Last week I attended the BMA (Business Marketing Association) National conference in Chicago. It’s always about the people at events like this, and I met some very smart, personable and fun people (note picture). I found the event well- run with content that was solid for a mid-level B2B marketing professional. I was there to hear some of the latest ideas our industry thought-leaders had to say. While some were a bit lazy in their presentations, (primarily the book authors using 2/3 B2C examples… translation: stock presentations), most were well- prepared and current in their messages. There were many very good panelists. I was also very impressed with the following Keynote presenters:
♦ Ralph Oliva, Executive Director - ISBM: Greatest overall depth of B2B knowledge
♦ Kendall Collins, CMO- Salesforce.com: Best proof of successful B2B integrated sales and marketing strategies with results
♦ Patrick Crane and Steve Patrizi, Vice Presidents - LinkedIn: Most practical application of social networking for B2B firms
♦ Sam Sebastian, Director- Google: Best forecast of search evolution relative to B2B professionals (and didn’t bash Yahoo or MSFT)
The leaders of the conference have a real opportunity to step up the value by having CFOs and CEOs provide their perspective on how the marketing organization can provide the greatest value to the organization. We have a way to go to bring the B2B marketers' effectiveness to par with our B2C counterparts, and it all starts with Unlearning the tactics in the B2C world...they don’t work in our world. We must learn and apply B2B principles with rigid discipline like Salesforce.com.