Account-Based Marketing. ABM. Intent Data. Personalization. Content Syndication. Cross-Channel and Omnichannel Marketing. Increased Engagement. Greater Lead Conversions.
With the world opening up and B2B marketing events reemerging from the shadows, these buzzwords will be heard popping up constantly in conversations amongst marketers in the months to come. The team at Integrate recently had the opportunity to attend the B2B Marketing Exchange (B2BMX) and the Quartz Connect CMO Summit live experiences, and these topics were heard throughout the event centers. More importantly, in-person marketing events are back—and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
Marketing, at its core, is about human connections. The overwhelming consensus as we connected with friends, colleagues, customers and industry partners was that the human connections and interactions of conferences, tradeshows, and other events were sorely missed.
As our marketing leaders began to reflect on these recent experiences, some common themes began to rise to the surface. The hot topics on the marketplace floor, in the keynotes, workshops and sessions?
- As the pandemic subsides, what’s next for event marketing?
- What’s next for account-based marketing strategies?
- How do B2B marketers adapt to the evolved digital buyer’s journeys?
These only begin to scrape the surface of topics covered in the many engaging and informative conversations we heard and took part in. We asked our marketing leaders to share highlights from these recent events. Specifically, they discussed what stood out to them in relation to their various roles. Discover what they had to say below.
Field & Event Marketers Prepare for Expansion in 2022
We checked in with Anne Norris, Senior Director of Field, Event & Alliances at Integrate to discover the biggest impacts she’s experienced with in-person events making their comeback.
Human Connection is key. For the last two years, the focus has been on automation, creating digital self-service solutions and virtual events to support our customers due to COVID-19. The downside to that? While this shift was necessary, the pandemic also dissolved human-to-human connections. These first major live events have solidified that we very much need these in-person connections. I feel like B2BMX in particular was successful because we focused on the entire attendee experience, providing fun and engaging ways to come together live as a community. We maximized our presence by coordinating a variety of smaller, more focused events within the larger experience. This turned out to be an amazing way to reconnect comfortably with our customers and prospects.
A Shift in Events Strategy. One thing is for certain: We will continue to invest in these larger, live industry events, while consistently keeping a pulse on the state of the world from a pandemic perspective. We also plan to increase the number of smaller regional events as a complement, to accommodate those who may still be a bit hesitant about engaging in larger, in-person activities. We can take advantage of things like private suites at sporting events, smaller executive dinners, and other activities of that nature. This particular moment in time is a great opportunity to reimagine the power live events can have.
Exciting Days Ahead for Integrate’s Precision Events. We’ll be monitoring the appetite for all these different types of events as move throughout the year, and Integrate’s Precision Events will play a crucial role in helping us measure and optimize our events strategy. Precision Events will help us analyze performance and track activity across our entire event portfolio, showcasing ROI on our updated event strategy. I’m also excited to see others take advantage of this offering as in-person gatherings increase over the year. Check out our Integrate LIVE
The New Event Marketing Experience – A CMO’s Perspective
Integrate’s Chief Marketing Officer, Deb Wolf, shared in the excitement of being back to in-person experiences, and identified some key topics that will shape the narrative for B2B marketers in the coming months.
There’s No Substitute for Quality, In-Person Events. Events are back and back in a big way! There really is no better way to learn, share, engage, make memories—maybe even drink a little wine and laugh together—than at a live, in-person experience. This was absolutely the case at both B2BMX and the Quartz Connect Summit. The event organizers set all the right precautions into place to make everyone feel comfortable, which allowed marketers to take every advantage that being back together in person brought us.
ABM or Intent-Generated Target List? Check. Now What? There’s no doubt that Account-Based Marketing has gone fully mainstream, with many marketers leveraging intent data to develop targeted lists of accounts in-market. If there were five sessions offered each hour at B2BMX, at least two of those had “ABM” in the title—a great validation for sales and marketing working closely together. However, I ended up connecting with a number of marketers who, after implementing an account-focused strategy, were still left trying to understand how to attract buyers from those accounts. I couldn’t help but leave the conference thinking that we haven’t yet optimized our efforts to take advantage of all the marketing channels in which our buyers find themselves.
B2B Marketers are Highly Collaborative. Integrate was fortunate enough to have 40+ marketers join us for a 2.5-hour workshop on Precision Demand Marketing in Practice, and what a great session it was! The marketers in the room showcased how eager they were to collaborate, learn from each other, share stories of success, and kvetch over challenges. No doubt we’re all still trying to recoup from the global pandemic, adjust to the shift to digital, and understand the new buyer’s process so we can meet them where they are. But the good news is this workshop helped evidence that we’re all in this together, and the B2BMX community is a great place to do it.
B2B Marketing Trends – Highlights from Integrate’s Head of Revenue Marketing
Stephanie Swinyer is the Head of Revenue Marketing at Integrate. She had the opportunity to facilitate the PDM in Practice workshop, and shares some of her key learnings.
Marketing and Sales. Focus and Alignment. At B2BMX, I loved when one of our workshop attendees commented that there will always be “shiny new objects” or “squirrels” for Sales and Marketing. Things like Sales toolkits, the sharing data intel on emerging markets, etc., and a lot of great ideas were shared on mitigating these “squirrels.” Teams must remain focused on the agreed upon Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Go-To-Market (GTM) as a critical component to their success. No more “random acts of marketing.” Get the right business agreements upfront to enable your marketing team to run and scale the business.
Our Customers Remain Our Greatest Teachers. There is no question that the world of intent data is changing rapidly, with intent being a hot topic of conversation on the floor and in the sessions offered at these events. For example, we’re seeing customers evaluate more in-market signals from tech offered by G2, Bombora, TrustRadius, etc., to better listen and evaluate when their target accounts are showing market signals. Our friends and partners at Bombora shared that only 15% of your accounts are in-market for your solution at any given moment. It is imperative that marketers carefully evaluate their spend and resources against accounts that are showing some type of in-market behavior for a ROI.
Crushing Silos and Igniting Cross-Channel Collaboration. Another major point of discussion was the overwhelming need for cross-channel collaboration. It’s fair to say that Martech and traditional marketing organizational structures have hindered cross-channel collaborative work. It’s not uncommon, for example, to have your event marketers working with their own event marketing technology, while your digital and social marketers are leveraging their channels and tech independently, and so on. On top of this, are you utilizing your Martech in concert with your Marketing Operations team to optimize the buyer’s journey? I’ve heard so many of these conversations centered on this topic from colleagues and peers at these events, and it couldn’t be clearer that more effective cross-channel collaborative strategies are required.
Capitalize on the Building Momentum
We’re excited to proceed with both optimism and the right amount of caution as we prepare for more in-person events in the coming months, like Forrester’s B2B Summit and Exhibitor Live. Marketing leaders are confirming the need for activating campaigns across channels, including events.
Whether you’re planning an imminent return to in-person events or refining your virtual event strategy, preparation is key. Integrate’s Precision Events solution brings together our award-winning Event Lead Management capabilities with the power of the Demand Acceleration Platform. Click through to learn more now.