When you think of B2B Marketing do you think “blandscape”? Maybe “boring to boring”? Or do think of an exciting opportunity to impact an industry projected to reach $1.8 trillion in 2023 through ecommerce alone? (Statista). That’s right, TRILLION.
There’s a lot to be excited about in B2B Marketing today including the latest trend of Generative AI and its impact on everything from ideation to performance optimization. At the same time, questions about how we can do more with less and create impact both short and long term are being answered by more than technology.
As the saying goes, the B’s in B2B are people too and all that comes with being human including emotions. Undoubtedly you’ve heard the expression that people (including buying committees) make decisions based on emotion and justify with logic. While there’s temptation to pass that saying off as a cliche, “research from Google and CEB has found that B2B customers are significantly more emotionally connected with their vendors and service providers than consumers.” (via FT) In fact, 95% of our decision-making takes place in the subconscious mind. (Harvard Business School)
Without question, B2B marketing is both art and science. It is creativity and data, human and technology. One could say a lot of B2B marketing education available today is technology / data rich and emotion / human poor. And this is where MarketingProfs B2B Forum comes in.
2023 is the 14th year I’ve been giving B2B marketing presentations for MarketingProfs. Throughout my 25 year career in digital marketing, there have been many changes and also some universal truths. One of those truths is the importance of shared experiences and tapping into collective wisdom. Plenty of people try to improve their knowledge and skills as individuals – if at all. Fewer, and I would argue the most successful, make their career evolution a team sport. They seek knowledge and expertise through less mechanical and more meaningful means. They’re not just “doing” B2B marketing, they’re inspired, they’re “feeling” it.
Of course, the expression, “Feeling B2B” was coined by the brilliant Ann Handley. And Ann is also behind the programming of one of the most meaningful B2B Marketing learning experiences and networks of people you can connect with: MarketingProfs B2B Forum.
This year, B2B Forum is happening in Boston in person or you can join online. Workshops are October 4th with the main conference happening October 5th and 6th. As usual, the programming is current and timeless at the same time. The list of speakers is a who’s who of B2B marketing including marketers from major B2B brands like Forrester as well as expert consultants like Ahava Leibtag. I know budgets for marketing events these days require more justification than in the past, so I wanted to put together a list of top reasons to sign yourself and your team up for MarketingProfs B2B Forum in 2023.
1. Come for the Education, Stay for the Inspiration
Whether you want a deep dive, practical workshop on how to develop a Go To Market plan with B2B marketing expert Pam Didner or you want to be inspired on how to make your wild ideas mighty enough to dent the world through the power of Onlyness with visionary strategist Nilofer Merchant, the educational opportunities at B2B Forum are rich with whatever you need to succeed in B2B from 2023 into the new year. The breadth and depth of workshops plus sessions is hyper-focused on practical, take it home and use it on Monday, type of information you often don’t find at other B2B marketing events.
2. Insights from Actual B2B Marketing Experts
With conferences you can often find people who give great presentations because they’re adept performers but many times those performers are not actually practicing marketers. That’s OK especially if inspiration is the objective. At MarketingProfs B2B Forum, sessions are led by professionals who are the real deal.
For example, if you want to learn how to succeed in B2B with unconventional marketing tactics, why not learn from someone like Joe Pulizzi – founder of Content Marketing Institute/Content Marketing World and The Tilt/Creator Economy Expo – both of which have been so successful, they’ve been acquired. Or if you want to learn about ABM, why not learn from Jon Miller, a pioneer in the field of ABM as co-founder of both Marketo and Engagio and now CMO at Demandbase. Or if you want to learn about how webinars can accelerate your pipeline, why not learn from Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Lauro Ramos? The list goes on.
3. MPB2B is Home for Introverts and Extroverts.
Believe it or not, I am by default an introvert. I do love to meet new people of course – I’ve given over 300 presentations in 20 different countries. But doing that for introverts spends energy vs. generates energy (or spends coins vs. collects coins as Simon Sinek says). The good news about B2B Forum is that there are plenty of comfortable venues for introverts to connect in birds of a feather situations. There is empathy for the first time attendee as well as introverts so options are available to make it easier to meet other if you want to or not. Of course there are also plenty of options for extroverts to meet and greet and do their thing as well! Whether you’re an introvert like me or an extrovert – it’s easy to find your tribe at B2B Forum.
4. Find Resources that Can Actually Help You
As with every marketing industry event, there are sponsors and an exhibit hall at B2B Forum available to assist you with achieving whatever outcome you’re after. There will be every kind of martech platform from content to influence to ads to social to AI to analytics, CDP and so on. There will also be B2B marketing agencies and specialist consultants that you can meet either by seeing them present in the sessions, or by connecting during the one on one consulting sessions detailed below. Or you might meet someone from a vendor or an agency during the many networking events.
In the 10+ years I’ve attended MarketingProfs B2B Forum, I’ve never found sponsors to be anything but helpful and you can expect the same this year. If you’re looking for expertise in a particular area (my team at TopRank specializes in the integration of content, SEO and social influence for example) then B2B Forum offers numerous opportunities to comfortably learn more about expertise and capabilities all while getting the education you need to make appropriate recommendations and decisions.
5. GenAI for B2B Marketers is Embraced in the Most Practical Way
There are a gazillion sessions that mention AI at B2B Forum 2023. OK, maybe not a gazillion, but there are plenty. It would be understandable how a marketing focused event would seem wary of Generative AI since it’s not exactly a silver bullet or meeting up to the peak of inflated expectations happening right now. But MarketingProfs has evaluated and embraced the role of GenAI with the understanding that just about every B2B Marketer out there is looking for direction and answers about what’s possible, where to start, how to use and what are the pros and cons? With sessions from experts like Paul Roetzer Founder and CEO Marketing AI Institute and Wil Reynolds, Founder and VP of Innovation Seer Interactive, virtually all bases on GenAI will be covered at B2B Forum.
6. One on One Consulting Sessions
Keynotes and breakout sessions are great for inspiration and getting a certain level of understanding about a topic. And B2B Forum is covering a lot of topics from Email Marketing to Content, LinkedIn Ads, Social, and Sales to GenAI, GTM, ABM, SEO, ROI, GA4 and other acronyms galore. For those that want a little more, a venue for getting answers to questions that are more specific to your situation, there are one on one consulting sessions you can sign up for with experts. Get registered for the event now and signed up for the consulting sessions though – they are first come, first served.
7. Networking for All
MarketingProfs calls them Shenanigans and I like to call them people power ups. There are numerous networking and people meeting opportunities scheduled at B2B Forum. There’s something for first timers to meet others along with advice on getting the most out of the event as well as the famous welcome party. There’s also a Boston photo walk with the famous Steve Garfield and a fun run, which I will definitely be at. There’s also a B2B Carnival and B2B Bingo…the list goes on. Suffice it to say, whether attending for the first time, the 14th time, alone or with your team, you will find your tribe at B2B Forum.
8. Boston Rocks
The Omni Boston venue is only 3 miles from the airport right within the Seaport District, so there are a huge number of dining options. If you have not been to Boston before, this is a great time of year – it’s warm and sunny (make sure you bring great sunglasses) with many sights to see. If you have time, walk the Freedom Trail where you’ll get to see many historic locations. There’s also Fenway Park, Boston Common, Museums and all the shopping you want. And did I mention the food?
9. Ann Handley
Do I really need to say more? The Ann BrANNd is an experience you won’t want to miss. I’ve been friends with Ann for almost 15 years and it never ceases to amaze me how she continues to improve on so many levels. She obsesses over details and that focus manifests in the programming, the experience of the event (Marching band anyone? How about Ann playing an accordion on stage?) Ann also works very hard to observe and analyze what’s most relevant right now and in the future for B2B marketers. Then she brings those insights to us all in the most relatable way – through stories, shared experiences and with empathy for marketers.
10. B2B Forum is on Track to Sell Out and the Summer Rate Ends August 18th.
That means get signed up now so you can not only ensure your ticket is locked in, but you save money as well. Check out the rates and registration info here.
BONUS – What’s Next and Most Relevant for B2B Influencer Marketing
I will be speaking for the last time in 2023 at B2B Forum. My session, How to Elevate B2B Marketing Results with the Influence Trifecta is on October 5th at 4:05pm featuring our best advice on building brand influence from within and in partnership with industry thought leaders. PLUS I’ll be sharing our latest research into B2B Influencer Marketing with the most successful strategies, tactics and resources being used by top B2B brands including Adobe, LinkedIn and others.
MarketingProfs B2B Forum in 2023 will be like no other B2B marketing event or community you’ve experienced. I really do hope to see you there!
#FeelingB2B is a theme we need right now.
B2B marketing plays such a big role in the world of business and yet the work and people are often not well-recognized. It takes a lot of passion and energy for solving tough marketing problems in an ever changing industry to be successful. These change makers are not simply “doing” B2B marketing, they are feeling it. They love it!
What do you love about B2B marketing?
Please answer that question by sharing this post on your favorite social network with the #feelingb2b hashtag. We’ll curate some of the best into a new post and may feature you!
To help drive the #feelingb2b conversation even further, TopRank Marketing and MarketingProfs have partnered to produce a limited edition series of video interviews featuring some of the top voices in the B2B Marketing industry. We’re kicking the series off next Monday with the Godfather of Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi and encourage you to watch for the promo videos on your favorite social network or just make sure you’re subscribed here at TopRank’s B2B Marketing Blog so you can get notified.
The post Feeling B2B in 2023 – Top 10 Reasons to Attend MarketingProfs B2B Forum appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.