We had an excellent time meeting B2B marketers at Demand Gen Report’s B2BMX conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, last week. At sessions, workshops and our booth, we heard about the many challenges they’re facing in a B2B world that needs to respond to increasingly complex B2C expectations.
One of the main themes that came through to me was that, although we all live in a highly digital world, people are seeking more human connections. I enjoyed seeing this firsthand while spending time with conference-goers at our booth on the marketplace floor.
Visitors to our booth were delighted to play an analog-type game (albeit with a social media twist). We called it #B2BMemes. Our good-sport booth visitors jotted down clever captions to describe a popular meme photo each day, tied to a specific B2B marketing theme. We enjoyed some great face-to-face conversations from participants on ideas and issues regarding digital marketing, content marketing, and sales and marketing alignment.
And I have to say, people loved it. We received dozens of humorous entries, describing unrealistic expectations when it comes to SEO and PPC; content creation woes; the connection (or disconnection) between sales, marketing and CRM systems; “hot leads;” and more. People were psyched to play a game that spoke to their pain points and solutions — and, of course, we know that’s exactly the type of customer-first content we should be creating to make our marketing programs most effective.
Content marketing was definitely another theme of the week. Many people approached me to discuss their content challenges, mainly related to the need for more quality content and the qualified people who can create it! I was happy to lend an ear and suggest some solutions, based on our experiences helping clients improve their content marketing every day. In talking with one of our competitors, he mentioned that his agency, like ours, is looking for more talented writers, content strategists and creative people to help keep the content machine rolling. In this tight job market, it appears that both agencies and clients are realizing that even with a digital-first approach to B2B marketing, quality, creative humans are what we all need.
The “connections” theme was apparent in the many sessions that focused on the importance of customer experience and taking a buyer-centric approach. Whether it be with digital or in-person interactions, B2B buyers are looking for authenticity. What we talked about at B2BMX felt familiar from our discussions with clients: B2B brands can best achieve authenticity by ensuring they’re thinking holistically about the connections they’re making with buyers across the entire lifecycle.
Looking back, when I think about B2BMX, the word “connections” stands out for me. What we learn from others, the ideas and inspiration we share, and who we share it with are the things that bring us back to this conference each year. (The beautiful resort and weather in Scottsdale don’t hurt either!)
If you’re a creative person looking for a new opportunity, feel free to get in touch with me. We’re happy to add great members to our team as we move forward with our mission to connect our clients to their customers through content marketing, digital marketing, sales and marketing alignment, and more. And I hope to see many of you again at B2BMX 2020!