B2B: back to basics

B2B: back to basics
SHARE
THIS



 

B2B marketing is facing new challenges, along with the rest of us, to keep pace with the digital world. But, as Lucy Clark discovers, B2B needs to let its old habits die first

Once upon a time, a B2B marketer’s role was simple and straight-forward. Follow the linear funnel from ‘awareness’ to ‘consideration’, ‘decision’ and ‘purchase’.

But ‘once upon a time’ is exactly what that is: old-fashioned, out-dated and redundant. And it’s time for the B2B marketer to catch up – recognise that buyers are people too, and ditch those ancient processes.

Carlos Hidalgo, CEO and principal at B2B lead management firm Annuitas, says: “Most buyers spend about 75 to 80% of their time on the fence – they’re not sure if they should do something. The marketing funnel is ok from the back office, but in reality our buyers are all over the place, with very little attention span.

“Online research is the first step the buyer takes. It’s not until the fourth stage that buyers are picking up the phone and talking to the vendors. We have to figure out how to form the dialogue. Fundamentally, as organisations, we have to change.”

Human nature

Rob Morrison, creative director at OgilvyOne, believes B2B marketers are forgetting one crucial thing – that their customers are human too. “What we forget, as B2B marketers, is that our buyers are people,” he says. “They have lives outside of the job titles that we get so focused on. Our audience are people – people first and foremost.”

Morrison says the stereotypical B2B marketing images of the handshake, the suitcase and the headline ‘We mean business’ are bugbears of his.

He outlines five ways B2B marketers can look at their audiences as real people:

• People have egos. “If you can play to the ego, you’ve got a brilliant chance of getting them to do what you want them to do,” says Morrison.

• People prefer to be shown, so demonstrate the end benefit of what it is you are selling. Morrison referenced the Solar Annual Report, which was blank paper until you put it in sunlight.

• People like surprises.

• People crave understanding. “We need to understand what the pain points of our audience are,” argues Morrison. “If we can genuinely understand where they are hurting and what’s making their lives difficult, we stand a better chance of convincing them.”

• People love being engaged. “Take them on a journey and have them interact with the work, and continue that conversation,” adds Morrison.

Changing times

Hidalgo and Morrison were addressing ADMA’s (the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising) B2B Innovations Summit.

A 2013 study on B2B marketing conducted by marketing consulting agency Green Hat, in partnership with ADMA, was presented at the summit. It found that digital marketing and content marketing are growing as B2B priorities. Social media and mobile are also being allocated more time and money than they were in 2012.

The study found that 15% of B2B marketing budgets will be invested in content marketing, while 24% of the budget will be set aside for digital marketing, and 28% for traditional and offline marketing. The report forecasts that, in 2014, marketers will spend more on digital than traditional marketing.

Social media is now a key priority for B2B marketers, with 52% of respondents considering themselves creators or publishers of social media content (compared to 33% in 2012).

Grasping data

As much as it’s important across the marketing, media and advertising industries, data now plays a crucial role in B2B marketing.

Telstra’s business marketing director, Christian Tuerk, says: “If you don’t have a metric to measure consumer insights, it will be extremely difficult for you to do successful marketing and extremely difficult for your business to succeed in delivering to your customers.

“As marketers, we have to put the customer at the centre of everything we do. You have to have a way of understanding how your customers feel about you – that’s of absolute critical importance.”

Annuitas’ Hidalgo adds: “If we are going to be proficient in this modern world as modern marketers, we have to be driven by data and analytics. If we are not being diligent about our metrics, what are we basing our business on? If our CEOs went on gut feel, we’d all be out of jobs.”

Understanding data leads to understanding the customer, which leads to trust – and the Holy Grail that is advocacy.

“Trust is at the very pinnacle of what a marketer must aim to create,” argues Tuerk. “The highest form of trust is advocacy. Every business that’s providing products or services to a consumer, I believe, has already got advocacy in its consumer base. It’s important to measure that and talk about it. They are your success stories – they are absolute gold. If you can get enough of them, you can think about a project that helps you amplify advocacy.”

On the move

Green Hat’s study found that 62% of B2B marketers will do more, or start, the mobile-enablement of their website, email and online communications this year. Forty per cent already use mobile applications for B2B marketing, and a further 11% plan to start in 2013.

Rob Marston, founder of Zeus Unwired, says: “It’s undeniable that consumers are leading the way and businesses are playing catch-up. There are more people in the world with access to a mobile phone than there are to clean water or TV or internet or a PC or a bank account. In 2014, there will be more people accessing the internet from a mobile phone than there will be from a PC.”

That’s a wake-up call to B2B marketers, suggests Marston. He adds: “In the business market, smartphone usage for work is up to 91%, from 67% in 2010. This is particularly powerful in the B2B market.

“B2B mobile marketing is the elephant in the room. You all know about it and all have mobile phones. It’s too late to be early, but it’s not too late to start.”

This feature first appeared in B&T magazine on May 10. 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Why The “No” Campaign Is Just One Long Slippery Slope
  • Opinion

Why The “No” Campaign Is Just One Long Slippery Slope

Not exactly your typical marketing/media piece, but here playwright Ron Elisha (pictured below) explains the damage done by the “No” campaign and the now infamous skywriting on a recent blue-sky Sydney Sunday… My daughter is crying. It’s not that she’s fallen over and barked her knee. Nor is it the trauma of immunization, or the […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
QMS Goes West With ‘The Leeder’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Goes West With ‘The Leeder’

QMS Media continues to expand its digital portfolio across Western Australia, switching on an iconic billboard in the heart of Perth. Following the launch of two new digital billboards in the major WA regional centres of Bunbury and Kalgoorlie in recent months, ‘The Leeder’ further delivers on QMS’ digital expansion strategy out west. Positioned at […]

PR Firm Text100 Wins NetApp Account For APAC
  • Marketing

PR Firm Text100 Wins NetApp Account For APAC

Global marketing communications agency Text100 has announced it been appointed by data management company NetApp to drive its brand transformation effort across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Following local competitive pitches conducted across the region, Text100 has been appointed as the APAC lead agency out of Singapore, and as the local agency of record in Australia, […]

MFA Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

MFA Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

B&T once again donned the tux, applied the Brut, and primed the liver for last night's MFA Awards in Sydney.

Concrete Playground Launches Voice-activated Nightlife Guide With Google Assistant
  • Media
  • Technology

Concrete Playground Launches Voice-activated Nightlife Guide With Google Assistant

Digital publisher Concrete Playground has unveiled a new app that helps Millennials plan their night out using voice control – the first of its kind to become available in Australia. Concrete Playground’s Guide to Tonight now works with Google Assistant, making it available on a range of Google devices and helping people to decide what […]

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins

Independent agency Inlight has announced it has won the digital account for Benetas, a not-for-profit aged care provider in Victoria. Following a competitive pitch process, Inlight was chosen to handle Benetas’ new website design, build and ongoing optimisation. Richard Barker, marketing manager at Benetas, said: “We wanted an agency that could be our true digital […]

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Marketing

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

With almost 30 awards handed out, B&T predicts plenty of numb bottoms at last night's AMI Awards in Melbourne.

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits
  • Advertising

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits

Sure, B&T flashed the news of Andy Pontin quitting this morning. White lies aside, he's actually still got six months.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record
  • Advertising
  • Media

Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record

B&T's journo is reporting live from the annual Adobe Summit in Vegas. Although, "reporting" is somewhat of a stretch.

Opinion

by David Hovenden

David Hovenden
Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses
  • Marketing

Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses

The Australian College of Marketing is collaborating with the Digital Women’s Network to bring new short courses aimed to provide the latest skills across all aspects of the Digital landscape, kicking off in Melbourne and Sydney in 2018. Course content will focus around various topics related to the digital marketing landscape. All courses will run […]

Man working at office desk, looking at computer and scratching head
  • Technology

Where Are Digital & Tech Skills & Salaries Headed?

The rapid pace of technological change in the digital sector is seeing demand for those with the right skill sets outstrip availability, both locally and globally. The individuals who have kept their skills up to date are being well-rewarded financially. Now, Digital + Technology Collective’s expanded annual Skills and Salary Survey will put some numbers and context […]

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams

Disney and ESPN have formed an even closer bond, announcing a new alignment of the two properties through their media sales and partnerships teams. Instead of entering through three doors, Disney ESPN Media Sales & Partnerships will give media buyers and marketers a refined, singular point of entry for Disney, ESPN Digital and Maker. Nik […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends

Sydney-based adtech start-up Muzaara has announced a new strategic partnership with performance marketing platform Commission Factory. Together, Muzaara and Commision Factory are providing SMEs with a secret weapon to skyrocket their online brand visibility and effectively manage and maximise their online advertising campaigns. This partnership will allow both online marketing companies and their impressive roster […]

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard

Breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has joined forces with Shazam and digital agency Orchard to deliver a first-of-its-kind augmented reality (AR) Halloween Trick or Treat experience for families. The campaign, which leverages Shazam’s visual recognition platform and recently-launched AR platform, sees Kellogg’s pilot the replacement of physical gifts in cereal packs with a digital experience that […]

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency
  • Advertising

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency

Kraft Heinz today confirmed the appointment of Cummins&Partners as its new Creative agency after an extensive pitch process. They will be responsible for brand strategy and integrated creative across the expanding Kraft Heinz portfolio including Kraft, Heinz and Golden Circle. A Kraft Heinz spokesperson said: “After an exhaustive search involving a competitive pitch, we have made […]