Last week, I attended the SiriusDecisions 2012 Summit in Scottsdale. While the weather was hot (102 degrees) the emerging trends for B2B marketers were even more so. I sat through several impressive presentations including ones from Adobe and Citrix regarding content marketing and predictive analytics (yikes!), which basically debunked the myth that marketers plan parties and design cool logos and reinforced how much of marketing is now a science.
The 4 key concepts that were discussed during the conference:
- It's all in the data: Key takeaway here is that its easy to collect metrics given all the robust tools for marketers; however, the challenge is in interpreting this data and showing how it affects the bottom line. In order for B2B marketers to be truly successful they will need to become analytical in addition to being creative.
- Continually hone your skills: Marketers will continue to be challenged in having to analyze data, develop content, create automated email campaigns, run webinars, write blogs posts, etc. They will need to proactively hone their skills; need to provide training to keep their teams at the top of their game.
- Show me the money! Executive management is making more demands on marketing to show how their campaigns are delivering value to the bottom line. See data and honing your skills above.
- Feed the beast - the content beast that is: Content marketing is the buzz word for marketers but we all struggle with what we have, what we'll need, lack of resources and time to create and how to get the most out of it all. No easy answer here yet, except learn how to use and leverage what you may already have.
SiriusDecisions also unveiled its new Demand Waterfall which now includes the leads that sales generates into the funnel. I see this as a really necessary step toward creating marketing and sales alignment. MarketOne has does a nice job analyzing the new model.
A few key takeaways that I noted:
- Stop talking about your product and start talking about solutions
- Webinars are a great way to leverage content you already have - use webcasts as case studies, transcribe webinars into best practice guides, clip webinars into 30 second spots and post onto Facebook
- You can apply science to lead scoring (think Moneyball).
- Our current campaign wisdom is flawed (or "inconceivable"). As marketers we need to become storytellers and focus on gradual execution of programs versus just throwing up a landing page for a new product release.
While we have a long way to go, it was refreshing to learn that we are thinking and executing on many of these things. However, one of the most important takeaways for me was how much we can all learn from each other. What did you learn at the show and/or what challenges and successes are you seeing?