Unexpected - Issue 12 - Storytelling in B2B Marketing
ISSUE 12 - Storytelling in B2B Marketing
Cos Mingides, Client Services Director, BBN UK
Ho! Ho! Ho! Hello kids! This time of year sees the celebration of the most famous story in the world...
...that many say is the greatest story ever told. So, as Christmas approaches, it’s quite apt that our final BBN Newsletter of 2016 is based around the subject of storytelling in B2B.
Enjoy reading – we welcome discussions around any of these topics and would love your feedback.
Emotional connection through storytelling is a very well-trodden topic that has been documented extensively in B2B marketing, particularly over the last few years. It is not a tactic, a trend or an approach. It is simply a way of life for us. Why? Because we are in the communications business and stories are how we communicate. But, as with everything in life, some stories are better than others and, in B2B, we have a (somewhat justified) reputation for being the ugly cousins to our B2C counterparts.
The problem is, whilst the science and understanding behind storytelling is clearly understood and embraced in B2B, the truth is that many marketers do not fully grasp how it can be applied to their business. After all, how do you tell an emotional story about a server rack or some PLM software?
Well, in this edition of Unexpected we have a Grand Prix award-winning case study that demonstrates how a clever metaphor told an engaging story around some of the most 'boring' technology in the market and another which demonstrates how building marketing into a product/service can embed the story all the way through to the product experience itself.
"Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell"
– Seth Godin
We also discuss how Millennials are changing the way we tell our stories and how powerful storytelling was the deciding factor in two of the most shocking political results in recent history. Couple that with Bruce Barton (BBDO) claiming that Jesus was the ultimate ad man who plucked 12 simple men from obscurity to build a world-conquering organisation, and I hope we’ve put together a relatively interesting newsletter for you to read.
Wishing you and your families a very happy festive period! :-) - Cos Mingides, BBN UK
What's new at BBN
Catch up on what's new at BBN
Agency Visit to Brazil
In September, BBN's Executive Director visited our newest Agency partner in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to conduct their BBN Induction.
Having recruited a new agency partner BBN needs to ensure the agency management and key team members are fully inducted and aware of all the benefits including processes, tools and initiatives available to them to successfully become an active and prosperous partner of the organisation, achieve optimum ROI for themselves and ultimately play a meaningful role in the development and success of BBN.
The teams in Brazil have demonstrated a keen interest to engage and contribute as much as they can and have already joined two of BBN's task teams.
View some photos from Annette's Visit here.
Our annual BBN event focusing on learning and development took place in October near Madrid, Spain. More than 35 participants spent 3-5 days honing their B2B marketing skills and sharing their expereinces. Read more about this event later in this newsletter.
The Golden Bees Awards
The BBN Awards have been created to recognise all the amazing talent and great work that BBN is proud of. See all our winners listed at the end of this Newsletter.
BBN Photo Galleries
Ever wondered what goes on at a BBN event? You can view our photo galleries from BBN events and agency visits on our Flickr page. We also include a selection of these on our FaceBook page.
BBN Singapore Case Study featured by SharpSpring
After implementing SharpSpring for its clients, BBN Singapore experienced an average increase in per-client revenue of 20-30% from each client using the platform. By using SharpSpring to manage its clients’ “content hubs,” the agency made itself an integral part of its clients’ marketing processes and has been able to get more repeat projects as a result.
Once the agency had built out successful campaigns for a few clients, it was able to transform those successes into case studies and portfolios, which helped it easily win over new clients.
Read the full Case Study here
"After implementing SharpSpring for its clients, BBN Singapore experienced an average increase in per-client revenue of 20-30% from each client using the platform."
– BBN Singapore
BBN on B2B: The Blog
We upload a new blog post every week and all of the content is generated by our agencies and partners. In the last few months we’ve written on topics like
- content marketing
- account based marketing
- brand reputation
- customer experience.
Read the BBN Blog
Meet BBN Brazil
Approach joined BBN at the beginning of 2016 and have already participated in many BBN activities.
As well as having access to new tools, processes and the best professionals in B2B marketing and communications, we have established a great partnership with Fifth Ring and have supported them with their energy clients in Brazil.
Leading projects in Latin America is part of Approach's trajectory and representing BBN within Latin America has been challenging but extremely positive and rewarding.
An interview with Beth Garcia
Beth Garcia is SEO and founder of Approach, with offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
1) Some personal background (career development)?
Beth Garcia founded Approach in 1999. She is responsible for Approach’s General Management and identifying national and international partners, leads luxury brand projects and keeps the boutique service philosophy alive in a big agency.
Beth graduated in Journalism from the Université d’Assas in Paris, where she also earned a Master’s Degree in Information and Communication Science. She worked as a contributor for Bloch Editores in the French capital and in 1993, in Brazil, joined the reporting team of Jornal do Brasil.
2) Give us some background on Approach’s journey since joining BBN?
We joined BBN seven months ago. During this time, we have studied BBN processes in detail and have engaged in many activities. We have produced articles for the BBN website and contributed to BBN's Twitter feed.
However, the most important experience as BBN Brazil, was our participation in the BBN Academy in Spain this year. We had the opportunity to learn creative tools and methodologies along side some of our industry's best professionals. Our team exchanged ideas with other BBN agencies and it helped us comprehend the scope of responsibility to represent BBN in Latin America.
Before BBN Academy, Annette Fernandes-Poyser, BBN's executive director, visited Approach’s team in our two office locations. The meetings were essential to present our agency to Annette (BBN) and discover all the materials and opportunities available to us.
Approach have already worked for Sandvik Materials Technology in partnership with Fifth Ring during Rio Oil and Gas, an important event for the sector. The partnership was very positive, rewarding and experience building.
3) What attracts you about BBN and how have you benefited so far?
BBN represents the opportunity to learn new tools, skills, methods and processes. With BBN's help, we can offer our clients and prospects a wider expertise in B2B, opening doors in new markets and sharing experiences and alternative ways to facing communicational challenges. Furthermore, the BBN brand helps us to convince multinationals of the benefits of working with us.
to watch in 2017
Three major B2B Marketing Trends to watch in 2017
Festive tree lights are gradually illuminating our houses and streets, so time to throw some light on the marketing trends for 2017. On which branches should you, as a company, be focusing? What do your clients have on their wish lists? And how can you bag a prospect? We present three interesting ideas.
Customer experience and centricity
We are living in the era of the customer. In 2017, the customer experience (CX) will be the decisive factor in brand choice rather than price or the product itself. Customers want targeted communication that caters to their personal wishes and requirements. That influences the way you, the company, market, sell and deliver services and products. The focus is often on the supply, while the client should actually be the central point of all communication. This is known as customer centricity. What is the added value of your services and products for them? Why promote that, in particular? And where, when and through which channels would they prefer to receive that information? This also applies to the B2B market, where the emphasis is increasingly on account-based marketing: specific campaigns for each account. In 2017, personas and customer journeys should form the basis of your marketing plan.
Content, content, content
Consumers are thirsty for quality content – particularly user-generated content (UGC) in which an authentic, plausible and convincing story is told. People are more likely to buy a product after reading a good blog about it and would rather hear something about your company from a customer than from an advertisement. Almost as important as the content itself is the underlying data: what works and what doesn't and how do you gear your message to that? Base your marketing on these data analyses and work systematically on generating more leads and quality. This trend is also advancing in a B2B environment. Video and visual storytelling – from short corporate films, testimonials and video blogs to mini documentaries, virtual reality and live streaming – replace dull company presentations and constitute an important parameter in the ranking of your website. Short video messages are also increasingly being shared on channels such as LinkedIn.
Silos are disappearing from the scene
This trend is developing slowly but surely: The disappearance of the islands within a company in which everyone does his own thing. With growing digitalisation, departments are obliged to work together and share data and platforms. Getting Sales, Marketing, IT, HR, Client Services and other departments to really work together, though, demands strong vision and a concrete plan from top management – which is where the stumbling block often lies. Concrete tips? Let marketing staff attend sales meetings with customers, put Sales and Marketing in the same office space and make sure that they share customer details and insight. The more kindred spirits, the better the results. Focus everything on the customer and the circle is complete.
The science of story telling
Emotional brand engagement and memorability
This is the greatest story ever told
Before we could even write, we humans were painting scenes on the cave walls at Lascaux, or listening to Greek bards sing about the exploits of heroes and gods. Wherever we have gathered together, we’ve told stories – true, embellished or fictional. Storytelling seems to be embedded in our DNA.
In this article Richard Parsons (BBN UK) explores the history and science behind story telling and concludes that we need to be more creative!
In Homer’s Iliad, warriors often fantasise about their heroic deeds being celebrated in song. It was their only hope against oblivion; the ignominy of being forgotten. Without some kind of record, how could we ever honour the dead or maintain links with the past? How could we mark the fact that we ever lived?
Stories have played many roles throughout history. On a basic level, they were social entertainment – a way of bonding the tribe.
They celebrated brave deeds to stiffen the sinews of young men before going into battle. They kept up morale in times of hardship. They warned children about the dangers of straying from the path or talking to strangers. They tried to make sense of the inexplicable – death, disease, natural disaster. They gave us hope that we could change things – a vision of a better life. They helped keep us on the straight and narrow with their codified morals. They made us thankful for what we have by showing us what life could be like otherwise. They helped us confront our fears and neutralise them. They made us laugh and cry.
As a species we like to shape facts into a narrative. We are always seeking to make patterns from randomness; to seek sense in chaos. We often edit facts in or out to change the narrative of our lives to suit our concept of ourselves. Historians often convince themselves that they are being objective, when we know that all writing is edited, whether consciously or subconsciously.
We are forever imagining, writing and telling stories, whether in the pub, at work or online. The rapid rise of self-publishing is testament to this. We’re even collaborating on stories now in this “we-think” age. Programme makers and publishers are experimenting with interactive formats. You might say storytelling is mankind’s defining characteristic. Stories inform our personality and personality is what grabs people on an emotional level. Without it, you’d come across as a bit of a psychopath.
So, if storytelling is so innate a seven-year-old gets it, why do B2B marketers get things the wrong way round?
If you don’t work out your brand story first, you tend to go to the pointy end of the sales funnel too soon. In other words, you go for the sale and the “20% off” kind of language before you’ve even established a relationship.
I often see campaigns starting with incentive-led marketing - trying to get people to respond - before the potential customers have even realised they had a problem needing a solution. In the first instance, we should be talking to people to find out what the problem is – if any.
There’s little point wasting cash extolling the virtues of your brand over another brand, if people don’t even know what it is you both do or why they might need you. We might be better trying to raise category awareness first.
Ah, but in B2B we don’t usually have the budget for all that sort of stuff, Richard, I hear you cry. And I would agree that large-scale awareness ad campaigns are usually beyond the dreams of avarice. But I would argue that you don’t need to reach everyone to raise awareness; you just need to reach the right person.
The greatest story ever told?
Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s 1965 film, ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ brought the life of Jesus to the big screen in glorious Technicolor. Leaving aside the amusing fact that Max von Sydow played Jesus before going on to play some of the greatest super-villains in cinema – what’s the opposite of typecasting? – The Greatest Story neatly illustrates the point of this article.
Brand durability depends on having a good story to tell that people will want to share. The Catholic Church was probably the greatest brand story ever. How had the church managed to keep going and expanding for 2000 years? I’d argue, by telling a cracking good story and reinforcing its messages though myth, ritual and symbolism.
Bruce Barton, one of the founders of US advertising pioneer Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn (BBDO), wrote a modern biography of Jesus in 1924 called: ‘The Man Nobody Knows’. It became the best-selling book in the US for two years running.
It argued – shockingly at the time - that Jesus was the ultimate ad man who plucked 12 simple men from obscurity and built what became a world-conquering organisation. Barton advised companies to identify the “souls” of their businesses and have faith in the companies’ brand values so that they could preach with conviction.
Christianity is the best meme every shared. The disciples were told to go out and spread the “good news”, and people have been sharing the story ever since.
But it probably wouldn’t have been so successful if it had adopted US-style, product-driven sales tactics: “Judaism demands 10% of all your money; Catholicism only charges 5%!” That story runs out of steam pretty quickly (and fundamentally misses the point). Everything we do in marketing should be contributing to this brand story. We should always ask: “Is it remarkable? Is it worth sharing?”
Heart vs head – So, how did we get here?
Since the beginning of time it seems advertising has been split into two camps: the salesmen versus the artists.
"If the history of advertising has one overriding theme, it is this constant tug of war between two schools: the creatives, who believe art inspires people to buy; and the pragmatists, who sell based on facts and come armed with reams of research"
– Mark Tungate in his book, Ad Land."
Above I attacked the ‘US-style, product-driven approach to communications. The reason for this is I believe there is a split between US and European mentalities, but of course, it’s not quite as simple as that.
Broadly speaking, US advertising grew from the back of a horse-drawn cart schlepping from town to town, driven by a silver-tongued fly-by-night selling miracle cures to the gullible. It was hard sell all the way, product-driven and manipulative. The messaging was brash and blunt.
In 1869, George P. Rowell was already publishing the first media directory, giving ad space information on 5,000 newspapers to prospective advertisers across the continent. Advertising was “dramatized salesmanship”, aided by snappy copywriting and backed up rigorous market research pioneered by the likes of J Walter Thompson.
There didn’t seem to be much room, or need, for fancy-pants creativity in an era when products seemed to sell themselves. Rosser Reeves, of the Ted Bates Agency, coined the phrase ‘Unique Selling Proposition’, reflecting his belief in the no-frills school of advertising. Creativity merely detracted from the core message, he believed.
With the launch of radio, and in the absence of any public service broadcasting, commercials were an accepted reality right from the start. Dramas sponsored by soap powder companies became long-running ‘soap operas’. Ads were all about selling products.
Sophistication was added in the form of increasingly “scientific” market research – Ernest Dichter’s “depth interviews” in the late 1930s, for example, and the study of psychological motivation. If agencies could only find the key to unlock the consumer’s brain, went the argument, manufacturers could sell them anything.
Young & Rubicam incorporated George Gallup’s market research into its operation with the mantra “ideas founded on facts.” Even the British David Ogilvy, who infiltrated the US scene, thought advertising was simply a salesman wearing a fancy cravat.
In Europe, by contrast, advertising had a much closer connection to art. Colourful, highly-stylised posters by artists such as Cheret, Toulouse-Lautrec and Mucha advertised Parisian nightspots and plays starring Sarah Bernhardt.
Respected portraitist Millais painted a boy blowing bubbles and allowed the image to be used to sell Pears Soap – the first product also to win celebrity endorsement in the form of Lillie Langtry, mistress of the Prince of Wales, in the 1860s.
Art helped consumer brands lodge in the public imagination, from Cadbury’s to Pears, Bisto to Johnnie Walker Black Label. In short, advertising was more embedded in culture and more associated with creativity – written and artistic – than in the US.
Maybe it was the UK’s tradition of ad-free public service broadcasting (the BBC was founded in 1922) that made us less susceptible to the full-on frontal sales assault. The commercial channel, ITV, was for a long time seen as something rather grubby among the middle classes. The British found selling rather tawdry. A more subtle approach was required.
As Martin Boase, of Boase Massimi Pollitt summarised: “American advertising is traditionally overt, but the British don’t like being sold to.”
So, I’d like to ask you this. Does most B2B advertising take its lead from the European or American school of thinking? Does globalisation necessarily lead to a salesmen’s approach to marketing versus the artists? Comments welcome.
Have some respect: the US creative revolution
So, I’d argue that European advertising hales from artistic roots and is all the better for it.
But, before my state-side cousins take offence, I must concede it was Bill Bernbach of Doyle Dale Bernbach who unleashed a new era of creativity in advertising in 1950s America.
“Let us blaze new trails”, he wrote. “Let us prove to the world that good taste, good art, good writing can be good selling.”
He believed that hard sell, pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap advertising made for dullness and repetition. DDB introduced knowing humour and artistic sophistication from the pen of graphic designer Paul Rand. Consumers weren’t sheep to be brainwashed, but human beings to be engaged and entertained. Here was the beginning of treating your audience with a little respect – the days of con were gone.
DDB’s 1959 ‘Think small’ campaign for Volkswagen is now seen as a classic because it completely overturned the American aesthetic for extravagance and overstatement. These ads were self-deprecating, humorous and visually creative.
I believe, although Bernbach was a US citizen, his thinking was very European in origination.
My point, whether US or European born, is that B2B marketing should be like this, too. For far too long, we have been side-tracked by old-style pragmatic thinking. A mechanistic, risk-free approach to marketing leads to a cul-de-sac of dullness.
B2B marketing is not like Newtonian physics. You can’t just pull a lever, apply certain rules, then Bob’s your uncle, out pops the perfect B2B ad. It’s not like painting-by-numbers. Humans are complex, so there’s no reason why B2B marketing shouldn’t be complex.
Let’s start a B2B creative revolution!
It's how you tell it
A recipe for richer experience and better results
In the same way that chocolate is more than food, stories are more than words.
Like many stories we celebrate at this time of year - Diwali, Nativity, Hannukkah - the storytelling itself adds to the overall experience, deepening our engagement with the content.
Here Turtl explore how digital tools can deliver more powerful Stories.
By Mark Sallows, Turtl
The content experience
We recently found this comparison between content and chocolate, deliciously capturing the essence of great stories.
"No matter what kind you like, no matter how you eat it, you know there's more to every piece than simple taste. Your enjoyment is drawn from an entire web of connections and sensations, the sum of which creates an experience. Your content is the same way, an experience."
So even when we know we have a story that people want to hear, we need to make sure we tell that story well.
And to do this we first must understand reading as an experience.
Readers prefer content ‘chunked’ with added ingredients like powerful images, word tasters, sample paragraphs. Presentation should directly play to two different modes of consuming content: Surf, when we rapidly sample images and tasters; and Immerse, where we slow down, indulge and enjoy.
Sadly, most digital content is structured to help readers mine for information as if it were a lump of coal (think how we navigate most websites) rather than tell a story.
Yet with the right tools, digital adds to these essential 'offline' reading ingredients and creates a truly enticing experience.
The right recipe for structure
We are not all genius cooks or content creators - but like a failsafe recipe, a smart platform takes the guesswork out of great content structure. It helps you deliver engaging, agile and interactive content, adding colour and life to stories
Butter, sugar eggs, flour and currants are all 'tasty': they make something more than tasty when put together in a Christmas cake. Likewise, when good content ingredients are structured against the right reading recipe, we make much tastier stories.
Serving and sharing
Content serving needs to be right for the occasion too, so that stories are easy to digest in the format - channel or device - that consumers choose, whenever and wherever they may be. And if we're really clever, we will make what we have made easy to share. There's no greater compliment than someone recommending what we have created by sharing it socially with their friends. so we should be making this as easy as possible.
Readers can tell you what they want: page-by-page analytics are the equivalent of seeing whether the plate is bare or has leftovers (unconsumed content). Deep content analytics prove whether people like what you made, or not. Once we can understand real as opposed to stated preferences, it becomes easier to make the right content cake for the audience.
Surf and Immerse reading experiences deliver 3 - 5 times more engagement and conversion, driving lead generation and ROI
Source: Turtl/Xchanging Case Study
More satisfying results
There’s profit in enticement - as every chocolate manufacturer confirms!
By structuring more appetising reading experiences, we capture people's attention for longer. We know that the right reading experience means customers spend up to 3-5 times longer feasting on content. When we create interaction too, then we create active engagement. Both of these - attention and interaction - create a stronger relationship with the story being told and the action that might result from it. Lead capture events in content capitalise that, and even socially shared content can demonstrate real ROI.
Now that’s even better than candy from Santa!
Bon appetit and a happy 2017!
From the team at Turtl
Making an elephant dance for Micro Focus
Critics have been saying the mainframe is a dying business for years. Yet still, 85% of the world’s mission critical business applications run on COBOL and the mainframe.
Micro Focus, a global software company that bridges the coding gap between old and new IT systems, approached True to help address the mainframe’s reputation in the marketplace.
It’s not all rosy though. At the time of our campaign, the mainframe was the elephant in the room: that big “thing” nobody really wanted to talk about. Mainframe customers believed they were stuck with its shortcomings – high running costs, and a lack of innovation and exibility. It was taking months or years to modernise applications.
- Change perceptions of the mainframe – from inflexible to agile
- Launch Micro Focus Mainframe Solutions, build awareness of the different offerings
- Drive traffic to the microsite and deliver engaging content to the target audience
True decided it was necessary to turn the market’s perception of mainframe agility on its head – literally. We created a series of ‘agile’ mainframe animals: an elephant on its trunk, a gorilla sprinting and a rhino leaping. Visually, we quickly communicated that the mainframe was now a different beast altogether.
Our message and strapline was ‘there’s a future in the present’. We explained across the funnel how Micro Focus could free enterprises from the traditional bondage of mainframe development and release new value.
- CIOs of IBM’s largest mainframe customers
- Senior C’ suite – CEO, CFO • Application IT Management • Applications Developers
- Micro Focus’s global sales teams
- The executive board, nancial analysts, and shareholders
- All Micro Focus employees via integrated HR and facilities management programmes
The campaign ran worldwide and included video, press and online advertising, direct mail, email and a 24ft life size elephant sculpture – over 50 assets in 8 languages.
Following a two year decline in sales, the sales pipeline for Micro Focus’s mainframe products grew 500% during the rst six months of the Elephant in the Room campaign. ‘Trampolining elephant’ became Micro Focus’s most viewed video ever within 3 months.
The campaign won the Grand Prix, Best Use of Creative and runner up for Best Product Launch at B2B Awards in the UK. It was also voted Best Multichannel Demand Generation Campaign at both the Global Ace Awards and B2 Awards (where the campaign also won an Excellence Award).
Below is a video of the 24ft elephant sculpture being built in the Micro Focus headquarters
The impact of Millennials on brand storytelling: The shift in how stories and information are being consumed
Much is asked about the profile of Millennials – also known as Generation Y. Who are the they? What is the exact age group? Which profile defines them? The most expressive feature of this generation is its digital mindset, along with a demanding and authentic attitude.
By Giovanna Nicoleto, BBN Brazil
The Millennials were born in the mid-80s, along with the first technological advances of the internet that would reshape society in the 90s. In other words, they are digital natives, they are ruled by and live accordingly to this environment.
Their consumption patterns also fit the description, as they are heavy users of social networks and understand consumer choices as a way of defining and expressing their personality.
" By the end of 2016 Millennials will represent 44% of Brazil's economically active population, representing R$ 268 billion in the country’s economy (over 72 million euros)."
– Consulting firm Booz Allen
The pursuit of authenticity drives them to look for exclusive products and to keep up with the latest trends. Moreover, the power of influence they have over the generations that came before and after them make the Millennials an interesting (and challenging) target audience to reach.
According to a survey conducted in 2014 by the American companies Future Foundation Millennials Study, SDL Millennials Study and Millennial Central Study, about 90% of Generation Y population are present in social networks, 66% being followers of brands.
Not only it is crucial to adapt brand communication to social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, but also to invest consistently in e-commerce or lead conversion strategies. The marketers are not the only ones who would like to know more about who they are doing business with, consumers like that too and the internet allows people to get to know who is behind the product.
Another remarkable feature of the Millennial generation is that they are great storytellers. They are constantly sharing experiences and exposing their daily lives in a very natural and intimate way.
Yet another cue for companies to invest in original and attractive communication strategies, exploring storytelling and visual appeal to replace traditional ads that are increasingly being ignored by users. The idea is to attract the consumer with relevant content, either entertaining or useful, in order to create empathy with the brand and genuine interest in getting to know what the company has to offer.
Brands like Apple realized this trend and started to put their products into stories to inspire empathy. As an example, we have the commercial Apple Cookie Monster, in which a character from the children's program Sesame Street shows, through a humorous scenario, how to update the Siri application. It creates the idea of belonging, in which Millennials see themselves using a product because they recognize their behaviour, style and history in it.
Big Spenders and decision makers
A study by Goldman Sachs points out that Millennials spend approximately $ 600 billion annually on services and products, meaning they are willing to pay for what they believe to be good.
On the other hand, their trust is not easily earned. Companies need to be reliable and deliver great service to consolidate themselves in the digital world with a good reputation. That's why marketing for Millennials needs to be focused on values, transparency, relevance and, above all, engagement.
Most patterns seen in the new consumer behaviour can also be seen in the business environment. The Millennial generation is now reaching managing positions and their behaviour is shaping a new business-to-business model (B2B). As they become the decision makers, they show a kind of mindset much different from the Baby Boomers.
The way they consume directly affects how they sell and trade. This means that as executives or entrepreneurs they also expect relevant information, user-friendly platforms, promptness, efficiency, authenticity and trust. Statistics from IBM show that Millennials act as consumers in decision-making: 69% prefer to involve suppliers during the sales cycle using email, 36% weigh opinions of friends and family before deciding to buy B2B products or services and 69% post a positive comment on social media if they are happy customers.
Making a difference and changing the world
Millennials seek meaning and satisfaction in what they do, unlike the previous generation that tended to focus on results. Millennials yearn for a friendly advice, people who are not only interested in getting through office hours, but making a difference in their industry, embracing challenges and collaborating with their colleagues.
This does not mean that young adults do not have ambitions, but they try to align a range of resources to enable the growth of the business according to the dreams of those who build it. That is why the business model started to integrate digital platforms in order to facilitate and encourage the company's employees to be part of the whole.
In short, B2B owners, suppliers and marketers will still face many challenges to adapt to the Millennials scenario. They need to think about selling as one thinks about buying. Without demagogy, false advertising or vain promises, they have to offer not only products or services but also brand values.
Adaptation will not be easy. Meeting all these demands is an arduous task, but companies that embrace the Millennial mindset will keep their business competitive and will certainly stand out from the players who are still stuck in the last century.
The power of story telling
What can we learn from Brexit and Trump?
Political campaigns are very much like B2B campaigns.
What? I hear you say. The reason for that assertion is that they, like a lot of what we do, are wrapped up in very rational arguments.
By Cos Mingides, Client Services Director, BBN UK
2016 will live long in my memory because of two political results that shocked the world. The actual effect of these results remains to be seen but what is clear is that Brexit and Trump have certainly divided very strong opinions. Living in London and witnessing Brexit first hand was like nothing I had seen before. People that do not regularly engage in political discussions of any kind started having very strong political opinions, sharing news stories on social media and going as far as arguing with their close friends. I heard numerous stories of families falling out over the dinner table also.
The ‘Remainers’ felt particularly aggrieved as their arguments tended to be more fact-based and rational vs (in most cases) much more emotional arguments from ‘Leavers’.
Despite these heated discussions, not many people, even the ‘Leavers’, actually believed that the Leave campaign would win. And if, like me, you watched Brexit and the US elections unfold with complete disbelief (and some sadness on my part), then you may well be questioning what is happening in the world. Personally, what really saddened me was facing the hard facts that Brexit and the victory of Donald Trump equate to a very large percentage of people choosing the ‘anti-establishment’, with a distinct and scary disregard for multiculturalism and an underlying desire for change.
So what can us marketers learn from the Brexit and Trump campaigns? Is there something useful we can take from it? Well, what is clear from both is that emotion beats rational arguments in most head-to-head campaigns.
A better political campaign could have swung 2% towards Remain, I'm certain of it (I'm not, but it's an interesting theory to consider for us marketers).
Consider this. Was the word ‘remain’ itself the ultimate problem? It's inactive, it signifies no change, staying where you are, decaying. When people vote, they vote to affect something. They vote for change. At our agency, we put all our strategic planning efforts into nailing down a single-minded proposition. In an ideal world that would boil down to a single verb. And in this case ‘remain’ is quite possibly the worst verb that David Cameron’s campaign team could have chosen.
I fully understand that the word ‘remain’ had to be included somewhere in the campaign to connect it to the wording on the ballot paper ('I vote for the UK to remain in the EU') but the story of the Remain campaign needed to lead with positive foundations. Surely this would have been enough to win over 2% of the population...
Vote Leave: Take control
The Vote Leave campaign on the other hand was extremely effective. It won despite the Remain campaign being odds-on favourite to win even up to the very last minute on the evening of the polls. It had the backing of then Prime Minister David Cameron, most MPs, very influential and respected ‘business celebrities’ such as Richard Branson (who went as far as writing an open letter of plea in several British newspapers) and a range of global leaders including then US President Barack Obama.
What the Vote Leave campaign did so well was leverage negative emotions of voters around issues of immigration, unemployment and the struggles of the UK’s national treasure, the NHS (National Health Service). They campaigned using fear (the ‘why’ to their story) with talks of EU immigrants raping and murdering British citizens and that we no longer had control over our own legal system.
They promised to plough £350m a week into the NHS without a rational explanation as to how that would realistically be achieved. Just one of their many untenable promises, alongside the irrational xenophobic arguments and economic ambiguities that lead to their triumph. But regardless of their many contradictions, they presented a strong and compelling ‘how’ element to their story that ultimately meant that they played the emotional advantages far better than the Remain campaign did. In marketing speak, they identified their audience, understood how to engage them and told them exactly what they wanted to hear.
Make America Great Again!
Back on U.S. soil, Donald Trump also played on fear and anger and vowed to return the USA to its mid-century industrial past. He vowed to ban immigrants on the basis of their religion and said he would build a wall between the USA and Mexico to keep out the ‘bad hombres’….and the rest… you know the story! Despite strong rational arguments for immigration and the positive impact it has had on America, the dangers of restrictive trade policies and arguments for increasing gun control, Trump’s campaign played to emotions that won over facts.
Again, it is another clear proof-point for us marketers that, when choosing between emotion and "reason" to construct our campaigns, emotion is far more persuasive in getting an audience to engage with, trust and believe in a brand that they are going to buy from.
Both campaigns prove that a good story is more important than factual and rational analysis.
It shows us that people will vote for a story that they want to be true, regardless of the credibility of it – and this can overwhelm rational arguments.
As marketers, our stories need to be authentic, based on real insights and situations that our audience find themselves in on a day-to-day basis. Start with their needs and problems (‘the why’), not what we think is the answer for them based on the benefits of the product/service we are trying to sell. The narrative should lead from the ‘why’ to a compelling ‘how’ that again relates to them, not what we are trying to sell. Essentially we have to tell the story of how we can make their lives better, but still acknowledge their fears.
By starting with the audience instead of the product and making them the centre of your story, it will lead to a truly emotional connection and improved brand engagement.
I’ll leave you with outtakes from Michael Margolis a TEDx talks presenter who, after years of consulting with companies such as Bloomberg, SAP, Greenpeace, and others, developed 15 storytelling maxims:
- People don’t buy a product, service, or idea; they buy the story that’s attached to it.
- Your brand is far more than a name, a logo, or a tagline; it’s the stories that people tell about you.
- Every story exists in relationship to everything else around it.
- We all want to look back at the story of our lives and know that it made sense.
- The stories we tell literally make our world.
"The power of your story grows exponentially as more and more people accept your story as their truth."
– Michael Margolis - TEDx talks presenter
- If you want to learn about a culture, listen to the stories. If you want to change a culture, change the stories.
- Leaders lead by telling stories that give others permission to lead, not follow.
- Storytelling is our most basic technology, turbocharged through 21st century innovation.
- We all seek to experience life in heroic terms.
- Nobody likes a change story, especially a change story we have no control over. What people really need is a continuity story. (Farage and Trump may argue against this one!)
- Our fate as a species is contained in the story. Both tyranny and freedom are constructed through well-supported narratives.
- Storytelling empowers because it escapes the need to claim absolute truth.
- Reinvention is the new storyline.
- Storytelling is like fortune-telling. The act of choosing a certain story determines the probability of the outcomes.
Momentum for EY
Ernst & Young (trading as EY) is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, UK.
It has 212,000 employees in over 700 offices around 150 countries in the world. It provides assurance (including financial audit), tax, consulting and advisory services.
Many companies have come out of the recent financial crisis wanting to make big changes to their business which has presented a big opportunity for the Big Four as it combines advice and implementation which plays well to their strengths.
EY has placed a big focus on repositioning their brand to reflect a shift in focus in recent years, transitioning away from the traditional role of ‘service providers’ to being considered ‘growth consultants’.
The decision to bring to market a ‘Client Experience Centre’ supports this shift further. The Centre is a place that would enable them to work with clients in truly unique ways to tackle and solve big challenges and explore solutions to big strategic questions. Questions on how to address megatrends impacting their clients in the market place or how to innovate to grow, protect, or optimise their business.
From showcasing new ways of working in the digital world to bringing the future to life in a multimedia environment that appeals to all the senses, the Centre promised to be like no other environment anywhere. Moreover, this unique way of working would build strong relationships to turn common working groups into high performing teams.
Creating differentiation and intrigue through the brand name:
True had to ensure there could be no opportunity for preconceptions about the space. It could not sound like it is ‘just another workshop’ space. It had to be seen as a space like no other. If you have not experienced it, you won’t understand its power. The name Momentum was intended to create intrigue around the experience and what can be achieved there. It positions the experience in the space as being the catalyst for accelerated thinking. The force that keeps an event developing after it has started.
The big long idea:
Momentum reinvents the way EY’s clients both define problems and answer big questions, by bringing key people together and immersing them in their biggest strategic issues to gain new perspectives, generate intent and creatively solve. It achieves this by combining the key elements needed to get to answers which ultimately inspire and bring to life the most important element of all – the human element.
We considered these various elements that come to play during sessions within the Centre and pulled them together to create our own ‘periodic table of business success’. You will notice the table runs from left to right with human related elements on the left-hand side, elements that Momentum provides in the middle section and the outcomes that you leave Momentum with in the right-hand section.
By simplifying the outputs that Momentum delivers in this way, EY were able to align their sessions to our periodic table, with the elements being pulled into designs of the workshop session. Facilitators and strategists at EY now have a flexible communication platform to structure their sessions around.
The ‘elements’ concept has broken down the features and benefits of Momentum in a way that is easy to digest and communicate. And alignment to the sessions means the marketing is fully baked into the product, carrying the brand platform all the way through from marketing communications to the customer experience itself.
From a visual standpoint, the creative concept uses powerful imagery of natural phenomena, where chemical elements combine most impressively, to create an association with the outcomes that occur within Momentum.
Extension of the concept:
Access to Momentum can be gained via one of two corridors that lead into the space. Each corridor contains several illuminated cabinets built into the walls (35 in total) with each one featuring a different element of Momentum. Each cabinet required a unique conceptual installation to represent an individual element.
Since opening its doors, Momentum has operated at 87% capacity, exceeding targets by 74% and seeing an 8:1 ROMI.
"A truly ‘big idea’ transcends marketing communications and becomes intrinsically entwined in the product, brand or service offering itself. It takes real intuition to deliver a creative platform like the one True developed for Momentum, where the idea has directly influenced how we structure the design of the sessions and the day-to-day outputs that we deliver through Momentum "
– Mark Cullen, Director Brand, Marketing & Communications EY FS
Connection to business success
What the research reveals about story telling
There is a commonly held belief that businesses are too rational and practical to benefit from abstract tales.
A study involving BBN UK reveals the connections between storytelling and B2B business success.
As we heard Richard Parsons recite earlier, storytelling has been around for thousands of years. From remembering heroic deeds to reciting religious parables, the ability to tell stories has been central to education and our society’s ability to prosper. At BBN we believe that the persuasive emotional power of storytelling can have a direct impact on a business' success, and a recent dissertation supports our findings.
Karolina Czarnecka was studying for an MSc in marketing at Robert Gordon University in Scotland, UK. As part of her masters thesis she was inspired to find out how storytelling can be used in B2B companies. She wanted to explore whether business leaders understood their own corporate mantra. Any leader who doesn’t will not be able to communicate the company’s values to employees. Like us, she was curious to know what success can be achieved by using storytelling as a business tool to share knowledge and values.
In her master’s thesis, Karolina looked at the ways that companies can use stories to influence their own organisation, knowledge-management, brand-management and leadership. Conducting 10 lengthy interviews with B2B organisational leaders, The findings showed a direct link between storytelling and B2B success, but an ingrained reluctance among leaders to see the benefits.
Many leaders who were interviewed felt that storytelling was still better suited to the B2C market than B2B. Research participants were concerned that the tool might not be valid when communicating with B2B clients, who are sceptical about marketing initiatives, preferring facts to abstract metaphorical associations. Interviewees did agree that stories told about products and services in the B2B sector had direct impacts on brand perception, as long as they had a solid grounding in facts.
Emotion can be far more compelling than pure fact
However, the study also found that oratory skills are highly valued in a business leader, and that emotion can be more persuasive than pure fact in the spoken word. As well as natural charisma, interviewees believed that training is essential to develop the ability to speak in public. While not every leader can be a great storyteller, speeches based on emotional content rather than just facts are very persuasive. Elon Musk is a good example of this. The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors may not be the most natural orator, but his warmth, wit and clear understanding of business make him an appealing public speaker.
The assertion that the B2B niche is too rational for warm and friendly storytelling is further refuted by a paper written in 2014 by Andrew St. George. Considering the ways that positive leadership messaging can influence productivity, St. George was surprised to find the Royal Navy to be a model of ‘cheerful leadership’. As with large B2B companies, you might expect an international military force to have a hard, factual approach to communication. Instead, the Royal Navy uses humour in day-to-day stories (or ‘dits’) to foster productivity and confidence, making the message willingly received and more memorable.
Personalising the company message
A plot twist seems to be in store for B2B, as leading international companies catch on to the strength of storytelling as a way of reaching employees. A business cannot maintain complete control of its story, but the most successful companies embrace the experiences of their founders and allow their stories to shape the company’s. The celebrity status achieved by Steve Jobs and Bill Gates shows how an individual’s experience can feed into a company’s message, personalising it.
Karolina’s research found that a consistent message is needed for B2B storytelling to become an effective persuasion tool. Both organisational leaders and employees contribute to the corporate story, but the message can become diluted as it trickles down through the business. As digital media encourages more leaders to have an online presence, the importance of understanding the value of storytelling increases. GE has introduced a ‘strategic storyteller’ role, dedicated to achieving clear and consistent storytelling throughout the international organisation.
Interplay between storytelling and business success
One of the major findings of the research was about the interplay between storytelling and business success. A two-way exchange was discovered, with storytelling strengthening businesses, and their stronger performance then reinforcing their stories.
The study found that sharing brand stories encouraged staff positivity and inclusion, which in turn fed back into the story.
At the same time, substandard performance will become part of a corporate story just as easily as success.This relationship reveals the extent to which a story can be considered to lie outside the control of a company, in the same way that a brand can be shaped, but will always be dependent on perception.
Persuasive power of storytelling
The study adds to what we believe about B2B storytelling. Sharing brand stories should play a strong role in marketing and communications, and the persuasive power of storytelling has a place in the ‘rational’ world of corporate products and services. Many business leaders are slow to appreciate the similarities between B2B and B2C in this area, but are slowly becoming aware of the value of storytelling.
Feedback from our participants this year, was that it's our best academy ever!
The level of collaboration and interaction was amplified compared to other years, mostly due to the fact we had international teams working together on a real-world project that allowed participants to learn and practice using the BBN Navigator tools available to them.
The resulting pitch presentations were simply outstanding.
The following few pages gives you a glimpse of the activity during the week.
Brand Asset Management (BAM) Training - 10-12 October
The week kicked off with two intense days of BAM training delivered by expert strategist Rodger Jones (BBN USA) and experienced Group Account Director Curtis Gorrell (BBN USA). The content and materials were of the highest quality and the trainers worthy of any top university! Not only did we learn an immense amount about the BAM tools and approach, we produced some excellent outputs for the benefit of the BBN brand, that will certainly not go to waste.
BBN Academy - 13-16 October
The BBN Academy provides an excellent platform for learning and collaboration. Every year, we incorporate a series of activities designed to bring people together, strengthen our culture of collaboration, and support our people’s skill development on a worldwide stage.
Over two days our participants were given the know-how and opportunity to initiate what they’ve learned and put it into practice, just like they would back at their agency... giving them a real-world international learning experience.
After a 2-hour BBN promoter session delivered by Carola and Annette and hearing about BBN agency successes from Curtis, participants were divided into three different teams. We then provided them with a client brief containing the same foundation in strategic input as a baseline.
Each team was then asked to develop a creative Big Long Idea (BLI) along with communication elements (content, contact, evaluation) for execution based on strategic inputs.
The project approach provided a mix of learning in key Navigator tools and processes – which they then had to apply to their own ideas to arrive at a pitch presentation on the final day.
This personal account of the week by Bronwyn Cook (BBN Australia) gives an excellent overview of her experience and is well worth a read.
You can view the complete BBN Academy Gallery here on Flickr
and how BBN partner agencies benefit from them.
BBN Events are held for the benefit of all our agencies and most report it's a highlight of their agency's year.
Our partner agencies make every effort to include our two main events in their calendars. In this video BBN owners share their views on why these events are so important to their agency.
The Golden Bees 2016
BBN's Annual Awards
The Golden Bees
The BBN Awards have been created to recognise all the amazing talent and great work that BBN is proud of. There is a lot to celebrate and here we announce our talented winners and runners up.
BEST IDEA NEVER EXECUTED
Winner: M&a - ‘Transformation Kitchen’ for Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Runner Up: Bader Rutter - 'Labeled' for The Standard
BEST INTEGRATED CAMPAIGN
Winner: idBBN - ‘King of Propane’ for AGA
Runner Up: GetIT Comms - Integrated B2B2C Campaign for StarHub
BEST PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN
Winner : ComCorp - Launch of Environmental start-up for Green Creative
Runner Up: ARK Communicatie - Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, L'Oréal
BEST USE OF STRATEGIC PLANNING
Winner: Bader Rutter - Dairy Wellness Portfolio for Zoetis
Runner Up: ComCorp - Aptar Pharma - Brand refresh
BEST USE OF CONTENT MARKETING
Winner: GetIT Comms - Campaign for Maxis
Runner Up: Bader Rutter - Butler Stong Connections Butler Manufacturing
BEST USE OF CREATIVE
Winner: Bader Rutter - PerfectMatch Herbicide for Dow AgriSciences
Runner Up: True - Yell Business - Go Digital. Go Yell.
BEST USE OF DIGITAL TECHNIQUES & TECHNOLOGIES
Winner: GetIT Comms - The Future of Analytics for SAS
Runner Up: idBBN - Custom Data Analysis Tools for Ruukki
BEST USE OF DIRECT MARKETING
Winner: Referro - Beware of the Shadow Monster for Fellowes
Runner Up: idBBN - Marketing Automation Pilot Vattenfall
BEST USE OF EVENT MARKETING
Winner: True - The Art of POSzle for Miura Systems
Runner Up: M&a - vForum 2015: Ready for Any VMWare
BEST USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Winner: GetIT Comms - G-Tech Facebook Community for HGST
Runner Up: Bader Rutter - Social Media for Eastman Tritan™
Winner: M&a - Blurred World APAC Campaign Microsite for Verizon
Runner Up: ARK Communicatie - eneloop European Photo Challenge, Panasonic
BEST TASK TEAM OF THE YEAR 2016
A major strength of BBN is that partner agencies have over the years willingly committed significant time and resources to developing the high quality processes, which are exclusive to BBN and differentiate us. In this, they and their people have applied themselves in a spirit of openness and collaboration ‘to get the job done’. Building upon that spirit, we award the task team who has achieved the most during the year. This year it was our C-Map team - a team that develops our multi-channel contact strategy model designed to target and engage B2B stakeholders.
Why they won: In the last 12 months the team met in Germany to work on developing the revised set of tools and best practice and since then have produced a mountain of content between them. Probably one of the most active teams and being one of the most complex and fastest moving areas to develop, the team continue to do an outstanding job.
BEST COORDINATOR OF THE YEAR 2016 - Ray Addison - BBN UK (Fifth Ring)
Every partner agency within BBN has an appointed coordinator. This person is the main single point of contact for their agency. Each year, we reward the hardest working highest achieving coordinator.
Why he won: Ray's been active in co-ordinating the creation of agency case studies and providing these to BBN Central in the specific formats and contributed greatly to the success of BBN UK coming first in the 2015-2016 BBN commitment report, a testament to Ray’s commitment to networking and general contribution to BBN. Monthly calls are always scheduled in a timely manner and Ray is always pro-active in directing requests to the best person within the agency. And if any other BBN agency has a question, he’ll actively pursue the answers to ensure BBN UK can help wherever possible.
‘RISING STAR’ AWARD - Marco Luciano - BBN Germany (wob)
Every year BBN recognises a certain individual who has stood out from the crowd in their agency and contributed significantly to their own agency's successes and to BBN as well.
Why he won: Marco Luciano started at BBN Germany in February 2011. Earlier this year, he was promoted to Senior Account Manager. Along with the digital business, he grew from Trainee to this current position as a recognition for his achievements in consulting and business development achievements at BBN Germany.
He is working for some of the biggest accounts at his agency – some of them are relevant and active within BBN. His primary goal is to help them embrace the opportunities the digitized world holds for them. In this area, Marco achieved all of his given goals in last year’s review.
Lately Marco proposed a marketing concept (tactically based on Marketing Automation) to the BBN board, so the global agency can deliver more business opportunities to their agencies and BBN as a whole. Bringing business to BBN and the agency is one of Marcos most respected capabilities: He took over the leadership of the BBN Task Team “Pitch 2 Win” in 2013, and delivered the overhauled guidelines in a workshop at the 2014 academy. His findings on pitching for business can be found in his BBN Thought leadership article.
Besides this, he is an active part in marketing wob’s strategic topics “Social Media”, “Employer Branding” and “Lead Generation” and managing several pitches and credentials each year.
In the last year, Marco joined the ageny's board as employee representative. That means he is the main contact for employee’s ideas, wishes and concerns that have to been talked over with the agency management.
Marco with his Rising Star prize - Equipment for his new garden!
BEST AGENCY OF THE YEAR 2016 - BBN UK - Scotland (Fifth Ring)
To be a BBN agency requires a high level of commitment and a willingness to contribute to BBN's development and engage with other partner agencies at every level. While each of our agencies do this consistently year after year, there is always one agency that stands a little above the others when it comes to their involvement in BBN activitites. So each year we recgnise that agency for all its great work.
Why they won: Not only did Fifth Ring rank first in the BBN Comittment report report, they lead by a clear mile. They've demonstrated high levels of commitment and contributions from senior management right through to support staff. From taking responsibility for producing BBN's new Brand Story booklet to facilitating workshops at the Owners' Conference, they are clearly committed at every level to their involvement in BBN and to our vision to be the world's b2b agency.
BBN on B2B: The Blog
B2B marketing insights, ideas, views and BBN news. Keep your finger on the global pulse here.
Please visit the BBN blog for more great content, contributed by our agencies and partners.
CX: MIRACLE CURE OR JUST PLAIN COMMON SENSE?
5 December 2016
CX, or Customer Experience, is a term that has been bandied around a lot lately. A good thing in itself, but that is just the problem. As time goes by, CX means something different to everyone and, before long, it no longer means anything…
Globally, we can agree that CX is the customer’s accumulated experience of a brand. Brand perception, in other words.
By Peter Foubert - BBN Belgium
DERSE LAUNCHES SHOWPOINT
28 November 2016
With multiple perspectives on which shows are the best to attend, how do you objectively choose the right ones? Last month Derse released ShowPoint , an online scorecard that helps marketers confidently evaluate their trade show schedule. ShowPoint is the company’s first direct-to-consumer online product.
By Derse - BBN Strategic Partner
A BEAUTIFUL BUILDING NEEDS A PLATFORM
21 November 2016
Architects have to be multi-faceted – to encompass both the creative and the practical. We marketers have to be able to do the same.
By Richard Parsons, BBN UK
HARNESSING THE POWER OF ACCOUNT BASED MARKETING
14 November 2016
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a marketing technique that’s about identifying, and targeting with personalised messages the accounts that matter the most to your organisation’s goals. It’s designed to focus on, attract (clients and prospects) engage, convert, and measure the progress of your campaigns.
By Leo Boon Yeow - BBN Singapore
CYBERAGE YOUR MARKETING ORGANISATION
7 November 2016
Why does the most with-it collection of individuals inside corporations fall behind in their way of working? Marketing departments talk along the lines of new wave, hip culture, music and fashion. But when it comes down to really doing things – making change happen – they hide behind glowing apple laptops.
By Timo Kruskopf - BBN Finland
LEARNING FROM THE BEST
1 November 2016
A personal account from one of our Academy participants. This month I was absolutely delighted (and fortunate) to join nearly 40 very talented and passionate B2B marketers at a beautiful venue in the Spanish countryside for 5 days of learning, team work and fun.
By Bronwyn Cook - BBN Australia
THE MANY FACES OF FACEBOOK
24 Ocotber 2016
Facebook launched on the 4th of Feb 2004. Since then, digital marketers have long struggled to leverage this powerful tool to reach their target market and discover new opportunities. Today, more than ever, modern digital marketers have to learn how to use the tool, or risk becoming a digital dinosaur.
By Strategic Partner - SharpSpring
THE BENEFITS OF A STRONG BRAND IN B2B MARKETS
10 October 2016
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.
By Beth Pearson - BBN Strategic Partner - Circle Research
REMARKETING TACTICS THAT WILL GROW YOUR CUSTOMER LIFETIME VALUE
3 October 2016
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a key business metric that presents a projection of the net value of your entire future relationship with a customer. In other words, you can estimate how much profit you can expect from a specific customer or a customer group.
Based on that information, it is very easy to allocate your team efforts, marketing expenses and channels toward the most profitable customers.
By Silviya Dineva - BBN Strategic Partner - Omniconvert
SELLING STARTS WITH A STORY – WHAT’S YOURS?
26 September 2016
BBN UK, recently invited content marketing strategist John W. Hayes into their offices to explain his views on the subject and share his own experiences of what works and what doesn’t in this field.
By Jim Davidson - BBN UK