The secret B2B gems at this year’s Festival of Marketing

Look closely and you’ll find some fascinating sessions for B2B marketers at next week’s event

September 28, 2017

festival of marketing

It’s that time of year again: Festival of Marketing kicks off in London’s Tobacco Dock in a week’s time. The agenda is up, the emails confirming speakers are dropping into your inbox – but, if you’re a B2B marketer, it might feel there’s something missing. There seem to be fewer sessions focused on B2B – indeed, there’s no specific B2B stage at this year’s festival.

Appearances can be deceptive though – because under the surface, B2B is very much part of the Festival programme this time around. If anything, it’s more integrated into the main themes of the event than ever before. You’ve just got to know where to look.

For starters, make time in your schedule for the undercover B2B marketing Jams taking place in the LinkedIn Lab at SV1 in Tobacco docks. There are four of these over the two days of the festival, and they are each designed around a specific, very practical priority for B2B marketers: combining demand generation and lead generation, providing a scientific basis for content planning and driving tangible business benefits through sales and marketing alignment.

The LinkedIn Lab Jams are designed specifically for B2B marketers and they’re packed with immediately actionable take-aways. However, they are not the only sessions worth making time for. We’ve gone through the full Festival of Marketing schedule to pull out the secret gems that hold the most value for B2B marketing strategies. Here is your B2B marketing agenda:

The formula for combining demand generation and lead generation

Wednesday 4 October 10.15AM

LinkedIn Lab

You can’t generate leads effectively and sustainably if you’re not also generating demand – and generating demand loses a lot of its value if you can’t translate that demand into leads. This session with LinkedIn’s Fiona Gallagher and Paul Chester reveals how to use the latest targeting technology to balance the two.

'In it but not of it’: Hiscox’s approach to insights-driven strategies in a cluttered B2B market

Wednesday 4 October 12.20 PM

Insight Stage

This promises to be an intriguing inside story. Hiscox has always been an interesting B2B brand doing interesting things. It will be great to hear from Group Head of Insight and Research Charlie Gower about how they manage it.

Attribution modelling: Real business applications that work

Wednesday 4 October 2.45PM

Data & Analytics Stage

Tim Bush of Lynchpin has a reputation as a very entertaining speaker – and he’s focusing this session on one of the key challenges for B2B digital marketing: attribution. Expect new ideas for leveraging different data sources and driving better decision-making, plus some real-world B2B examples.

The DNA of the world’s most successful content marketing

Wednesday 4 October 4PM

LinkedIn Lab

There’s a lot of received wisdom out there about the requirements for content marketing success. LinkedIn and Buzzsumo decided it was about time content planners had some robust science to work from. Join LinkedIn’s Global Content Marketing Leader Jason Miller for our unique analysis of the 400,000 most shared posts across 10 different sectors and all major social platforms. You’ll discover the subject matter, formats, headline styles and more that are proven to drive value for B2B content marketing.

What science really says about the ideal length for content

Thursday 5 October 10.15AM

LinkedIn Lab

For years, marketers have been told that content needs to be as concise as possible to be effective – short enough to fit the shrinking, goldfish-level attention spans of digital audiences. Our unique analysis of the most authoritative and shared posts on social proves that this could hardly be more wrong. Jason Miller explains what the data really shows about content length, why you need to integrate long-form into your strategy, and how you can set about doing so.

Take the lead! Why your colleagues are the untapped resource for your social campaign

Thursday 5 October 11.30AM

Social Stream

There are few more under-leveraged channels in B2B marketing than a business’s own employees. LinkedIn analysis proves the huge impact that employee sharing can have on content effectiveness. The story of Thomson Reuters, as told by its Social Media Marketing Director, Kelvin Lee, promises yet more evidence. Kelvin will be revealing how to unleash employee advocacy, generate more B2B content internally, and enlist all of your employees in social selling. 

Experiments in sales and marketing alignment

Thursday 5 October 2.45PM

If you’re a senior B2B marketer or sales leader looking to make your business unstoppable, then you definitely won’t want to miss this session. I’ll be revealing the findings of our unique global research into the state of sales and marketing alignment. We’ll look at the tangible bottom-line benefits that businesses report from bringing the two teams together, and the practical steps that are most effective at making sales and marketing alignment a reality.

Predictive analytics: challenges and opportunities

Thursday 5 October 4PM

Data & Analytics Stream

There’s much discussion of Artificial Intelligence in media planning and customer experience – quite a bit less about how AI and Predictive Analytics can help to sharpen B2B and sales strategies. This panel promises to fill the gap, and with contributions from YouGov, Euromoney and predictive analytics provider BrightTarget, it’s well worth making time for.

The Ritson vs Sharp debate

Thursday 5 October 4.45PM

We may not always agree with Mark Ritson (particularly when it comes to some of his claims about content marketing), but there’s no denying that he’s a hugely entertaining, sharp-thinking and meaningfully provocative writer. Watching him debate the big current issues with Byron Sharp is the ideal way to close out the festival.