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Category: Manage your brand and marcomms

  1. The benefits of a strong brand in B2B markets

    By Beth Pearson -

    Some don’t think that branding matters in B2B markets.  They say that B2B decision makers are logical beings immune to any such irrational influences.  And anyway, it’s all just fluffy marketing crap and a brand is really just a logo isn’t it?

    B2B marketers disagree.  In fact, our surveys have found that 77% of B2B marketing leaders believe that branding is critical to growth. Continue reading

  2. The data asteroid is coming

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    They say that an asteroid impact wiped dinosaurs off the face of the earth. Could data be the B2B marketer’s asteroid?

    At a basic level, data can reveal the effectiveness of and ROI from marketing investments. What was the click-through rate? How many leads were generated? Which executions generated the most engagement? But this ‘what happened?’ data is just scratching the surface. Data can be used not just to observe what happens, but to shape what happens. With the right approach to data capture and analysis, insights with the potential to turbo-charge marketing activity can be brought to the surface. Data mining can reveal hidden opportunities, predictive analytics can put you one step ahead, micro-segmentation can personalise your marketing, and so on.

    Continue reading

  3. Social media in B2B – the latest stats

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    B2B Social Infographic 2015_long

     

    A new report from Circle Research and B2B Marketing Magazine reveals that the allure of social media in B2B is growing rapidly. Over four in five marketing teams (83 per cent) now post on social media – an activity that consumes one fifth of their time (20 per cent) – and three quarters (77 per cent) expect to spend more time doing this over the next 12 months. In addition, just like an investor keenly eyeing their growing wealth portfolio, as the ‘value’ of social media in B2B rises, so too does the attention paid to tracking its performance. Over one third (35 per cent) of organisations now subscribe to a paid social media monitoring platform.

    However, this bounty is not being distributed equally. Instead, the power of social media is merging around two behemoths: Twitter and LinkedIn. These networks are used by over nine in 10 organisations, regularly updated by more than seven in 10, and are expected to have the strongest growth in usage of any social media channels over the next 12 months.

    At the other end of the spectrum, still struggling to scrape together a B2B living, is Google+. Used and updated by significantly fewer organisations, Google+ is considered to be less effective at achieving marketing goals. In fact, despite its obvious SEO benefits, fewer than one per cent of organisations think it is the most effective social media platform.

    As Twitter and LinkedIn continue their charge for dominance, it’s easy to assume they will continue to overshadow competitor networks. But wait – who’s that poking their head over the parapet? There’s another contender on the block: the ambitious maverick, YouTube. Despite currently having lower usage than Twitter or LinkedIn, this channel is nevertheless striving for high growth (a net 76 per cent growth in usage anticipated over the next 12 months).  In a world where the biggest challenge facing marketers on social media is cutting through the noise (38 per cent), YouTube is offering the promise of differentiation through rich media. While the majority of organisations are using social media as a side-act to funnel clients into bigger pieces of content on their websites (85 per cent), this isn’t always working too well – fewer than one in three (31 per cent) describe this as very effective. Instead, social media needs to become the star performer in its own right. The most compelling social media posts are infographics (67 per cent believe they are very effective) and videos (66 per cent). It is on this differentiated footing that YouTube is preparing its ascent up the B2B social media ladder.

    So the next time you’re embarking on a content plan, take time to consider how you can repurpose material in new and interesting formats on social media, whether that be Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube. Pull out those killer stats in an infographic, or have a chat with your CEO on film. Let social media become the star.

    The full B2B Social Media report can be found here.

    Find out more about Circle Research’s B2B marcoms and advertising research here.

     

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  4. The benefits of marketing automation aren’t automatic

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    Predictions that 2015 is the year of marketing automation seem to be spot on.  The latest Benchmarking Report from B2B Marketing reveals that the vast majority of B2B marketers have either adopted an automation solution (43%) or plan to in the next 12 months (45%).  If you’re about to take the plunge there are some valuable lessons to be taken from those who have gone before.

    Continue reading

  5. Making ‘human-to-human’ marketing a reality

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    January is the month for predictions.  Flicking through the various forecasts of what 2015 holds for B2B, common themes emerge.  Some trends are at the start of the adoption curve, e.g. programmatic advertising.  Some are about taking a pretty well-established practice and doing it better, e.g. content.  And others are about going back to basics, e.g. influencer marketing.

    One widely touted trend in this latter category has a new label (‘human-to-human’ or ‘personalisation’), but is really just a marketing fundamental – recognising that each member of the target market is a person (representing a business) with their own unique behaviours, preferences and emotions.  By intimately understanding this individual they can be engaged with the right messages, at the right time, through the right channel.

    Continue reading

  6. It’s official – in B2B, content is king

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    It’s official.  Content is king.

    The latest B2B Marketing Benchmark report  produced in association with Circle Research reveals that 71% of B2B marketers consider content marketing to be a critical activity.  Last year less than half (43%) held this opinion.

    Continue reading

  7. B2B social media – a two horse race?

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    Social media is time consuming.  The average B2B marketing department spends 17% of their time on it. And if you believe in the wisdom of crowds (or self-fulfilling prophecies) then the latest B2B Social Media Benchmark report reveals where you’re likely to get the best return on this effort.

    It seems that social media, in B2B at least, is a two horse race.

    Continue reading

  8. B2B brands are dead. Long live B2B2C brands!

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    I’ve been having a quick look at the list of top 20 B2B brands compiled by Superbrands UK and published earlier in the week (see the full list of B2B superbrands here).  Three things strike me as being really interesting:

    Continue reading

  9. Branding is bullshit

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    “Branding is marketing bullshit. Only FMCG firms who need to build aspirations and desire worry about stuff like that. B2B is different. The relationship is with me – the sales guy – not the corporate brand. Even if it wasn’t, buyers are rational and put emotions to one side.

    And anyway our brand is just fine, the logo is great.”

    Sound familiar?

    As a marketer you no doubt recognise the value of a strong brand.  77% of the 100 B2B marketing leaders we recently surveyed for the B2B Leaders Forum went so far as to describe branding as critical to their company’s future growth.

    So you might be convinced, but how do you persuade others who see branding as ‘marketing bullshit’?
    Continue reading

  10. Which B2B brands do you most respect?

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    Which B2B brands do you most respect?

    We recently posed this question to 100 marketing leaders in B2B companies. Two brands emerged head and shoulders above the rest: IBM and Salesforce.

    My interest piqued, I asked Xabier Ormazabal (Salesforce’s head of UK marketing) and Paul Smith (VP EMEA Salesforce Marketing Cloud) what the secret of Salesforce’s success was.

    Continue reading