Miles Davis: B2B Marketing Lessons from His Album Kind of Blue with Director of Content & Web at Heap, Ben Lempert

In this episode, we’re talking about Miles Davis' album Kind of Blue. And with our special guest, Ben Lempert, Director of Content & Web at Heap, we’re talking about creating simple messaging, capturing different voices, leaving room for spontaneity, and the importance of feeling in your marketing.

Episode Summary

In a world with lots of content noise, play to the silences. Let your messaging be simple and clear, and even short.

In this episode, we’re learning from the musician who let there be simplicity and space. Who played his trumpet in a sparse style so that each note was beautiful and carefully chosen. That’s Miles Davis.

And with our special guest, Ben Lempert, Director of Content & Web at Heap, we’re talking about creating simple messaging, capturing different voices, leaving room for spontaneity, and the importance of feeling in your marketing.

About our guest, Ben Lempert

Ben Lempert is Director of Content & Web at Heap. He has been there for over 4 years, having joined in August 2019 as Head of Corporate Marketing. During his time in his current role, Ben has built a Thought Leadership Content Hub to curate all of Heap’s content and facilitate the stages of the buyer's journey, created the Heap Digital Insights Report, which generated thousands of leads and a 50% increase in content downloads, created the Digital Experience Insights Report series, which generated 6000+ downloads and bylines in Forbes and VentureBeat, developed creative initiatives including the Heap Comic Book and the Heap Explainer video series,  grew SEO traffic from 0 to 29,000+ visitors/month, increased social media followers by 100% over three successive years, and grew PR SOV 25% QoQ for nine successive quarters. He has over 10 years of experience in content strategy, brand, comms, creative, editing, and leadership.

Key Takeaways

What B2B Companies Can Learn From Kind of Blue:

  • Create simple messaging. Distill your message into plain but pointed language directed at your particular audience. Ben says, “What people respond to in Kind of Blue, and I think what people often respond to best in good content, is a simple, clear, open, direct message. I think a lot of companies get very complex in talking about the nuances of their solution and the technical advantages their product offers. I think it's worth it in the content world for most companies to think about what your fundamental message is, whether that's one sentence or one paragraph or four words. What's the thing that people will respond to that explains what you do and why it matters in a unique way? It's very hard to get to. I don't think many companies do it well. It's very easy to come up with something that's too abstract to be meaningful.”
  • Capture different voices. Feature quotes from both your customers and colleagues in your content. Gather info and input from all of them and work it into your content. You don’t have to operate all alone on a marketing island. Ben says, “Jazz, like content, is a team activity. I think one of the great things about Kind of Blue is that there's room for lots of individual voices. When we think about representing our company through our content, it's worth recognizing that there are plenty of voices across the company. And they all have different ways of expressing what's important. So it's okay to vary the voice and story you're telling, as long as you have a fundamental story that is simple and clear. What's on top of it involves orchestrating these different voices in a way that hits people in different ways and allows for nuance and complexity to be added to your story.”
  • Leave room for spontaneity. Yes, get your work done. But then leave a little time to experiment and play. Ben says, “We are all extraordinarily busy. But sometimes the best marketing comes from carving out time for free form group thinking. Brainstorming, coming up with ideas that are new and off the wall, having that be a prompt.”
  • Mood and feeling matter. Instead of getting into the nitty gritty technical details, focus on how you make the customer feel. Ben says, “Kind of Blue has that impact on you because of the way it sounds. You're not listening to every single note and you're not listening to Coltrane saying, ‘Oh, he played a flat 13 there. Whoa, that's wild!’ It impacted you on a deeper, more emotional level. And we often forget that as content writers, that our audience are not robotic automatons. They're people. And we want to hit their emotions. That's where you reach people.” So ask yourself, “How do I want to make my audience feel?”

*”[Kind of Blue] is one of the very few jazz records that most people who are not jazz fans own and listen to actively. And I think there are lots of reasons for that. And I think that gives us a pretty interesting lens for thinking about how content works, given that lots of content is directed towards people who may not be aware of the intricacies of your technical solutions, but still want to be compelled by what you have to say and want to be interested in it.” - Ben Lempert

*”Miles was famous for having a very sparse style, very much interested in playing space. And for him, he was very actively thinking about how to play the silence and the space between notes as much as he was playing the actual notes. So he was super minimalist, would play one or two notes, but they would be absolutely beautiful and absolutely brilliant and took a sort of courage to play those one or two notes that very few musicians have. It's much easier to play a lot of notes and hope you get something right. It's much harder to have that one pithy statement and let it hang there.” - Ben Lempert

*”Always strive to create a simple, communicable foundation that ideally everyone in the company can embody. And when the audience receives it, they understand right away. And then you build complexity on top of that.” - Ben Lempert

Episode Highlights


Listen to Kind of Blue

Connect with Ben on LinkedIn

Learn more about Heap

About Remarkable!

Remarkable! is created by the team at Caspian Studios, the premier B2B Podcast-as-a-Service company. Caspian creates both nonfiction and fiction series for B2B companies. If you want a fiction series check out our new offering - The Business Thriller - Hollywood style storytelling for B2B. Learn more at

In today’s episode, you heard from Ian Faison (CEO of Caspian Studios) and Meredith Gooderham (Senior Producer). Remarkable was produced this week by Meredith Gooderham, mixed by Scott Goodrich, and our theme song is “Solomon” by FALAK.

Create something remarkable. Rise above the noise.