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Chairwoman’s message: Change is here to stay

Kathy Button Bell
2013-2014 BMA Board Chair 

Fellow BMA Members:

One of the things I love most about my role on the BMA Board of Directors is the people I meet. In the last few years, I’ve visited with members around the country and spoken at many chapter meetings. While many people come to hear about my experience, I’m always fascinated by what I learn from them.

During all of our conversations, there’s a strong common denominator that stands out: change. Change in our industries, change in the business world, change in how we need to function as marketers.

This is why I’ve worked with the BMA board over the last few months to put together a smart, strategic plan for the next two years—because change is here to stay. We’ve already tallied significant progress since the international conference in June. Much of this comes from tapping the expertise of past Board Chair Al Maag to serve as the association’s executive director.

As a board, we’ve rolled up our sleeves and begun to improve the BMA infrastructure so we can better support chapter leaders and improve service to members—from branding and the website, to the tools and guidance to help chapters deliver a strong local community.

Where We’re Headed

BMA’s vision ties directly to the research we conducted with Forrester and released at our international conference in June. We’re keen on helping marketers navigate the accelerated pace of change by delivering relevant content, studies and resources. Helping chapters cultivate a strong base for local events means creating opportunities for connection and growth that lead to member recruitment.

As an association, my vision is that BMA serves as the inspiration and access to conversations about how our profession is changing. The board’s purpose is to help B2B marketers navigate the change we’re all feeling and help each of you realize that, while we can’t control the changes we face, we can control how we deal with them and move our profession forward.

One of the things I struggle with is being the person in my company who’s trying to span the chasm between the pace that the market sets and the pace at which my company is willing to move. It’s a challenge for me to set a strategy that will pave the way for my company not just to keep up, but to stand as a leader in our industry. This is the type of challenge BMA wants to help marketers cope with. We want to help people make better choices during a time of disruption and rampant change.

No Excuses

For many years, B2B marketers have talked about how the pace of change in our industries is much slower than that of B2C. That’s no longer the case. Just because you’re a B2B marketer, doesn’t mean you can move slowly. If you expect to stay relevant to your customers, then you have to educate yourself on what’s going on and improve your skills as a professional. Because when it comes down to it, you can’t opt out of the change we’re experiencing.

At BMA, we believe it’s our job to help educate you, connect you and stand in front of you to show you the way. Since I’ve been involved with BMA, I’ve found that it’s the heartfelt conversations I’ve had with small groups of members all around the world that stick with me. We’ll all very different, but it’s our different point of views that help us look at the work we do and have well-rounded perspectives.

In our accelerated pace of change, remember that time is our friend. Remember not to overreact to the challenges we’re facing. It’s never too late to make marketing better. BMA is here to help you continually get more information and make your decision-making better and easier.

Here’s to a year of building a stronger B2B marketing community,

Kathy Button Bell
2013-2014 BMA Board Chair 

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