Doubling down on data and other top takeaways from B2B online

*Images from the B2B Online | Chicago website

Last week, we traveled to Chicago to take part in B2B Online, a leading ecommerce and digital marketing conference for manufacturers and distributors. It was a great opportunity for our team to gather some knowledge specific to the B2B sector, watch one of our partners host a session, and bring back some general nuggets. 

Here are a few of the top topics from this year’s conference: 

You have to double down on data

Nearly all of the sessions mentioned leveraging your first-party data. It’s 2023; every business needs to be able to fully understand what their data means for their business’s bottom line. That's why it is essential for businesses to maintain an up-to-date CRM, CMS, and DXP. Your data management plan must align with your entire business, sales, and marketing strategies. Be sure that all of your systems communicate and that they filter into your analytics and business intelligence tools. If it’s on your wish-list, move it to your to do-list — now. 

Have a deep understanding your customers

It was exciting to be surrounded by leaders who truly understand their customers at a deep and immersive level. All-in-all, discovery was a hot topic. B2B companies are spending more time and resources getting to know their customers. As they learn exactly why their customers make decisions during each stage of the buying process, they are able to amplify opportunities and reduce friction. Many B2B businesses work with outside partners in order to conduct robust research without burdening their team members. 

Yup — Use those AI tools

 Listen, we’re not quite at the Skynet or iRobot level yet. But, we’re on our way. Understanding AI is only going to help your business and leaders are using it as a tool to make their teams more fruitful. Being able to adequately leverage AI will allow your team to do more of the things they are already good at. Spend less time on mundane tasks and spend more time on the things that are helping to drive your business forward. 

Getting stakeholder buy-in

B2B marketers discussed ways to convince leadership that change is necessary. How did they strengthen their arguments?

By using data

Tie the project or initiative back to data. Being able to show with concrete figures why you want to do something and how it will affect the business will help leadership understand why this project is important to do. 

By thinking about the entire company

One of the big red flags stakeholders often raise is how a new project will affect the rest of the organization. Bring in members from other teams to get supporting buy-in from before going to leadership. This shows that not only have you thought about this project from a high level, but also that you have made sure no duplicate efforts are being made across the organization. 

These are just a few of the top discussions during our time in Chicago. Now of course this isn’t everything we learned, but three days of amazing information is difficult to distill down into 1,000 words or less. If you are a B2B business looking to level up, we highly recommend this event next year. See you there!