At the end of January, we hosted the third Insights Marketing Day (IMD) London, in partnership with our friends at GreenBook and Little Bird Marketing. This year over 65 attendees from insights agencies and suppliers across the UK joined us to hear practical marketing advice to help their businesses grow. The agenda of clients and experts from insights and beyond, including topics such as company messaging, personas, marketing automation, and mastering your presentation skills, was specifically designed to provide tangible tips to help agencies and suppliers stand out to their potential clients.
Despite providing clients with data and insights to inform their marketing decisions on a daily basis, agencies and suppliers rarely put their money where their mouth is and invest in these services themselves. But the industry as a whole is desperately in need of improved marketing – both to attract talent and to raise the status of insights overall.
So, here are eight pieces of advice from IMD that we think are important:
- Bring emotion into B2B marketing
Colonel Mustard Lucy Davison’s presentation was about why emotion is just as important in B2B marketing as it is in B2C. Regardless of sector, people want to work with, and for, companies that genuinely care about things, so it’s important to use your company values, mission and vision to build this emotional connection. The purpose of your company values is to provide a clear set of instructions for organisations and to make it easier for the people within them to make choices. If you know where you want to go (you have a vision) and what your purpose is (your mission) then it is very helpful for all concerned if you know how you are going to get there (your values).
- Answer key questions
One of the first rules of marketing is to know your audience. So, Priscilla McKinney, CEO and momma bird at Little Bird Marketing, explained how you can do this through using personas. By asking yourself specific questions about your different audiences (what are their challenges, values, goals, sources of information?) you can get to know them properly and cater to their needs.
Once you know your personas, you should keep them in mind during your marketing activities. By doing this you ensure that all your thought leadership is relevant, highlights your expertise appropriately for every group, and most importantly is answering your clients’ key questions.
3. Make ‘being helpful’ interesting
While Priscilla talked about making your marketing helpful, Tom Ewing of Wordbeast talked about making your helpful content interesting. One of Tom’s tips was to keep a ‘wordhoard’ by saving stories, phrases and anecdotes that can be input into copy to make it more engaging and relatable. Knowing you have an entire resource of content to draw upon is useful for writers of any level, but for less experienced writers in particular, this inspiration bank can make the dread of a blank page slightly less scary.
- Perfect your pitching to journalists
Research Live’s Katie McQuater took to the stage to explain how to get noticed by journalists and generate coverage for your business without paying for sponsored content. PR and media relations are important in raising awareness for your business, but getting your name in print or online through earned media isn’t easy. Katie explained that stories that seem interesting to you need to packaged in a specific way to gain the attention of journalists.
Some of Katie’s key advice for getting published in the trade media were to read the publication before pitching, sell your idea, respond promptly to the journalist but don’t bombard them and give good quotes.
Of course, these things are par for the course for a PR agency, who spend their days creating narratives and pitching to both trade journalists and the wider media. You can read our own tips for getting coverage for data, research and insight here.
- Make your presentations unforgettable
We were joined by presentation maestro Maryam Pasha from TEDxLondon who explained how your presentations can go from ‘meh’ to motivational. Her core piece of advice was to remember why you are speaking and to bear in mind the one thing you want your audience to take away from the presentation. Once you know what you want your audience to know, there are many ways of spinning this information into impactful stories to make your audience care. This can be done through interesting structures that build tension, personalisation, asking questions or posing puzzles, sensory information and, of course, emphasising your own enthusiasm for the topic.
- Nurture your leads (and measure the results!)
We’ve all heard of Hubspot, but do we know how to actually use it? Shane Redding of Think Direct explained that when used properly, marketing automation tools allow you to nurture your leads through customisable sales journeys, providing an automatic way for you to follow up with potential clients using helpful, interesting and relevant content. What’s more, these automated campaigns can be measured, allowing you to increase your efficiency based on data. Shane’s tips for anyone looking to get started on marketing automation were to consider what works for your company culture, start small, and consider expert advice.
- Apply design principles for marketing collateral with impact
Mustard’s creative director Simon Dunn’s presentation provided seven tips for providing professional marketing deliverables. By using techniques such as hierarchy (the order that the eye engages with design elements), proximity (the way design elements interact with each other), consistency and repetition (maintaining a specific style), white space and contrast even non-designers can create impactful resources that will create clarity, help you stand out and gain client trust.
- Prepare for a rebranding marathon, rather than a sprint
Throughout its 20 year history, research agency BuzzBack has continuously refreshed its image to stay relevant to clients in an increasingly competitive industry. One of Managing Director’s Martin Oxley’s key learnings from their latest brand refresh was that rebranding takes longer than you think – it’s an important journey of learning about your company through a process of workshops, client and internal interviews, and this process is as important as the end result. Without taking the time to do these activities in order to make informed decisions, you risk not being differentiated, and won’t stand out to potential clients.
If you want to find out more about Insights Marketing Day, or would like to discuss how we can help you boost your own marketing efforts, contact firstname.lastname@example.org