Highlights from Momentum ITSMA’s 23rd Marketing Leadership Forum

  • 24 May 2023

Robert Hollier

When marketing leaders and industry experts from across the world come together, there’s sure to be an abundance of insights, dynamic conversations, and inspiration for growth. And this year’s Marketing Leadership Forum was no exception.

In the beautiful setting of Napa Valley, we welcomed both familiar faces and new to our Marketing Leadership Forum last week, to explore the challenges we’re navigating in the ever-evolving marketing landscape. This annual event has become a highlight for marketing professionals, offering not only sunshine and wine but also a unique sense of community and a wealth of marketing expertise.

Our agenda was inspired by Matshona Dhilowayo’s quote: “Taking a leap of faith is better than taking a leap of doubt.” And while there’s no universal formula for success, diverse marketing leaders from IBM, AWS, NTT Data, Color Health, Cloudflare, Tata Consulting Services, and Salesforce inspired us all as they shared their adaptive approaches to paving innovative paths for their organizations.

Client Buying Index (CBX) insights

We unveiled our latest wave of CBX, revealing fresh insights into the evolving dynamics of buyer behavior and discussing the increased vigilance we’re seeing among the global 2,000. Some of the key findings include:

Heightened difficulty in buying decisions: 49% of buyers say it’s harder to make purchasing decisions compared to two years ago. Those who understand the importance of human interaction are the one’s winning.

Growing emphasis on ESG initiatives: Revenue and margin growth from environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives are now widely accepted. In nearly half of the buying cycles, a provider’s ESG and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) capabilities are becoming deciding factors.

Importance of client collaboration: Client collaboration has jumped fourteen positions to become the fourth most important priority for marketing leaders, following ABM, lead generation, and integrating marketing programs. A remarkable 86% of buyers expressed their interest in collaborating with providers for joint innovation. Marketing programs that embody collaboration – including ABM, executive management, and thought leadership – are increasingly taking center stage.

When it comes to complex and strategic purchase decisions, 87% of enterprise buying teams are now focused on achieving (ROI) within 12 months. This is driving the need for providers to pivot their engagement strategies, both before and after the sale.

To delve deeper into the Client Buying Index (CBX) and its implications – and discover why a third of buying cycles are leading to a “road to nowhere” – take advantage of an in-depth analysis for you and your team. Request your analysis here.

Empowering teams with ABM and AI Marketing leaders shared insights on their dedication to enhancing and directing their teams towards high-impact endeavors, incorporating Account-Based Marketing (ABM) more comprehensively into their go-to-market strategies, and exploring the possibilities presented by generative AI.

Navigating an ever-changing environment In the rapidly evolving landscape we operate in, resilience has become increasingly crucial. Rob Leavitt revealed our revitalized ABM Council and the integration of our comprehensive service portfolio. These initiatives are designed to help you identify growth opportunities, create effective strategies to harness that growth, and build a robust framework for sustainable success.

End-to-end collaboration and support Our recent acquisitions have broadened our capabilities in thought leadership, buyer research, and partner go-to-market strategies. We can now collaborate with you throughout your journey, analyzing your clients’ needs, developing, and embedding strategies across people, processes, and technology, and reinforcing them with tailored learning programs and performance measurement.

Embracing change and optimism Amidst a challenging environment characterized by cautious and risk-averse buyers, as well as pressures on marketing budgets and headcount, everyone left Napa with a buoyant mood. The shared success stories and insights exchanged among peers instilled a sense of optimism. Even in the face of macro-economic uncertainty, conviction-driven marketing leaders find ample reasons to remain positive and seize opportunities.

As we look ahead, embracing change and fostering collaboration will continue to be vital in shaping the future of marketing. As data shows, organizations who make bolder moves during time of tremendous change are the ones that outperform others. There’s more to be done and we’re listening closely to what you need next. We have two great events coming up soon in London and the US, so take a look at our Events Calendar and we hope to see you there.

When marketing leaders and industry experts from across the world come together, there’s sure to be an abundance of insights, dynamic conversations, and inspiration for growth. And this year’s Marketing Leadership Forum was no exception.

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Robert Hollier