At the B2B Summit 2011 in San Francisco, Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content at MECLABS, asked a few other attendees and me to reveal our most important “aha” moments in 2011. Our responses are compiled in the video below; hearing what my colleagues had to say produced even more “aha” moments for me, and I’m sure they will work for you, too.
In fact, this will be well worth investing nine minutes in watching if you want a serious dose of inspiration and insight. You can also review the timestamps for a quick summary.
:31 – Jason Striker, Digital Marketing Director of ICM Document Solutions, insists that even if an organization says they don’t have the money to make a purchase, they’ll still manage to find a way to buy something if they really want it. “It’s not the economy that’s stopping you from getting sales, it’s your message.”
1:01 – Jay Baer, President of Convince and Convert and author of The Now Revolution, believes that a single expert can never pave the path to an organization’s social media success, “It’s about distributing social media responsibilities across the whole enterprise.”
1:23 – Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO of MECLABS, says marketers finally realize that optimization is not about “seizing the opportunity.” It’s about recovering the millions of dollars lost through leaking sales and marketing funnels. “Marketers need to think like plumbers and find the leaks and plug them.”
2:40 – Karen Hayward, CMO and EVP of CenterBeam believes it’s time for marketers to be accountable for results and has been working diligently with her team throughout 2011 to demonstrate that. “2011 was about … owning our accountability.”
3:19 – Michelle Mogelson Levy, Associate VP of Marketing Programs, ECI Telecom, says 2011 was a watershed for her. “Everything I thought was true wasn’t.” She went on to explain that written processes are meaningless without real relationships with your sales team. “I learned what alignment really was and how to align the sales and marketing organization to really create a cohesive group.”
3:57 – Milap Shah, CEO of Nexsales, warns marketers that you get what you pay for when it comes to data that drives the lead-generation campaigns. “Working with a so-called ‘inexpensive’ list could cost firms 2 ½ to 3 times more; it pays to pay more and stay targeted.”
4:37 – I explain how marketing is about building relationships and how marketing must play a leadership role in transforming companies from the inside to transform outside relationships.
5:37 – Kristin Zhivago, President, Zhivago Management Partners and author of Roadmap to Revenue, reveals that buyers are changing the way they purchase over the past few months. “In the intense scrutiny of the B2B environment, they’re talking to peers first…they don’t want to read websites,” Zhivago explains why: sellers aren’t even close to aligning their websites to how buyers want to buy.
6:37 – Ge Moua, Senior Demand Generation Manager, Unify, says her “aha” moment came when she defined her job as the liaison between sales and marketing. “For a long time, sales and marketing were very siloed … today we’re working together to achieve the same goal.”
7:30 – Tracey DeMay, Marketing Manager, CenterBeam, advises making sure you’re always talking “with” not “at” your customers and meeting them where they’re at. “By the time they reach out to us, they’ve made a decision, or they narrowed it down. They’re much farther along in the buying process than before.”
8:12 – Tony Doty, Senior Manager, Research & Strategy, MECLABS, was surprised by how marketing teams in big companies face the same challenges as those in small ones, whether that’s terrible data, poorly tracked metrics, or lack of measurement. “There are huge companies that are just as green as the startups,” he confesses.
What were your biggest “aha” moments this year? I’d love to hear about them, share them in the comments below.