This sell-out B2B Marketing Summit was certainly a packed house. With marketers from both client and agency side gathered to hear from the best and the brightest of the B2B marketing world, The Brewery venue was buzzing. As the leading foodservice agency with a passion for great B2B (or should I say P2P) marketing we made sure we were there – as I am oft heard to say around the office ‘every day’s a school day & it’s a sad day when you learn nothing!’
The structure of the summit was themed around ‘Your Event. Your Agenda’ which meant that apart from the keynotes (top and tailing the day) there were five concurrent streams to choose from on social media, engagement, content, multichannel and insight. This meant in essence that each delegate could personalise their day and choose the content they felt most relevant to them. So it seems like B2B Marketing has applied some of the current thinking on how to engage by offering choice and tailored content – good to see!
So what did I glean from the day? Well, here are my top 10 take-outs from the sessions I attended…
1) Today’s business buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57% of the purchase process is complete! So PR, social media, SEO, automated marketing, thought leadership and content marketing are all key to ensure you are part of that first 57% of the process.
2) There are 27 million pieces of content shared every day and your piece gets around 8 seconds of attention. So it has to be high impact!
3) You can deliver 4x as much ROI from content marketing than from ads! In fact only 1% of millennials would engage with a brand based on a compelling ad. However, of your content 10% will be driving 90% of your ROI, so work out what is working and do more of that. Equally make sure your content is designed to the audience rather than simply being what an executive asks for –‘behind every bad piece of content there is an executive who has asked for it’. For truly strong content follow these 3 principles: 1) stop promotion and create for real people, 2) be the best answer on the internet, 3) act like a human. You can even be funny!
4) Personas are key, but we really need to collect data and analyse who the real target audience is (not just who we think it is). That way we can focus on the right channels with the right messaging to really engage.
5) Make sure your landing pages go EAST (a model used by David Cameron’s Insight team) i.e.
EASY – Simple, clear and short, ideally use a default or autofill, add clear reassurance to address any possible misgivings, reduce any effort needed, ensure there is a logical path or break things down into steps and show what you get as a result of engaging.
ATTRACTIVE – It must attract attention to get maximum impact (see point 2). Make it move (we love stuff that moves, so video, animation or tickertape is great), even set it to play automatically. Use numbers, the more specific the better (as we use a different part of the brain to read numbers so it helps arrest the reader). Be different in your market. Use the word GET! (we love to ‘get’ stuff and it really’gets’ our attention). Tempt people with where they will get to – ‘outcome modelling’. Give the impression they have a choice (if people feel they have chosen it they are far more engaged) and drive selection by what kind of person you are rather than what service you want e.g. I’m a café owner, publican etc.
SOCIAL – “Speech marks grab our attention”. We want to know what people say, so use quotes and testimonials to add credibility, also use client logos to instil trust. Make sure your copy is empathetic, more ‘you’ less ‘us/we’ and avoid jargon at all costs. Be genuine, honest and true to your brand. Always be positive. Don’t frame a negative as this will give a negative association.
TIMELY – Try to time your message to reach your audience when they are in the right mind set (via cookies, Google targeting etc.) Tell them how long it will take to do up front e.g. take 2 minutes to do this test to see if you need X etc.
If all this has worked for Cameron it can certainly work for you!
6) CEO’s spend 1 hour per week with external suppliers and prioritise incumbent consultants and service providers over new suppliers, so getting face time with the top man or woman is challenging to say the least. So when you get there you want to make sure you have the right approach. C Suite (EO, CMO, CFO etc.) marketing requires you to build trust first and foremost and then show the value you can offer. Essentially you must show 3rd party endorsement to build credibility, using facts and bespoke insight that is respected and authentic, rather than blowing your own trumpet! This approach used by top sales people is in stark contrast to the traditional approach to selling services, which focuses on the traditional ‘what we do, what the benefits are, this is the business case and this is why you should trust us’ – turning it on its head. A little altruism goes a long way too, people will remember who wanted to help when they were out of a role!
7) Headlines are the new banner ads and visuals are the new headlines – getting your headline right and ensuring it is optimised for SEO with popular search terms can do wonders for getting your messages out there and strong visual content like video and infographics will help engage when they are there.
8) If ‘content is king’, ‘distribution is King Kong’ – basically if you don’t get your content ‘out there’ it doesn’t matter how great it is as no one will see it! So understand your audience with personas and target them with a multichannel approach to ‘touch’ them and offer up the right content at the right time for them and if its good people will share it.
9) Harness the power of your people. Put together, your employee base will probably have a far wider social reach than your brand, so get them onside and co-create, interact and make the most of the resource you have.
10) Finally, the B2B buyer journey is simply a series of questions you have to answer. If you can be honest, engage with your audience on an emotional level and offer them things that will amuse, inform and interest them you’re going in the right direction.
To say the above scratches the surface is an understatement, but in this world of data overload I thought I’d keep it as brief as posible. Congratulations to Joel and the team at B2B Marketing on another great event. If you want to see more search #B2BSummit15 on Twitter.
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