The Day of the Fish: B2B ESP 2016 Recap


In the words of B2B ESP keynote speaker Andrew Davis, “Marketers are addicts – always chasing a high.” Whether it’s a spike in traffic from a website redesign, an increase in engagement from a new piece of content or fresh leads from a webinar, most marketers are living campaign to campaign. At this year’s premier predictive intelligence summit, B2B ESP, the main message was that marketers have to break this cycle. Stop just making noise and vomiting on every channel. Instead, start building momentum. Don’t chase the next high – chase the elevation.

In order to break this cycle, marketers must rethink their distribution and promotion strategy and become data-driven to create a tailored and deliberate approach. As Brocade CMO Christine Heckart noted, “Content is king, data is queen and timing holds the court together.” Once marketers use data to inform their content and marketing strategy, then they can begin to reach prospects in a meaningful and lasting way and create true momentum. Or, as Andrew aptly said, be a salmon if you want to make a big splash.

Marketing to the Right Fish – Not Every Fish in the Sea

Strangely enough, salmon was a major topic during B2B ESP, or more generally – fish. Following Andrew’s analogy, our CEO and founder Amanda Kahlow took the stage and compared the act of prospecting to fishing. An average marketer blindly throws their net out and may catch small fish or big fish but has no insight into whether either are in-market. A marketer leveraging profile fit or segmentation tools can see the size of the fish and weed out any small prospects, but has no insight into whether or not the big fish may have just eaten their competitor’s bait or is even hungry in the first place. With predictive intelligence, marketers know exactly where to throw out their net to avoid the small fish and find the hungry big fish.

Continuing the trend, Forrester principal analyst Laura Ramos discussed the six ways predictive gives sales and marketing teams an unfair advantage and displayed a photo of a goldfish jumping from one bowl to another. The jumping goldfish was synonymous with a buyer that is ready to buy. Instead of marketing to all of the fish in the sea, predictive intelligence gives companies the necessary insight to focus their time and money on the prospects “jumping” to buy, leading to improved results.

B2B ESP brought together the biggest fish in marketing and sales, which unsurprisingly led to a laundry list of teachings, insights and best practices. Check out some of the top quotes coming out of last week’s event below:

  • “Marketing needs to better understand sales’ priorities.” –Laura Ramos, Forrester Vice President, Principal Analyst
  • “Vision is critical. Strategy is essential. Implementation is crucial. Execution is vital.” -Jeff Siegel, Dell Marketing Innovation Strategist
  • “Business is digital. Digital is business.” –Thad Kahlow, BusinessOnline CEO
  • “Companies don’t buy. Individuals buy.” –Joseph Puthussery, Cisco Vice President, Digital Marketing
  • “Marketing should not only be measured on revenue, but on customer engagement.” –Christine Heckart, Brocade CMO
  • “A successful demand gen engine operates with a clear mission, a solid basis in analytics and the ability to continuously innovate and improve.” –Heather Berggren, Dell Global Thought Leadership & Innovation, Enterprise Solutions Group
  • “Three-fourths of customers will choose the vendor that was first to turn their vision into a clear path.” –Laura Ramos, Forrester Vice President, Principal Analyst
  • “Marketing creates value when aligned with sales and aligned with who the target audience is.” –Christine Heckart, Brocade CMO
  • “Marketers creating the right customer experience by leveraging the right technology will win.” –Laura Ramos, Forrester Vice President, Principal Analyst
  • “The marketing pie isn’t getting bigger, it’s just getting sliced into more pieces.” -Andrew Davis, Brandscaping Author
  • “Stop the marketing dictatorship and understand your customer before seeking to be understood.” –Thad Kahlow, BusinessOnline CEO
  • “Our marketing success is not defined by the height of our peaks, it’s defined by the depth of our valleys.” -Andrew Davis, Brandscaping Author
  • “The power of predictive in digital for one year was $3.5 billion in pipeline. Marketing and sales focus on growing the business, not leads.” –Joseph Puthussery, Cisco Vice President, Digital Marketing
  • “Account-based marketing is not about creating marketing for an account but defining and finding the right opportunities for your company.” –Laura Ramos, Forrester Vice President, Principal Analyst


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