B2B Ignite 2019
Highlights and Key Topics from the Ignite Festival 2019
Key topifrom the day
Ignite 2018 in a nutshell
8 streams of industry discussion
67 compelling talks
Live rapping by Mark Grist
A Pimms cart
Table football and air hockey
What a day. What an event. Collectively, we shared 67 compelling presentations across eight key industry topics. We welcomed 1200 of you to learn, share and dissect all things B2B Marketing and by god, did we have fun doing it.
Among the vast array of things discussed, there were two clear messages from you – that B2B marketing is shifting its focus to human connection, and brave, bold marketing.
We heard a lot about honest, heart-felt connection. Whether it’s through personalised ABM campaigns, customised welcome emails or meaningful CSR initiatives, there is a significant interest in what drives us – our emotions.
That doesn’t mean turning our backs on digital (we’ve gone too far and seen too much for that!) As is often the case, it’s all about integration – about how we, as emotionally-driven people, can use data and technology to connect with each other and add value to each other’s lives.
We also reflected on the need for strong, brave, and bold marketing. For marketing that cuts above the noise by taking risks. We hope that Ignite 2018 has given you an armoury of ideas to do that.
As a member of the B2B Marketing team I can tell you what a wonderful feeling it is to walk the floors of Ignite and see you all enjoying the event – not just because it’s the culmination of a lot of hard work, but because we all get a kick out of feeling a buzz of energy and passion for the industry.
It’s been a pleasure to open Ignite’s doors to you and we’re already looking forward to seeing you all again in 2019.
- Mary-Anne Baldwin, head of content
Ideas to revolutionise your marketing
Unlocking emotion in marketing
People don’t just make decisions from the plethora of data available to them. They also use emotion. Antonia Wade, CMO at Thomson Reuters explained how she took the opportunity of building a new website to tap into an emotive appeal.
Research was undertaken to adapt the nine company personas, outline touchpoints, create user scenarios, collect honest feedback, and most importantly, measure emotions on a ‘feeling chart’. This guided the company to create a content strategy that produced articles and engaged with customers in a way that would make them happy and appreciative.
Antonia’s recipe for success:
- Have a trigger event.
- Cross-functional teams.
- Honest customer feedback.
- Self-improvement culture.
- Choose the right agency/research partner.
From their research Thomson Reuters found three insights:
- Personas complexly interconnect with each other. Sometimes they were the influencer, sometimes they were the ones being influenced.
- Customers don’t have requirements when searching for a product, they have questions that need answering.
- Being more emotive can open up surprising opportunities and allows marketing to play a stronger role in hand-holding customers' hands through the buying process.
“We showered customers with welcome emails and then stepped back. But we found the day they got their new toy, wasn’t necessarily the day they wanted to play with it.”
Antonia Wade, CMO at Thomson Reuters
Work in 2030
The working world is at a digital tipping point, according to Marije Gould, VP marketing EMEA at Verint. Technology has forced marketers to change their activities, but it’s also changed the way customers think and what they expect. And this is something marketers need to be mindful of.
Marije’s tips for the digital world:
- Only humans can provide a human touch.
- Collaborate with robots.
- Full disclosure.
- Trust is hard to earn, and easy to lose.
- Engage the workforce.
Futurologists have seen the emergence of 3 characteristics:
The ethical consumer: Customers care more than ever about how you treat your staff, how environmentally-friendly you are, and how honestly you behave.
The sceptical consumer: People have never realised how many companies have suffered data hacks, but they’re waking up, and they’re more protective of their data.
Human touch: Despite chatbots, personalisation and automation, customers still want a human touch, they want emotion. It’s about striking the right balance.
"Loyalty is dead. Your customers vote with their feet. If you want loyalty, get a dog"
Marije Gould, VP marketing EMEA, Verint
The experts share their stories
Moving from the FEAR zone to the BRAVE zone
“If we do not act to move B2B to the next level, we’re going to be in serious trouble.”
That was the message from Paul Cash, founder of Rooster Punk, in the opening address on the Gurus stage, in a call for more emotion in B2B marketing.
Currently decision-makers operate in what he calls the ‘FEAR zone’ – with behaviour governed by: Frustration; Apathy; Evasion; and Risk aversion.
It’s our job as marketers to move them to the ‘BRAVE zone’, says Cash.
- Buyer emotion: Understand the leverage emotion can create.
- Recognition: How do you give something before asking for something in return?
- Appreciation: Understand the nuances of what’s happening in their company day-to-day
- Value: Demonstrate it, but also viz-a-viz your competitors value
- Engagement: Find the multiple touch points you need to engage with.
"We did a pre-sale for our content, like you would with books. Why not launch your content four weeks out, and say ‘this is coming, be the first to get it, sign up here’? It might sound silly – who’s going to pre-order an e-book? But you’d be surprised. People love exclusivity, and feeling like they’re going to get something before anyone else."
Jason Miller, head of content and social media marketing, LinkedIn Sales and Marketing Solutions, explaining on the success of a pre-launch for its fastest downloaded content in LinkedIn Marketing Solutions history.
B2B marketers say:
Providing the best for your customers
Talking about a CX revolution
“Customers want trusted partnerships with vendors, where the experience they receive from the vendor, across all functions, is as joined up and frictionless as possible,” says award-winning CX leader, Chris Adlard. Yet that’s at odds with the transactional, short-term interactions they receive from sales.
That makes it time for a CX revolution...
What the customer wants:
- Buying cycles are long and getting longer.
- Frictionless buying experiences and long-term partnerships.
- To buy into the experience and emotion.
The status quo:
- Sales targets are often quarterly (and short-termist).
- Driven and measured by quarterly targets, sales staff often leave when they don’t hit them.
- To sell the product and its price.
“I believe CX is arguably the most pressing and important topic for any business today. Thankfully B2B marketers are in the right place at the right time to drive change across the organisation, above and beyond the traditional programmes and activities of a B2B marketing organisation.”
Chris Adlard, CX leader
All things account-based marketing
Stealing a march on ABM
In his session, Robert Norum outlined the different ways you can implement the strategy and why it matters.
“Thinking of an account as a market before you try and sell anything is important,” he said, explaining ABM should interlock with all your other marketing as a priority. “Why is ABM an important topic? Because it’s working.”
Summarising the ways it can work for marketers, Robert explained ABM should be a long-term strategy rather than a quick fix for accounts, and should be based around an annual cycle with quarterly touch points.
"ABM means putting marketing at the top table with sales, and saying this is the story we should be selling. It’s the new vinyl, it’s made a massive comeback. You can reach people with a standout piece of content in great packaging"
Robert Norum, associate director, McDonald Butler
- One-to-one ABM may be beneficial for identifying key stakeholders for a benefit-driven story to take to market.
- One-to-few could be a more interesting route for those looking for new accounts or struggling with budget.
- The one-to-many approach may require segmenting accounts and messaging to dedicated personas.
Take an ABM masterclass with Robert Norum:
Robert runs one day courses to help marketers perfect the essentials of ABM in their company. Find out more information here.
Changing perceptions with ABM
Marketing leader, Gareth Case and Really B2B MD, Kirsty Dawe were keen to point out the difference between ABM and segmented direct marketing in their session. “It’s not about leads, it’s about creating conversations for the long-term,” Gareth said.
According to a LinkedIn and Edelman study, 41% of marketers will invite a company to pitch based on content they’ve seen, and 81% will trust the brand more if they have good content.
Kirsty’s six top tips for ABM:
Planning to get started on ABM but not sure where to start? Start here.
"Within four years your devices will know more about your emotional state than your own family”
Julie Wisdom, strategic directer and co-founder, ALIAS Partners
B2B marketers say:
Guiding your team to success
Ordinary is the enemy
Andy Weir, founder and MD at Born + Raised argued leaders should promote and nurture a culture of creative anarchy within their business and beyond.
Why? Because ordinary is the enemy. It’s the enemy of innovation, creativity and competitive advantage.
Drawing on the inspirational authenticity of the punk music scene, Andy urged marketing leaders to be their own agents of change.
But it’s not about anarchy for the sake of disruption, says Andy. It’s about acknowledging and igniting what drives the business and those within it.
Andy’s 7 ways to tackle the ordinary
- Define your purpose
- Don’t always play it safe
- Be inquisitive
- Look beyond your sector
- Look beyond the brief
- Make it happen
- Create an extraordinary culture.
"Find out who you are and do it on purpose"
Dolly Parton, cited by Andy Weir, founder and MD, Born + Raised
From tiny acorns
Marketing’s contribution as a revenue generator is often the culmination of many small, critical steps says Sakina Najmi, global marketing director, mid-market at Criteo.
As passionate marketers, we’re all looking for the big idea; that beautiful creative concept that resonates immediately with an audience, multiplies sales many times over and ensures senior leadership teams recognise the value in an outstanding marketing concept, well delivered.
In reality, it’s the culmination of a multitude of small, critical steps – research, focused plans, robust testing and analysis – that lead to a successful marketing campaign and demonstrable ROI.
Doing the little things right leads to significant success and growth. Here’s what to focus on:
- Make consistent marginal gains.
- Place a laser focus on the objective.
- Ensure expectations are managed from the outset.
- Build small first, then test, iterate, test, succeed, or repeat until you do.
- Talk in a language your stakeholders understand.
- Treat marketing as a revenue generator rather than ‘just’ a creative process.
"Train people well enough so they can leave, but treat them well enough so that they don't."
Richard Branson, cited by Sakina Najmi, global marketing director, mid-market at Criteo
Making the right impression
The principles of persuasion
Giuseppe Caltabiano, head of content strategy for EMEA and APAC at Contently explains some of the psychological principles that drive people to engage in your marketing.
“Because we live in an age of information overload, we don’t always have the time to process all of the information at our disposal, or make informed decisions. This overload makes us look for signals that help us decide whether we want to do something. Persuasion expert, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini, calls these signals ‘shortcuts’,”
Giuseppe Caltabiano, chief strategist at Scorch
Here’s Giuseppe’s overview of the principles at play:
Status Quo: People generally prefer status quo, even if they say otherwise.
Reciprocity: People generally feel indebted to those who do something for them without asking for anything in return.
Social Proof and Acceptance: We generally value opinions and ideas from people like us, and we feel greater compulsion to act when we see others like us taking action.
Scarcity and Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO): When we fear that something is scarce, we feel compelled to act – buying, stockpiling or experiencing that thing before it’s gone.
Unlocking your data
Adopting AI for B2B telemarketing
Faced with poor performance in his team of 160 telemarketers, Tom Gatten, CEO and co-founder of GrowthIntel started to question the viability of telemarketing.
He started to explored new territory, very new in fact. Within his talk during our ‘Insight’ stream at Ignite, Tom presented a case study on adopting AI for B2B telemarketing and the benefits this delivered.
The impact of AI at Vitality
- Doubling of in telemarketing conversion rates for a full year.
- 24% reduction in cost per appointment.
- £130k new relevant business discovered.
"It's about optimising effort across what is otherwise quite a resource intensive activity where small gains have a significant impact on the bottom line."
Ross Dawson, marketing futurist, cited by Tom Gatten, CEO of GrowthIntel
B2B marketers say:
Pushing the boundaries with tech
How to build a martech stack at a small organisation
During his slot in the martech stream, Ben Rees, CMO at Redgate shared what he learned when building his martech stack.
His key piece of advice was to focus on cost. “The martech landscape is a bit of a jungle. At its core, your strategy must be either to increase revenue, or save costs. If it can’t be coined in these terms, you need to look at it again,” he says.
Evaluating your return
Return = Number of customers affected x uplift per customer – full costs
Ben’s advice on building a martech stack
• Go manual first, then automate.
• You’re either growing revenue, or saving costs. Should be able to show this benefit on a piece of A5.
• The business case has to be overwhelming.
• However long or expensive you think it will be to implement – double it.
• Make step changes, not incremental improvements.
How to make the journey to data-driven marketing
How do you prove and improve the value of your B2B marketing?
In his session on the martech stream, David van Schaick CMO and CDO at The Marketing Practice and Jon Moger, Senior Director Marketing, EMEA, Aruba shared how to reveal hidden insights in your existing data, how to understand what is and isn’t working, plus how to set up your marketing automation planning process.
"The most important part of moving towards a data-driven model is not technology or data, but people and process"
Jon Moger, Senior Director Marketing, EMEA, Aruba.
Here are some highlights:
1. Encourage a data-driven culture
Make being ‘data-driven’ part of the daily rhythm and culture of your marketing team. Try incubator teams: You need a group or a person who ‘gets it’ and has the ability to run experiments, develop and share best practice.
The power of ‘swagger stories’ – little anecdotes of success that are simple to remember and easy to repeat – in getting people to believe an approach is working.
2. Use data for big and small improvements
You can use data to make incremental improvements at the big-picture level (strategy) and at the level of micro-optimisations. Ideally you want to balance both. Marketing needs to combine optimisation (by giving an extra 1%) and innovation (random leaps forward). If you need to teach an algorithm to find the highest point, you find several points and move upwards.
3. Keep an open mind
We’re conditioned to aim for perfection – anything less seems unprofessional. But how impactful is it to take the same route as everyone else? Marketing emails that contain deliberate grammatical mistakes prove very effective at one-to-one demand generation.
4. Start small
It’s not about having a big technology stack or teams of analysts, it's about building a vision and finding different areas to improve, piece by piece. Start small, take baby steps and after a while you’ll look back and realise how far you’ve come.
B2B marketers say:
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