by Richard Robinson | VP, CA Commercial, Cambridge Analytica | August 31, 2017 So that is it. The last bank holiday break before Christmas has come and gone. The exam results are out and we are being bombarded with ‘back to school’ ads. But what does this season mean for B2B marketers? It’s not like the retail sector where the last quarter of the year is make or break. But despite this there is lots of work ahead. I don’t know about you but it is the time of year for me to start planning for 2018. Even though there is a third of 2017 still to go! Planning this year is not just about people and programmes, it is increasingly about tech, tactics and partnerships. One thing that stands out to me at this time is leadership, and the role that marketing can and should play in the leadership of the business. So this week I have been looking for inspiration. The first came from thinking about What kind of b2b marketing leader do you want to be. This was wonderfully supplemented by marketing leadership means being brave, bold and quick to market. Those folk at IBM certainly know how to market. But leadership is not just about your job title. It is about what you actually do and how you do it. I spend a lot of my time talking with people with important job titles, but sometimes I’m concerned that they are not that engaged making things happen. This reminds me of a rather embarrassing moment at a meeting I attended a few years ago. I was taken to an impressive meeting room in an equally impressive building in West London and introduced to some impressively titled individuals. We started the introductions. First came the introduction from the Chief Strategy Officer, followed by the Chief Marketing Officer and then the Chief Information Officer and finally the Chief Data Officer. I couldn't help myself. I blurted out, “where were all the indians”. For some reason I was never asked back . . . One of the best quotes I have read all week is “in marketing, everyone’s job is to spend money” This short blog is well worth the read for brand-side and agency-side folk alike! Talking of which, a new study finds agencies and marketers to still be at odds. Perhaps it would make life easier if we stopped asking agencies for client references. As you know, I do like a statistic and what better way to show statistics than an infographic? Well here is one for you all about Account Based Marketing (ABM). Did you know that only 13% or those that have implemented ABM say that the maturity of their programme is advanced? Perhaps the remaining 87% should have played the dating game. Well that is what this report believes. Why every ABM strategy needs a matchmaker. This study claims that a whopping 60% of companies struggle to find the resources necessary to successfully implement marketing automation. Whereas some are saying that we need to use martech to drive premium positioning. But has has marketing automation started making sense? Nope, not really. It is all about the collection and use of data. As we are so often told that data and analytics are changing the face of modern marketing. As a side note, what ever happened to the phrase ‘modern marketing’? It was all the rage a couple of years ago. But even those B2B marketers that are aware of data-driven challenges, are choosing to de-prioritize solutions. Why? What can I say? “The elephant in the room of every marketing conversation I have today, is around data, data privacy, protection and GDPR”. Check out what four top B2B marketers have to say about this and other issues in this video of a recent CMO roundtable discussion. We often forget to put the customer at the centre of what we are doing, as illustrated here. B2B buyers demand enhanced engagement from marketers. It’s all about the funnel right? Here’s how to move users down the funnel when you are a B2B brand. Or is it about the tunnel? Demand generation tunnel vision. Why your company probably needs to invest in branding. I’m confused. Let’s end on a statistic. Well 5 to be precise. And these 5 statistics will change your view on the B2B buyer journey. Happy B2B marketing.