Roundup From This Year’s SiriusDecisions Summit

It’s that time of year again when thousands of eager marketing and sales leaders descend on an unsuspecting convention center—this time, to our great collective relief, in Austin rather than Las Vegas—for the annual SiriusDecisions Summit.

This year featured many of the staples that have built this conference into a must-attend event: 200+ sessions with an array of content to satisfy any appetite, plenty of networking time, a charity run I’ve managed to avoid for three straight years, and an overall atmosphere of energy and optimism about the future. There were also new features: role-based sessions jointly run by SiriusDecisions and Forrester analysts and an entire pre-conference day devoted to leadership and development.

The conference itself is always a whirlwind of sessions, meetings, schmoozing, and surprisingly long and often inefficient walks between appointments. In the midst of this all, it is easy to lose sight of what really connects everything together. After a week of reflection, though, there were a few themes that started to emerge:

ABM is here. Still.

No SiriusDecisions track had more sessions than the 11 devoted to Account-Based Marketing, and there were another 19 case studies that had “ABM” explicitly included in the title. I suspect with a little more time and effort, I could easily uncover at least another dozen ABM sessions that weren’t so bold as to spell their intentions right out in the title.

Even with all those sessions, though, demand exceeded supply. I got turned away at the door on two separate occasions because presentations were past capacity even before the scheduled start time. Clearly, attendees are still eager to drink from the ABM firehose. Their furious note-taking, uninterrupted picture-snapping, and detailed line of questions are a testament to the fact that B2B marketers are ready to test, execute, optimize, and measure their ABM strategies.

That activation, though, relies on a high volume of accurate, actionable, and accessible data, which brings us to the second theme…

Data reigns supreme.

Step number one for an ABM strategy involves getting your database(s) in order, and that step continues to confound organizations. The official theme of the conference, “Together: Achieving High Performance by Aligning the B-to-B Revenue Engine”, illustrates just how important it is to be able to connect data across the entire marketing and sales tech stack in order to take action, measure performance, and make decisions about how to be more efficient and effective.

Somewhat fortuitously, Demandbase announced the launch of the Demandbase ABM Ecosystem on the first day of the conference, an initiative designed to address this very challenge. The Demandbase ABM Ecosystem brings together best of breed B2B technologies to leverage data, intent, and account-based audiences across technologies to deliver consistent content, messaging, and CTAs across channels.

Even with torrential rain, flash flood warnings, and somewhat distressing rumors about tornadoes, SiriusDecisions managed to pull off another successful event. It’s nearly impossible to leave that four-day marathon of content and conversation without feeling more prepared to take the next step, tackle the biggest hurdles and become a better marketer.