You’ve probably seen some brands boast that their marketing strategies “ain’t like your grandma’s B2B marketing.” But in the eyes of marketing innovator and CEO & Founder of theONswitch Nancy A. Shenker… maybe it should be. Understanding the media, appeals and messaging differences across different generations is something that shouldn’t be ignored, and that’s the focus of a panel Shenker will moderate during the upcoming B2B Marketing Exchange event in February.
The panel, aptly titled “The OGs & The Noobs: How Different Generations Perceive Content & Collaborate In Martech,” will consist of professionals from various generations to showcase specific examples of highly effective campaigns, as well as those that backfired due to ageism (at both ends of the generational spectrum).
We caught up with Nancy to learn more about her view on cross-generational collaboration and to get an inside scoop about what attendees can expect during the panel.
B2B Marketing Exchange: Why are you excited to return to in-person events?
Nancy A. Shenker: Face-to-face interaction delivers a connection that is simply different from Zoom and Teams calls and whatever else we’ve been doing for almost two years. Being able to have spontaneous conversations before and after sessions, cruising the exhibit hall and talking to new and innovative companies (and the people who work for them), and meeting new people (and old colleagues) is so important to growing your brain and scaling your business. I’ve been teaching online workshops, but not being able to see audience reactions in-the-moment is frustrating. I miss people coming up to me after my talk and asking questions or giving me feedback. And yeah, I’m not going to lie, I need some new swag socks, bags and stickers.
B2BMX: What have you learned from your experiences with virtual events that you will bring with you back to in-person/hybrid?
Shenker: Keep an open mind. You never know who you’re going to meet!
B2BMX: What are you looking forward to learning at B2BMX?
Shenker: Content marketing trends and tips, and new technologies to facilitate communication, research and tracking.
B2BMX: Can you give us a sneak peek into your session?
Shenker: Absolutely! We are now working in a world where different generations are represented — on both the buyer and the marketer side. Diversity and inclusion should include age and not just race, gender, religion and sexual orientation. What can older professionals learn from younger B2B marketers and vice versa? I have assembled a group of super-smart and super-entertaining B2B pros spanning four decades. We will cover everything from how different generations consume and view social media and content marketing to how to be the boss of someone who is old enough to be your grandmother… and a variety of other provocative and relevant topics.
B2BMX: Why are you passionate about this topic?
Shenker: I’ve been involved in B2B marketing for most of my career. Although some basic principles haven’t changed, the media we’re now using is vastly different and all generations have something valuable to learn from each other. Having these open dialogues and sharing case studies and results will help the audience become aware of their own biases and opportunities. Most of my company’s success and long-term growth have been as a result of being able to build cross-generational teams and respecting differences.
B2BMX: What’s on your playlist?
Shenker: Whoa! Time for some true confessions here. It’s the ultimate eclectic mix of genres and eras. Everything from The Rat Pack and Tony Bennett to 1960s musicals and crooners to classic rock to the latest Billboard #1. I’m a fan of the English Beat, Warren Zevon and The Kinks. And please don’t hate me, but I have country rock as one of my car pre-sets.
B2BMX: What was your go-to take-out meal/restaurant during the pandemic?
Shenker: I became obsessed with something called Taco Mountain from Coconut’s Fish Cafe, although it didn’t involve tacos and it was more like a hill. It had fresh fish, mango and brown rice. Because we all love immediate gratification these days, I liked the fact that it usually arrived within 30 minutes. It was also relatively healthy. I also baked gluten-free muffin tops, which I still give to my friends, who say they are addictive.
And no, I’m not always that much of a health freak. I am a total sucker for super-well-done French fries. And now that the world is opening again, Hillstone restaurants are among my faves. (There are two in Phoenix, BTW!)
B2BMX: What shows are you bingeing right now?
Shenker: Like my music tastes, also an amalgam. Succession (although the season just ended), The Walking Dead (which is wrapping up in 2022), Project Runway, Curb Your Enthusiasm, You, Insecure, Law and Order SVU and Organized Crime and The Bachelor/Bachelorette.
B2BMX: Where is one place you want to travel that you have never been?
Shenker: So many places, but I was only in Paris for 30 minutes or so and want to go back… but only if it is a super-romantic excursion. I also want to do a cross-country drive one day. I went straight from college to work, so I am still due for a gap year.
Hear directly from Nancy during the panel “The OGs & The Noobs: How Different Generations Perceive Content & Collaborate In Martech” at #B2BMX!