Last week, B2B marketing professionals from across the country gathered to swap ideas and glean industry knowledge at the 2020 B2B Marketing Exchange. The three-day event offered over 100 sessions, delivered by industry leaders in content marketing, demand generation, digital strategy, ABM, channel marketing, and sales enablement. Not unlike the B2B marketing industry itself, B2B Marketing Exchange was a fast-paced and ever-evolving experience filled with presentations, panel sessions, and Q&As. We learned a lot this year, but our biggest takeaways center on the science of memorable content, AI’s impact within the sales and marketing landscape, and a humble approach to implementing ABM.
The science of sticky content
We’re exposed to communication overload daily, but important mechanisms in our brain help us hold on to what matters and forget the rest. While this is great on a personal level, it’s a real challenge for marketing and sales professionals hoping to break through the noise. When people are exposed to a new piece of content, they’re likely to forget up to 90 percent of it within two days. This means marketers must create messaging that puts them in control of the 10 percent of information they want their audience to remember. Ask yourself:
- Does my content help the audience make sense of something they previously didn’t understand?
- Is my content valuable, yet quick and easy to digest?
- Does my content tell a story?
- Is my content too abstract?
Interrogating your content with these questions in mind will ensure your message sticks with those whose attention you’re competing for.
AI and the buyer’s journey
AI isn’t coming; it’s already here. Author and advisor Pam Didner talked about AI’s impact on every stage of buyer engagement. Filled with actionable insights, Pam’s presentation covered real-world examples of AI’s benefits for buyer engagement, as well as tools for B2B marketers looking to form an AI strategy. In addition to generating excitement about the possibilities presented by AI, Pam reminded the audience how important it is to stay ahead of technology trends and emerging innovations. Marketers who fail to leverage machine learning to optimize the customer experience by delivering the right messages at the right time will surely be left behind by their competitors.
ABM’s growing presence
With a healthy amount of well-attended ABM events on the schedule, it’s obvious ABM is gaining traction in the B2B marketing sphere. Overall, the tone was similar from session to session, but below are our key takeaways:
- ABM professionals across the country are engaged in a learning curve characterized by trial, error, and a humble form of curiosity. Most speakers owned up to their own room for improvement.
- Try many things, not just one. ABM is about creating an ecosystem of communication rather than a single vehicle for messaging.
- Similarly, think about the bigger story rather than taking things chapter by chapter. Successful ABM professionals know the narrative from start to finish before they press play.
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint. ABM professionals must play the long game to account for longer decision-making processes and an extended buyer’s journey that is characteristic of the enterprise.