This week, members of the Sonician team headed over to London to exhibit at the annual B2B Marketing Expo, at the Excel in London.
Once we heard about this event we thought it was an unmissable opportunity for us to go and show off Otto & Volley Marketing as well as bring back some of the exciting developments in the B2B marketing world. What we really were looking to accomplish was to find UK partners as we are looking to launch both Otto & Volley Marketing in the UK in June, 2017. Looking back at the experience, we definitely didn’t believe that we would be able to come away with meeting so many great people and learning about a lot of fantastic new products, technologies and services.
The event was bursting with some extremely interesting keynote speakers and with very insightful seminars on a wide range of topics. All three of us really tried to get around the expo and see as much as we could! But of course, with such a big expo and so many great exhibitors, visitors and speakers, it was difficult to accomplish.
The organisers of the event also requested us to hold a 30 minute seminar on Business Intelligence and how that can improve your Customer Acquisition Cost. This was definitely one of the highlights for Sonician being able to help executives, marketing managers and small business owners get a grip of the possibilities of business intelligence to improve their customer acquisition costs.
To say that we had fun would be an understatement!
There were a few big changes we noticed within the B2B Marketing field, but one everyone seemed to fall back on was successful online conversion. We met many SME’s which are well aware of the impact digital transformation is having on how customers make purchases. This seemed to be causing much stress & uncertainty for marketing managers to keep up with the evolving sales process.
The major concern was that their marketing activities, up until this point, are not being tracked. So either their executives were demanding more metrics to prove the success (or failure) of their marketing activities or they realised themselves that they were possibly wasting money. This seemed to be driving a lot of the discussions throughout the seminar and within our own stand.
Our Commander in Chief, Henrik Rudberg, returning from a succesful day 1 at the expo!
Another point that really stuck out over the two days in London was how the customer sales process has fundamentally changed.
While this may seem obvious with the development of mobile technology and the internet, we talked with many visitors and exhibitors that were concerned about this.
In particular, this seemed to hit suppliers very hard. There were many suppliers there, looking for options to get ahead of their competitors. Many of the suppliers had stated that their own customer retention rates were quite poor because of the easy access to other solutions. The ability for the customer to do their own supplier research was making it increasingly difficult for these suppliers to find a way to add value onto their orders.
We were able to relate to many of the challenges these marketing managers and suppliers saw since this is what we often hear from clients, colleagues and friends.
At the same time, we believe it is a true fundamental change that should not be seen as something negative from a supplier’s perspective, but rather evidence of turning tides that need to be embraced:
It is no long possible for anyone to rest on their laurels, but everyone has to make sure to convey a proper and transparent image, and make sure to not fall behind its competitors, and it will ultimately be to the advantage of the client. Having said that, it also obviously makes it more difficult to compete with local, high-level services, much as the construction of big malls in the outskirts of cities will also drain city centers of specialized smaller local stores. It does mean everyone will need to develop a strategy to be able to handle it.
It wasn’t all doom & gloom while at the expo, one of the biggest upcoming trends was content. Adapting a content marketing strategy seemed to be one of the biggest trends for reaching out to potential customers.
Many of the speakers spoke about using content to reach out directly to their customers and communicating your value.
A highlight for some of us was the seminar held by Jason Miller, the Global Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn, he provided a very insightful seminar on how consumers are consuming content in a distraction filled world.
All in all we had a fantastic experience at the B2B Marketing Expo. Over the next few weeks we will provide in depth outlines of how the preparation to the event was and provide some case studies inspired from the event.