In the early 2000s, predating social media, I was keen to meet fellow marketers and get insights into what other tech brands were up to. To cut a long story short, with a few ex-colleagues we set up a series of regular dinners where we got together 15-20 senior marketers and just "chewed the fat". It was cathartic and enlightening in equal measures, and really helped me gain some new perspectives in my own marketing efforts. Sadly the dinners came to an end after a few years as 1) we all had day jobs and 2) we have since seen a tsunami of content readily available on the web.
That said, I still think there's a role for physical events where peers can meet and compare notes. I really value the occasional lunch with friends in agencies and brands, and they always give me food for thought (pun fully intended).
So it was with pleasure that I accepted a recent invitation to speak at a marketing dinner organiser by the wonderful guys at Propellor. A great mix of experienced client-side and agency-side marketers and we had a great discussion. Whilst I was the 'main attraction' (blushes) and shared my own views on the state of marketing, it was still great to get some feedback and the debate was great. Here were the top five takeaways from the evening:
- No longer boring to boring: digital has brought on a golden age for B2B marketing.
- Data puts credibility back into B2B marketing
- Don’t let your insights overshadow great creativity
- The jury may be out on the white paper, but content and vision is king
- Customer experience is the brand & product
You can see the full write-up on the Propellor blog.
So, if you want to learn or develop your marketing skills, don't get hung up on training courses and formal events. Invest some time with a colleague, ex-colleague or agency contact and have a coffee, lunch or informal meet. Trust me, you'll learn a lot. And hopefully have a jolly nice time too :)