The B2B Online Conference 2019 took place again in Munich at the beginning of June. During the break, I was asked: “Have you been here before?” My answer was: “four or five times”. As a speaker or moderator of a thematic table, the motivation is certainly different from that of a normal visitor. As there are more and more familiar faces among the participants, supply and demand seem to fit together very well here.
Therefore, we summarize – Vanessa and Svenja will also add their part here – what drives B2B marketers to questions online in the summer of 2019. Have fun with the more or less chronological order of the topics.
Digital transformation – again and again
My first impulse watching Day 1 was, “Again?” I thought the subject of digital transformation was over. But that’s probably the wrong way of thinking by definition. Because, first, businesses are in the middle and second, the transformation, just like the Internet, is probably never over.
Perhaps the term “digital evolution” is better. A caterpillar turns into a butterfly. It ends at some point. An analog organization will only ever achieve an intermediate level of digitization. Industrialization did not stop with the first generation of steam engines.
At the meta level, Google’s Stephan Henschel delved into the subject. The fact that Google sends high-level speakers to conferences such as the B2B Online Conference shows that there is still a lot of work to do, but there is also potential.
In what follows, Jenny Gruner has shown how such a journey can be approached. A band like Hapag Lloyd with over 100 years of history, it’s not just “flick the switch” and it’s done.
My conclusion: The subject is still important and burning. I like that you can see the movement. Where three or four years ago there was only the impulse “You have to do it. » like keynotes, today there is already « That’s how we started. as case studies.
The fact that there were other big topics was evident on the morning of the second day. The theme of innovation and the integration of start-ups, taking the example of the large Airbus group. I found what was presented very exciting. And the audience really had two or three very operational questions about the implementation. All moderated by “We’re doing this right now…” or “We’re just wondering…”. So good news: we are on our way. With transformation and innovation on completely different levels.
Operational topics: knowing the numbers, printing lives, top-notch and account-based content are great.
This would be the very abbreviated form. The themes of the operational presentations were widely disseminated. From great social media content to the benefits of account-based marketing. I summarize my findings:
Digital is beautiful, success is even more beautiful – print can still do it.
A sudden swerve on the highway can be deadly. It is useful for lead generation. The shipping service provider reported Shipcloud. If you have to stop your campaign because sales can’t keep up, that should be considered a success.
what was the trick Send a letter to the selected decision makers. manuscript. This creates the necessary attention in certain situations. I will summarize. It’s not always about digital and mass. These are the good conversations. Where you got them: it doesn’t matter.
The fair still makes sense. Apparently, the letter too. Scaling is my question mark on both. Although: manuscripts can now be published. The 600 to 800 euros for an AxiDraw V3* should be back in no time.
* A bot that knows your handwriting and puts it on paper with ink and pen. Details below https://axidraw.com/
Exact targeting is excellent. Personal contact is even better.
Speaking of small but nice. Jürgen Sorg’s explanations about account-based marketing were very exciting and just as conclusive. For me, the short version was to forget the funnel and sales phases. This decouples the observation from the person behind it. Whenever possible – that is, especially with small groups of decision makers – use the character as a base and focus on the real person.
Collect information from public sources such as LinkedIn & Co. and always draw the question: what is currently relevant for my interlocutor? Not easy. Legally, this is also worth checking. But certainly very useful and a step further from the watering can of measures.
It’s really good when I combine the special knowledge of the heads of my account managers with social media data using a well-maintained CRM.
No one follows you for advertising – highly engaging content for social media
And then, at the end, a case study from us that shows how social media content works that goes beyond just product communication. I’m really still very ambivalent about it. On the one hand, it is impressive to see the great ideas that colleagues realize. On the other hand, it makes you think that in 2019 it still does not exceed the norm. It is unfortunate that companies do not respect this benchmark, which few set.
I refer to Svenja’s article on sensible B2B communication. If you wish, you can ask the Levites to read you there. Or ping Vanessa directly on LinkedIn then she will be happy to tell you about practical tips and experiences from the Eppendorf case.
KPIs are not a crowd puller.
And last but not least, there were again thematic tables for operational exchange. The opportunity for each participant to exchange with the others on the subjects which burn under the fingernails. During the first coffee break, it still sounded like a 4-eyes conversation to me on the topic “KPIs and measuring success”. In the end we were about 10 people and therefore the smallest group compared to that. The exchange was very good. Many operational issues could be discussed and partly clarified. It turned out that KPI and dashboard are necessary. Unfortunately, it has also become clear that there is still room for improvement when it comes to understanding data and numbers. Not with the colleagues in our group. They were in great shape. But many had similar problems: the recipients of the data lacked understanding. So, unfortunately, we are stuck at the same point: reports for reports. Not to lead with, but to have it.
If I put it in a bold and mean way: the only advantage of tools like Google Data Studio is that I can produce reports for the drawer faster and cheaper. And I can provide real-time data to managers. Which are then ignored by managers.
This was my conclusion from the 2019 Online B2B Conference. Although it may look a bit different when you read it, it was an interesting event. Just like it’s always worth taking a two-day break, meeting nice people, exchanging ideas and having conversations. And everything related to digital transformation is also a laborious process, we are progressing. The right questions are asked and answered.
Svenja’s thoughts on the online B2B conference
I would like to add the topic of content marketing to Sven’s thoughts. Here I had my topic table, which led to further discussions. First of all, some rather disappointing statements during the round table:
– “Buying characters? I’d love to, but I can’t get sales information.”
– “SEO? Not enough time for well-thought-out content with SEO criteria.”
– “I measure, but do not direct.”
– “As long as sales only smile at us, we will hardly develop the content business in depth.”
These statements have only been made by established B2B companies. B2B start-ups – that is, B2B companies that are no older than the Internet – position themselves very differently. Marketing and sales work hand in hand and sales support wherever they can because they have already learned that the better the content, the better the lead generation. I had already noticed this tension described in customer-established businesses, but here it became clear to me again where the opportunities for B2B in content marketing lie: in the interdisciplinary cooperation between marketing and sales.
The more the sales department shares information about the person and the needs/challenges with marketing, the more content marketing activities are successful. And this is where sales benefit again in terms of quantity and quality of leads. Very simple actually, but my interviewees (marketing) at the conference were rather skeptical about the internal will for change. That’s it again, digital trans…, uh, evolution.
Vanessa’s thoughts on the online B2B conference
This year was my first time attending the B2B conference online. I’ve already spoken at a few other conferences, but this e #OnlineB2BConf in Munich was a first for me. Together with our client Eppendorf, I presented our cooperation in social media on stage. We showed how emotional content can create interactive background noise in social media. increasing ranges, Brand effects and high interaction rates within a strong and growing community are our successes after one year of collaboration.
Another first for me was supervising a themed table. And then our table was by far the most complete – wohoo. Apparently, we had chosen a popular topic. The conversations and discussions around our table revolved around questions such as: What topics are the target groups really interested in? How do you find a good mix of content? But also: Which subjects can become critical and how do you then cover a corresponding community management?
There were differences between small businesses and intermediate forums that laid the groundwork for further conversation, that I conducted with various participants during the conference. “How do you manage to create a mixture of subjects with few resources expand and get some frequency on the channels? » “Which channels are best for B2B?” “Can I use Instagram?” even if I don’t have aesthetic products?” “What is the best platform for recruiting young employees?” “What is the best tool? “How do I measure success and make them comparable to other platforms? ” Those are such as the questions posed to me below. For me it then became clear over the two days that that B2Bers are really getting stronger with the potential of social media apart and that their questions around the theme are as diverse as the companies themselves.
My summary of the conference: extremely friendly and interested participants, exciting speakers, excellent moderator, excellent organization and Catering and lots of inspiring conversations can’t wait to be there Next year.