The Ninth Annual B2B Marketing Forum in Boston was a packed few days that featured 54 sessions, three keynotes and a full vendor floor with a range of technologies on display. There was a lot to see and even more to learn. The three primary themes that pervaded across all of the tracks were the intersection of digital marketing, content creation and analytics. These themes weren’t really surprising—the majority of marketers are still trying to get a grip on how to use analytics to better target content to improve the customer experience across all channels.
The track sessions and the vendor floor were in different sections of the hotel, but a catered lunch each day gave attendees the opportunity to network as well as explore. The vendors on display mirrored the key themes from the learning sessions. Marketo, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Telerik and Episerver demonstrated digital marketing and analytic technologies. Brightcove, Curata, SnapApp and TrackMaven were a few of the vendors focused on helping marketers create better content. Despite the session talks advocating the use of analytics to produce more compelling and personalized content, it was obvious that many vendors were still offering one-off, siloed solutions. This is what’s making this transformation difficult for so many marketers. In this area, Sitefinity definitely stood out among all of the other vendors, particularly with our Digital Experience Cloud (DEC).
At one of the lunch breaks, there was a vibrant conversation at our table about the keynote by Sherry Turkle, entitled, “The Power of Conversation: Preserving Human Connection in a Digital World.” Ms. Turkle is a professor at MIT who concentrates on the impact of technology and how we interact with one another. While the keynote had focused more on building better relationships at home and work, the consequences of changing technology were not lost on the marketers at our table. The discussion soon focused on how this development has impacted the channels we use to market to different generations. Of particular focus was how best to reach those folks that are using their mobile devices to research products and interact with your brand on different social media outlets. It will be interesting to see how many tracks focus on the mobile experience at next year’s conference.
Attendees definitely went home with a lot of information on how to better reach customers and the tools that can help them do so. Like everything though, it will all be in the execution and commitment to turn the learnings into reality.