November 24, 2015
A few years ago I wrote a book on the history of B2B marketing.
It was a fascinating journey for me – as a marketer, a writer and a historian (I’m a history major).
We’ve come a long way, baby, as the old saying goes. Sometimes it’s hard to remember how far we’ve come when we’re in the thick of things on a day-to-day basis. That’s why I’d like to pause this week and share some things for which I am most grateful:
#1 – I’m thankful for helping people. We’re still in the midst of shifting from selling to helping, but it’s certainly at the center of our focus. Awareness is the first part of changing behavior. While it takes time to go from awareness to changing how we behave – to stop talking about what we sell and instead help audiences by delivering value – we’ve made incredible strides. Marketing, as a profession, started around 1850. Changing 165 years of engrained behavior doesn’t happen overnight. We’re certainly on the right path.
#2 – I’m thankful for a seat at the table. According to Forbes, CMO tenure is now around 48 months, more than double what it was 10 years ago. Along with the growing tenure come a greater respect and appreciation for the work that we do and recognition of the value that we deliver to our organizations.
#3 – I’m thankful for opportunity. In research from the Business Marketing Association (BMA) and Forrester Research, 97% of marketers say they’re doing things they’ve never done before. What other profession in our organizations can say the same thing? It’s a true reflection of marketing’s opportunity to lead brands out of long-entrenched silos and build collaboration across the enterprise.
#4 – I’m thankful for access. Never before have we had such an incredible wealth of information at our fingertips. B2B marketers aren’t just big on educating customers, we’re big on educating each other. No longer do we have to settle for B2C-oriented learnings and then figure out how to apply it in our B2B world, because we have industry-specific events, webinars, podcasts, blogs, videos and every other form of content available just for us.
#5 – I’m thankful for our community. More than anything, I’m thankful for this special, unique group of fellow marketers who do what we do. People think that B2B isn’t sexy, but that was in the old days before they realized how sexy smart is. We’re blowing up expectations about how B2B looks, acts and performs, and that’s why we’re capturing the best talent around to our profession. We’re a rising tide that’s lifting every ship – those in marketing and also the companies for which we work. We’re not just pushing marketing forward, we’re pushing business forward.
Tell me, what are you thankful for?
Photo Credit: Flickr user Floodllama
About Carla Johnson
Carla Johnson is a world-renowned storyteller, an entertaining speaker, and a prolific author.
Over the last two decades, Carla has helped architects and actuaries, executives and volunteers, innovators and visionaries leverage the art of storytelling to inspire action. Her work with Fortune 500 brands has served as the foundation for many of her books.
In her latest project, Fast Forward Files, she contributes to a larger collection of thoughts by some of the world’s greatest minds - Shazam co-founder Dhiraj Mukherjee, activist and entrepreneur Heather Mills and behavioral designer, technologist and mental-health champion Peter Trainor. Consistently named one of the top influencers in B2B, digital and content marketing, Carla regularly challenges conventional thinking.
Today, she travels the world teaching anyone (and everyone) how to cultivate idea-driven teams that breed unstoppable creativity and game-changing innovation.