Attending the Forrester B2B Summit is always an eye opener, but this year was a little different. Here’s a rundown of what our CEO Matthew Stevens and VP of Growth & ABM Phoebe Jackson learned on the day.
What’s the outlook for FY24?
With inflation going down and EU GDP going up, tech spend in the EU is increasing by 3.6%. In China, GDP is growing by the smallest amount we’ve seen in years, at only 4.4%. This will impact tech companies in EMEA who’ve outsourced production to China. The overall feeling is one of confusion, or contradiction. Some good news, some bad. So how should vendors navigate this uncertainty? In tough times like these, there’s always opportunity. To stand out in the sea of sameness, organisations need to become customer obsessed.
Customer obsession is the key to success
The day went by without a single mention of ABM. Has it died and been reincarnated as something we all just call great marketing? Or could this be the dawn of a new status quo that focuses on customer value.
The events of the day defined customer value as economic, symbolic, functional, and experiential. But it’s worth nothing that these values are more or less important at different stages of the customer lifecycle. Forrester predict that each will be magnified along that journey by different people within the customer value network—like the key decision makers within a vendor’s ecosystem.
So what are the two surefire ways to be customer obsessed?
1. Align across marketing, sales and product.
Starting from the beginning is key—fixing and retrofitting solutions won’t have long term impact. It’s something we’ve been guiding clients to do for some time.
2. Make ‘future fit’ technology integral to your marketing.
This is especially important as marketing becomes more responsible for revenue.
We learned how several award-winning organisations are doing things differently. Like how NTT started off running 1:1 ABM programmes and is now building toward embedding ABM into all its marketing approaches, calling it ‘Account Based Management’—emphasising a collaborative aspect of running these programmes, and seeing them beyond just marketing campaigns. Again, this is something we’ve been shouting from the rooftops.
Dun & Bradstreet spoke about the kinds of internal changes needed to run effective marketing programmes, citing how crucial socialisation time is between programme conception and activation.
Plus, we heard Keysight talk about the importance of CMOs and CROs being in lockstep to enable a more revenue-focussed organisation.
How to win with Gen AI
Gen AI has the potential to transform how businesses adapt to meet customers’ changing expectations. At MOI, we’ve already been exploring how.
We heard how GenAI tools can help organisations across:
- buyer engagement
- employee productivity
- content generation
- data analysis and interpretation
But while these tools present so many possibilities, Gen AI isn’t without its risks.
The top six breakthroughs from breakout sessions
These are the insights that stood out to us most on the day.
1. B2B’s biggest problem is its MQL addiction. And MQAs aren’t the answer, either—especially as the industry moves toward a revenue waterfall model.
2. The biggest barrier to orchestrating revenue efforts is aligning business functions.
3. B2B is still too focussed on product features, not benefits, and that’s a mistake.
4. The funnel is dead. Long live buyer journeys!
5. While Sales is becoming more specialised in navigating the increasingly complex buying journey, field marketers are still generalists who are often expected to do too much. Aligning goals, prioritising efforts, and aligning capabilities across people, processes, plans, and platforms is key for success.
6. B2B needs to do more to balance the art and science of marketing.
How we’re turning insights into action
The insights we learned emphasised how now is the time to apply the principles of an account-based approach to your entire GTM strategy. In fact, it’s never been more important. It might seem daunting, but if you don’t start now, you’ll risk falling behind the competition.
We also recognise how vital it is to inject intelligence into every step of your processes to understand your buying groups, how to create value for them, and find opportunities for your business. It’s also important to get the most value out of your tech. By understanding what’s in your stack, you can easily determine what to build from, phase out, or implement as new.
But what’s the best way to get the most out of ABM? By partnering with an agency that has the objectivity to join up, centralise, and roll out an account-based operating model to organise efficiency, learnings, budget, and ROI from your audiences.
Ready to transform your entire GTM strategy? Get in touch with MOI’s ABM expert, Phoebe Jackson.