Highlights from B2B Ignite 2019
Highlights from B2B Ignite 2019
In a nutshell...
• 5 expert trainers
• 100 trainees
• A collective 800 hours (or 33 full days) of training
• 1300 Attendees
• 72 Speakers
• 55 Sessions
• 8 Streams
• One ‘silent disco’ stage
• Gin bar
• Pick 'n' mix stand
• Giant Scalextric
What an event this year’s Ignite has been
For the first time, we extended our conference into a two-day extravaganza of all things B2B marketing. We welcomed 100 marketers to the Business Design Centre for training on day one, during which they learned, shared and took away a wealth of insight on ABM, brand, content marketing, customer experience and performance marketing. They accrued a combined total of 800 hours of training – that’s equivalent to 33 non-stop days of learning.
If you missed out on the training, or want more, turn to the back of this document where you’ll see the full list of our upcoming training sessions.
Day two saw 1300 attendees swarm into eight streams and 55 different presentations. The buzz was incredible. A buoying, rallying endorsement of the collective efforts made across the industry. To those who joined us, we’re so thrilled you did. To those yet to meet us, we’re looking forward to next time. Until then, we’ve captured some of the best bits of Ignite 2019 to share with you all.
Head of content, B2B Marketing
sponsored by Integrate
“Someone highly rational with a spreadsheet will use data as a drunk uses a lamppost – for support rather than illumination.
"If you don’t do anything random, it might not be catastrophic, but you’re never going to get lucky.”
Rory Sutherland, vice chairman at Ogilvy UK
Is our need to be quantifiable preventing us from taking risks?
Rory Sutherland, vice chairman at Ogilvy UK, opened the Ignite conference urging B2B marketers to step away from rational thinking and proven outcomes.
He asked, is our need to be quantifiable preventing us from taking risks? “A huge amount of B2B success is from random luck,” he said.
“We’re obsessed with quantifying the value of advertising. The attempt to quantify it undermines it.”
Rory underlined the importance of taking chances that can’t be measured. “If you don’t do things that expose you to positive asymmetric outcomes, you won’t get lucky. We should use marketing to inform what we do, not decide what we do.”
Warning against the ‘highly rational’ approach to marketing, Rory advised against relying too heavily on data to make creative decisions.
“Efficiency and effectiveness are not the same thing,” he said.
Managing your bloody stakeholders
Doug Kessler spoke about how to get great work past your stakeholders.
“When I look at work that inspires me, I used to think about craft and execution.
"Now I think about how they created the conditions to get this work approved.”
Most marketers are talented, committed people with great ideas, Doug said, but 90% of marketing is shite.
Why is safe, mediocre work so much easier to get approved? Because we try to do something special and flop 5% of the time, and the other 95% of the time we don’t even go for it.
Ideas are a dime a dozen. Marketing's job is to get the ideas made. So what happens between the ideas and the market? If you want to get innovative, risky work endorsed by your stakeholders, you’ve got to give them what they want.
But marketing’s job is to make them want the right things. “Put as much work into stakeholder alignment as the work itself,” Doug said.
“Choose your stakeholders carefully." Doug advised finding a champion, one senior person you can run your ideas by.
"Market your successes," he said, "But be warned you might lose your credibility. Be prepared to get fired or quit.”
“You might find yourself in a company that doesn’t have the same view of good marketing, or you’re stuck under a bully. You need to go somewhere you can do great things.”
Doug Kessler, creative director, Velocity Partners
“People say attention span has decreased, but the Game of Thrones viewing figures don’t show that - it depends on the value of the content.”
Tim Williams, CEO, Onalytica
How to increase credibility through influencers
Influencer marketing has grown 75x from 2014 to 2019, but it’s not all about the Kim Kardashians of this world, as Tim Williams, CEO of Onalytica explained.
Activate employees' voices - you can find industry influencers within your client or partner companies, and within your own.
Buzzsumo found that if you’d stuck to the same content methods you used three years ago you’d be four times less successful. Consider involving influencers who are specialists in your chosen area, thinking about matching their expertise, location and channel.
To do list
• Create a 12-week strategy.
• Find on-topic 5 influential experts.
• Focus on the value of the influencer.
• Integrate influencers into your BAU workflow.
• Experiment, learn, improve.
"We have too much data and insight to act on. It’s completely impossible to target and personalise at that one-to-one level"
Martin Simcock, CEO at Enigma Marketing Services
Martin Simcock, CEO at Enigma Marketing Services explained why ABM at scale can still be as personalised as choosing a Subway sandwich
Seven breads. Foot-long or six-inch? 19 filling options. Cheese or no cheese? 64 salads variations. That's 272,348 potential sandwich combinations. That's before you even consider the various sauces or to grill or not to grill?
Martin’s point with this analogy is that just because you’re targeting a larger group of people (through one-to-many ABM or a single account with a big DMU) that doesn’t mean you need to lose the benefit of personalisation. Marketers should tailor the aspects of their campaigns.
“Subway has done a brilliant job of creating a product that can be personalised to me. That’s our challenge as marketers,” said Martin.
Martin’s ABM sandwich
- 9 vertical markets
- 2 sub-sectors
- 8 personas
- 6 messaging variations (for sub-sectors)
- 14 unique assets
- 3 asset variants
- 6 languages.
This creates 217,728 options
Using the challenger approach with ABM
It’s been four years since O2 piloted ABM for the first time. Zoe Hominick explained how the ‘challenger approach’ differentiated the brand and made its efforts a success.
O2 piloted its ABM on energy company SSE because it was an existing customer with potential for growth.
The first and most important step was conducting research to understand the account as much as possible. This level of knowledge gave O2 the chance to take the challenger approach, telling SSE something about itself that O2 could help to solve.
O2 make a bespoke calculation about how much money SSE could save and sent it a report with this figure on the cover. This grabbed the attention of SSE, leading to ROI of 1229:1.
After this success, the sales team were bought in. It was here the marketing team split ABM into two categories: one-to-one and wider ABM. The one-to-one accounts, got more dedicated attention, while resources were used efficiently with the rest of the accounts.
These efforts have generated £100 million pipeline and £22 million sales for O2.
“That’s a bit more of a common approach now, but back in 2015 it was extremely effective and differentiated us. There’s no point doing all your account research if you’re not going to grab your prospects’ attention with something distinctive which opens the door for you”
Zoe Hominick, head of business marketing at O2
"If you want to go from good to great you need to accept a brutal reality. Ours was that we weren’t fully in control of our destiny, success or happiness. That was a big moment to acknowledge and verbalise"
Gary Hurry, VP marketing at Thomson Reuters
Digital transformation a high priority
Some nine out of 10 B2B marketers put digital marketing transformation high on the agenda of their priorities, according to a survey by Stein IAS.
“Digital marketing transformation is not for the faint of heart," said chairman and chief client officer Tom Stein. "It involves a fair amount of complexity, and a lot of time – two to three years to complete a significant transformation. And once you complete that you need to think of continuing, because it doesn’t end at that point.”
Stein IAS has developed a Digital Marketing Transformation Framework that helps brands develop a roadmap toward transformation. The framework aligns use cases at five stages – overall strategy, reach and attract, engage and inspire, nurture and convert and analyse and optimise.
The agency has launched a planning tool to help brands simplify and fast-track the development of DMT roadmaps at postmodernizer.com.
The benefits of internal agencies
A panel of senior marketers shared their experience of having agency staff working in-house
Speed to market, access to different skillsets and closer relationships with stakeholders are among the benefits of using 'internal agencies' – according to those that run them.
Speaking on a panel discussion, Cat Dutton, VP marketing at Atos, said: "When working on new business with external agencies it was taking a few weeks to go from briefing to outcome.
"Having [an internal agency] on-site as part of the team, we can talk in the morning, involve them in workshops throughout the day, and have creative back within 24 hours. That’s been incredible for us."
Nick Burbidge, who leads Deloitte's inhouse agency 368, added that an internal agency brings an understanding of both the complex Deloitte business and the brand. It's also aligned with the business and marketing objectives. They can also work more closely with stakeholders than possible with an external agency, so it becomes a process of co-creation.
"We – as an industry – are the worst completer finishers in the world. Until you deliver a campaign, a programme, and event, you might as well not have got out of bed to start it – because until you launch it you’ve not started adding value to the company. Work that’s 99% finished adds no value to your company"
Chas Moloney, marketing director at Ricoh UK
We all know that customer experience is crucial to our success – but who owns it and what’s the plan for driving it forward?
B2B Marketing’s industry survey shows that 79% of B2B marketers view CX as a significant, or even their highest, priority for the year ahead.
Yet, only 3% of marketers are aligned to a cohesive and operational CX plan.
For advice, support and case studies on how to improve your CX, download our guide to becoming a CXpert, or take this test to find out how well you’re doing on the CX essentials in this model.
"For marketers to take holistic responsibility for CX they’ve got to recognise they're not just there to serve and support sales, but the customer. Their reach should therefore stretch across the lifecycle and business"
Mary-Anne Baldwin, head of content, B2B Marketing
- Swap diffused responsibility for shared ownership through KPIs.
- Marketing’s customer insight makes it best placed to lead CX.
- Hold on to customers throughout their cycle.
CX: Why timing is everything
When is the best time to post your marketing messages?
School exams taken in the afternoon versus the morning were equivalent to losing 2 weeks of learning.
- 10-11am: People are most productive
- 3:00pm: People are least productive
The worst day to send messages is Tuesday, as that’s when we’re feeling most depressed.
Familiar with that afternoon slump? Anaesthetists are 4x more likely to make mistakes in the afternoon – what about your own marketing team?
Steve Kemish, Junction Marketing Agency
Dimension Data hits
In 2004, Dimension Data was losing $4 million a month. Investment in marketing slowed and the brand lost recognition.
When Marisa Jansen van Vuuren was appointed global brand manager 10 years later, there wasn't much of a brand to manage.
Through its partnership with the Tour de France, Dimension Data has revolutionised the fan experience through its analytics, and engaged CIOs of large enterprises with a 13% rise in prompted awareness among prospects.
Marisa's advice was to be brave. Don't just build a brand, but start a motion. Challenge the way things are supposed to be done – and be brave to bring your knowledge and expertise to something you know nothing about.
According to Adobe marketing director Peter Bell:
27% of B2B buyers cited too much jargon among the factors that drive disengagement.
33% want clearly stated messages in language they understand.
The secret sauce behind ITEC's rebrand
How IT professional services business ITEC rediscovered its purpose (with help from agency Cohesive)
1. ITEC needed to understand the 'why' of the brand to differentiate itself from its rivals.
2. Customer insights from a third party give the brand true feedback.
3. The true value of storytelling is forging a strong connection with its audience.
Why data science will help you suck less at marketing
Chris Pitt, operations director at Vertical Leap, asked how you can gain a competitive edge in SEO. The problem is people are inefficient and have biases, he said. They make assumptions about data.
The answer is to collect data and automate it. Chris advised taking advantage of technologies to automate more of our mundane, repetitive processes, something Vertical Leap has done.
“Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data - so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the past two years alone.”
Chris Pitt, citing IBM
In his session, Pete Morgan, vice president, demand at Metia Group, said slow load time can kill the ROI of your campaign performance. This problem needs to be rectified as mobile usage is increasing for B2B buyers.
Some 70% have increased their mobile usage significantly over the past two to three years, while 50% of B2B search queries are made on smartphones, which is expected to grow to 70% by 2020.
3 ways to save your career and boost revenue
Philippe Ruttens of ruttens.com explained the value of revenue marketing
1. 76% of B2B marketers claim to know revenue marketing, but only 1-5% of generated leads actually turn into revenue.
2. “Almost 70% of CEOs now expect CMOs to lead revenue growth, and 7 out of 10 CEOs believe their company wastes money on marketing initiatives" - CMO Council & Deloitte
3. “On average, brands that improve CX increase revenue by 10-15% and lower costs by 15-20%“ - McKinsey & Company
Marketing automation has its benefits when done right. According Annuitas Group, MA can deliver a 451% increase in qualified leads, which delivers 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
However, as Katie Jameson, director of marketing EMEA at Act-On said, many marketers don't feel they've implemented MA to the standard that they want it to be at. Areas of improvement include systems integrations (60%), execution (65%), campaign optimisation (59%), analytics (53%) and strategy (56%). At Ignite, she provided tips to getting started.
Katie's 7 key steps to marketing automationsuccess:
- Build the business case
- Get buy-in from stakeholders
- Understand the customer journey
- Change the culture
- Choose your platform
- Develop your capabilities and skill sets
- Improve your data capabilities.
The 3 martech mindsets
Lee Hackett, CEO at Bluprint, said there's three potential martech mindsets you can choose from, but only one will bring you success – SMart unity
- Traditional: Tech is an essential investment; your competitors use it and it does good things. However this approach is to buy stuff, force it in the company, switch it on and let it work. This will waste spend and minimise adoption.
- Misguided: Tech is a saviour; the more the better. You'll focus on a great website, engagement levels, clicks and awards. This will drive vanity metrics and a veneer of success Beneath this, revenue and growth impact will be little.
- SMart unity: Focus starts with the team first, tech second concentrating on an effort to impact ratio. 80% of success comes from people and alignment to sales. Tech has a clear purpose. Sales and marketing work to a single goal.
Interested in B2B Marketing's range of training courses?
These are some of the topics on offer.
- ABM essentials
- Value propositions
- Sales and marketing alignment
- B2B copywriting
- Customer experience
- Marketing automation
- Marketing operations