B2B marketing used to be a business career backwater that lacked the bombast of sales or the glitzy sheen of B2C marketing. Thank goodness that’s changed. When I reflect on the evolution of my career from calculating co-op funds, doing merge-purges of prospect lists created from scanned conference badges, and creating mountains of marketing collateral, I find there’s much to be thankful for

I’m thankful that as a content marketer, I get to produce stuff that people may actually want to read.

Whether it’s a blog about zombie leads or storytelling that incorporates images, video, audio, narrative, my focus now is on publishing information that helps people solve their problems, rather than showcasing my company’s ideas about how to fix them. It’s endlessly challenging—and a lot more fun.

I’m thankful that I get to take part in the conversation that is pushing our industry forward.

There are so many ways to connect and learn from others in the B2B marketing community, from LinkedIn Groups and Google+ Hangouts, to virtual and live conferences, webinars, blog posts, and more, many of which land effortlessly on my Twitter doorstop. Together we can reflect and relate on our challenges and opportunities and collaborate on how to be better marketers.

I’m thankful that today’s modern B2B marketing organizations focus on the customer, not the solution.

Gone are the days of interruption marketing – customers now set the pace of our conversations. The burden is on me to be relevant, helpful, considerate, and engaging. It’s a high bar to achieve, but when I do, I know I’ve earned their attention, and you can bet they have mine.

I’m thankful that I have the data and methodologies to tie marketing to sales.

No longer do I work in a department relegated to being a cost center, where every expense is considered expendable. Based on a well-considered revenue model, I can show how my budget will affect performance as well as report on results.

I’m thankful that I can test my assumptions, make smarter decisions, and drive better results.

I no longer must rely on my own judgment and instincts to figure out which promotions, campaigns, offers, and assets deliver the results I need.

I’m thankful that it seems there’s always something new to try, whether it’s a new tool, channel, technology, or approach.

And this goes hand-in-hand with being part of a community of curious professionals who are eager and interested in trying new things and learning from each other.

I’m thankful that I work in an information-rich, networked, and noisy industry.

No matter how often it may seem like I’m drowning in content, I can’t complain when it’s considered a best practice to share the thought leadership of others. Long live content curation!

I’m thankful that marketing automation provides me with a way to leave no qualified lead behind.

The days of drip marketing and manual, confusing, time-consuming marketing are gone. With a thoughtful lead-nurturing strategy, REAL content, and diligent execution, it’s now possible to keep the conversation going automatically and consistently.

I’m thankful that marketing now has the means to prove itself as an agile, intelligent, mission-critical part of the organization.

The customer journey now begins and marketing and guides them every step of the way. And with that tighter focus on that customer journey, marketing and sales have even more reasons to come together on common ground. If marketing automation and sales force automation systems can be integrated, shouldn’t their human counterparts be able to do the same?

I’m thankful that I can be a marketing change agent.

For all these reasons and more, I have the ability to be relevant and to be held accountable—to my customers and prospects, my sales colleagues, my peers, and to executive leadership, who can help my organization more effectively navigate the rapidly evolving B2B marketing landscape.

Fellow B2B marketers, what are you thankful for this holiday?