BLOG: B2B Leaders must walk the line

There are a few bleary eyed people in the B2B Marketing offices this morning, following yesterday’s B2B Leaders Forum, and the official launch of our B2B Leaders programme – we’re a little tired but very pleased with the wave of positive comments and satisfied delegates from yesterday’s event. There were a few of us propping up the ICA bar long after the event itself had closed.

I was genuinely delighted by the spirit of openness and willing to network which all delegates embraced at this conference from the word go – this was central to the ethos of the event, but whilst you can try to facilitate networking, people won’t do it if they don’t feel comfortable. As an organiser, there’s only so much that you can do to make this happen, and sometimes it can be a real struggle – but it certainly wasn’t yesterday – the only negative thing people could find to say was ‘why weren’t there more roundtables?’

In terms of content and discussions, we had some excellent speakers with some highly prescient and thought provoking presentations – Zoe Hominick of 02 and Dave Stevens of EY stood out for me. There were many great discussion topics raised, too many to do justice too within the one event – fortunately we have a series of B2B Leaders events, dinners and roundtables coming up, and these issue and others will be picked up and developed there by senior B2B marketers.

There were numerous compelling points made and takeaways to emerge, but the one that stood out for me was the extremely fine balance that B2B Leaders have to strike between doing the things that the business needs, and that will make business respect it (and that generally means focusing on activity to drive revenue) and doing the things that the business can’t or won’t think about – and that means brand and employee communications. It’s essential that al B2B Leaders do both, but where precisely to draw the line in terms of focus and priority will be different for each practitioner and in each organisation – in other words, each individual will have to wrestle with it her or himself, and resolve it. And continuously adjust it, as circumstances evolve.

Over the next few days, we will be distributing further thoughts, findings and outputs from the B2B Leaders Forum, and we’d welcome thoughts from participants, both via our blog or on our exclusive LinkedIn Group.