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Key Takeaways from B2BMX for Marketers

This was my fifth time going to B2BMX, and the first time since 2019 that I wasn’t speaking. Which meant I was able to enjoy the sessions and networking, without having a presentation hanging over my head.

As always, the event was run perfectly. The venue is gorgeous, and while many people complained about the mid-60’s temperatures…. this Minnesota resident was loving it 😊

The first thing that stood out immediately was how full the Monday sessions were. Monday’s agenda is mostly small workshops and sponsor case studies that are typically half full, because many attendees arrive on Monday and get settled in. Not the case this year. The sessions and workshops I attended on Monday were all fully packed.  Which means attendees were really focus on learning and development vs. just attending another conference.

Here’s an overview of a few other things that stood out to me.

  1. ABM was king – Whether it a session around knowing your ICP, optimizing your current ABM strategy, or trying to convince your leadership you need ABM; you couldn’t turn around without hearing something about ABM & intent. With many companies tightening budgets, marketing focuses less on quantity and more on quality. The ABM sessions I attended, and vendors I spoke with, discussed the emphasis on fewer large wins that takes more focus & energy vs. casting a wide net. 
  1. Partnership Marketing was a key focus – Admittedly, my main focus of B2BMX was to attend as many sessions around partnership marketing as possible. And I wasn’t the only one. Partnership marketing costs less and has a higher conversion rate than most other channels. Partner marketing is more cost effective because you’re only paying your referral partners for the deals that convert. And it converts at a higher rate because you’re getting leads from trusted resources. It’s no secret that the B2B world has too many options…for EVERYTHING. 91% of all purchasing decisions are influenced by word of mouth, so having strong partners to advocate for you is more important than ever. 
  1. Jay Baer is awesome! – B2BMX saved the best for last. Jay was the closing keynote on the final day, and you could tell people stayed around to hear him because the session was packed. I’ve seen Jay give a presentation once before, but I don’t remember it being as impactful as this session. Most of his presentation was focused around bravery, and the 5 kinds of bravery you need to have in B2B Marketing.
    1. Generous & Brave – Jay talked one of the biggest real estate agents in Florida who created a 76 page document titled, “How to sell your home in Florida without using a realtor” Most people criticized the document, feeling that he was giving away the answers to the test. Except the opposite happened. People started reading the document, got to page 13 and said, “Holy crap, this is too hard. I need a realtor”
    2. Useful & Brave – Similar to the above example, Jay talked about giving away some of your most useful content so people can execute on their own, but they see you as a thought leader.
    3. Fast & Brave – Two-thirds of customers care more about speed as they do about price. Many customers interpret speed with caring, so when you do something for them right away, they feel important.
    4. Empathetic & Brave – The focus here was primarily around engagement. Jay told the story about the Dekalb seed company, and how they had ZERO social media engagement with their customers until they started the “Farm dog Fridays” campaign. They realized farmers love posting pictures of their dogs, and now their customers post more on social media than the company does!
    5. Feisty & Brave – I can’t remember the exact example he gave, but the point he made was to “take a stance” and stick by it. Feisty is another word for passionate. Your prospects, customers, and employees want to know what you’re passionate about.
  1. Navigating uncertain times – Right before Jay Baer gave the closing keynote, B2BMX had the CMO’s of four well-know B2B SaaS companies on stage to talk about how they’re leading marketing through more uncertainty. Here are a few key takeaways:
    1. When times are tough, don’t get cute, get back to the basics.
      • What are you known for?
      • How are you better than competition?
      • What do we do best?
      • Sit down and define focus and core goals
    2. How do you define customer success in your organization?
      • How do your customers define success working with you? …NOT how you want your customer to work with you.
    3. Don’t try and manufacture a moment. We need to engage our prospects in their moment, not manufacture a moment we want them to be in because it’s convenient for us.

Obviously there’s no substitute for actually attending the conference, but hopefully you were able to pull out one thing from what I learned, and apply it to your own role.

If you have questions about Demand Generation, Marketing, or the current market, please reach out to me or my team. For future B2BMX events, click here.