B2B Marketing: Top “Aha moments” of 2011 from your peers


It seems like 2011 just started, and just like that, in a flash, it’s almost over.

Guess what?

You’ll be saying the same thing about 2012 soon enough. But before you do that, take a few moments to stop and think about what you learned in 2011 that can help you optimize marketing performance in 2012.

To spur your thinking, MECLABS a/v Specialist Luke Thorpe and I grabbed a camera and mic, went around to attendees and speakers at B2B Summit 2011 in San Francisco (hosted by MarketingExperiments’ sister company, MarketingSherpa), and asked for their top “Aha moments” of 2011 …

Now that we’ve given you a few ideas to jog your thinking, schedule some time in your Outlook calendar to reflect on what really worked (and what didn’t) this year … and while you’re at it, send us those thoughts for possible inclusion in the MarketingSherpa 2012 Wisdom Report, sponsored by HubSpot.

Heck, even hold a one-person brainstorming session and make December your secret power-work month.

If you need a little more inspiration to get the ball rolling, you can join us on Wednesday as MECLABS Managing Director Flint McGlaughlin (the third speaker in the above video, coming in at 1:23) as we share our top discoveries from 2011 in our upcoming Web clinic – How to Increase Conversion in 2012: The last 20,000 hours of marketing research distilled into 60 minutes.

Until then, take another look at the above video, and hear your peers’ epiphanies (in order of appearance) …

  • Jason Striker discussing  how people find a way to buy, even in a challenging economy
  • Jay Baer discussing social media
  • Flint McGlaughlin describing how marketers should think more like plumbers
  • Karen Hayward discussing the need for accountability
  • Michelle Mogelson Levy pontificating about how Marketing-Sales alignment is more than just a service-level agreement, but should be a real relationship, as well
  • Milap Shah warning marketers they get what they pay for
  • Brian Carroll on why Marketing should lead the business (and not the other way around)
  • Kristin Zhivago showing us what she’s learned from interviewing customers in 2011 – more are turning to friends instead of Google for product recommendations
  • Ge Moua explaining demand generation
  • Tracy DeMay on why you should talk with, not to customers
  • Tony Doty on the similarity between SMB and Fortune 500 marketing department challenges
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  1. STEVE O'KEEFE says


    Good question: what is your takeaway from 2011? Collectively, it sounds like buyers are more savvy than sellers suspect, and that relationships are the key to the sale — whether it’s the buyer’s relationship with the seller, or the buyer’s relationships with friends.

    My takeaway for 2011 is that content is an asset, not an expense. It grows in value as it grows in size — unlike advertising, which stops working when you stop spending.

    Can’t wait to see what’s coming in 2012!

    Author, Complete Guide to Internet Publicity (Wiley)

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