby, son or grandpa has!

Mike Allton (The Social Media Hat)

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Mike Allton is the founder of The Social Media Hat, a full-service digital marketing agency, and brand evangelist at Agorapulse. Mike makes an excellent point when he says presents that involve “time spent” tend to be the best Father’s Day gifts. Again, experiences make us way happier than objects ever could, and that’s a scientific fact.

I find that the best gifts, particularly for parents, are ones that incorporate the gift of time spent.

It’s fine to buy them an item that they need or want, but that relational gift is usually so much more valuable, particularly as we get older and tend to have less time to spend with our parents.

Why not give them a dinner out with you or a trip to the park or a game night? Think of something they love to do and then incorporate yourself into that plan.

Timothy Hughes (Digital Leadership Associates)

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Social selling expert Tim Hughes gives a very touching answer to our influencer roundup. He wants to take his parents out to once again experience an activity they both love when they were still young.

My father is 87 has a dementia and lives in a home. He tells us that he has totally lost all memory but for some strange reason he can still recall his love of classical music. He and my mum were big fans of the Proms, they used to go when they were courting and before they had my brother and myself. I would love to take both my parents to see the Last Night of the Proms one more time.

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Sue Zimmerman (The Insta Expert)

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Sue Zimmerman helps women entrepreneurs achieve digital marketing success through visual storytelling using Instagram. Sue shares a very short but very sweet answer. At the end of the day, it’s how much dads value something that makes it a perfect gift.

I think about what he wants and needs then I buy it – this year I got him a subscription to Amazon Prime

Joe Pulizzi (Content Marketing Institute)

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As one of the towering figures in marketing today, Joe Pulizzi certainly knows a thing or two about delivering what people want. That’s why his story about choosing the perfect gifts for both his dad and step-dad is simply priceless. His main takeaway for delighting dads: find something that will take them back to the good ole days.

My dad is easy to buy for. He’s like me and loves bourbon. Elijah Craig Small Batch to be exact. But my step-father is a different animal. A few years ago I was pondering what to get him and I remembered he used to have a huge vinyl record collection and a big stereo. Vinyl had made a bit of a comeback and the nostalgia of yesteryear was compelling. So I jumped online and ordered him a Crosby portable case record player and went down to the used record store to buy him 5-6 albums I knew he used to have. You would have thought I bought him front row tickets to Hendrix. He loved it.

So, think about something your Dad used to do that he doesn’t do anymore. And find something that will take him back to the good ole days.

Robert Katai (Bannersnack)

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Here’s a very interesting response from Robert Katai, digital marketer and content strategist at Bannersnack. Robert’s answer is certainly something we can all learn from. That’s why we saved it for last.

My insight is this: time is the most important piece today. That’s why on Father’s Day I’m recommending to everybody to give their time: time to listen, time to ask, time to just stay together and create memories from this important present.


I hope that helped narrow down your shopping list. It’s not easy to find the perfect gift for the dads you know, but sometimes all it takes is letting them experience something they really enjoy.

Happy Father’s Day to everyone in the marketing world!

The 2019 Callbox Influencer Awards: Meet This Year’s Winners

The 2019 Oscars may be over, but awards season is still in full swing here at Callbox. We’re excited to announce the big winners of our first-ever Callbox Influencer Awards.

With the Callbox Influencer Awards, we shine the spotlight on five marketing influencers whose work has dramatically transformed the following key marketing areas:

  1. Content Creation
  2. Social Media
  3. Book Publishing
  4. Video Marketing
  5. Live Events

For each of these categories, our editorial team sifts through dozens of potential candidates and chooses the influencer who best embodies the spirit of that category’s award and, at the same time, also represents the ideals that drive Callbox’s marketing services.

Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2019 Callbox Influencer Awards:

Influencer Award for Content Creation


In a world awash with blog posts, infographics, guides, videos, whitepapers, and what have you, it can be very tough for us marketers to stand out and connect with our audience through content. But a few exceptional content creators do get their message across and generate genuine engagement.

The Influencer Award for Content Creation honors B2B marketers who not only consistently produce engaging material, but also provide inspiration for others to craft quality content. This award recognizes a marketer’s overall body of work and its impact, not just a specific campaign or content piece.

In short, it’s an award for people who help move B2B content marketing (and the rest of us) forward.

This year’s Influencer Award for Content Creation goes to Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at Marketingprofs. We choose Ann due to a number of reasons. First, Marketingprofs continues to be a leading resource for marketers the world over (including for us here at Callbox, particularly The Savvy Marketer blog). Under Ann’s leadership, Marketingprofs has produced content pieces that make marketers say “Why didn’t I think of that” out loud.

Even more significant, it’s her advocacy for “good content over good-enough content” that really earns her this distinction. Ann has been waging an unrelenting war against plain, mediocre content for years now, and this campaign has inspired marketers to craft content that’s meaningful and engaging. After all…

Marketing is art plus intent.– Ann Handley

Influencer Award for Social Media


If you asked marketing thought leaders about social media a decade ago, most of them would have simply dismissed the new channel as pure hype. A rare minority, however, saw past the early excitement and realized the true potential of social media in driving marketing (and even sales) results.

Today, social media is an essential component of any modern marketing strategy. It’s a key channel in the buying process, and it’s the ideal place to engage and interact with potential customers.

Depending on who you ask, anywhere between 50% to 90% of B2B decision makers research a solution via social media, and at least 9 in every 10 B2B marketers include social media in their marketing toolkits.

That’s thanks in large part to influencers like Kim Garst who helped shape how social media evolved into an indispensable marketing tool. It’s for that valuable contribution that we’re awarding the 2019 Influencer Award for Social Media to CEO and social media influencer Kim Garst.

Kim is the founder and CEO of Boom!, a leading personal branding and social media consulting company. She has consistently been named by various sources (including Forbes, Inc., Sendible, etc.) as a highly-influential social media influencer for several years now. But, more importantly, Kim is widely considered as one of the most prominent social media pioneers that drove the development of the channel.

If people like you, they’ll listen to you. But if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.– Kim Garst

Influencer Award for Book Publishing


Books hold the power to change not only our minds but our lives as well—and marketing and sales books are no exception. A good marketing-focused book broadens our perspective while at the same time deepens our understanding of a specific marketing subject. Most of all, a good book makes us more effective marketers and better persons.

Here at the Savvy Marketer, we devour tons of books each year, with topics ranging from overall marketing strategy to specialized areas of interest. We believe that a thought leader also needs to be a good author so that their ideas can have a stronger and longer-lasting impact.

That’s why we’re making the Influencer Award for Book Publishing as a key part of our annual influencer recognition. This award gives distinction to a marketing influencer who demonstrates original insight, in-depth expertise, and far-reaching impact through his or her published books. Simply put, this award recognizes an author’s valuable contribution to the field of marketing.

The 2019 Influencer Award for Book Publishing goes to social media consultant, keynote speaker, and marketing educator Mark Schaefer for his string of highly-influential books tackling social media and modern marketing.

Mark is the author of the best-selling book on Twitter The Tau of Twitter, the first book on influencer marketing Return on Influence, the highly-acclaimed content marketing guide The Content Code, a comprehensive book on branding Known: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age—among others.

All these titles make Mark Schaefer among the most prolific and widely-cited authors in the marketing world, and an influencer definitely worth a close follow.

Business results on the web don’t come from content; they come from content that moves. Even if your content is great, there’s no guarantee it will rise to the top in an increasingly competitive world.– Mark Schaefer

Influencer Award for Video Marketing


The next great frontier in content marketing is video. That’s because videos increasingly drive purchase decisions, as shown by a recent Forbes and Google study on video consumption in the C-suite.

The report finds that 75% of C-level executives watch work-related videos on business websites weekly, while 52% watch work-related videos on YouTube each week.

We want to highlight and promote the importance of videos by recognizing the people that do excellent work with this medium. That’s what our Influencer Award for Video Marketing aims to achieve.

Like an engaging video clip, a video marketing influencer needs to possess three key qualities to be successful. He or she focuses on storytelling (not just promotion); he or she knows the audience inside-out; and he or she is someone viewers can learn from.

We searched far and wide, and we find VaynerMedia founder and CEO Gary Vaynerchuk to be the best candidate for the 2019 Influencer Award for Video Marketing.

Gary’s marketing career story—from expanding his father’s wine business online during the Web’s early days, to becoming a multi-million-dollar serial entrepreneur with several successful companies under him—is an inspiration to many marketers. His lengthy track record of successful marketing partnerships with various Fortune 500 clients speaks volumes about how well he knows his target audience.

But most important of all, Gary Vaynerchuk teaches us a lot about video marketing. Gary is one of the earliest marketing influencers to predict the rise of video as today’s single most important content marketing strategy, and he continues to evangelize this message to make sure no marketer gets left behind.

No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.– Gary Vaynerchuk

Influencer Award for Live Events


There’s no doubt that live events remain a crucial marketing tactic even in the digital age. The Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report finds that 84% of senior leadership (VP and C-level) in B2B organizations consider live events essential to business success.

But live events aren’t exactly a walk in the park to organize and execute. It takes careful planning and preparation to make sure everything runs smoothly—from making sure attendees respond to invites, to converting and nurturing event prospects.

Some marketers simply seem to have the right touch for live events. Effective event marketers know how to joggle registrations, attendance, engagement, and logistics together to achieve the results they expect. Callbox’s Influencer Award for Live Events is dedicated to recognizing marketers who demonstrate these qualities.

This year, the Influencer Award for Live Events goes to J Baer, founder of Convince & Convert and one of the marketing world’s most in-demand speakers. A Certified Speaking Professional, Jay (together with his team) delivers keynote presentations, conducts training workshops, participates in industry events, and works with other organizations to make the most of their events.

Jay Baer is widely considered as one of the most influential, inspiring, and insightful marketing speakers today.

What if instead of trying to be amazing you just focused on being useful? What if you decided to inform, rather than promote?– Jay Baer


Congratulations to this year’s big winners. The entire B2B marketing world is a whole lot better because of the work you do.

For the rest of us marketers, let’s all try to follow in their footsteps and stand on the shoulders of giants. We’ll reach and see farther ahead that way.

Mobile-First Indexing: What It Means for SEO and How to Prepare (feat. Timothy Hughes of Digital Leadership Associates)

In September, Google ramped up its rollout of the much-awaited mobile-first indexing update to the wider web. While it’s still too early to tell how exactly this change impacts your SEO efforts, the update clearly shows Google wants to give mobile users a better online experience—and you definitely should, too.

Now that the SEO world has fully gotten over the five stages of grief that typically accompanies important Google updates like this one, it’s going to be much easier for us to find useful insights and best practices on how to properly respond to the change.

That’s what we’ll detail in this blog post. We’ll first take a close look at some possible ways Google’s mobile-first update can affect your SEO activities. We’ll then go over a number of practical steps to help you build a mobile-first SEO strategy.

What Mobile-First Indexing Means for SEO

When Google first made its first mobile-friendly update in 2015, a lot of SEO folks dubbed it “Mobilegeddon” amid worries that the algorithm tweak could mess up page rankings.

Much of the fears later turned out to be overblown. But that didn’t stop many in the industry from once again bringing up the idea of mobile apocalypse after Google announced its plans for mobile-first indexing in 2016.

Mobile-first indexing, in Google’s own words, means the search engine uses “the mobile version” of a webpage for indexing and ranking to better help its “primarily mobile users”.

Previously, Google used the desktop version of websites to crawl, index, and rank pages. Now that mobile searches outnumber desktop searches, Google is starting to index and rank mobile websites.

Here’s what that means for your SEO efforts:

It shows the growing role of mobile.

With this update, Google mainly wants to serve as much mobile content to mobile users as possible, since mobile searches now account for 60% of search queries.

The company further clarifies that:

  • It will continue to have one index for search results. That is, mobile-first index is not separate from its main index.
  • Google will increasingly prioritize indexing mobile pages and content. If you have both mobile and desktop versions of a page, Google will prefer the mobile page.
  • If you use different URLs for mobile and desktop, Google will show the mobile URL to mobile users and desktop URL to desktop users.
  • Google will choose mobile-friendly sites over AMP sites.

Mobile searches now account for 60% of search queries.

Mobile-first is not the same as mobile-only.

As Neil Patel points out, mobile-first indexing doesn’t mean mobile-only. That’s because the way the new indexing works is that it prefers (read: not replaces) mobile content over desktop when determining page rankings.

In other words, if your website doesn’t have a mobile version, the desktop version still shows up on the mobile-first results. Google will continue to crawl and index your desktop pages.

In fact, Google Webmasters made this point abundantly clear in a previous tweet:

The impact on rankings is nuanced.

Since the new update prioritizes mobile content, then it’s natural to think that optimizing your website for mobile users will boost SERP rankings. But it’s not as straightforward as it sounds.

Google explains that being switched to mobile-first indexing doesn’t guarantee better SERP rankings. While mobile-friendliness helps determine where a website will end up in results pages, it’s certainly not the only factor that Google takes into account.

Still, as TechCrunch points out, Google notes that having a site’s mobile-friendly content indexed under the new mobile-first update will likely help the site “perform better” in mobile search results.

Related: 10 Undeniable Ways Mobile is Reshaping B2B Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

How to Create a Mobile-First SEO Strategy

Each time Google unveils a major update to its page ranking algorithm, it forces us, marketers, to rethink our SEO strategy.

But mobile-first indexing is a little different from most Google changes in that it reminds us what SEO is fundamentally about: helping users find what they’re looking for.

That’s what your strategy needs to achieve. Forget about rankings or penalties first. Start with improving the user experience (UX).

Make sure your site looks and feels good on mobile

We already saw that mobile-friendliness isn’t a requirement for ranking in mobile-first results. However, keep in mind that we’re not after SERP rankings here. We want to deliver the best possible UX, so we want users to fully experience our site regardless of the device used.

If you’re not sure whether your site is optimized for the different sizes of mobile screens, the first step is to find this out using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

Making your site mobile-friendly boils down to two development philosophies:

  • Responsive web design (same content, same URL, different output based on users’ device)
  • Dynamic serving (different content and output based on users’ device)

Google has explicitly mentioned that pages delivered as part of responsive web designs or through dynamic serving are indexed in mobile-first results. But, the better option would be responsive web design since it does away with the difficulty of managing two different sites.

Put content in context

Mobile searches uncover rich insights on user intent that your content needs to meet. For example, research carried out by Think With Google shows that mobile searches can reveal a lot about user behavior:

  • 96% of people use a smartphone to get things done
  • 70% of smartphone owners who bought something at a store first turned to their phone
  • 92% of those who searched on their phone made a related purchase
  • 68% of people use search for information on a long-term goal

All this indicates that it can be a bit misleading to try to generalize what kind of content works for mobile-first indexing. Each of these actions involves one of three queries (navigational, informational, and transactional), and each query, in turn, can be addressed with its own page, content, and messaging.

Create a consistent and continuous experience

From making relevant information easy to find, to ensuring that the desired action is easy to do, mobile-first needs consistent and continuous user experiences.

That’s because the bulk of online activities now take place in fragmented, instantaneous interactions with mobile devices.

Some of these moments (when mobile users want to know, go, do, and buy something) are known as micro-moments.

Micro-moments are important touchpoints in your SEO strategy because it’s in micro-moments where mobile users are most interested and engaged.

Leveraging micro-moments means delivering a smooth and seamless mobile journey for your target users:

  • Set up structured data to make your site easy to navigate for both people and Google’s crawlers
  • Make sure the key content on your mobile and desktop sites align
  • Consider mobile-first technologies like Google AMP to improve site load times and performance

Related: Why B2B Marketers Need to be in the Micro-moment

The Takeaway:


To help us see how a mobile-first mindset impacts real-world marketers, we previously reached out to a number of key influencers to tell us about their experience with this development so far. Timothy Hughes, founder of Digital Leadership Associates and social selling pioneer, said it best:

We have switched over to mobile first. So everything we design has to be tested on mobile…. We have moved to a personalized approach as well as understanding that mobile moves at a faster pace. With a swipe taking about a second you need content that will inspire in at sub-second speed. The good news is that if you get it right, the response, engagement, and results are faster too.