What you missed out on at B2B Marketing Get Stacked 2021!

Our Get Stacked 2021 conference was another virtual hit, with our roster of B2B marketing leaders discussing everything from marketing technology, to operations, data insights, digital execution and processes. Kavita Singh reports on the highlights.

Hosted by editor-in-chief Joel Harrison and Propolis Hive experts Shane Redding, Steve Kemish and Tony Lamb, the conference took place on event platform Hopin, with 40 industry expert speakers, 34 sessions overall, and the Martech Award winners announced in between.

Keynotes

In our opening session, we kicked the event off by sharing exclusive insights from our first Hive report Moving forwards with a marketing operations function. This Hive report is the first of many (one per Hive, each year). In it, we  share how marketing teams can accelerate martech adoption, and assemble the right mix of expertise and processes to deliver business needs. The steps toward marketing operations maturity included:

  1. Examine existing skills and capabilities.
  2. Take control of your destiny in terms of tech, budget and processes.
  3. Ensure focus on the right day-to-day activities.

To check out the report, click here.

Integrate’s Chris Wickson followed up with a presentation about the shift to precision demand marketing and how B2B marketers can respond to our new era with advice on targeting in-market accounts, connecting data and buyer journeys across channels, activating buyers to fit ICPs, and measuring results to defend your spend.

Some key tips to defending your spend included:

  • Aligning with sales and finance to start deriving goals.
  • Creating a deep understanding of conversion rates at a campaign level.
  • Calculating ROI, CPx and CAC.

On Day Two, PWC’s Laura Sloane, discussed how to create an award-winning martech team. Some key takeaways included to:

  •  Build a compelling vision which others can rally around.
  • Lead from the front within marketing when rolling out martech transformation programmes.
  • Invest as much time in change management as you will in technical enablement.
  • Don’t be afraid to start off small and scale.
  • Get the right skills in place to support your ambitions across the short, medium and long-term, .but competition is fierce.

Author and consultant Maureen Blanford opened her session by saying: “We've lost our way with the explosion of martech. We are worshipping at the altar of automation, at scale and fake personlisation. Those are all important, but what about human beings? We have over focused on the tech and lost our way with the humans."

Based on her new book, Moats & Drawbridges | The Current State of B2B Cross-functional Insight Sharing, Maureen gave the root causes of our current state in marketing while sharing her socio-technical model. To close the keynotes, Relentless Pursuit’s Pam Didner brought up pop culture references to Black Mirror and The Good Place to tie in how to use AI effectively in B2B marketing.

Digital execution excellence

Do you know what no-code martech is? Neither did we, until we listened to Webeo’s Kirsty Dawe’s eye-opening session on bringing no-code to the B2B sector. No-code martech is technology designed to empower non-technical marketers to build and deliver marketing outputs that previously would have required input of someone with knowledge and experience of complex coding. She discussed its applications, the power no-code puts in  marketers’ hands, and what it means for the marketer and their future career.

Following that exciting session, Modern’s Triana Jarman talked about common marketing automation challenges, including data, training, sales alignment, attribution and configuration. She flagged up why these issues arise and what can be done to avoid them in the future.
You should know more about your company than Google does! Vertic’s Laurence Lipworth dove into why you shouldn’t be competing with Google to find content. Instead, shift the focus so that you contextualise your brand and company story according to the search terms entered. Some tips include creating a storytelling engine and doing detailed external customer research to achieve Zero Degrees of Separation.

Organisation, operation and optimisation

A highlight from the operations stream included Deliverect’s Shelby Torrence who talked about aligning stakeholders and technology so marketers can scale digital success. Early on in the session, she mentions: "A lot of the times, it's not the technology that has limitations – it's the people who have to deal with it and try to get on the same page."

She discussed this specific misalignment, how to build buy-in across diverse groups of stakeholders and some tips on selecting new technologies.

Udemy’s Lidia Lal also delivered a stellar presentation on bringing technology, people and processes together to start bringing your martech stack to life. She delved into the different marketing tools available, and how processes and people can further align with their technology.

Data, insights and analytics

Today, having data is simply not enough. It’s all about what insights you draw up from that data and how you use it for your business. In Practico Analytics’ Ruben Ugarte’s session, he broke down how companies need to move away from a big win mentality and start creating consistent small wins. He also discussed frameworks marketers can use to start building their processes.

Ruben explained: "I think you're better off building your own process that matches your own culture, your own ideas, your way of working, than just taking something from an external basis."

Ruben Ugarte's framework:

  • Ideation
  • Design..
  • Execution.
  • Analyse.

Speaking of framework, Merkle’s Craig Howard and Adam Mincham also delivered a presentation on attaining a greater understanding of the customer journey and the tech framework that can bring data and analytics together. With challenges such as the death of cookies and the identity resolution with customers, AI and machine learning is making it easier to manage the quality of first party data.

Innovation, processes and uses 

Another standout was Okta’s Holly Gage who shared how her company adapted to the pandemic and how marketers can continue to innovate with the pressure to constantly adapt during Covid-19 times.

She said: "The coronavirus became an accelerator for change with two years’ worth of digital transformation in only two months."

Holly shared the three ways to innovate which included:

  1. Automate as much as possible: Give people time and mental space to innovate.
  2. Top down, bottom up: Foster innovation from every member of the team.
  3. Adopt the agile approach: Use sprints and proofs of concept to deliver value faster in fast-changing environments.

Further lessons from the pandemic:

  1. Get the foundation right.
  2. Automate as much as possible.
  3. Get agile.
  4. No such thing as too much testing.
  5. Look after your people.

Along with all these exciting and inspiring speaker sessions, we also got to highlight some of the martech stars for 2021. We announced the winners of our Martech Awards on each day, with coveted awards such as ‘Martech vendor of the year’, ‘Best use of martech for brand building’, and ‘Martech agency of the year’. To find out who won big, check it out here!

Thanks so much for everyone who attended our conference. We’ll see you next time for our US conference, Ignite USA!

B2B Marketing Awards 2021

Check out the winners here to see who won big at our martech awards this year!

Check out the full list of winners!

B2B Marketing Martech Awards