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MOI That’s what we call 2020.

Wow. What a year. For some, a year to remember, but for many, a year to forget. And I hope we never witness such an impact on our global health or economy as that we’ve seen in 2020. But the negatives aside, COVID has thrown up dramatic change and given us much to be optimistic about in our world of B2B.

One winner has been technology; with the ’stay at home’ mandate forcing many years’ worth of social and behavioural shift to digital to be condensed into just months. And this shift hasn’t just created a reliance on technology, it has forced businesses to undertake their own shift to digital. For marketers, this means a shift to digital sales. McKinsey found that both B2B buyers and sellers prefer the new digital reality. In fact, only 20% of buyers said they want to return to in-person sales*, meaning the rise of digital self-service and remote buying is now the norm.

The B2B marketing sector—in particular technology— has been fairly insulated the year’s disruption, and in some cases has boomed. For MOI, it has been a record year with a 40% global growth projected. That’s 5% ahead of plan, with continued steady growth in EMEA and APAC markets, and rapid growth in North America.

The move away from in-person to virtual events and experiences has seen our digital agency grow threefold on last year. And the rapid shift to virtual experiences and an interesting slowdown of the ABM wave mean marketers have had to be reactive and truly earn their stripes. Never have we seen such levels of innovation, agility and resilience shown by our clients—something that I hope continues long into the future.

MOI also made its first business acquisition this year, with Alias Partners forming our global ABM centre of excellence. This has enabled us to become one of the first agencies to have truly global capabilities across the ABM process, supported by the formation of three further centres of excellence—Digital Demand, Creative, and Experiential. And with our Turning Heads framework integrated into everything we do, we’re now ready to deliver connected customer experiences across the purchasing lifecycle.

The biggest revelation has been how effortlessly the whole agency switched from being office-based to operating virtually. And with productivity rising and costs falling, it has been a historic year for MOI’s profitability. As a result, we will be investing further in our global capabilities and continuing in our commitment to enter new markets in 2021, through acquisitive—with more key talent, knowledge and partners joining the agency.

Creative minds solving our customers business problems will always remain our core focus, and in a year of uncertainty and opportunity, the MOI family of employees, customers, and partners has become even stronger than ever. For that, we have 2020 to thank, but I hope we can build on this success next year without the backdrop of COVID. From everyone at MOI, stay safe, stay positive and keep pedalling.

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