In 2005, I was interviewed for B2B Marketing magazine about a new campaign that I was launching for Siemens. It was a real eye-opener for me. Until that point, I had no idea that there was a community of people who faced similar challenges from across different sectors. I was not alone.
That community has grown hugely since those early days, thanks largely to the efforts and leadership of Joel and James from B2B Marketing with their events, web community, magazine and – of course – the B2B Awards. Last night, over 2,000 people came together for the latest awards ceremony in London. The competition was more intense than ever and the prestige of winning has never been greater.
When I think back to the awards seven years ago, it is clear how far we have progressed as an industry. As technology enables us to measure the fruits of our labour more effectively, the impact of excellent B2B marketing on growth and wealth creation is undeniable.
Yet we have a long way to go. For many, B2B is still seen as the poor relation to our B2C cousin. And we face fresh challenges, as our remits grow: marketing automation, sales enabling, the shift in focus from paid media to content and social, as well as new developments in data protection. Unfortunately, the trade bodies that could represent us and support us in this quest are fragmented: clients and agencies are in separate camps, despite sharing the same challenges. To many bodies, B2B is a fringe activity at best.
Introducing the Business Marketing Collective
In 2014, we aim to take our community to the next level, with the foundation of the Business Marketing Collective, a new organisation that will connect clients, agencies and B2B technology and services vendors in the UK for the first time. The aim of the Business Marketing Collective is to bring us all together to share best practice, to encourage the next generation of talent into our sector, to develop talented marketers and to act as a single voice representing the B2B community on issues that affect us all, such as changes in regulation.
We are joined in that effort by B2B Marketing and the Association of Business to Business Agencies (ABBA), who will form an important arm of the new organisation. Major vendors are currently committing and members of B2B Marketing’s Leaders programme will also be part of the new organisation, as well as some of the UK’s strongest B2B brands, such as TalkTalk Business. But we need you!
Whether you are an agency, client or vendor, I urge you to join us in this quest. In our Collective, there is space for everyone. And we all have a role to play. Let’s face our challenges together and build an exciting future for B2B in the UK and beyond.
We are now accepting applications for the first council of the Business Marketing Collective. Please visit our
for details about how you can play an important part in the UK’s first unified Collective representing B2B marketing.