B2BMX: Back to In-person Connections
The Mx Group was proud to sponsor the 2022 B2B Marketing Exchange (B2BMX), a premier marketing event for B2B practitioners across North America, hosted by Demand Gen Report. The conference took place from February 28 to March 2, 2022, at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. For the first time since 2020, marketers convened in person for the opportunity to network, engage and reconnect with B2B peers. Insights were shared across five tracks and covered areas of B2B, including content and ABM, demand through sales and more. The impact of the pandemic could not be missed on the agenda. Virtual events and recruiting challenges were hot topics, as well as the shift B2B buyers have made to hybrid these past two years.
A key theme throughout the conference was the importance of collaboration, whether that be team alignment between sales and marketing or the combining of marketing strategies. Today’s B2B buyers are confident researching anonymously and making most purchase decisions online well before reaching out to sales. B2B marketers need to be purposeful with their data, resources, content, departments, people and services to truly make an impact on their buyers.
ABM AND DEMAND ALIGNMENT
Forrester debuted its forecast for the inevitable intersection of demand and ABM. During the presentation, Forrester shared the results of a June 2020 survey, which found that “more than half of B2B organizations envisioned a future where demand and ABM share people, processes and tools.” Two years later, Forrester’s survey, The State of ABM, showed that CMOs believe that “an aligned approach is the best way to deliver on the brand promise and value proposition. Today, they are too siloed and that is creating marketing challenges and internal waste. Aligning them (demand and ABM) will lead to stronger A&R and higher brand awareness and affinity.”
BRAND SUPPORTS DEMAND
When discussing necessary alignment, for The Mx Group, nothing is more obvious to us than the power to enable buyers when B2B organizations unite brand and demand. We were fortunate enough to share our case study presentation, “The Power of Brand and Demand,” with our client, Envoy, the first night of the conference. The case study, presented by The Mx Group’s president, Tony Riley, and Envoy’s director of demand generation, Sheena Sharma, discussed our collaboration to launch a fully integrated brand awareness campaign.
THE PROOF IS IN THE RESULTS
After six months, the campaign produced outstanding results, like a 178% increase in site visits and a 146% increase in qualified leads. This type of success occurs when a strong brand strategy supports demand tactics. We recognize that while it is easier to measure results generated by short-term strategies, like demand, our results from the Envoy campaign could not have been achieved without a focus on brand awareness.
When brand and demand are treated as separate services, they run on parallel tracks and are never provided the opportunity to join forces. The B2B sales cycle is long and complex. Brand offers the long-term strategy that keeps buyers informed and engaged. When we interlock brand to demand, suddenly, buyers are enabled to feel confident in their purchases.
HELPING MARKETERS MARKET MARKETING
Of course, it wouldn’t be a marketing conference without discussing marketing budgets. Even the host of B2BMX, Demand Gen Report, found in its 2022 Demand Benchmark survey that 72% of B2B practitioners forecasted that their total marketing budgets will increase between 1% and 20%. So, we wanted to know: With this intended increase, how can marketers sell the value of investing in marketing within their own organizations?
Our VP of growth, Brennen Roberts, hosted a networking lunch where he led a discussion called “Helping Marketers Market Marketing.” According to Roberts, “While most marketers and organizations are optimistic, what we’ve heard is that there’s still a high level of caution which creates a need to demonstrate value and prove results to secure increases. Many marketers are taking a test and learn approach to work within a more agile budgeting process.”
We also accepted entries for our marketing meme game where attendees used humor to caption some of today’s most popular memes. Two lucky meme writers took home a WHOOP fitness band and yearlong membership. WHOOP, a new client of The Mx Group, is an American wearable technology company. Its principal product is a fitness tracker that measures strain, recovery and sleep.
After an energetic three days, we are happy to be back in Chicago making room on our award shelves for our two new Finnys. We are thrilled to share that our Envoy campaign, along with an immersive project for our clients at Grundfos, the largest pump manufacturer in the world, won their respective categories. Envoy won for “Short Form Content” and Grundfos for “Packaged/Bundled Content.”
While B2BMX has wrapped for the year, the connections we made at the conference reminded us that while digital environments are here to stay, face-to-face interactions are a refreshing change of pace. The stories, challenges and lessons learned continue to inspire us as we look forward to next year while nurturing the relationships we made in Scottsdale.