Forrester 2024: Key Takeaways from PathFactory's Christine Polewarczyk
Marketing Leadership

Forrester B2B Summit 2024: The Year of Revenue Process Transformation

After being in Austin this month for my ninth consecutive Forrester B2B Summit, I have to say that this is still my favorite B2B industry event. I always feel so energized by seeing customers, former colleagues and coworkers and having so many intelligent and thought-provoking conversations with industry peers.

Whether or not you made it to Austin, I wanted to share my observations on the key themes and takeaways that stood out at Summit:

  • Generative AI – it’s the new frontier of customer obsession
  • MQLs are out – buying groups and buying signals are in
  • Strong executive and GTM alignment has never been more critical

Generative AI was naturally a huge topic again this year.

Forrester CEO George Colony kicked off this year’s conference with largely generative AI focused opening remarks, calling it “the biggest technology change of our lifetimes.”

As B2B leaders, George said we should “let a thousand flowers bloom.” He advised that we all should ideally have 10 generative AI projects underway with at least one project ready to be launched in production mode by late 2024 or early 2025. He also emphasized the importance of air cover from the C-suite for success and called out the need for executives with a high “AIQ” or artificial intelligence quotient and encourage AI investment, experimentation, and innovation.

The most important thing he said though: “GenAI is about one word: CUSTOMERS.” Our audiences/customers often have to deal with bad websites, mistargeted advertising, poorly executed sales outreach, and so much more. GenAI is going to help us truly understand who our customers are, what they want, and deliver it to them with less friction than ever (my words, but the main point he was making). It is an exciting time to be in B2B tech and working for an AI company! And customer obsession is still the north star.

As we think about how to improve customer experiences, I think it is important to use AI more holistically than just generative AI. I said this last year too. There are many types of AI capabilities that we can and should be using in our ecosystems that we aren’t today across many use cases. A blend of traditional AI and generative AI are needed with different types in play depending on personas, use cases, and lifecycle stages.

Businesses are making the move from MQL-centric to signal-based B2B GTM

B2B buying demographics, changing buyer behaviors and high CX expectations are fundamentally changing the way that GTM teams need to think about buyers, buying groups, buying signals, and revenue/customer lifecycle optimization.

I left Summit excited about the shift to signal-based marketing, because I think we’re finally reaching a critical mass of B2B leaders that understand the need to change the way we work. How we define, execute and measure marketing is fundamentally transforming.

If you’re interested, I am hosting a post-Summit live webinar and Q&A session with Forrester Principal Analyst Amy Hawthorne on June 5th to dig into this topic and trend in deeper detail. I hope you’ll register and join us for this session: Move Over MQLs! Making the Shift to Signal-Based B2B Marketing.

In our in-person customer case study session in Austin, How NVIDIA Wins Deals with Better Buyer Journeys, Intent Data, and AI, Sr. Director of Enterprise Revenue Marketing, Ari Capogeannis, talked about how NVIDIA marketing still continues to measure MQLs for now, but is highly focused on increasing their signal-based marketing maturity and technology stack in parallel.

NVIDIA and PathFactory's diagram showing how PathFactory fills the content intelligence gap.

If you weren’t at Summit or weren’t able to make our session while in Austin, we have a live webinar encore on June 27 where you can hear NVIDIA’s success story straight from Ari. What NVIDIA marketing is doing around journey optimization, data strategy, and AI is truly inspiring to me as a longtime B2B marketer and tech geek. You can register here to join us.

An image promoting a webinar called "How NVIDIA Wins Deals With Better Buyer Journeys"


Strong executive and GTM alignment has never been more critical.

The first two major themes above also created a “back to basics” moment at Summit  as well around alignment. While we’ve been preaching GTM cross-functional alignment as far back as I can remember, Summit conversations and sessions spoke to a larger need for cross-functional leaders to strategize holistically for revenue process transformation.

Cross-functional executive leadership needs to have a high “AIQ” as George Colony said. Leadership teams have to collectively acknowledge and educate themselves on these important shifts happening in B2B that are forcing changes in priorities, mindsets, culture and operating models to stay competitive.

P.S. Forrester B2B Summit in-person attendees, don’t forget you have access to recordings and slides on the digital platform until May 2025! I had a hard time finding my way to the digital platform at first. So as a PSA, you just need to go to the Forrester B2B Summit North America page and scroll down a bit to see a section called Digital Access that has a button you can click on to get there. Happy watching! I always miss so many sessions I want to attend because they are happening at the same time!