From Company First to Customer First- How a Brand got its Swagger Back by Lee Carter and @patrickshort
Reliable Acorn 9:58 AM BMA Carolinas
TL;DR: You might think you're b2b, but you're really b2p (business-to-people).
This company had several things against it:
1. Numerous ownership changes
2. Revolving door of executive leadership
3. Global acquisitions created a blend of different companies
4. An engineering-led company that didn't place any importance on marketing.
5. A reluctant sales force. Their product line was a little intimidating.
In addition, like many b2b companies, most people never think of them. Their true audience is small and infrequent (corporations and government bodies).
What changed? A new executive leadership team including a CMO that believed in the power of branding and marketing.
Started by listening to the:
Voice of client
Got input from the client and the teammates in the company. Brought all these voices together. Who are we as company? What can we deliver?
Voice of customer
Used this to discover that customers needed an ally, advocate. In this case their customer needed the company to help them advocate for their products to the decision makers.
Voice of market
A competitive review revealed they were in a sea of sameness. No differentiators between the competitors.
Voice of brand
They didn't have much of a brand, to start with.
This lead them to a new brand platform and promise. Not just a maker of things but a provider of solutions. Created strategy with the data they discovered.
This hard to be sold internally, not just externally. Employees were getting bored or lost motivation. The new brand needed to help solve this problem.
The results of this campaign:
* Revitalized the company and sparked a new energy with teammates.
* Ignited greater collaboration between sales and marketing.
* Reinvigorated customers and a channel partner relationships.
* The client was acquired by another corporation (a goal of the campaign) because they had a brand to purchase.
Reliable Acorn 9:51 AM BMA Carolinas
TL;DR: Your are not a b2b company in a digital world; you are a digital company in the b2b space.
The average human attention span in 2015 was 11.7 seconds long. It has since dropped to 8.2 seconds. We use about 4.5 devices each day. We have a short attention span and our content is fragmented. The issue is not better marketing. The thing we need to solve is fragmentation.
When it comes to B2B marketing we have to remember that our audience is still a consumer. They still use Facebook, etc. They are still subject to this fragmentation phenomenon.
How do you think about marketing in today's digital world?
Are you a b2b company in a digital world or are you a digital business in a b2b setting? Most think they are the former but should consider themselves the latter. Don't just think about the marketing channels (digital being one). Use the data to form your business.
1. How do you extract insights about your b2b customers?
Your audience has the same challenges as a consumer. They want to be entertained, educated, etc.
Moments that matter in the lifecycle of a consumer:
I want to know something
I want to go somewhere
I want to do something
I want to buy something
Use technology, analytics and automation for your marketing and sales efforts. Most companies don't use all these, together, across all areas of the organization. That's our goal.
2. How do you layer on your customer's life-cycle with your analytics?
People are exploring, evaluating, and engaging with your company. They are doing all of these at the same time. As they progress through the buying funnel, the ratios of each will change but they will always be exploring, evaluating and engaging. Your content should reflect this fact.
Data driven marketing allows you to: acquire faster, keep them engaged longer and retain better.
All this comes together in your objectives. For each phase, you have different goals. When you execute your campaigns ask yourself if you can measure each goal using your analytics capabilities.
3. Redefining b2b loyalty and advocacy.
You can develop loyalty through rewards, for sure. You can do the same with recognition (of the customer's value) and engagement (to strengthen the relationship).
For instance, you can build loyalty through recognition and engagement by giving them more access to your company. Content can build loyalty as a reward and as a way to engage your customers. You can also give surprises and delight rewards and in terms of relationships. Loyalty is not just about rewards.
My thoughts: you do this implicitly (giving your favorite clients access by answering the phone whenever they call or wishing them a happy birthday). We should make this an explicit part of the process to reach our customers.
Loyalty is part of your entire engagement, not just at the end.
1. Use precise customer insights
2. Re-imagine b2b customer loyalty
3. Use CX that is consistent and reinforcing
4. Orchestrate customer communications