Ignite UK Wrap up
What an event that was! Ignite London has made a name for itself over the past few years by being the must-attend one-day event for B2B...
A peak into the first all-digital Ignite
What an event that was! Ignite London has made a name for itself over the past few years by being the must-attend one-day event for B2B marketers of all titles, and from all industries. However, with physical events temporarily on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we at B2B Marketing had to adapt. And fast.
For this year's event, we evolved from the previous one-day format, spreading all of that thought-provoking gold dust across three whole days in the virtual event platform, Hopin.
In addition to keynote speakers to begin and end every day, we also had multiple different topic streams, which each included several presentations relevant to each given topic. This ensured attendees knew exactly where to look to find what they were looking for.
Day 1 included streams on Engagement, as well as on Leadership & Strategy. Day 2, meanwhile, included streams on Sales Enablement, Insight and ABM, whilst Day 3 included streams on Martech, Creativity & Innovation and Brand.
This document will provide a quick glance at just some of the fantastic presentations that we were proud to host. The best part is, as the event was hosted digitally, these presentations have been recorded and are still available to view now.
So what did we take away from Ignite London 2020? It would be impossible to summarise every single presentation into one tidy sentence, but one word that was prevalent throughout the three days was 'opportunity'. With Covid-19 having turned our worlds upside down in a matter of weeks, we have been forced to adapt. There is no getting away from the fact that many businesses will not survive, but it does appear that now, more than ever, marketers are on the front line of businesses' response to the virus and the new working landscape we find ourselves within.
Ignite London 2020 in a nutshell
- Three days
- 78 speakers
- Nine streams
- Digital 'speed networking' tool
- Digital expo
Words of wisdom from
our keynote speakers
The power of storytelling
Author, speaker, lecturer and trainer Anthony Tasgal kicked off Day 1 of Ignite London by professing his love for Greek mythology and explaining how storytelling ties into B2B marketing.
As we all know, the world we live in can often be 'data rich, insight poor'. As a solution to this, Tas held a fascinating presentation in which he demonstrated how marketers can move past data, facts and information and, instead, utilise the emotional power of storytelling to win over any audience. By making use of the art of storytelling, Tas argues that you can create a dramatic impact on the way you, your team and company communicate and share information.
Tas discussed the following key themes in his keynote presentation:
How to get beneath 'attention spam'
How to uncover and spread insight
Follow the six S.I.M.P.L.E. rules
Find out why you need – and how to build – The Golden Thread
Why massaging beats messaging
Storyboard your presentation
The power of headlines
Understand the '2/3 rule' of timing
Five ways to use digital to enable sales in a contact-free world
Simon McEvoy, Omobono
With the dawn of Covid-19, the way we sell needs to adapt to a digital world. However, it's not just a case of carrying out the same selling techniques on a digital platform. Simon McEvoy claims we need to think about it on a deeper level.
“It's not always that helpful to just think ‘how do we do the old thing in the new world?’ It's better to take a step back and say ‘what are we trying to achieve with that old thing in the first place?’”
And in fact, it's not even necessarily a bad thing. With 96% of companies now selling remotely, 65% believe the new model is just as effective or more than before.
“There's twice the preference for digital now, than for traditional sales interactions from customers. So, as people are being forced to use digital channels to buy and to sell, they're actually realising that they have a preference for them.”
Simon summarises the five best ways that brands are enabling selling in a contact free world:
Reduce customer pain points. Create new value.
Use content to answer questions.
Use rich media to inject personality.
Give customers more control.
B2B Marketing's sales enablement report revealed: Are you doing enough to enable sales?
Peter O'Neill, B2B Marketing
At B2B Marketing, we recently published a report entitled ‘B2B marketing's sales enablement moment is now: customer experience starts with the buying and sales experience’.
In this report, we used the results of an extensive survey to help uncover the state of sales enablement across the B2B sector, and recommendations for its implementation.
Peter's session looked at the findings of this report in detail, and demonstrated just how much work there is still to be done.
Basic digital marketing tactics are still commonly used to promote a company's brand and to collect and score inbound marketing leads before passing them to sales.
However, more mature B2B marketing companies know that implementing processes and technology to alert, equip and assist sellers to leverage digital marketing content resources in their conversations with both existing customers and prospects, is the way forward.
How martech can keep your team focused on the creative
Sophie Bowkett, Bird & Bird
In her session, Sophie Bowkett of international law firm Bird & Bird explained how you can use martech to enable you to spend more time on thing your business really needs: being creative.
Running a quick poll during the session, it quickly became clear that a large portion of the audience didn't feel they had enough time to devote to quality creative thinking.
Admin, other people, stakeholder management, managing systems and processes were all cited as just some of the reasons for this.
Bird & Bird was no different, and so they set about to fix this problem.
The problem faced by Bird & Bird can be summarised as follows:
- Central marketing team supporting 1300 lawyers across 29 offices.
- More time spent on admin/tracking workflows rather than the actual creative.
- Managing website, brand and event inbox requests took up 40% of these teams' days.
The solutions they found were:
- Workflow forms.
- Project management.
In her session, Sophie built upon these themes, and showed how her firm was able to use martech solutions to help them spend more time on thinking creatively.
The 2020 martech stack – what's important now: lessons from a marketer turned vendor
Kirsty Dawe, Webeo
Kirsty Dawe's session presented some key tips for building your martech stack.
Although martech takes up a significant portion of the average overall marketing budget, more often than not, users are not using this technology to its full potential.
Kirsty mentions that she recently had participated in a podcast with Scott Brinker, and claimed: "His message to me was very clear. There are three things that every B2B marketer needs: a CRM; an ESP or MA platform; and an excellent CMS." If we get this right, Kirsty claims, this can act as a great springboard for the rest of the martech stack.
So, using this as the basis of your martech stack, what are just some of the other things that need to be taken into consideration?
1. If you've got this springboard in place, you then need to decide what's important specifically for your business. For instance, if you rely heavily on webinars, then focus on getting the best webinar technology available.
2. The first 45 days are critical.
3. Communication with the vendor is key.
4. The vendor should update stakeholders on key milestones.
5. Always have a back-up technology owner.
6. Every vendor should have measures for success (and make it easy for you to share them).
How we got to number 1 on the app stores by talking to business
Giles Rhys Jones, what3words
Giles Rhys Jones is the CMO of what3words: a tech company that converts complicated and difficult-to-remember GPS coordinates into three simple words.
This means that the entire planet has been broken into 3 x 3 metre squares, each of which with a unique and memorable name. This is highly useful in a number of applications, including for emergency services.
But what Giles spoke about in his session specifically, was the brand journey of the company.
“We have a model: which is B2B2C. We sell to businesses, and then we help those businesses tell their customers about us.”
Giles Rhys Jones, what3words
In his session, Giles broke down the key values and features of the company’s unique approach. This included the mantra of ready, fire, aim.
“‘Ready, fire, aim’ is one the values of our company. It's about getting something out into the market quickly, and then optimising it once it's there.”
Giles Rhys Jones, what3words
Giles also spoke about the 80/20 rule. “The 80/20 is you do 80% of stuff that works well, and you know it works well, and then you spend 20% of your time on measurable innovation,” Giles said.
Data is the plastic of marketing - the hidden cost of bad data
Skip Fidura, Overmore Group
Bad data isn't just an inconvenience; it's also an expense. Skip Fidura used his session to demonstrate just how costly bad data can be, and how, just like ocean plastic, it needs to be cleaned up.
“Data is our version of plastic. We all know we have bad data, but, because most of it is hidden underwater, we don't really know how big the problem is, and we don't know how much we should be spending to fix it. I think a lot of us just think that bad data is just table stakes - that bad data is just the cost of doing any kind of lead gen. But I'm here to tell you know it's not. I'm here to tell you it can be fixed.”
Skip Fidura, Overmore Group
Who's stopping you? Why most B2B marketers don't like their own content
David Maguire, Radix Communications
David Maguire, Creative Director at Radix Communications, Trainer for B2B Marketing, and all-round copywriting guru, used his platform at Ignite London 2020 to take a critical look at marketing content.
According to research from Radix Communications, 68% of B2B marketers are not proud of their content, with only 32% proud of even half of the content they create.
The problem, according to David, is not that B2B marketers are short of ideas, skills, will, ability or knowledge; the problem is that they are in a constant battle with their own organisation.
Unfortunately, but perhaps unsurprisingly, 81% of respondents said that they need to 'fight hard' to produce good content.
In his session, David detailed all of the reasons for why that is in detail, and spoke about some possible solutions to the six most common content challenges faced by B2B marketers. In order of importance, David listed these challenges as follows:
Changing priorities and unclear briefs
Lack of budget or resources
Too much work, not enough time
Lack of cooperation from other departments
Poor access to customers
Clearly, there needs to be a rethink across the board regarding how we approach our content.
Top discussion points of David's session:
Six content obstacles shared by B2B marketers worldwide.
Clear evidence about the business impact of these issues, to share with stakeholders.
Successful approaches based on real practice and years of workshop interaction.
Tips from leading client-side and agency marketers, to help you overcome each issue.
Getting personal – harnessing the underlying principles of personalisation to drive real business value
Nick Mason, Turtl
Nick Mason, CEO and founder of Turtl - the very platform you find yourself on now - used his session to discuss the importance of personalisation in B2B marketing, and the common pitfalls that marketers fall into.
Nick started by discussing the capacity of the human brain to store and process data. We might think that the human brain is akin to a form of supercomputer, with all of the endless calculations going on inside of it. However, as Nick points out, its capacity for storing and processing data is incredibly limited.
“Every second, we received 275,000 times more information than our brain can process. How on earth do we manage?”
Nick Mason, Turtl
The answer is that our brains filter out unnecessary data, and focus on the relevant stuff. Therefore, personalisation - not just content - is king
By implementing personalisation, you can cut through the noise and truly stand out. Ultimately, this is a more efficient and cost-effective way of sharing your content.
Who to target in a post-COVID world
Chris Ashley-Manns and Charlie Nicholson
As we all know, Covid-19 has disrupted almost everyone and everything on the planet. And of course, marketing budgets are now under even heavier scrutiny than before. As a result, Chris and Charlie claim that B2B marketers need to prioritise like never before.
With that in mind, their session covered the processes you can put in place target the best potential customers, and get you thinking about ABM properly.
So, what tips did Chris and Charlie offer for undertaking ABM in a Covid-19 world?
Don't wait it out
A lot of clients paused activity at the beginning of the pandemic, but now it's clear that the old normal isn't going to snap back. Marketers must build for the long-term.
“It's been said about coronavirus that the only certainty is uncertainty, and so our tip is to embrace this uncertainty by acting and planning to adapt as new information presents itself.”
Don't sit and speculate – act and plan to adapt
So, how do you do this? Chris and Charlie claim that B2B marketers must ‘embrace agility’ and ‘design for flex’.
Marketers should creative a culture of rapid review and iteration of strategies. Charlie said: “Create the processes to gather data and insight quickly and regularly to assess your strategies. And importantly, welcome change. Don't shy away from the red flags someone has uncovered, but create a war room culture, celebrating those red flags and jumping on the solutions quickly.”
Design for flex
Charlie said: “It's all good having rapid and up-to-date insight, but if you can't adapt your actual marketing activities, then it's pointless.” Therefore, it's crucial to remain flexible. In order to do this, there’s a few things you can do: “create dynamic content that can have copy and images rapidly changed as and when your targets do; review your internal processes to remove any lost time between creative, marketing and sales teams; and finally, invoke a just-in-time project management approach. This means pushing final sign-off decisions as late as reasonably possible to reduce the time between the point of no return and delivery of the campaign.”
How to lead in the era of digital transformation
Sakina Najmi, Sandvik
As the title of her presentation suggests, Sakina Najmi used her session to outline how to lead in the era of digital transformation.
More specifically, Sakina discussed two main things: the fundamental leadership qualities that are of utmost importance for success in the digital age; and 'How can we use marketing as a catalyst for growth and digital transformation?'
With Covid-19 acting a catalyst for every company's digital transformation, leadership in marketing is more important than ever. In order to help attendees become the best leaders that they can be, therefore, Sakina outlined three critical leadership qualities:
Leading the organisation
Clearly, leadership is not just a case of leading your team. It is far more encompassing.
“I worked over the years to get everyone educated on marketing, and moving marketing from an investment to a revenue generating function, and that was all enabled by digital technologies.”
Sakina Najmi, Sandvik
Revenue operations: the next step in marketing
Jay Famico began his session on revenue operations by making a fascinating comparison between modern day B2B organisations and the shipping and transportation industry of the 1950s.
This may seem like an odd comparison to make at first, but the parallels are undeniable.
Setting the scene, Jay began: "It's the 1950s. We're moving things from point A to B, and everything's 100% manual. And I want you to think about how inefficient that was."
Essentially, the process wasn't costly because of the long distance transportation; it was costly because of the time and effort required to sort and move the cargo from trains, to trucks, to ships, back to trucks, etc.
In short, there was no standardisation of process, and so the entire journey from point A to point B was inefficient. But then, one company developed a standardised shipping container, which could be loaded and unloaded faster and cheaper. The result was huge savings and faster operations.
“What does this have to do with revenue operations? The answer is: everything.”
In the same way as those transportation companies of the 1950s, the operations teams of most B2B organisations today are siloed. There's a sales ops team, a marketing ops team, etc. Each individual team has their own objectives and targets, and often they aren't aligned with the other teams. The result is an non-optimal process from point A to be point B.
Walk the talk. If marketing, sales and customer successes are not operationally aligned, they're not aligned.
Centralisation. The more centralised your operations functions are, the tighter aligned your marketing, sales and customer success teams will become.
Boil a pot, not the ocean. If you don't have RevOps currently, start with incremental steps to bring the functions towards operational alignment.
Be inquisitive. Most of the reports on RevOps are skewed. They don't break it out by company size, type of sale, type of offering, etc.
Translating brand strategy into brand identity: how to stay true to your brand proposition
James Holland, Omobono
In James Holland's session, he delivered a fascinating presentation on the importance and practicalities of a good brand strategy. He discussed:
What is a practical brand strategy?
How brand strategy differentiates your brand.
Workshopping a new brand identity.
Do I need to rebrand? Refreshing your brand versus rebranding.
One interesting point that James made was the importance of being able to draw what your brand is about. In other words, your brand message should be clear, not complicated.
Inferno! A dive into content marketing hell
Sally Adam, Sophos
Sally Adam used her session to compare the story of Dante's Inferno with the world of B2B content marketing. Worryingly, the parallels are abundant.
So, according to Sally Adam, what are the nine sins of B2B content marketing?
This is where marketers don't fully commit to content marketing. Trust must be built with your audience gradually, and you need to help them achieve their goals. If you're in the content marketing game, you've got to be in for the long haul.
This is the lust for personal glory, and thinking about content that's going to make us look good. What we should be doing, however, is thinking what our audience actually wants.
In the world of content marketing, this is wanting to do everything without thinking it through and without having a plan. When publishing content, marketers have to understand the objectives, what the customer wants, and the overarching plan. This is opposed to acting in a rash manner without planning things through.
This is when B2B marketers try to jump to sales too quickly. Sally implores us all to avoid having content that's just about selling. Selling is a gradual process and we should not rush potential clients.
This is where we act in the heat of the moment, and don't follow the processes we have put in place. We need to think objectively and rationally.
This is where we ignore or fail to follow those good marketing practices that we put in place. We know what works, so why ignore this?
This section is all about avoiding 'career suicide'. Easily avoidable mistakes can lead to major repercussions for your business or your personal career. Think about how your content will be perceived. Could it be seen to be rude or offensive?
Be genuine. Your audience will know when you're being disingenuous with your content marketing. The trust of our audiences must be respected. If the audience were under the impression that they were being lied to, this is a sure way to lose business.
This follows on from the last point. Lying to your audience and betraying their trust is, again, a sure fire way to lose business and respect.