Last week, four members of the Madison Logic executive team attended the BMA15 conference in Chicago. We were represented by Tom O’Regan (CEO), Tom Koletas (SVP Media), Sonjoy Ganguly (SVP, Product Management), & Rachael Monroe (VP, Sales & New Business) who all had a wonderful time reconnecting with old colleagues, former coworkers, and the many new faces that were seen throughout the 2015 Business Marketing Association awards. The theme for this years BMA conference was “Do More”, which was a perfect theme considering how much change has occurred in the marketing world since last years conference.
This year, there were 62 marketing authorities leading 42 sessions on more b2b marketing topics. There were more than 800 b2b marketers culled from 400+ companies from 36 states and 10 nations was the largest turnout the BMA has ever had and is a constant reminder why it is now the largest b2b marketing conference in the world.
There was constant chatter throughout the conference about a few particular sessions. Maybe the speaker who received the most praise was Jim Lecinski, the VP, U.S. Sales and Service, Google. In his session he talked about “The Changing Face of B2B Marketing” and how over the past two years, both decision-making and buying processes have changed drastically from what b2b marketers are used to. One of the biggest takeaways from the session—and something that became a constant theme for the conference—was how in their research Google found that 46% of business buyers are now Millennials, which creates an interesting scenario where b2b marketers now need to change their tried and true methods to adjust to these new buyers. With the business world quickly embracing technology and technology driving the business world, b2b marketers need to adjust for these new innovations and learn that marketing is an evolutionary creature that must adapt to all scenarios.
Another favorite session was the CDW session presented by Neal Campbell, Senior VP and CMO, and Lauren McCadney, Director, Digital Engagement and Social Media. Their session, titled “Buzz Kill: The Real Deal on Today’s Marketing Imperative” shed some incredible insights on how social media, big data and analytics are revolutionizing the marketing world. One of their biggest points, which was repeated constantly throughout the week, was that “You’re more likely to be struck by lightning than click a banner ad”. This metric caused a lot of marketer’s wheels to turn to figure out alternatives to display advertising since the old tried and true methods are no longer as effective as they used to be.
Another favorite session was Russell Stokes’ “A Whole New Train of Thought: Delivering Customer Outcomes”. Russell is the President and CEO of GE Transportation and in his session he talked about how GE has been revolutionizing its rail business by shifting from selling specs and point solutions to delivering outcomes an entire systems solutions to help its customers solve their toughest challenges. This session in particular echoed the sentiments from Jim Lecinski’s presentation where marketers need to adapt to new environments in order to constantly stay on top of the latest trends in order to maximize the productivity of their businesses.
The BMA15 was a great success for everyone including the Madison Logic team. The event coincided with our announcement regarding our newest product: Activate ABM (you can read more here). At the same time, Madison Logic started a new social media campaign on the heels of a rebranding and a new website. This social media campaign was centered around a #MyIntent hash tag and a series of interviews with industry leaders where we picked their brains to see why they came to the BMA and what they are going to be doing differently based off of the events theme of “Doing More”. To see these interviews, check out the following videos that describe why marketers are going to be doing things differently.