How time flies! It’s been over a month since we attended B2B Marketing’s Ignite 2019 but the sessions we attended and the lessons we learnt are still with us and we wanted to share them with you.

For those of you who don’t know, Ignite is Europe’s largest annual B2B Marketing event. We have attended this brilliant event every year since its inception, and it never fails to deliver, showcasing the latest marketing ideas and trends, but with a specific focus on B2B.

Opening speech at B2B Ignite

What did we want to achieve?

Going into the 2019 B2B Ignite event, we had three key aims:

  • Enhance our marketing knowledge to assist our customers
  • Contribute to the development of our own CRM & Marketing Automation software products
  • Ensure that we are delivering the best practice techniques in our own marketing activities

We have also recently launched Gold-Vision 8, which represents a major release for us and includes a new, mobile responsive UI and a whole host of great integrated marketing features. With this in mind, the visit in 2019 was a great opportunity for our marketing team to attend together.

Alison Turney
Alison Turney:
Commercial Director
Zoe Pepper
Zoe Pepper:
Digital Marketing Communications Manager
Tara-Chelise Fosbrook
Tara-Chelise Fosbrook:
Senior Sales & Marketing Executive
Kim Stuart-Thomas
Kim Stuart-Thomas:
Senior Marketing Executive

What did we learn?  

In the lead up to the 2019 B2B Ignite conference, we got together to make sure that we were going to attend a diverse range of sessions. Post-conference, the four of us caught up and discussed the sessions that really stood out to us. Here are 7 of the key themes that we took away from the day:

1. Don’t be afraid to try new things!  

Rory Sutherland, vice chairman at Ogilvy UK opened Ignite with a rallying cry for B2B marketers to step away from the known! Throughout his talk, Marketing and the need to think different, Rory implored us to take risks and try our luck every now and then.

“A huge amount of B2B success is from random luck… 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.”

Rory’s talk was a great start to the day and one of my personal highlights. It really set the tone for what was to come – a day of opening our minds up to different ways of approaching, applying and succeeding with marketing.  

2019 B2B Ignite - Ogilvy presentation slide

Be human, be bold, be authentic!

When trying to build a brand and increase awareness, brand trust is one of the top buying considerations, with 81% of consumers saying they must be able to trust that the brand will do what is right.

Christine Bailey, CMO at Valitor, shared how she undertook a rebrand for the Valitor group in her talk: How to build a remarkable brand out of an existing one. The session focused on building this brand trust in the first instance, followed by her tips on how to be successful in a rebrand:

  • Find your why (there’s a handy TED Talk all about this)
  • Be bold
  • Be human
  • Be authentic

This talk really stood out because it was one of many on the day that stressed the importance of focusing on the needs and wants of your customer first and foremost before anything else. “Finding your why” is essential to this.

Valitor slide - brand trust is a top buying consideration. Only 34% of customer trust most of the brands they buy or use.

Keep it simple and get the basics right!

How to grow a Martech mindset from Bluprint CEO, Leo Hackett introduced us to BHAGs: Big Hairy Audacious Goals, an idea originally introduced by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book, Built to Last.

Leo also raised the importance of focusing in on the need for “smart unity of marketing & sales”. He stressed the importance of having a clearly defined Martech purpose as well as understanding the reality of where you are now, and the gap to your goals. Above all, Leo stressed that it was essential to keep things simple and get the basics right. (Alison has been reminding us of this ever since, and it has really helped us with our planning for new projects). 

2019 B2B Ignite - Bluprint presentation slide. BHAG - Big Hairy Audacious Goal

The customer – and their challenges – comes first.

A lot of the talks from Ignite had this theme in common which just shows how important it is. However, Enabling agile CX using voice by The Telemarketing Company MD, Niall Habba, really stood out. Niall spoke a lot about the need for us as businesses to ensure that the customer comes first, rather than the tech, by balancing the digital and non-digital and being customer-centric, personalised and proactive.

An agile approach provides adaptive and responsive planning and gives a business the opportunity to add real value to CX. This session really reinforced to us how essential it is to maintain and improve the level of conversation with our customers.

The Telemarketing Company slide - Features of Agile CX include: Geared to change, adapts quickly, focuses on the customer and highly responsive.

Agile ABM is the way forward.

Another big topic at Ignite this year was ABM (Account Based Marketing). ABM has been building in popularity for some time now, but Fujitsu’s blended ABM programme was an interesting approach that we hadn’t come across before.

The talk: The paradox of agile and strategic ABM by Andrea Clatworthy (Head of ABM & DBM) and Waheed Warden (ABM and DBM Lead) from Fujitsu told the story of how they adopted this blended approach across their marketing functions, commencing their programme in 2013.

To put this method in action, they plan short phases of work with frequent re-assessments including short term feedback loops. Overall, the team at Fujitsu have found this to be extremely successful because they can adapt and update their strategy in line with how their customer changes their behaviour. Underpinning all of this are their key objectives: reaching the right person, with the right message, and the right time.  

2019 B2B Ignite - Fujitsu presentation slide. Know your audience.

Product powered growth has come to an end.

“61% of C-suite executives will pay a premium for B2B services from a brand with a clear vision.”

Starting his presentation with this startling stat, Paul Cash – founder and chief rooster at Rooster Punk caught the attention of everyone in the room. His whole talk – It’s time to compete on your story, not your product – centred around the fact that people are not interested in the product narrative purely anymore. Instead, it must be complemented with a more emotive approach because people don’t buy from you anymore, they buy into you.

To achieve this is quite simple: make sure that you have a story at the heart of your business, and it will give context to everything that you do. By adopting this approach, awareness of your brand, mission and product will all increase, as will the consumers’ desire for what you do.

Rooster Punk slide - Story tool for B2B Marketing:
Reflection, Ambition, Jeopardy, Hope and Solution.

The Enablement era is upon us.

Finally, we have the session that really made Alison sit up in her seat: Why sales enablement is catching fire by Senior Director at Seismic, Matt Downes. His core message was that Sales Enablement is catching fire, so it’s time to start or risk getting burnt.

Matt explained that we’ve had the Brand Era (all about awareness and measuring KPIs), then there was the Lead Gen Era (which focused instead on lead progression and kickback), but now we are moving into the Enablement Era. As such, it’s time to pay attention to how we convert and how revenue from specific campaigns is achieved.

Moreover, Sales & Marketing need to develop personalised content so that sales can have access to, and choose, the right content at the right time. The reason why this talk made Alison sit up? Because CRM & mobile connectivity are both critical to achieving this so this marks the beginning of some very exciting product development research for us!

2019 B2B Ignite - Seismic presentation slide. Moving from the Brand Era, to the Lead Gen Era, to the Enablement Era.

So, what are we doing with what we’ve learnt? 

As always, this year’s B2B Marketing Ignite conference was a fun and busy event. The rest of the team and I really got a lot from the day, and it was fascinating to get an insight into the latest marketing trends.

As a team, we are already working to apply what we learnt from Ignite into our day-to-day, and these efforts will continue throughout the rest of the year as we launch some exciting new projects, integrations and product features. So, here’s to some very exciting times ahead.

Do you want to find out more about Gold-Vision? Get in touch today to find out what Gold-Vision CRM can do for you.

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