As my guest, Joel Harrison, Editor-in-Chief at B2B Marketing, notes, and as we’ve observed through numerous interviews with B2B experts, B2B marketing is in “a period of unprecedented change.” This change is being driven by a number of disparate but related forces: in how COVID changed human behavior, in the way that B2B buyers research prospective suppliers, in the way that B2B sales and marketing teams interact, by widespread buyer skepticism about the veracity of advertised B2B claims, and by rapidly progressing transformational technologies, including the advent of generative AI systems.
One good way to get an accurate overview of B2B’s current transformation is to study the agenda of B2B-specific events such as Ignite USA, which will be running from May 23rd to May 24th in Chicago at the Willis Tower, and even better, actually attend such an event, which I intend to do. There it will be possible not just to get expert POVs from B2B marketing experts, but to expose oneself to the hopes, aspirations, and concerns of the B2B marketing community in an informal setting that facilitates the development of new business relationships.
With all of that in mind, I sat down with Joel to learn about what we might expect from Ignite USA in terms of agenda topics, featured speakers, breakout sessions, and networking activities. I also wanted to learn about his new project: Propolis, a virtual B2B community he launched in 2021. We discuss what that catalyst was for the project, how it serves the informational needs of B2B marketers and B2B buyers, how it relates to Ignite USA, and how it functions as a new category that Joel dubs “Community Intelligence.”
Joel and I discuss a topic that’s certainly on everyone’s mind these days: the prospect of a recessionary downturn appearing in 2023, and its expected effects on the B2B sales cycle. We close our discussion with Joel’s hopes for Propolis and the B2B sector generally for 2023 and beyond.
Are you a B2B marketer or B2B buyer interested in advancing your knowledge, expanding your universe of contacts, and having a bit of fun in an enjoyable setting in a fabulous city? If so, I’d highly recommend attending Ignite USA — I know that I’ll be there. To register, go here: https://events.b2bmarketing.net/igniteusa — the team was kind enough to share a discount code with me for eMA readers/viewers. Should have it soon. Ping me with an InMail, and I’ll send it over.