Reflections on the 2019 B2B Marketing Ignite Conference
Staying on top of what’s happening in the industry is important to us at South Thames Marketing and one of my favourite B2B conferences that I attend each year is the B2B Marketing Ignite conference. Last month I joined 1,499 other delegates at this year’s conference. One of the things I love about this event is it’s a valuable opportunity to get out of the office, connect with other like-minded marketers and find out about the latest trends and reports so we can help our clients thrive!
For those of you not familiar with Ignite, the conference is built around 8 content lead streams on the hottest topics in B2B marketing. I was keen this year to attend most of the sessions in the ABM stream, which included presentations from the likes of Zoe Hominick – Head of Business Marketing, O2; Andrea Clatworthy – Head of ABM EMEIA, Fujitsu and Martin Simcock – CEO, Enigma Marketing Services.
Here’s some of my key takeaways…
My biggest takeaway was that now is an amazing time to be in marketing! There is lots of great tech out there – and none of us can ignore the importance of insight, but our goal as marketers has to be to create digital experiences that our audience wants and give us the data we need. Ultimately, great marketing is about creating great experiences for clients.
Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy opened this year’s conference and he spoke about the value of marketing and made some really pertinent points. He talked about measuring marketing performance to inform what we do, not decide what we do. This really rang true for me.
He also spoke about the skewed mindset many organisations find themselves falling into when considering how marketing fits into their organisation. Marketing needs to be viewed by the business as creating value and not a cost of sale. If you haven’t got this in your firm then you need to work on a mindset change.
In regard to the ABM presentations… ABM is continuing to grow but we must remember that technology isn’t the silver bullet of successful ABM. We cannot forget that for ABM to be successful there has to be a lot of manual upfront work undertaken before you incorporate technology.
We must also realise that seeking to stuff your pipeline with Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) doesn’t come anywhere close to delivering the true value of strategic ABM.
Andy Bacon, an ABM specialist, presented a concise list of ten common mistakes people make with ABM, all of which were spot on in my eyes and I thought were worth sharing…
- Don’t jump the gun – a lack of sufficient planning and internal due diligence will cause problems from the start of your campaign
- Avoid going it alone, the absence of a shared ‘team defined’ strategy can lead to failure
- Don’t oversell internally – it will set you up with unrealistic expectations
- Trust your team – weak sales and marketing alignment will result in no commitment to shared objectives
- Poor account selection process – know who to target
- Over-ambition – too many accounts for a pilot phase can cause huge problems
- Unknown unknowns – you don’t know what you don’t know! The absence of deep account insight will get you in hot water
- Generic Content – ABM is all about personalisation, a lack of bespoke propositions defeats the objective
- The wrong KPI’s will result in failing to meet expectations. Avoid using conventional/short term metrics
- Inertia – a loss of confidence and trust will not allow your ABM campaign to thrive.
My one final word of advice to you all from the event?
More than anything, remember people are still people, your content has to have the personal touch. Create an experience for your readers. And finally, people do have attention spans but only if content is valuable and delivered to them when they want it.