Augmenting your ABM efforts with Tradeshows: Possible or Fool’s Gold?

Written by Dawn Mentzer, Contributing Writer for Straight North

For those B2B companies needing to reach the “hard-to-reach” in the enterprise space, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has become the norm.

Marketers needs to use different approaches and different tools to reach a few thousand people versus reaching hundreds of thousands. Digital marketing strategies including personalized content, narrowly focused SEM and social media are just a few examples. I was asked recently though what role, if any, can tradeshows play in a company’s ABM efforts. Can tradeshows reach the “hard-to-reach”?

Let’s explore this question. I am imagining the hustle and bustle of the tradeshow floor. For exhibitors, there is the rush of hope and promise that they will boost awareness of their brands, connect with key decision-makers and facilitate sales.

In an ideal world, all of that can happen, but it does not always work out that way. Some trade shows end up being a bust. And after all the time, money and effort involved, shouldn’t you expect more than disappointment?

Exhibiting at a tradeshow may deliver a respectable ROI for some companies, but there are good reasons to realistically evaluate the potential before you go all in.

Exhibiting in tradeshows is:

  1. A significant marketing investment
    In addition to paying for the booth space, you’ll also face the costs of your display. Even modest tabletop solutions can burden a business’s budget. Depending on the show, you may need something much larger in scale and more elaborate to stand out from your competition. Also, if the tradeshow is out of town, you will have travel, meals and accommodation expenses as well. ABM marketing efforts are often measured in terms of Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) and tradeshows that may only drive leads and not sales can drive your CAC beyond acceptable levels.
  2. A freebie free-for-all
    Most of the people who stop by your booth will do so to pick up the free pen or coffee mug you have up for grabs and to register for the free Amazon gift card that you are giving away as a door prize. Sure, you might collect hundreds of business cards with names, phone numbers and email addresses in your fish bowl for the drawing, but you have no control over who visits you. It is almost the antithesis of ABM. You will reach whomever you reach, not necessarily who you want to reach.
  3. Not conducive to quality face-to-face time with prospects
    Even if someone from a company on your ABM list drops by your booth, staffing a tradeshow booth requires divvying up your time among the many visitors to your booth. If you focus your attention too intently on one person, you will fail at welcoming others who may or may not be viable leads. And so, rather than engaging in meaningful conversations and opportunity exploration, you will find yourself superficially making small talk.

However, if ABM is central to your marketing strategy, there are CAC friendly “conferences” that can be an extension of your ABM efforts. CDM Media, for example, hosts a series of CIO and CISO summits where marketers:

  • Help influence who is invited to the summits by providing an ideal customer profile or target accounts. This better ensures that you will meet with the people with whom you want to meet.
  • Provide their sales teams with face-to-face, one-on-one meetings with C-level executives instead of business cards.

Bottom line: Effective ABM marketing efforts should include a range of marketing strategies including targeted digital marketing (from a company like Straight North) and those C-Level conferences that also provide targeted audiences for face-to-face meetings (like CDM Media).

Author bio: Dawn Mentzer is a contributing writer for Straight North, one of the leading Internet marketing agencies in Chicago that provides SEO, PPC and web design services. Straight North can help you develop a comprehensive ABM Digital Marketing Strategy.  As a solopreneur and freelance writer, Dawn specializes in marketing content — and collaborates with clients nationally and globally.

CIO US, CISO US, CDO US, MidMarket US Summit Recap

November 12-14th, Scottsdale, AZ — CDM Media ran our CIO US, CISO US, CDO US, & MidMarket Summits at the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, AZ.

Ken Spangler, SVP and CIO, FedEx Ground, kicking off our CIO Summit with a talk on Connectedness and Real Time Events

If there was a recurring theme throughout the CIO US, CISO US, CDO US and MidMarket Summits, it was the title of Jed Yueh’s book, Disrupt or Die. From the opening keynotes brought to us by FedEx Ground’s Ken Spangler, Scotiabank’s Robert Hofstatter, IBM’s Mickey Iqbal and RSA ‘s Ben Smith it became clear that standing still is not an option.

Day Two’s keynotes from Essilor’s Greg Ericson, Kroger’s Brian Lawhorn, IBM’s Scott Buckles and Cristene Gonzalez-Wertz continued the call to transform. Disruption is being caused by external forces and threats, competitive activities, technological changes as well as internal organizational pressures. We participated in great discussions about the importance of data:  Identifying it, gathering it, securing it, analyzing it and then consuming it in dashboards that help us not only respond to the disruption of Digital Transformation, but allows us to proactively help drive our respective companies business objectives.

Executive Exchange

We had excellent panel discussions about Digital Transformation including topics of RPA, diversity and STEM. Most importantly there were connections made between individuals and between companies that can help partner with you to achieve your transformation goals. We look forward to seeing you next year at the 2018 CIO US, CISO US, CDO US and MidMarket Summits.

CDM Media Announces Chanel Suggs as Keynote Speaker

Scottsdale, AZ – October 13, 2017: CDM Media is pleased to announce Chanel Suggs, Founder and CEO of Wyvern Security LLC as our keynote speaker for the CISO US Summit on November 12-14 in Scottsdale, AZ.

Dr. Chanel Suggs, or the Duchess of Cybersecurity has over 15 years of experience in cyber security. Her Research focus is host based systems and artificial intelligence. She has worked for large firms such as EMC, Cisco Systems, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. Suggs holds a Doctorate of Science in Cybersecurity, Masters in Project management, MBA, MS Information Assurance, MS Networking and Communication, and a BS in Computer Science.

Dr. Suggs academic education, degrees, and certification combined with her vast experience enables her to understand her clients’ issues and create the best possible solutions. She is a cyber security expert consultant who has authored two books on the subject that are predicted to become bestsellers. She founded Wyvern Security LLC and has lead it to become the market leader in providing top class solutions to combat cyber security hacks. Wyvern serves to educate organizations about cyber security, provide security consultation, and research solutions to stay ahead of data breaches. Dr. Suggs serves at the President and CEO of Wyvern Security and is also an adjunct professor and exam writer, and an Advisory Board Member of EC Council University.

At the CISO US Summit, Dr. Suggs will lead a keynote presentation on: “Hacking to Prevent Data Breaches: The Art of Exploitation”. She will be joined by other speakers including:

  • Juan Gomez-Sanchez, Chief Security Officer, and Margarita Santiago, Senior Director, Risk & Compliance at Lennar Corp. – Security at the Speed of Business
  • Jim Castle, CISO, Conagra FoodsBuilding Dynamic Security Teams
  • Brian Lawhorn, CISO, Kroger Co.IT Integration in a Distributed World
  • Mark Van Holsbeck, CISO (Director of IT and IS), Avery DennisonSecurity and Compliance; Chicken and Egg or Chalk and Cheese
  • Robert Hofstatter, VP, Global Information Security Operation Services, ScotiabankWhat is the Future of Information Security?
  • Paul Black, VP Cyber Security Operations, McKessonThe Next Generation Security Operations Center
  • Hussein Mereby, Executive Information Security Director (CISO), VeritivArtificial Intelligence and the Rise of Advanced Machine Learning
  • John Whiting, CSO, DDB Worldwide (An Omnicom Co.)GDPR is Coming – Is Your Cyber Security Program Prepared

To learn more about the event and register today visit our Official CISO Summit Site


CDM Media Announces Partnership with Mark Chillingworth

London, UK – October 6, 2017: CDM Media, a leading B2B marketing and media firm, has announced Mark Chillingworth as Official Summit Partner and Master of Ceremonies at the CIO UK Summit on October 26, 2017 at the May Fair Hotel, London, UK.

Mark Chillingworth has been writing about and hosting CIO/CTO community events and podcasts since January 2008. Every week, Chillingworth interviews and hosts debates with leading CIOs from financial services, government, manufacturing, retail and health. In 2016, Chillingworth co-founded Horizon Business Innovation – a podcast, web and live events platform – to bring innovative CIOs and challenger suppliers together. Prior to editing Horizon, Chillingworth spent 8 years as the Editor of CIO UK and created CIO 100 formats in a tenure that took the title from failure to award winner.

The CIO UK Summit draws together 50 senior enterprise IT executives to benchmark and knowledge-share around key themes including AI & robotics, cloud, cybersecurity, digital transformation, GDPR, IoT, blockchain and many more hot industry topics.

Speakers Include:

  • Allison Nau, Managing Director of Data, Cox Automotive – Mobilizing Data from across the Organization
  • Mark Aikman, Group CIO, The North of England P&I Association – IT is dead. Long live IT
  • Michael Natusch, Global Head of AI, Prudential PLC – Making the Most of your Data in the Digital Transformation Journey
  • Richard Corbridge, CIO, HSE Ireland – Topic TBC

For further information please contact Program Director, Matt Rymon: or +44 7590 080 882.

CIO & CISO NYC Summit Recap

Fall is here and that means the start of summit season at CDM Media. The next few months will be jam-packed with exciting panels, discussions, and presentations at each of our thought leadership events.

We kicked off the season with the CIO & CISO New York Summits held at Convene Conference Center in the heart of downtown Manhattan. These two well established programs have a track record of success and, thanks to all the hard work and effort, that success continued this year.

We hosted an impressive group of delegates at both events as our Relationship Management team delivered delegate attendees from some of the most powerful and influential companies in the United States.

A highlight from these two summits was a panel discussion featuring Paul Wilner, CIO of Pall Corporation, Richard Entrup, Global CIO at Christie’s, Karl Schoen-Rene, Director of IT Security of Knights of Columbus, and David Van Skiver, Director of Information Risk Management and Security at Merck.

The discussion focused on Facilitating Technology-Enabled Business Transformation. This topic has never been more poignant and timely and the panelists did not disappoint with an engaging and interactive discussion.

Key points discussed included how transformations affects hiring and company culture followed by how companies need to adapt to the new technology landscape. Changes have not only altered company structure, but the IT department culture as well. Visibility and likability are two qualities needed to be successful in the new age” asserted one CIO panelist.

This was just one of the stirring and informative sessions at the summits that were already filled with guidance, stories, tools, and techniques from our great participants. When asking our panelists, attendees and sponsors why they attend CDM Media’s CIO and CISO summits, one executive noted that they “want their team to know what type of business solutions and what type of automation is currently available on the market.” There is no better place to gather that information than at a CDM Media event.





Click to view full event calendar for more information on future events.

CDM Media Announces Partnership with Business Review Europe & Gigabit

Innovative Digital Publications and Platforms Join EMEA Summit Series

Chicago – August 22, 2017: CDM Media, a leading B2B marketing and media firm, has announced Business Review Europe and Gigabit as featured partners of the CIO / CISO GAS Summit (September 21, 2017), CIO Finance Summit Europe (October 26, 2017), CIO Insurance Summit Europe (October 26, 2017), CIO BFSI Summit Europe (October 26, 2017).

Business Review Europe is an innovative digital publication offering business executives insight into the operations, innovations, financial strategies and other business practices of industry leaders throughout Europe. With a physical presence in many of the world’s largest economies, Business Review Europe is abreast of news and developments occurring around the clock.

Gigabit is a digital information and media platform for executives and leaders, providing expert insight into the ever-expanding space occupied by technology in business. Packed with deep features and insight from key leaders in business, Gigabit content can be found online or via our exclusive digital magazine, distributed monthly to a select membership of industry leaders around the world.

CDM Media is thrilled to partner with such innovative platforms and publications. To learn more about the Business Review Europe and Gigabit, visit their websites. |

To learn more about the summits Business Review Europe and Gigabit will be attending, visit:

3 reasons why most B2B marketing efforts failed in 2017…

1. Spending too much money generating top of funnel leads.
According to a report, only 13% of B2B leads will generate an opportunity and, on average, only 6% of opportunities will produce revenue. That means less than 1% of leads will yield a sale. On top of that, the average time for a lead to convert to an opportunity was 84 days (nearly an entire quarter) just to generate the opportunity. In 2018, top marketers will be shifting their dollars from generating top of funnel, broad based leads to a more targeted, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) focused leads.

2. Relying on sales to generate middle of funnel leads.
Your sales team is great at sales, but are typically inconsistent at generating sales qualified leads (SQL) that will move the needle. Today’s best marketers are data-driven and require accurate tracking of stage, development, progress to make effective decisions. Inconsistent tracking, variable outputs, and de-prioritization make effective decision making next to impossible. In 2018, data-driven marketers will be laser-focused on driving SQLs to their sales teams and tracking revenue conversion. Therefore, investments will be prioritized to (a) generate SQLs consistently and (b) help track progress and (c) development of those accounts alongside the sales team’s efforts.

3. ABM efforts stopped at content/lead development instead of creating face-to-face opportunities.
According to Hubspot, 84% of executives prefer face-to-face meetings when doing business, and 95% believe face-to-face meetings are imperative in order to build lasting business relationships. If you’ve taken an account-based strategy in 2017, but your sales leads haven’t placed you in front of C-level decision makers with those accounts, you haven’t scratched the surface. In 2018, ABM focused marketing executives will be increasing investments to create face-to-face interactions with the critical accounts that will exceed revenue goals. Revenue attribution and account penetration are the new lead generation and funnel-filling methods and smart marketers will be investing where they can see those metrics.

As you plan for 2018, consider these mistakes. 
CDM Media has helped our clients to close six and seven figure deals with key target accounts in 2017. Let us help you in 2018. Schedule a call to find out more about how we can work together as a partner in growing revenue with the right accounts next year.


Get Involved – CDM Media EMEA Events

As we approach the start of Q4, CDM Media will be hosting a lineup of fantastic EMEA summits for attendees to take advantage of before the end of the year. We are bringing some of the top C-level executives in IT and security to discuss the industry’s current trends and challenges. The topics that will be discussed include digital transformation, AI, IoT, GDPR, blockchain, robotic process automation (RPA), and many more.

Attendees are provided the unique opportunity to collaborate with likeminded C-suite thought-leaders to benchmark, knowledge-share and network. Closed-door and peer-led, CDM Media summits are the ideal environment for rich content and collaboration.

Remaining 2017 EMEA events:

Grow your network and knowledge now by getting in touch with Matt Rymon –

Prospect from Leads to Leadership – Enterprise B2B Success

This week, I spoke to a marketing leader responsible for driving “enterprise level” opportunities for her sales team. She said her number one goal was to drive 10,000 leads this year. While I didn’t say anything, my mind wondered if there were actually 10,000 people that would fit their ideal customer profile. She further mentioned that they use tradeshows to hit that number, but noted that the sales team was not excited about the leads that tradeshows produced.

Following that discussion, I spoke to a sales leader who was responsible for closing “enterprise level” opportunities in the cybersecurity space. He said that while they get many leads from their marketing efforts, these leads generally aren’t sales qualified leads and don’t turn into closed deals.

This is today’s dilemma in enterprise B2B sales and marekting. There is an intense focus on driving leads, but yet research shows that over 90% of leads NEVER convert to a sale. We’ve found that there are two underlying reasons behind this dilemma:

  • Over 80% of executives who make purchasing decisions, prefer face-to-face meetings as the vehicle to learn about and then buy new solutions.
  • >90% of B2B Leads don’t result in a face-to-face meeting with an executive.

A 2016 study estimated $83 billion was spent on digital marketing and $26 billion was spent on B2B tradeshows for the purpose of driving leads. However, these leads are not valuable unless they turn into face-to-face meetings with the right people at the right companies.

Part of the issue lies in how success is measured. Cost per lead (CPL) drives a certain behavior focused on simply driving leads. Customer acquisition costs (CAC) or cost per acquisition (CPA) have the promise of uniting marketing and sales into a common measurement, but can still lead to organizational finger pointing.  Account-based marketing (ABM) at least jointly focuses marketing and sales on the right companies, but ABM doesn’t guarantee what both sides of the buying/selling equation want – face-to-face discussions.

To be a leader in today’s enterprise B2B world, one needs to move from leads driven by measurements and instead driving face-to-face meetings with the right people. Maybe it is time to have a new measurement: cost per face-to-face meeting (CPF2FM).  Maybe that is a measurement that can truly unite sales and marketing.

CDM Media helps sales and marketing leaders grow their revenue through a Sales Acceleration Platform that drives face-to-face meetings and discussions between their company and C-suite executives from their target markets.

The 5th Tenet of Retail Digital Transformation

Guest Blog Post By E.G. Nadhan

Walking into the Executive Exchange Session at the CDM Media CIO Retail Summit in New York, I had formulated five fundamental tenets of digital transformation in the retail industry. The session was about the Race to Retail Digital Transformation between business and IT – who will get there first? After all, retail is all about transforming the consumer experience, provided technology can enable this continuous journey. The room had more than 25 leaders from global enterprises that are living these challenges across the manufacturing and retail industries. I quickly set the context and suggested that there were five tenets of digital transformation in retail. Join me as I walk you through what came out of this thought-provoking session.

Business racing with IT? Yes! A resounding phrase I still remember from the NRF Conference is that the retail industry will go through as much transformation in the next five years as it did in the past 50 years. However, for such transformation to be effective, let us take a closer look at what matters and what doesn’t!

Tenet One: Channel Does Not Matter
Whether it be online, over the mobile phone, or walking into the store, the channel does not matter to the retail customer. Omnichannel is streamlining the overall customer experience. However, there are other factors to this as was asserted during the session. The online and mobile channels do not readily support the in-person handshake and emotional interaction. Customers are more likely to dismiss a pop-up window than negate an offer from one human to another. One representative of a leading construction equipment manufacturer indicated that the omnichannel options opened up opportunities for their equipment with other online retailers that did not exist before. Thus, even though the channel may not matter to the end customers, it forces the manufacturers and retailers to think differently about the retail business.

Tenet Two: Location Should Not Matter
We are now able to ship and receive any item to and from nearly any location. Say, for instance, my spouse is vacationing in Hawaii or just walking the Magnificent Mile in Chicago and she finds an item of her liking. She is then able to order it in the store or online and have it shipped to a location of her choice as well as the ability for it to be received by the person of her choice.

Tenet Three: Automation – and People – Matter
Let us not lose sight of the human element. Whether the greeter at the front of the store or the clerk wishing you a nice day, the human element matters! Automation done right is all about increasing the overall efficiency of the end-to-end retail process while redirecting the brainpower to more innovative applications. Next-generation technologies open up options for new business models and newer ways of enhanced customer experience.

Tenet Four: Innovation Matters
Such enablement requires an ecosystem of passionate members to collaborate by bringing together diverse perspectives and embrace innovation. Whether it is between retail enterprises or individuals with expertise in the business of retail, collaboration is the most effective mechanism to sustain innovation. When I referenced Gartner Fellow, Darryl Plummer advocating Connect – Don’t Collect for data sources in the Gartner Symposium last year, Boeing Fellow Brian Laughlin chimed in with a different take on it. Laughlin interpreted the concept of “Collect” being more about siloed teams that do not collaborate with each other and “Connect” being more about unity driven by collaboration and exchange of information. Cognitive diversity through collaboration is fundamental to innovation – which brings me to the fifth tenet.

Tenet Five: Context Is Queen
Laughlin explained that for years, retail used to be about location, location, location. With retail’s online presence, this mantra evolved to be content, content, content – what is presented to the customer online. Well, now it is about context, context, context. When the customer is at the store looking for a product, the retailer must have all the relevant information about the customer’s purchasing patterns and within easy reach to make appropriate suggestions. However, this is true for all retail channels. Context with relevant information defines the business moment for the customer. Moreover, it is not just about the data itself, but about the combination of perspectives applied to the synthesized data. Diversity of thought results from the diversity in gender, ethnicity, nationality, etc. The manner in which a male sales associate processes the data about a customer could be very different from his female counterpart. The retailer wants a diverse array of perspectives to better serve the customer and ensure the right context is provided. Context, augmented by diverse perspectives, is the new mantra! Thus, if Content was King yesterday, Context is Queen today!

What say you?

How is your enterprise doing in the race to digital transformation? Are there other tenets that matter for retail digital transformation? Please let me know.

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