Welcome to What We're Reading, a weekly rundown of news stories, marketing columns, and specific B2B industry news that caught our eye.

Companies are people too

Well, not exactly. A company is a thing, but it’s a thing that is full of people. And it’s pretty likely that you want one or more of those people to engage with your marketing and, eventually, your sales force. To do that, Forbes contributor Megan Totka says if your B2B messaging has some form of personalization and delivers information that’s valuable to your target audience, you will end up with a larger and more responsive customer base.

Marketing outreach tactics for small business

Small business owners have a lot on their plate, but that doesn’t mean marketing should take a back seat. And while a clever tweet or eye-catching Instagram post can get you traction, a more strategic, purposeful approach will pay dividends. The website Black Enterprise has five tips for marketing outreach that will help you grow your small business.

Your data speaks volumes, if you let it

Companies large and small now gather copious amounts of data about their marketing efforts, but what we learn from this data depends on how it’s presented. In this podcast on Search Engine Journal, Keith Goode, IBM’s senior SEO strategist for security intelligence, says it’s critical to let the data tell its story instead of spinning the data to tell the story we want.

5 slam dunk marketing ideas to steal from the NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a marketing juggernaut, and after the epic finals battle between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors, there are no signs of it slowing down. Here, Entrepreneur breaks down five ways to do brand marketing like the NBA.