B2B Marketing Enters the US Market – Q&A with James Farmer

I was fortunate enough to catch up with James Farmer, Founder and Publisher of B2B Marketing, a B2B-focused media company with a bold and outstanding mission to “actively empower marketers and leaders to drive serious business growth.” James shared a few insights into some of the industry’s challenges and what B2B marketers can expect from their launch into the US market. Take a look and if you don’t already have B2B Marketing on your radar, you should.

Q: Can you please share a little bit about B2B Marketing? What makes you different than other media companies?

A: Well, our main point of difference is we are 100% dedicated to the B2B marketing space. Business-to-business marketing stretches all key verticals and involves millions of professionals worldwide and hundreds of billions of dollars of investment. It is not small. In the past B2B marketer had to somehow untangle consumer advertising ethos to be able to move forward, as that is all the media seem to be interested in. Ten years ago we launched in the UK, now we are a global media organisation, with a million users online. We care passionately about the sector and watching it evolve. It is a load of fun!

Q: You just came off a very successful event in London, the B2B Summit. What were the highlights?

A:The Summit was a huge success, with near 1,000 delegates from all over the world, 60 sessions with huge keynotes from Joe Pulizzi from Content Marketing Institute and your very own Carlos Hidalgo. The themes stretched from ABM to Virtual Reality. The underlying current though was you cannot do it all! So many avenues for marketers to invest in, it’s time to pick the ones which are most pertinent. Focus efforts, rather than overreach and try to do it all!

Q: Rumor has it you are launching a US-focused division for B2B Marketing and a US B2B Summit? What are the details and why should US marketers get involved now?

A: The rumors are correct! We have built up a cracking editorial and marketing team in Chicago. We soft launched over the summer, gearing up for a big push in the Fall. We are a UK/EU business, but we already have 250 million online users in the US. So before we launched, we already had great form in the market. There is much to be shared between US and the EU markets. B2B is global, as well as local!

Q: What are the greatest similarities between US and UK B2B marketers? How about the rest of Europe? Greatest differences?

A:Well, the USA has been leading the way with MarTech/AdTech for a while now. The UK and EU are playing a bit of catch-up. It is inevitable really, as the US tech businesses have been gaining critical mass in the US before moving East. However, the pace has recently quickened. Both EU and US are huge markets, and bar language, B2B marketers globally are all embracing technology, to underpin customer focused marketing.

Q: Is there a “hot topic” today in B2B ? What content are your readers consistently consuming?

A: There is no one hot topic. However, saying that, I think the key critical issue in the market is joining up and fully utilizing all the different platforms; MA to CMS to CRM etc… it needs real technical insight. Companies need to start investing in their marketing teams, to ‘up skill them’ so they become fully tech savvy. I don’t mean coders, but APIs are not universal, they need to know the limitations/opportunities and the processes behind coupling these powerful platforms.

Q: What advice would you give a new B2B marketer for making an impact in their organization?

A: Read, read and then read some more. Marketing is moving at such a pace, that nobody can sit back and expect to pick it up intuitively. Marketing has moved from a more vocational role to much more technical profession. I believe that marketing should be sitting in the middle of an organization. It is already starting, but new commercial skills are needed, as well as the traditional channel management.

Take a look at the program from the 2016 B2B Summit in London and start thinking about how to get to the Chicago event in December. We’ll see you there.

Author: Erika Goldwater CIPP/US @erikawg VP, Marketing, ANNUITAS