Executives from brands including Caterpillar, Boeing and American Express told the 2019 Association of National Advertisers’ business-to-business (ANA B2B) conference to increase content production but ground their efforts in greater humanity and focus.
Taking place in Chicago this week, the ANA B2B event was focused on a broad theme of ““Driving Growth and Building Marketing Value.” While B2B News Network was not on the ground, we’ve monitored Twitter for social mentions that might prompt inspiration or help guide any followup activities for those who attended or wanted to learn more.
Geoff Ramsay, co-founder and chief content officer at research firm eMarketer, suggested too many B2B brands are focused on traditional tactics versus things that will deepen relationships with their target audience.
.@geofframsey kicking off @ANAmarketers #b2b conference. Can’t agree more budgets too heavily waited to lead gen. Need more focus on customer engagement and growing the base. #ANAB2B pic.twitter.com/zQVfybHYxx
— Chris Eifert (@EifertB2B) May 30, 2019
David Rabkin EVP & General Manager for American Express Business, spoke about the connection between networks and narratives, encouraging marketers to use the power of networks to tell richer stories. Several attendees noted Rabkin’s urging for all B2B marketers to do better in this area, describing it as more of an obligation than an opportunity. “We shouldn’t just be talking louder,” several attendees quoted him as saying.
@davidrabkin from @AmexBusiness says we have two marketing obligations: 1) to expect better measurement and attribution 2) to tell better, richer stories #ANAB2B pic.twitter.com/sSpi4tEYht
— Sullivan (@sullivannyc) May 30, 2019
Victoria Morrissey, global marketing and brand director at Caterpillar, was clearly an audience favorite, with one attendee describing “goosebumps” as she watched examples of its most recent campaigns, calling it ” the epitome of great storytelling and highlights the impact of emotional connection in B2B decision making.”
This was probably the other most-quoted line from Morrissey’s talk.
"Numbers lend credibility and validate a story but they don't drive feelings," says @CaterpillarInc's Victoria Morrissey. #ANAB2B pic.twitter.com/zTFEXl17tK
— ANAmarketers (@ANAmarketers) May 30, 2019
Among those not from a particular brand but a recognizable keynote name was Gary Vaynerchuck, who continued an ongoing theme he’s been discussing in videos and other channels about the organic reach of LinkedIn and the need for marketers to produce “a lot more” content. This tweet, however, seemed to align with the spirit of many other ANA B2B sessions
“Let people see themselves in the creative”. Marketing words of wisdom from @garyvee #ANAB2B
— Christine Svitila (@csvitila) May 29, 2019
Finally, we’ll give the last word to a LinkedIn content marketer who was listening to Reuben Webb, chief creative officer at New York-based Stein IAS, who reminded the audience that B2B buyers who get exposed to non-stop marketing from vendors need substance as much (or even more) than style.
Reuben Webb of @SteinIAS says, "Stop trying to be creative. Start having ideas with value." #ANAB2B
— Sean Callahan (@sean_f_callahan) May 30, 2019
The ANA B2B 2019 conference wraps up Friday.
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