Day One of Marketing Vision 2022: From managing chaos to creating fans

People want to do business with people who are passionate. Even if it’s B2B, sharing a passion makes you more human. Here are ways marketers can drive growth during chaos...

Alisha Lyndon

by Alisha Lyndon

October 26, 2022

In his kickoff presentation for Marketing Vision 2022 Dave Munn, Chief Community Officer, Momentum ITSMA, lauded the marketers in attendance for their resilience and achievements over the past few years and alluded to the challenges ahead due to current market conditions. Comparing this downturn to the financial crisis of 2008, Munn said marketers are far better prepared. In fact, he outlined four specific ways marketers can drive growth during chaos:

  • Double down on most important accounts and sectors
  • Play the incumbent advantage
  • Make the business case stronger
  • Go deeper and take actions to develop trust

Taking the stage to unveil wave two of the Customer Buying Index 2022 conducted by Momentum ITSMA in September, Robert Hollier echoed Munn’s concerns about the market. However, the data shows that despite market volatility, business transformation is accelerating – 43% of companies say they are transformed and transforming in 2022, vs. just 5% in 2020. Thus, if your marketing message is “we can help you transform,” you might want to rethink what you’re telling customers.

Marketers also need to hit on what’s important today. It’s a challenge – volatility is causing business leaders to expand their priority list. However, when everything is a priority, it’s difficult to prioritize. That’s why marketers need to know the top five business priorities, according to survey respondents:

  • Improve the customer experience/loyalty
  • Protect against new cybersecurity risks
  • Improve talent acquisition, development, and retention
  • Invest in innovation, new products, services, business models
  • Grow revenue

Joining Robert onstage, Julie Schwartz, SVP Research & thought Leadership, Momentum ITSMA, emphasized that despite a bumpy economic outlook, customers still have a growth mindset. This, coupled with the fact that 81% of buyers are consuming more content and 68% will do business with a firm if their thought leadership matters, opens doors for marketers to make an impact with strategic, relevant, research-based, and innovative content.

Later that morning, Munn caught up with three marketing leaders: Clara Belalcazar, CMO Americas, Kyndryl, Leigh Day, CMO, Red Hat, and Laura Heisman, SVP & CMO, VMware, to discuss their approach to leadership in turbulent times. The response: stay calm. Each stressed that they’ve faced challenges before, and the most effective response is to focus and prioritize – and get even closer to close customers, through data, through ABM programs, through executive to executive sessions. Belalcazar summed it up: “We’re stronger, more resilient, can pivot quickly, and know how to prioritize.”

Katherine Lucas, Head of Platform Marketing at State Street, reiterated the focus on customers – reminding B2B marketers that meeting customers’ needs does not mean giving them what marketers think they need. It means asking: what do the customers themselves think they need?  We heard throughout the day to leverage data, sales teams, and the clients themselves to answer this question!

Angie Henderson Moncada, Staff SVP, Marketing, FM Global, chatted with Momentum ITSMA CEO Alisha Lyndon about her own path to marketing leadership. Her first point, reiterating what other speakers highlighted, is that marketers need to be brand stewards. She added that it’s increasingly important to marketers to listen, as well – to clients, the market, internal teams. “When we don’t listen,” she said, “it goes wrong.”

The last speaker of the day was marketing strategist and author David Meerman Scott, sharing the new rules of B2B marketing. In a dynamic presentation with plenty of pop culture references, he challenged marketers to build fans, then showed how and why this is important:

“People want to do business with people who are passionate.” Even if it’s B2B, sharing a passion makes you more human.

To marketers who are stepping up to the challenge to create deeper connections with customers, fandom seems to be an achievable aspiration.

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