This year’s Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit on May 8 promised A-list and diverse speakers, compelling content and a strong turn-out of dynamic marketers in attendance. And, boy, did it deliver!

From the many candid and invigorating presentations given at the Summit, three major themes rose to the top: The dire importance of sales and marketing alignment, the marketer’s approach to marketing technology and the rise of the marketer paralleled with the crucial need to deliver measurable ROI.

To kick off the summit, brothers Joe Payne and David Payne, former CEO of Eloqua and chief digital officer of Gannett, respectively, took to the main stage to discuss the changing marketing and media landscape. Talk quickly turned to understanding big data and mastering marketing technology.

“Big data is all about knowing who your customer is,” remarked David Payne. “We want to migrate from unknown users to known users.”

“CMOs are faced with a million different marketing technology solutions and it’s hard to navigate. However, the culture of learning and embracing modern marketing must begin with the CMO because what the CMO cares about, the whole organization cares about,” said Joe Payne in regards to the evolving technology landscape in the marketing industry.

During late morning, Marc Hausman of Strategic Communications Group took to the stage along with a lively panel of exceptional marketers to debate the validity of a new trend in the marketplace: Web2Sales. Web2Sales is a programmatic approach that aligns Web, content, search, social, digital communications, analytics and CRM with tactical sales activities (i.e. demand generation, lead nurturing and deal capture). Learn more about Web2Sales here.

“We live in the age of the enlightened buyer, with consumers already 60 percent of the way through the buying process before reaching out to a vendor.” stated Hausman. “We use tactics such as social media participation, content creation and the use of marketing technology to reach our customers, but the reality is that 83 percent of marketers are unable to measure business value from their content marketing efforts.”

“What’s the point of pumping out content if you can’t tie it back to sales?” panelist Peter Scott, CMO at DivvyCloud, mused.

During the session, Hausman laid out the four essential components of a successful Web2Sales campaign:
– Be tactical
– Collaborate with sales
– Think like a publisher
– Intersect with technology

Mid-afternoon brought a session entitled, “B2B Marketing in a Social, Mobile and Data-Driven world”. This lively discussion boasted a large and diverse panel of influential marketers. Discussion again turned towards bridging the gap between sales and marketing departments.

“Expectations for marketers continue to ratchet up,” remarked Brian Cooley, CMO at EverFi. “Marketers must interact with sales and deliver measurable ROI.”

According to panelist Christine G.D. Schaefer, CMO at ThreatConnect, “Lack of chemistry between marketing and sales leads to failure or mediocrity…which is worse.”

“Meeting metrics without producing great content is useless. Make sure the sales team is informed of the content you’ve produced. They have direct insight into the customer experience,” said Debbie Shemony, VP of corporate marketing at MarketBridge.

Ultimately, the candid tone of the presentations coupled with the diversity of both panelists and attendees made this a Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit to remember.

 

By Kristin Janeiro, marketing operations coordinator, Strategic Communications Group.  You can read her full blog here.

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