B2B Marketing conference: Are you playing catch up?

Scot McKee, MD of Birddog and one of the speakers at yesterday’s third annual B2B Marketing conference, ‘Accelerate – peak performance marketing’, took a rather unconventional and witty approach with his presentation on social media. But one piece of information that he reeled out really struck a chord with me.

I’m sure, like me, the crowd of marketers in the auditorium was surprised to hear that 90 per cent of the world’s data has been created in the last two years – underlining the incredible rate at which the digital world is developing.

What should marketers do to keep up? Well, according to McKee, they need to dive straight in when it comes to social media. Waiting for something to happen means you’re too late or “dead” as he put it yesterday. And he’s right. Sitting on the fence isn’t going to help – a lot, however, can be learned from trial and error.

Also picking up on the topic of digital acceleration was Richard Robinson, industry head at Google – who better to talk on the subject. Robinson talked about marketers are being over cautious, he said, “Don’t be scared about how fast the digital world is moving.” He also touched on the rising use of mobile devices for the Internet and revealed 10 per cent of search terms on Google in August this year were made via mobiles. He was also very definite that mobile phones will soon become the primary Internet device, advising businesses to optimise their websites for mobile.

There were plenty of useful nuggets of information and advice being dished out left, right and centre. Here are my highlights:

  •  Choose metrics because they allow you to make better decisions and “not for ego” said Ian Symes of Cisco.
  •  It’s an ongoing social media evolution and if you don’t “get on with it” you will end up missing the boat, according to Steve Kemish of Cyance.
  • Your entire marketing plan needs to be socialised and everything you do has to be considered in a social media context, said Scot McKee of Birddog.
  • Using video will help you reach wider audiences, enable community integration and start dialogue between marketers and target audience. Richard Robinson, industry head at Google advised using video as a platform to go to your audience to get ideas.
  • Annabel Pritchard at Deloitte had some inspirational words, “Be prepared to take risks” and “embrace and champion change” were her top tips for business-to-business marketers.
  • Simon Banoub from Opta said that thanks to the boom in social media, there’s no excuse not to know what your competitors are doing.
  • Taking customer experience and turning it into advocacy is of “great value” and an approach that all B2B businesses should adopt, said Tom Perry of EMEA, Shoretel.