By Dave Stevens
I set off for the British Film Institute on London’s South Bank this morning to attend the B2B Marketing Awards Showcase event (www.b2bmarketing.net/awards-showcase). To my knowledge this event is a new concept in events in the marketing space where, rather than simply attending an awards ceremony to watch winners collect trophies presented by B-list comedian presenters while simultaneously trying to down as much of the free wine as possible, we actually listen to what the award winners did to win the accolade and the postulate how we can emulate their achievements in our own organisations. It’s a sobering and worthy idea and therefore could only really have been invented in this age of austerity.
The agenda was a packed one – we heard from twelve award winners and reviewed upteen Powerpoint slides. The first thing that struck me was the good sense of what the speakers presented. We heard stories of marketers starting their work by conducting client research, building marketing plans, focusing on internal communications first, measuring their results – all things taught in any basic Chartered Institute of Marketing course. These are the first things we learn at marketing kindergarten. Which makes it worrying that we need to remind ourselves of these basics. So many marketers do not follow these steps and I have to ask myself why that is. Just what has gone so wrong that the elite of the marketing community feel the need to spend so much time iterating the basics to their peers or that we feel the need to note down their words and nod sagely?
The second thing that struck me was the degree to which the speakers flagged the key to their success as ensuring marketing worked closely with sales. Again this new fact was fervently grasped by the audience as an amazing insight. But surely this should not be a revelation either? Surely marketing and sales departments are aiming to achieve the same thing? How can it not make sense for them to work together?
I left the event feeling somewhat uneasy that my profession seems so uncomfortable with its very fundamentals…