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A compare and contrast…of B2B Marketing audiences

Published August 24, 2022

Every client I’ve spoken to this week has asked me about the B2B Marketing Forum that I was fortunate enough to attend in Singapore last week and particularly how it compared with the most recent equivalent in Sydney held back in May. I’ve found myself hovering around a few points, so I thought I’d share these thoughts with you all for wider reflection.

How did it feel?

It’s always great to get together with the wider community. Emma Roborgh – Founder B2B Marketing Leaders Forum, Kristy Kelly (née Albers) and Sian Garner do such a great job of bringing a curious and passionate group together… the energy is naturally effervescent. Andrew Everingham‘s warm hosting helps too!

That said, I found this event in Singapore much more respectful that many others I’ve attended. The dropout rate for day two seemed much lower than normal, the rooms were quieter (more engaged?) and the questions more focused on learning from peers as opposed to self-promotion as they can be in other places.

My conclusion was that the cultural diversity that this Singapore forum cultivated, created a much more engaged and thoughtful set of discussions… almost definitely of higher value for more of the attendees!

What was the new news?

I’ve been a practitioner in B2B Marketing for over three decades, so I go to these events hoping to just find one or two new gems to take away. Rarely do I find more than that, as sadly, there’s a lot of vendors and speakers who just rinse and repeat their standard content. I do question anyone who does this… especially when their content is about audience engagement and personalisation!!!!!!!!

Last week overachieved for me on the new news I could grab onto. Rebecca McKinlay and Paul Hutt‘s session on “The science and art of content for the C-Suite” was a great start to day one. Anyone who’s worked with me will know I love a good art / science exploration and this did a beautiful job of putting a contemporary narrative (i.e., post covid) on the rich data sets that the FT has on that crucial audience.

Thursday also started with a real winner. Stacy Seah from Microsoft shared so many wonderful and thought-provoking insights, and she gift-wrapped many of them as quotable quotes. My favourites…

  • Common sense is not always common practice
  • New behaviours… will create new habits…which can create new outcomes…which gives you the best chance of creating sustainable change!
  • Practice makes progress

The conference wrapped up beautifully with Karina Gan from Accenture, who I felt was the most open and authentic speaker of the whole conference. Her personal reflection on her discomfort in managing conflict and how she has overcome that was wonderfully shared… as was her public announcement of her next career step! Class!!!

All in all, I felt this conference was an excellent use of time. I know many of my colleagues at Inflexion Group will be attending the B2B Marketing event in London in November. Bev Burgess will be delivering the keynote and challenging you to “Forget everything you (think you) know about ABM,” so if anyone wants to connect with Bev and our team, then please give Inflexion Group a follow on this platform and we’ll hook you up with the freshest insights from the best ABM thought leader out there!

I wonder how the London audience will compare with our friends in Sydney and Singapore?

Andy McFarlane

Andy McFarlane

Andy has been a marketing executive in the B2B space his entire career and applies a pragmatic and people-centric approach to leadership. With a focus on delivering great results and improving teams’ capabilities, Andy has held executive leadership roles in Europe, US, Middle East and Australia through his career.

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