24th March 2019
I’ve been blogging for over 5 years now, 5 years and 3 months to be precise. And, as I rapidly approach yet another milestone in my life, after an awful lot of soul-searching, I’ve decided to stop blogging about B2B marketing. So, this is my final blog.
I’m taking some of my own advice: to slow down, to prioritise, to do fewer things and focus my energies on what matters most to me.
Recently I read a wonderful article from Mark O’Brien titled The Big Why.
Part of Mark’s article talks about why he writes, which he describes as being about restoring ‘self-faith’. Which, of course, made me think about why I write.
First and foremost, I write because I love writing. I love the entire process of crafting a narrative and exploring the use and impact of language and words. But writing is also an integral part of my thought processes and has always helped me to think through whatever challenges I’m facing. Writing helps me to maintain what I call my self-belief – what Mark calls self-faith – and reassures me that I’m doing the right things in the right way, in what has been a very challenging decade for B2B marketing.
I published my first blog post on 10th January 2014. Since that time, I’ve published a blog every fortnight on a Sunday evening, except during the months of August and December, when I’ve taken extended holidays and only published a single time in each of those months. 2014 was also the year that I began seeing social media start to gain real traction in B2B. B2B marketers were just beginning to experiment with Twitter. LinkedIn opened their publishing platform to everyone, resulting in my own first blog on LinkedIn in July 2014. And our customers were beginning to bring their consumer buying behaviours into our B2B world.
I started blogging because I was struggling to get to grips with all the potential and opportunity that social media in particular and the explosion of technology more broadly was bringing to B2B marketing. Writing was – and has continued to be – my way of grappling with all these new questions, testing my ideas, and thinking through how to be the best marketer I could be. Particularly because I was working in an industry that was very slow to change.
2014 seems like a lifetime ago and a lot has changed for B2B marketing (though not as much as we think it has). As we go through our careers and our lives, change is the one constant we can be sure of. A cliché, of course, but true nonetheless. And, ultimately, it’s the choices that we make in response to these changes that are important.
Ambitions change and priorities change. That’s why this is my last blog post. I’m going to focus on my teaching and my other writing. I’m going to experiment for a while and limit my social media, becoming a more passive user instead of a proactive participant. I’m going to slow down.
There’s so much content out there now that – even with all that I read every day – I can barely digest it. Words cannot express how much it’s meant to me that you’ve read and commented, challenged and embraced, all that I’ve written over the years. It’s been fun, interesting and so fulfilling talking about our wonderful profession of B2B marketing through these platforms. You’ve all helped me to become the B2B marketer that I am today.
But, to paraphrase Neo in the final line of The Matrix:
Where B2B marketing goes from here is a choice I leave to you.
As I constantly reiterate (probably ad nauseum), the fundamentals of B2B marketing do not change. Strategy, Brand, Customers, Measurement – these are the building blocks for what we do. My hope is that we never, ever forget that. And that we never stop learning or questioning what we think we know.
My last words about B2B marketing? Nothing profound, just some words from the song by Terri Clark and the film Friday the 13th:
Everybody’s gotta go sometime
I’ll still be out there.
You can always get in touch with me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll still be out there doing client work, hosting workshops, and speaking at events and conferences.
And, of course, if you don’t have my book yet, be sure to get yours now.
B2B Marketing Strategy: differentiate, develop and deliver lasting customer engagement is available from Kogan Page publishers and Amazon everywhere.
Heidi Taylor is an award-winning senior marketing strategist with 25 years' experience of helping organisations engage with their customers, creating impact and differentiation. She is a sought-after speaker at marketing conferences in the UK and internationally, and regularly contributes articles to marketing journals in print and online. You can follow her on Twitter @TaylorMadeInKew.