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Events Aren’t Just for Practitioners — We Need Executives Too

  • Written by Erika Goldwater, Contributing Writer
  • Published in Blog

The seventh annual B2B Marketing Exchange (B2BMX) in Scottsdale, Ariz. is underway. This event is one of my favorites of the year for many reasons. But this year I expect it to exceed expectations because of the expanded CMO Exchange session. Too often, events are focused on training the practitioners, and they tend to leave out the executives in the programming.

This is a major oversight.

Although it is hugely important to train marketers of every level to become more effective in their jobs — which I call marketing enablement —  it is equally important to engage and embrace marketing executives who are leading organizations to learn and become involved as well. The rapid pace at which marketing and martech solutions are evolving means we are all trying to keep up, let alone trying to lead the pack and be the most effective in engaging our customers.

According to a recent post in Forbes, there are many challenges for CMOs — “There are a lot of them as the CMO role seems to be constantly shifting.” Additionally, organizations often hire CMOs for one skillset or strategy, but that may lead to a gap in another area, such as digital marketing, PR or analytics, and that can weaken an organization.

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Embracing learning and change to be effective must start at the top. That is why executive-level programming at events is so important for the industry and for the marketing teams they lead back at the office.

This year’s B2B Marketing Exchange hosted an invitation-only Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Exchange to help the industry’s top executives learn, too. This session was led by Jay Gaines, CMO of SiriusDecisions, and highlighted the latest research and insights on “High Performance Marketing.”  This session aims to help CMOs dig deeper into the ways in which CMOs can help guide their teams drive better results and share what is working and what is not in a small forum. This is not the typical presentation, but a small, handpicked group of leaders to brainstorm and network, fueling growth and inspiration for their organizations.

Leaders like Kira Mondrus from QASymphony, Jeff Marcoux from TTEC, Susan Wall from Oracle + Bronto, Julia Stead from Invoca and others are involved. It takes a village to build the right mix of people, process, content and technology in today’s marketing organizations. Revenue doesn’t just happen. It was great to be part of this event and work with top marketers to learn new skills and best practices from others.

Programming that involves marketing executives helps build more cohesive organizations and reminds us all that marketing enablement isn’t just for the practitioners. We all need to keep learning and events like B2BMX that have tracks and content that cater to executives helps inspire us all. Change starts at the top.

Here are a few insights we gained from our session:

"The latest research shows the highest performing marketing organizations focus on audience-centricity across all disciplines, not just marketing." - Jay Gaines, CMO and Research Fellow, SiriusDecisions

“When working on large enterprise deals, we empower the sales leader in the account to become the brand, to raise their visibility and not be seen as a sales representative." -Christopher Engman, CRO/CMO, Climeon

"I am always looking to raise the sport of marketing for the organization, across all levels and channels." -Meg Hoyecki, VP of Marketing, Specialists on Call

"I prefer to use the term ‘account-based engagement’ instead of ‘account-based marketing’ because it requires active participation by sales, marketing and others to be effective." -Jeff Marcoux, VP of Product Marketing & Customer Experience Solutions, TTEC

"In terms of purchasing new technology, we look to utilize what we have and focus on execution. Too often, organizations purchase new technologies before maximizing existing platforms." -Brian Fitzgerald, CMO, Veracode

"We are working to achieve alignment across sales, marketing, telesales teams and sales teams to implement our account-based marketing strategies. Account-based marketing is more than just marketing for us." -Kira Mondrus, CMO, QASymphony