The Office: B2B Marketing Lessons from the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time with the VP of Content Marketing at Crayon, Sheila Lahar

In this episode, we're talking about the most popular sitcom of all time, The Office, with our guest, VP of Content Marketing at Crayon, Sheila Lahar. Together, we’re chatting about B2B marketing lessons from the U.S. version including holding a writers’ room, recognizing when your marketing playbook is stale, and making every word count.

Episode Summary

If a friend of yours said, “There’s a new show you have to watch about a mid-size paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania,” would you want to watch it?

The crazy thing is we’re talking about the most popular sitcom of all time. But it sounds boring as heck. So what makes it so good? The actual content.

The Office was relatable, cringey, absurd, and lucky for us, chock full of B2B marketing lessons. And that’s what we’re talking about today with our guest, VP of Content Marketing at Crayon, Sheila Lahar. Together, we’re chatting about B2B marketing lessons from the U.S. version including holding a writers’ room, recognizing when your marketing playbook is stale, and making every word count. This episode of Remarkable is sure to leave you satisfied and smiling. That’s what she said.

About our guest, Sheila Lahar

Sheila Lahar is Senior Director of Content Marketing at Crayon, responsible for making sure that everything they publish is unique, compelling, and valuable. Prior to joining Crayon, she built successful content marketing programs at a number of B2B SaaS companies, including Flatfile, Datto, and Eloqua.

About Crayon

Crayon, the leading competitive intelligence platform for mid-market and enterprise businesses, brings a complete, real-time picture of what competitors are up to—delivering valuable insights to key departments in a range of formats that can be easily accessed and acted on. So companies can quickly see and seize opportunities, and build a sustainable business advantage.

About The Office

The Office is an Emmy Award-winning mockumentary about the employees of a paper company called Dunder Mifflin in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was originally a U.K. series created by British comedian Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. But we’re covering the U.S. version, which was adapted from the original by SNL writer Greg Daniels. It was co-produced by Deedle-Dee Productions and Reveille Productions in association with Universal Television. Members of the original cast included Steve Carrell as the Scranton regional branch manager, Michael Scott. Assistant to the regional branch manager, Dwight Schrute, is played by Rainn Wilson. John Krasinski is Jim Halpert, Jenna Fisher is secretary Pam Beasley, and B.J. Novak is the temp, Ryan Howard. The 9 seasons aired from 2005 to 2013.

Key Takeaways

What B2B Companies Can Learn From The Office:

  • Hold a writers’ room. Brainstorm ideas with your colleagues. Sheila says, “This works really well in person. One person will have an idea that’s funny. And then you just build off that. By the end of it, you're suggesting the craziest, wackiest things, which seem like The Office in some of the scenarios and situations. I've seen that play out in B2B marketing when you just get a creative group together and you're kind of like, ‘All right, this is what we've got, but what can we do here to make it funny or more appealing?” It’s how you elevate your product or service with great content.
  • Recognize when your marketing playbook is stale. And pivot fast to give your audience something new and better than the last. Sheila says The Office just wasn’t the same once Steve Carrell left, that it felt like the show ran out of funny ideas. She says it would have been better to pivot to a spinoff after five seasons to give their audience something new. So when it comes to marketing, it’s important to always think critically about your content strategy. To ask “Is my content stale?” And move on. Sheila says, “It's like we've got these playbooks that we've developed and we just go to the same thing. And we're all doing the same thing just because it worked.” Go on to experiment and find new things that work better than the last.
  • Make every word count. When you’re writing ad copy with a 1,000 character limit, each word has to pack a punch. Sheila says, “It has to be so impactful or funny or something. You have to get that emotion. I think back to the writers for The Office. They were so good at writing one-liners, whether it was for Creed or Ryan.” So think about the impact of every word when writing your next copy.

*”For so much of the stuff that's out there, whether it’s billboard ads or other types of ads, there's just such a lack of enthusiasm to be bold, to say something funny or interesting. Let's get back to the Creed joke where he's like, ‘I sprout mung beans on a damp paper towel in my desk drawer. Very nutritious but they smell like death.’ It’s that absurdity that makes his character so freaking hysterical. And that absurdity is also the stuff that stands out in your mind.” - Ian Faison

*”We're in this noisy world where everyone's just scrolling really fast. You’ve got less than a second, you just have no time. The bold and the funny and anything that stands out, that's your chance. That's your only chance to get noticed.” - Sheila Lahar

Episode Highlights


Watch The Office

Connect with Sheila on LinkedIn

Learn more about Crayon

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 Jess Avellino, mixed by Scott Goodrich, and our theme song is “Solomon” by FALAK.

Create something remarkable. Rise above the noise.