The team at Pipeline360 spent the past few days in Austin, TX (yee-haw!) at the Forrester B2B Summit. As a native Texan, having grown up just 200 miles north in Dallas, Austin has always been near and dear to my heart. The BBQ, breakfast tacos, tech presence, and overall vibe make this a great city to meet up with marketers from around the world to exchange ideas, learn, network, and of course, have some fun! 

This year’s event theme was “Align. Reinvent. Win,” which draws from the uncertainty that the economy and disruptive technologies such as generative AI have caused our industry. Below are my key takeaways and learnings from the event, with an eye toward what we need to do to align, reinvent, and win in today’s B2B world.

Align: The complexity of tech is real, while partnerships appear to be top of mind for many

The number of available tech solutions is massive, and with the increase in gen AI, that number isn’t getting any smaller. And yet marketers are still struggling with many of the same challenges – bad data, misaligned systems, lack of alignment with sales – and an overwhelming number of potential vendors reaching out saying they can help solve their problem. 

The challenge is, with fewer resources to architect needs, determine the best solution, implement the solution, and then manage it day-to-day, marketers are facing a real tech challenge. This isn’t a new challenge per say, but the number of conversations I had and heard regarding partnerships were eye-opening. We all know marketers are being asked to do more with less, and it does feel incumbent on those enabling marketers to make this easier.  

Reinvent: Solving real problems with “branded demand”

Another big takeaway is that many marketers are still struggling with we call “unbranded leads.” While good accounts and contacts are being generated, the folks filling out the forms remember the content, but don’t remember the associated brand.  

So, the idea of “branded demand” – the combination of targeted display and content syndication running against the same segment – really resonated. In fact, our research has found that 61% of B2B marketers who use content syndication in conjunction with other channels were able to reach their goals as compared to 45% for those who do not use content syndication. 

Branded demand unifies brand awareness and demand generation for more powerful reach. By bringing brand awareness together with lead generation, it guarantees that potential clients are already familiar with the brand before Sales initiates contact. This approach establishes trust and aligns brand goals with customer needs.  

Win: The future of demand gen is now

Over the past month, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with more than 100 marketers across London, Boston, and New York, presenting our top insights from our latest market research, “The State of B2B Pipeline Growth.” The insights, validation, and color I’ve gained to support our data and narrative around “The Future of Demand Generation” has been nothing short of fascinating, but also served to drive great discussions at Forrester. 

We had the distinct pleasure of sharing these insights with our great partner – 6sense – at their thought leadership breakfast as well as part of a spotlight session in the exhibit hall. 

Once again, the data was well received, validated, and opened some eyes to both the changing and critical nature of data privacy and compliance. The points that resonated here the most were:

  • 1 out of 2 B2B marketers are unable to meet pipeline goals 
  • 1 out of 3 are not fully leveraging the range of tools and channels at their disposal
  • 9 out of 10 say data privacy and compliance is an important consideration

Wrapping things up 

To close things out on a positive note, there was a great buzz and energy throughout the event! Many marketers are beginning to see tailwinds, they are feeling empowered, and are optimistic about what’s ahead. 

And to keep my unsolicited parenting advice alive and well, I’ll tie this together with some more words of wisdom that I give my kids at least 38 times a day – focus, focus, focus. The world we’re operating in isn’t going to change anytime soon. That means we must adapt. We must know what our priorities are – the ones that will drive the greatest impact in support of business objectives – and execute on those. 

This reminds me of a great conversation I had at the event with Rowan Tonkin, the CMO of Planful, around their book “The Next CMO,” which lays out a great blueprint and case for driving operational excellence within the marketing function. We as marketers have a great opportunity to build brands, delight customers, and drive growth – but also to shut out the noise (Legos, iPad, squirrels, etc.) and operate with discipline and excellence in all we do.

Looking forward to seeing you at the next event!


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