B2B conference

Marketing conferences are a bit like dating. And so, hoping not to say anything silly and with a similar sense of trepidation and excitement at the possibilities, off I headed to the B2B marketing conference.

Surrounded by people who know about making that special someone feel, well, special, I looked forward to some inspiration and a few top tips.

Focus on your date

Customer-centricity is more than a buzz word, it’s about putting the customer at the heart of the B2B customer journey. Chas Moloney Marketing Director at Ricoh, suggests spending time in your client’s environment improves relationships and leads to more business. He proposed holding a board meeting at your client’s premises as a way of transforming your business from the top down.

Ask your mate to vouch for you

With up to 40% of B2B leads now coming from customer advocacy, having a successful understanding of how it works and a plan to support it is key. It’s the equivalent of asking your mate to tell your date you really are a good egg!

Think about what you want to talk about

We know that compelling content needs to be intelligent and relevant. Andy Rowlands, Head of Corporate Communications at Arcadis talked about understanding not just the characteristics but also the motivations of people consuming your content to ensure that what you create really does the job.

Getting over a break up

There will always be companies who do bad work, or provide unreliable services, so how can you find and attract those customers who have had their fingers burned before and who are trying to stay out of the market, ‘prospects with baggage’ you might say.

As it turns out you turn it into a bit of a competition, show them how far behind their peers they are and the fear of falling further behind motivates them to take action.

Talking about yourself

Sales teams have moved on (technologically speaking) and old print based tools are not suited to the tech savvy customers of the future. Digital marketing enables two-way customer conversations and there are numerous tools specially designed to help you in ways relevant to yourself and your customers. Tools like Turtl for example help make anyone look good.

GSOH

We should not be afraid to use comedy and humour in B2B. Although this is a rare thing, Jim Shields, Creative Director at Twist & Shout Communications, made the interesting point that if you’re funny then you don’t need to be beautiful. People remember funny longer than any other positive emotion. They are also more willing to spend time with the person/brand entertaining them. They even tell their friends about you, thus improving your brand and your chance of making a sale.

Our top 7 tweetable tips from the day

  • The more decision makers involved the less sales made. Especially once you get past 5. Average number is 5.4 in B2B.
  • B2B marketing is about creating customers for life – client engagement needs to be robust.
  • Marketers aren’t targeting a single ‘yes’ – they need different ‘yeses’ from different areas of the clients business.
  • 3 ways to get shares online; sex, violence and comedy. The first 2 aren’t really on brand.
  • PDF and PPT were created before the internet. Should we be so reliant on them as sales tools in the age of the mobile screen?
  • What makes great content? Mojo!
  • 98% of the time, we make crap content because we’re not trying. 2% because we’re going for it and failing.