Yesterday around 600 marketers attended the Emirates Stadium in London for Econsultancy’s Funnel B2B marketing conference.

The agenda for the annual event included speakers from Standard Life, IBM, Lloyd’s of London, Marketo, Deloitte and Adestra.

The slides from all the presentation will be available online shortly.

It’s not possible to condense all the different tips and recommendations from the whole day into one blog post, but here are a selection of the interesting points and takeaways…

Craig Johnston, digital & social media strategy specialist at Standard Life

  • Relationships are built on value exchange, there has to be something in it for the customer.
  • The funnel has now changed so we are always trying to drive advocacy. Companies have to offer customers free stuff, such as information and advice, to add value and help encourage a purchase.
  • Businesses need to dial down push methods and dial up value. There has to be a reason for the audience to engage as customers want to know what’s in it for them?
  • Standard Life created a private LinkedIn group for financial advisors, which has now become the second highest traffic referrer to its advisor website.

Catherine Toole, CEO of Sticky Content

  • Make rules and formats for your content and enforce them rigorously.
  • Re-use content. Create it once, but publish it everywhere. This works best with highly modular content such as using whitepapers, which can be reused in blogs and Q&As.
  • When you interview someone aim for three or four pieces of content, not just one.
  • Autoglass saw a 40% uplift when it made changes to clearly include the benefits of its service on its homepage.

Andrew Freeman, CEO of CRM Technologies

  • 70% of the buying cycle takes place before the customer ever talks to a sales person.
  • Drive customers from email to dynamic sites/pages based around their specific interests.

Bob Apollo, managing partner at Inflexion-Point

  • What drives B2B buying? Brand 19%, offering 19%, price 9% and buying experience 53%.
  • No plan survives first contact with the customer.
  • The four factors for marketing are: the right time, the right person, the right content, nuture.

Parry Malm, account director at Adestra

  • Industry specific jargon is good to use in email subject lines, don’t shy away from using it.
  • Personalisation of subject line helps opens but if you don’t personalise rest of journey it’s less powerful.
  • Subject lines requiring purchasing decisions don’t perform well.
  • Events marketers need to focus on benefits of attending, not the features. A good idea is to use a ‘top five reasons to attend’ type subject line.
  • Newsletter is an archaic term. Instead consider using ‘breaking’, ‘alert’ or ‘bulletin’ as they are all active terms.

Kieran Flanagan, online marketing manager EMEA at Marketo

  • You should be able to put a dollar sign against each form fill on your site.
  • You need to be able to talk business metrics to your boss or you’re not getting any budget.
  • Use FollowerWonk – it’s a bio search engine for Twitter that helps you find influencers and who influences them.
  • Use TweetArchivist to see what key influencers are sharing on Twitter, then try to target that content.
  • Use Tweets as testimonials on your landing pages. It’s a great way of gaining social validation.
  • Use analytics to see what users are reading and what they are downloading. Understand what content works well on your site.
  • Focus on personas that are likely to convert. Sit in on sales calls.
  • Fail once with content and the sales animals will get restless.

Jurgen Heyman, director at SPI Sales

  • People want to buy things but how many want to be sold to?
  • Sales cycles are not shorter, you just get invited later.

Tim Langley, CEO of CANDDi 

  • On average, websites convert just 3.8% of visitors, B2Bs even fewer. In contrast, retail stores convert 55% and sales people 20-30%. So personalised experiences are key.

Mike Volpe, CMO at HubSpot

  • It’s a simple equation, but more content equals more inbound leads.
  • It’s not about pushing out content that is important to your business. Instead you need to tap into what your audience is interested in.
  • Don’t buy ad space around the interesting content, create the interesting content.
  • HubSpot pays an average of $346 for each paid lead compared to $135 for inbound, a saving of 61%.
  • For every $1 HubSpot spends on inbound marketing it achieves a $6 lifetime value from the customer, whereas the same amount invested in paid marketing returns $2.50.
  • HubSpot got almost 8,000 leads in October from blog posts that weren’t published that month. In fact 70% of the company’s blog leads come from old posts.
  • In order for B2B marketers to gain leads from social media they need to make their social channels among the most interesting and valuable accounts for potential customers.
  • First build social following, only then can you think ROI. Start by adding value.
  • Companies with blogs typically see a 55% increase in web traffic and 79% increase in Twitter followers, while 57% of companies with blogs say they get revenue from it.

Andy Muldoon, digital effectiveness lead at Deloitte

  • There is commonly up to a 70% failure rate when introducing a new social media platform into business.
  • Organisations that invested in internal collaboration tools saw a 13% increase in sales revenue.

Brendan Dineen, director of demand generaton programmes at IBM

  • 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes.
  • One in seven minutes spent online goes through Facebook, but 75% of people don’t navigate past the first page.

Steven Elliott, managing director at MarketOne Digital

  • 95% of emails read on a mobile aren’t read again.

Simon Knight, sales and marketing channels leader at D&B UK

  • For every $80 spent on driving traffic to a site, $1 is spent on conversion.
  • Nurturing is not just a series of emails, or calling someone back. It’s a complex business process.

Ian Harris, CEO of Search Laboratory

  • Before you rush into a new marketplace it’s vital to work out whether the business opportunity exists and if it does, can you compete there?
  • Start with Google’s Global Market Finder Tool, which shows you information on your chosen search terms and the countries you want to target.
  • In order to localise the content it’s important to use mother-tongue speakers who know colloquialisms and natural terms, rather than literal translations of your English keywords.
  • The potential rewards for global expansion are massive, as in the UK we’re good at SEO marketing, but when you roll out into other languages they tend to be less competitive.
  • A lot of link building in foreign markets is now phone based, it’s a bit like a sales job. But you still need to build natural links with good content, you shouldn’t go out and pay for them.

Lucy Dawson, digital content executive at Lloyd’s of London

  • Lloyd’s has a great story to tell and a 300 year history, so can use Facebook timeline to tell that story and make the brand come to life.
  • Before starting out on Twitter, identify your target audience. Who do you want to speak to, what do you want to say, and what do they want to hear?
  • Investigate your market first. Listen and acclimatise to the tone of voice and trending topics.
  • Unless you have the buy-in from senior decison-makers you won’t get very far with social marketing. Write up guidance with legal and IT, make sure staff understand what they can and can’t do on social media – this allays the fear of risk from senior management.