SD Summit ’17: Why is Marketing and Sales still driving such progression?

Helen Barlow Global Marketing

Whether you’re a Sirius Decisions virgin or a veteran SD’er, one thing is for certain: This year’s SD summit in Nevada is set to be not just the biggest but the most progressive summit to date. Why? Well, good question – Why is Marketing and Sales still driving such progression, productivity, and attention?

2 years ago I sat in a conference keynote led by the infamous Gillette Fusion blade – seriously, true story. The point wasn’t about how brilliant the 5 blades were, nor how revolutionary adding a fifth blade to an already saturated market was. Instead, it was around how creatively marketed and ultimately sold these seemingly banal additions were.

OK, so it wasn’t the most inspiring of conferences, but I can tell you that the power of a Sales and Marketing performance engine that was trying to stand out and deliver in a competitive, saturated market stuck with me like a bad case of shaving rash.

It was big and it was clever, and it was stealing a charge on an established and effectively boring market – and it was winning!

And so it got me thinking about what really makes the difference in this post-automation, post-personalisation, B2B world. Most SD attendees will have taken the plunge into big tech, Marketing Automation, Demandbase etc. True performance marketing isn’t about the big foundations… it’s about tweaks! The incremental wins! And that 1% improvement that drives your share price through the roof (and your bonus to boot!).

Big steps and strong foundations are fairly well-established. The path is well trodden, and yet without fail, every year at SD I see a new vendor, a new solution, a new technology in data-driven, predictive analytics or something as simple as intuitive sales enablement tools that has the potential to accelerate performance from – “great job” to “we can’t live without you” often challenging the status quo of how it’s always been done along the way.

For progressive CMO’s, CSO’s or mere mortals like myself, wherever you sit in your own organization, channel, product or service, understanding that the speed and agility of your sales and marketing team impact your business every single day.

I’ll be on the lookout for Demand Centre tools that improve productivity, as well as intelligent content platforms that help accelerate prospects into and through the funnel by understanding behavior better than ever before and aligning real knowledge with authentic content that helps users do what they need to do better. No BS, no over-complicated tech for tech sake – just real-world understanding of what it takes to be successful in our uber-competitive B2B worlds – show me something that helps our clients win better, more often – I’m in.

So this year in Nevada along with learning from insightful case studies from Linkedin and award winners SAP Ariba on what they’ve done and how they’ve revolutionized their own world this year I’ll be looking for those little gems, the start-ups that found a different way, the vendor that looked at the same problem from a new world perspective – and you never know – we might just re-invent the wheel.