Dramatise, Delight and Distinguish – What I learnt at Ignite

We are at a crux in marketing again. Everything has gone a bit beige (I like vanilla too much to use that term!) MarTech in some form has been adopted by most marketers and content marketing is now par-for-the-course, even in the far reaches of B2B. Basically – we’ve changed into our comfy slippers!

Step forward some B2B marketers keen to challenge the status quo. This year’s Ignite event was led by the impartial B2B Marketing, governed by the BMC and fronted by the likes of; Brian Macreadie, Jason Miller, Gemma Davies, Chas Maloney, Sally Wright and Dave Stevens.

We have the platform, the community and the inspirational marketing leaders to engage with and learn from. So, let’s action these great learnings from Ignite: Dramatise, Delight and Distinguish.

Dramatise

This whole section is dedicated to B2B Marketing’s people’s awards winner – Creative individual of the year – Brian Macreadie. Dramatise was his word, so it’s only fair!

Brian

It makes sense. You need to stand out and make an impact, so adding a sense of drama is a good place to start. A few pearls of wisdom to take onboard:

“Always get your team to look at your competitor’s work. This will help them see whether you, as a brand, are just hiding in the crowd – and what it takes to stand out.”

“The only way to have a big idea is to have a lot of ideas” – Cast the net wide to encourage creative thinking. Brian also said that when he presents ideas to his stakeholders at law firm BLP, he takes in 3 options. One conservative version, one bonkers version and one  middle ground choice (which is the one he really wants to do).

“Bravery is going to win through – if it makes you feel sick then it’s probably the right one.”

Delight

Great marketing drives an emotional response. On the post-modern marketing panel, Lucy Birch from PwC talked about the all-important need to delight and inspire. Plus the importance of learning from outside B2B as, at the end of the day, marketing ultimately needs to work on a human level.

Top tip: Be human

This is especially true in an industry now dominated by technology. Utilise technology, but don’t be constrained by it. Always remember to put the customer at the heart of your marketing and create delightful experiences for your customer.

Chas Moloney from Ricoh put it simply: “creativity is the fuel that drives the engine when using technology”. This circles back to my opening gambit, don’t be beige, be purple, gold, crimson, silver or azure…yes I said azure.

Distinguish

Keynote speaker, Ian Burrows from Deloitte reasoned that you need to “Distinguish” rather than “Differentiate”. I get that. True differentiation is hard. But distinguishing your brand is achievable.

I think this is summed up pretty well by Jason Miller from LinkedIn. Jason showed a few graphs, all eluding to the same point; “Content for content’s sake isn’t working”.

Avg shares by content length

The data says that “snackable” content needs to move aside for long form. And long form by its nature distinguishes you. A 2000+ word piece of content it is going to have some real thought behind it. The push for quality over quantity is at an all-time high.

This was echoed by a panel featuring marketing leaders; Brian Macreadie, Jeremy Knott, Sally Wright and Paul Cash. They also touched on that fact that “creativity has got lost in the noise around marketing automation”. From a creative stand point it is important not to be held back by technological constraints and trying to make thing fit.

We highlighted this in our recent report The Breathless Business. Marketers are busy, they are constantly running in 5th gear just to keep up. They need to be slicker in their approach to technology and use creativity as a level to distinguish themselves from the competition.

One solution to this that is employed by Sally at Samsung is a pilot. They love the word “pilot” because it is basically saying that “we’re going to go and trial this” but without the constraints of a full-blown campaign.

Let’s leave the last words to Brian Macreadie though “Take your head out of your ass and get creative” …