Ignite London 2021: Key learnings and takeaways, and where to go to watch on-demand
Last week, we hosted B2B Marketing Ignite London – our first ‘hybrid’ event, which saw our talented B2B experts speaking both virtually and in-person at the B2B Marketing studio.
With our speaker line-up having insights on topics such as ABM, global campaigns and marketing operations, it was an unmissable event! You can view a handful of our on-demand sessions now, and if you’re a Propolis member, ALL sessions are now available!
Our keynote sessions
What Sage learned pioneering TikTok in B2B by Kirsty Waller, VP UKI marketing, Sage
Kirsty kicked off Ignite London with an enlightening session about Sage’s TikTok campaign, which became the first B2B brand to run a campaign using the popular platform. How did this bold choice play out?
Kirsty said: “It actually blew up more than we ever could have imagined, and certainly more than I've ever seen in a B2B environment. We had 1.3 million entries using our hashtag. We had two million engagements, which were the likes and comments on videos, and overall, 8.5 billion impressions.”
It’s time for brands to stop sitting on the fence by Stefan Doering, brand strategy lead, PwC; and Dara Douglas, senior manager, Consulting and UK BXT leader
Stefan and Dara followed up with a session on brands taking a stand against social issues such as climate change to be on the right side of history. Stefan said brands can no longer play it safe to risk avoiding parts of their customer base and this takes a certain amount of bravery and adapting. They even shared an ADAPT tool that marketers can utilise: asymmetry; disruption; age; polarisation; and trust.
Balancing utility and magic In B2B Marketing by Robert Senior, non-executive chairman, Selbey Anderson
In Robert’s session, he discussed the Covid-19 effects on brands, why we’re currently in the age of specialists vs generalists, and how serendipity can be used as a competitive advantage in B2B marketing.
Adapt and grow: How to map content to the buyer journey and show marketing ROI by Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider group and former VP digital marketing, SAP
Michael also discussed how to effectively map out content to the buyer journey. He also broke down a powerful framework used to measure the ROI of content marketing and ways to prove your marketing is a strategic asset for your business.
How creativity saved my life by Lemn Sissay OBE, author, blogger, poet, podcaster
Finally, to end Day One, we heard from Lemn, who gave a touching speech about how creativity saved his life growing up. He encouraged attendees to use imagination and creativity to dictate how they navigate their lives.
He says: “The point is, aspiration is free, and to have aspirations, you have to have an imagination to imagine what could be possible in the future, and you can't guarantee it.”
‘Exploring bravery’: A fireside chat with one of the world’s leading B2B marketers by Annabel Venner, ex CMO, Hiscox; and Mark Choueke, marketing director, Mention Me
Day Two kicked off with a handful of other amazing speakers as Annabel and Mark discussed Boring2Brave, using their own personal stories in the B2B industry. They conveyed to the audience why marketers don’t need budget and seniority to employ bravery in the right way to influence decision makers.
Mark said: “Bravery is the one thing that can benefit your organisation, and the whole marketing discipline, but it also benefits your career, your profile and your self worth. So, once you start being brave people perceive you to be a leader.”
Do you have what it takes to transform? How Capita challenged everything to revolutionise their marketing by Antonia Wade, ex-CMO, Capita
On Day Two, Antonia discussed how Capita was able to revolutionise through its brand refresh, being data and insight led and driving its marketing performance effectively.
She said: “I'm hoping that we go through a period of experimentation and hypothesis testing, to really try to understand cues and buying signals and try to be able to respond and react to that, which I personally find quite exciting rather than just saying ‘let's crank out this kind of product’.”
Can you really, truly, madly, deeply love a B2B brand? by Paul Cash, CEO and founder, Rooster Punk
Another brand-related keynote was Paul, who offered advice on improving your ‘brand likeability’. His seven ‘likeability factors’ were as follows:
- Being there
- Over commitment
Changing people’s perceptions of your brand by Doug Kessler, co-founder, Velocity
To close out our keynotes, Doug shared key tips to changing the perception of your brand. They included:
- Don't tell them you’ve changed. Show them.
- Weld your new name to new use cases.
- Don't look in. Look out.
- Don't throw out your mojo.
- Weld yourself to key issues with content.
- Evangelise a new thing.
- Celebrate your new target customers.
- Consider creating a new category.
Insight and intelligence
Data Platforms; The Silver Bullet or The Emperor’s New Clothes by Maureen Blandford, Legacy Mountain Whisperer, B2B Unleashed; Jefferson Lynch managing director, Red Olive; Tony Lamb Data Strategy, Insight and Intelligence Hive Expert, B2B Marketing; and Jürgen Fleiss head of cloud alliances, Exasol
This panel showcased what data platforms can deliver in today’s day and age as well as what the next five years of data technology development holds in store for B2B marketing.
The Future of Intent: Is Your Data Ready? by Andrew Mahr, chief customer officer, Triblio
In the last couple of years, intent data has been proven to help drive account-based marketing (ABM) success. In Andrew’s session, he discussed how to unify data in a singular account based view, what challenges lie ahead with data privacy and key opportunities to take with global intent data.
Masterclass on how data’s driving value for B2B organisations by Charlie Nicholson, head of planning, ReallyB2B and Jefferson Lynch, managing director, Red Olive
How to connect your marketing vision to sales impact through sales enablement by Dominik Schaefer, marketing manager, Highspot
Dominik presentation was on connecting marketing visions to sales by utilising sales enablement. He also went into how to create a sales enablement framework, how to drive ROI and why having sales and marketing alignment is so critical.
He said: “Instead of working individually, sales and marketing leaders should instead come together as a team to understand where the market stands, what your buyers need and so on. The beauty is that both teams will be able to offer unique perspectives on that.”
How to Adapt Your B2B Advertising and Analytics Approach in a Cookieless World by Andrew Piekos, senior account executive, AdDaptive Intelligence and Pasha Irshad vice president, Merritt Group
Andrew and Pasha discussed how to adapt to the B2B advertising industry and offered up both the agency and technology provider perspective.
Andrew said: “Remain agnostic and always look to expand your vendor relationships because you never know which one is going to be the one that takes you to the next step.”
What is first-party data and why is it critical to successful demand gen in 2021? by Anola Balthazar, director of marketing EMEA, Selling Simplified; and Bhavesh Thakor, VP of strategic partnerships SellingSimplified
Practical magic: what it takes to move from account selection to active campaigning by Elise Miller, head of ABM, EMEA, ServiceNow and Jenny Leighton, account director, The Marketing Practice
Elise and Jenny delivered a session on the key steps to onboarding new ABM accounts and how to various stages including the pre-workshop stage.
Top pre-workshop tips included:
- Bring examples of the sorts of things you can do to help bring the programme to life.
- Demonstrate senior sales buy-in.
- Do your own pre-call research and you can add value.
ABM as a business communications strategy: Aligning the full spectrum of media, comms, marketing and sales by Ben Romberg, client strategy director, Hotwire; and Josh Turbill, social and digital director, Hotwire
Another standout was Ben and Josh’s session on ABM as a business communications strategy. They outlined the key qualifiers of a successful ABM campaign, including: reputation, relationships, revenue and ROI.
They also discussed how to target customers with a consistent reason to engage, how to create a clear narrative at each touchpoint, and how to break down silos between marketing, sales, PR and communications.
Food fight: How Flipdish took on the aggregators by Joe Walton, managing partner, Fight Or Flight; and Claire Sweeney, head of brand marketing, Flipdish
In 2020, B2B agency Fight or Flight and Flipdish won the gold for ‘Best public relations campaign’ at our B2B Marketing Awards. Claire and Joe broke down the award-winning campaign as they shared how it generated inbound leads for Flipdish, boosted its brand awareness and shined a light on a story that wasn’t garnering much buzz at the time. They also explained why taking a risk is key with a limited budget.
Key learnings from Castrol’s pilot ABM programme: A first-hand account from the client and agency-side by Kristina Haddrell, group account director, ReallyB2B; and Helen Ling, B2B global brand and marketing communications lead, Castrol
How Honeywell used ABM as an accelerator for opportunity growth in retail by Karen Bomber, marketing director, productivity solutions and services, Honeywell SPS; and Maeve McDonald, managing consultant, account-based marketing, Hotwire
Maeve and Karen also shared insights from their aggressive approach to ABM at Honeywell by setting ambitious growth targets from the get go. They explain how to define success with short, medium and long-term goals, how strategic insight can deliver cut-through and what it takes to start and scale a successful programme.
Brand and content strategy
How to Re-brand and Reposition A 38-year-old Global Business While Retaining Its Enviable Culture by Oliver Pilgerstorfer, IFS CMO
Looking to strengthen your brand? Oliver discussed how to rebrand and reposition your brand effectively using IFS’s campaign as a key case study.
He said: “Make sure you’re ensuring that you've got a good reason to change, and make sure that you're not doing it as an academic exercise. I felt it very important to correlate our marketing decisions on a commercial basis.”
The business of brand: The business case and why your brand needs a rethink by Benedict Buckland, creative director, alan.
Cutting Through the Noise with a Challenger Brand by Leor Franks, director of marketing and business development, Kingsley Napley
Leor also discussed how to make your brand stand out using concepts such as the favourability journey and the halo effect. Using his experience with content and events, he also explained how brands can start cutting through the noise of their competitors.
Leor said: “It's easy to measure, and it's helpful to know that we can actually get through to the right people and see how they're reacting to the levels of engagement. The problem is, everyone is using the same type of channels, the market is saturated with similar approaches.”
Supercharged B2B by Billy Hamilton-Stent, chief strategy officer, Octopus Group
The Octopus Group is looking at B2B to push revenue in tricky times, place B2B in traditionally consumer spaces like connected TV and sports advertising, and using B2B practices in B2C marketing. With so much creativity flowing, Billy identified the 4 gaps in B2B marketing that still need to be filled:
- Knowledge gap: companies want to go faster, but they aren’t any wiser
- Culture gap: Business is re-evaluating their relationship with employees
- Ideas gap: Appetite for change is starting to match the scale of change around us
- Digital gap: many businesses are facing 2022 with 2018 capabilities
Echosens ‘2.0’: The case for employing branding as the platform for innovative B2B change management by Sue Mizera, co-founder, Torch Fish; and Claire Mario, global marketing and communications director, Echosens
What’s the big idea? Finding universal truths for global campaigns by Sam Crocker, managing partner, Bray Leino; and Tony Riley, president, MX Group
Sam and Tony’s session focused on how to achieve more effective global marketing by sharing some of the common pitfalls of global campaigns and how to avoid them.
Marketing operations and technologies
How to make marketing operations the backbone of your marketing team by connecting your people, process and technology by Kim Van Rensburg, senior manager, marketing operations; and Etienne Bosch, group manager, product management, Adobe Workfront
Kim and Etienned discussed how to make marketing the backbone of your marketing team. They advised to:
- Treat work like a tier one asset.
- Align work to strategic goals.
- Connect people, processes, data and technology.
Strikers don’t wear gloves: The benefits of MOPs by Karla Wentworth, Marketing Operations Expert, B2B Marketing
If you’re still struggling to wrap your head around marketing operations, our Propolis Hive Expert Karla Wentworth’s session was the one to attend. Karla discussed how your marketing team can start thriving. So how can we start diluting marketing talent? Using a football analogy, she advises to put your best players in the best positions to win for the team.
The ‘80s called and they want their lead scoring back: How to lead score like a boss by Mary Kleinsorgen, senior marketing and technology strategist, MarketOne; and Gifford Morley-Fletcher, senior marketing strategist, MarketOne
ABM tech starts with cake by Karla Wentworth, B2B Marketing and Richard Sharp & Mandi Taylor, Sharp
The current state of artificial intelligence by Joy Scarlata, director of digital marketing, Interra Information Technologies
Another standout in the marketing operations stream was Joy’s presentation, which focused on the future of AI in B2B marketing as she explained it can help with content marketing, hyper and real-time personalisation, and sourcing better quality leads.
Revealed! How to assess and accelerate your digital marketing capability by Steve Kemish, B2B Marketing
A tale of the unexpected: Why breaking new ground for your brand will deliver breakthrough results by Ashish Babu, chief marketing officer for Europe & UK, Tata Consulting Services; Marcus Hiles, strategy director, Just Global; and Iain Halpin, head of content, Just Global
How to build a precisely-tailored content marketing campaign by Tim Price, head of market and customer insights, Vodafone and Paul Nola, partner, Context Consulting
Vodafone Group recognised the need to reach out to SoHo’s and SMEs across a number of verticals for its tailored campaign. After all, one thing Paul and Tim noted in their presentation was how Covid-19 sharpened SMEs needs by:
- Finding and keeping customers
- Resourcing needs effectively
- Managing costs
- Enabling better collaboration
The anatomy of a creative campaign by Ben Hodge, creative brand and strategy director, Torpedo
90% of respondents revealed that they consider their own campaigns to be too safe, too boring, or just not bold enough in terms of creativity. Ben used the human body to discuss the anatomy of a creative campaign. Spoiler alert: strategy is the brain; messaging is the spine; and ideas are the heart.
He said: “In today's complicated, digitally-enabled multichannel world, a marketing campaign really is like a complex living organism, and, therefore, the process of building one is more closely aligned to the one they grow in their life.”
7 easy things you can do to improve your writing by David McGuire
David gave a great presentation on some quick tips to make your B2B content infinitely better. He outlined:
- Read it out loud.
- Write to one person (not a persona).
- Simple sentences, specific words.
- Measure your readability.
- Use the five second rule.
- Write a nutshell paragraph.
- Cut up to the first comma.
David is also one of our B2B Marketing trainers. If you’d like to check out one of his full copywriting courses, please click here.
Embracing B2B e-commerce - how to succeed in a complex, regulated world by Simon McEvoy, head of strategy, Omobono
Two Ears, One Mouth’ – Customer advocacy in B2B by Dean Lindsay, customer marketing manager, 8x8
Dean said: “You should be listening to your critics and satisfy customers, as this is a great opportunity to learn where you were and how you can improve.”
If you wanted to learn more about customer advocacy, Dean’s session was the one to attend. He went into some good and bad examples of customer advocacy, the power of your customers, and what channels and levers to use along the way.
He continued: “Think about your customer story in individual and unique ways. Get passionate about it and get into the details. This is how you can uncover fantastic stories.”
Precision demand marketing: A new era of buyer-driven, customer-focused B2B by Nigel Arthur, VP growth EMEA, Integrate
How To Use Technology To Guide The Sales Conversation To Better Outcomes and Experiences James Smee, Bridge and Rebecca Stallard, RS Component
In James and Rebecca’s session, they discussed the common pitfalls seen in sales practices, and how these pitfalls can be solved through the use of sales enablement through customer toolkits, apps, and performance metrics.
Buyer enablement backed by science: How digital content drives decisions by Tim Riesterer, chief strategy officer, Corporate Visions
Help me, don’t sell me: Putting the 'customer' into customer experience by Lauren McCadney, CDW
Finally to close out the CX stream, Lauren focused on the customer in customer experience as she delved into site chats. With the main focus on trust, she broke down why having a human behind a chat function can be a gamechanger.
She also discussed how peer chats can be used to compliment the Q&A or reviews on your website and how conversations can often spark from just an initial inquiry.
You can also check out our Propolis community hub for more expertise in eight different unique 'hive' topics including: brand and content, strategy and evolution, growth, marketing operations, customer experience, team building, execution and campaigns and data!