B2B Marketing Forum Is Over, Now What?


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We made marketing magic at the 2015 Marketing Profs B2B Forum!

B2B Forum Summaries Worth Checking Out

If you missed the conference the write ups below will help you catch up on the highlights.

  • The team at Crescendo spotlighted their favorite tweets. Prepare to giggle and wish you had been there!
  • The always helpful Matt Heinz summarizes key take aways from some of the most well attended sessions. Did you know in the last 5 years, content output has increased by 78% while content engagement has decreased 60%? A lack of buyer insights is largely to blame.
  • Stephan Hovnanian shares his take away from funny man Peter Sagal’s session on telling a joke; something all marketers can leverage in their writing.
  • Special high-five to Michael Brenner for my favorite slide of the entire conference. It needs no explanation.

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Between Session Insights

My chats with attendees were as enlightening and helpful as the many sessions I attended. There were far too many to list them all but here are a few that have really stuck with me.

  • Maribeth Ross and I talked about the changing role of marketers. While we won’t all become data scientists, we do need to learn how to use data in new ways.
  • Dan Briscoe shared an excellent case study where properly researched personas transformed his business. I particularly liked how his website was updated to reflect the literal phrases his customers used to describe their challenges. It took a lot of trust to make this change and boy has it paid off.
  • Beverly Chiarelli shared her tips for building an agenda that drew 70 executives to an event. The key – she focused on industry challenges not her company’s product.
  • Andrea Fryrear and I nerded out on twitter and used the connection to meet in real-time. A powerful reminder that online and offline worlds can and should collide.
  • David Cunningham  made me laugh as we played buzzword bingo. It was a healthy reminder to think beyond catch phrases and consider how to apply concepts to our organizations.
  • Manpreet Jassal and I brainstormed questions to include in his persona research. We were sure to cover all aspects of buyer insights from evaluation criteria to corporate goals and even personality attributes.
  • Anita Brearton founder of CabinetM and I chatted about how complicated the marketing technology landscape has become and the importance of understanding what you really need to make the next step in your company’s evolution.

Uh oh! Momentum Breakers Ahead

Whether we were inspired by the formal sessions, evening fun activities, twitter chats or casual conversations what matters now is what we do next. But taking the next step isn’t always easy. Throughout the week I heard many participants express trepidation.

“My boss sent me here but I’m pretty sure she only wants me to learn things that don’t cost money to implement.”

“Oh boy, I know we need to do this research but how am I ever going to convince my boss to give us the time to get it done?”

“I wish my boss was here to listen to all of these great ideas. Then I wouldn’t have to work so hard to convince him to try a few.”

and my personal favorite…

“My company pretends the VP of Marketing is my boss, but really it’s the VP of Sales. If he won’t sign off on a marketing program we might as well not have had the idea. He’s going to fight me every step of the way!”

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This sentiment was so common I was tempted to open a therapy couch in the lobby!

But instead I decided to jot down the tactics I’ve used in the past to take event learning from my notebook to experiment.



Four Proven Ways to Build Support for New Ideas

  1. Run a workshop – The most time-consuming but also the most effective technique is to run a workshop showcasing what you learned. After each mini-lesson ask participants to brainstorm ways they can apply the data shared to your business.
  2. Kick off a book club – The B2B Forum hosted many talented authors. Take back your favorite books and kick off a book club.  Pick a different marketing book each month, then host a brainstorm lunch session focused on ways to apply the principles read to your business.
  3. Write a trip report – Sometimes all you need is to share what you learned. While the forum is fresh in your mind write-up a trip report summarizing important insights and suggesting ways they can be applied to your organization.
  4. Build advocacy – Occasionally ideas you want to implement meet with resistance. Work hard to find an advocate in another part of the business and encourage them to champion the idea. That person could be in sales, support or even finance. Use the data you learned to showcase why this idea is important to their role.

Whatever you do, don’t let the fresh inspiration go to waste. Pick at least one insight and apply it.




  1. Samantha, love your recap and agree that the biggest question left from the conference is how to gain buy-in for all of the great ideas generated at the event.

    We posted a recap of our POV from this year’s forum here: http://cintell.net/the-4-best-moments-from-marketingprofs-b2b-forum-2015-mpb2b/

    • Thanks for sharing Katie. I love the pictures of the marching band.