Carrying Your Weight: Marketers Talk Big Questions at B-to-B Roundtable
"I really appreciate that you came out to talk about B-to-B marketing a little bit," said Thorin McGee, editor-in-chief of Target Marketing. "Most of you have said what I've seen—which is that B-to-B marketing doesn't really get the attention it deserves, from the event space, from roundtables like this. We don't often get a chance to talk about B-to-B and what's unique about that compared to B-to-C marketing."
It was a chill November day in New York City, when 13 of today's top marketers across a wide spectrum of B-to-B companies came together in an exclusive round table to talk about what's been on their minds. Bouncing ideas off of each other for almost two hours, they went deep on everything from content marketing to tallying up ROI.
One issue it seemed most marketers are wrestling with was just how to prove the value of a marketing department to the C-suite. "I think that marketing as a function is really being redefined," Greg Grdodian, CEO of Pearl River, N.Y.-based Reach Marketing said. "Just think: A few years ago, there was an unbendable barrier between marketing and IT. They didn't speak, meet or even like each other. Today, a full-breed marketing executive has to be part creative, part tech and part statistician. So you have to visualize what works, generate measurable results and understand the numbers."
Edison Partners CMO Kelly Ford took a different tact, saying "Marketing should be shoulder to shoulder with Sales. So many CEOs really don't understand. Their perspective is 'I'll hire 5 more sales people before I'd hire a marketing leader.'"
"As long as everything you're doing is putting you there, shoulder to shoulder with sales, then the CEO gets it," said New York-based advertising software provider INVISION's Erin McCallion. "The budget is justified, and then all of the other marketing stuff will come. I feel like that's where the inroads can be made first."