You are in business. You have customers, prospective customers, loose connections, people who have never heard of you, and people who would gain from having heard of you. Your data universe is a mix of existing contacts and prospective contacts; the problem is knowing who the latter actually are.
To get the most out of your marketing, you run different types of campaigns depending on the people you’re hoping to engage, and that is influenced by their profile and where they currently are in their buying journey. But reaching the people you don’t yet know exist, and who have never heard of you either, is a key component of growing your sales. And the only way to do that… is to understand your data universe.
What is out there?
Did you know that there isn’t actually a single database containing all private sector businesses in the UK? The closest to it is the Inter-departmental Business Register (IDBR), which is managed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). But this only includes VAT/PAYE registered businesses. To find out about unregistered (or non-employing) businesses you need to do a bit more digging. However, if that sounds like a lot of effort, don’t …
Matching your global aspirations to your business priorities
Is your company thinking about expanding beyond its current market? Considering pushing past the borders you know so well and extending further afield? Most of our clients already have and we have been privy to their learnings and helped them in the journey.
The only way to have any chance of success is if a solid global marketing strategy is in place.
This month, we thought it was worth a look at the groundwork a business should do develop a global marketing plan, no better starting place than developing the right strategy.
Step 1: Clarify your business purpose
Think, how do you define success for your business? You can’t grasp how a global marketing initiative is going to make a difference, and thus set it goals, if you don’t have a clear vision of what success looks like for your organisation.
Are there geographical hotspots for your audience? Is your primary focus revenue? Are you wanting to diversify to mitigate risk?
For the initiator, yes you, getting ‘buy in’ from others across your business, helps you to know how your vision is going to make a difference to the budget holders …
First things first, consider this: 1. Revenue generation from online ads now exceeds that of newspaper, television and desktop advertising. 2. Decision makers now go online to both research and purchase for business as much as they do privately. The B2B marketer cannot afford to overlook their company’s digital presence, branding, engagement, and communications, therefore… full stop.
You might reckon we’re not telling you anything new there, but if we then introduce the term, “AI”, you might also start to wonder if your competition knows something you don’t.
Big data and AI
Canny businesses are now collecting, collating, and analysing every byte of precious data coming into their possession. Customer engagement, fleeting clicks, shares, likes, purchases… and abandoned conversations. All these interactions are tiny pieces of the huge picture B2B marketers need to be able to strategise, react, and plan.
That’s where AI comes to the fore. Big data is called that for a reason. It’s a HUGE amount of information that’s just sitting there as an amorphous virtual mass. Nobody can make proper sense of it, let alone glean new golden nuggets of information, on their own. They need computer power, intelligent algorithms, and the ability for those algorithms …
First quarter of 2019 is done and dusted, but the wheel of marketing never stops turning. So we thought we’d take a peek at what the B2B marketer should be reviewing in their strategy for the rest of the year.
Getting back to basics with branding… then boosting big time
Being able to cash in on a fad or going viral will always be a nice whirlwind in which to get caught up; nobody is going to deny that. But riding by the seat of your pants (to mix our metaphors, but you get what we mean) is not a long term strategy on which to rely. Good old-fashioned focus on getting your branding and positioning right, and then doing all that you can to ensure it appeals to your market, however, is. And never has the right messaging at the right moment mattered so much to B2B marketers. With a multitude of digital channels available 24/7, ensuring your brand values are consistently communicated is critical.
What does this mean for B2B now? B2B marketers, you need to sharpen up your branding act. Fine tune your value messages. Review every touchpoint. Ensure consistency. Engage, engage, engage.
Think variety of media… …
The data universe can be a huge, complex and scary place in the post-apocalyptic wake of GDPR, what is available out there, where did it come from and is it safe to use? But firstly, do you really know what you are looking for?
Understanding your targetable and available data universe can often become complicated but in order to do so you need to start somewhere.
In our experience and indeed in that of our clients you must firstly attempt to define what your ideal prospect company and Decision Maker Contacts (DMC) looks like.
For some this can seem relatively easy. For instance, a company has a niche product focused very much on one vertical, in one country aimed at a specific DMC.
For most however this isn’t the norm. For instance, a company with multiple products, service offerings and solutions that are available to prospect companies over a wide geographical spread such as EMEA and that have a complex mix of DMC, will need to conduct analysis to determine what the ideal prospect company could look like, for what solution or offering, in which geographies and determine who within those companies should be contacted.
This can seem like a …
Sometimes it only takes a small tweak to switch a campaign from flailing failure to a storming success. But how in the know are you on those killer email marketing no-nos? Do you know where to look to make that switch? Here are our top five to help you on your way…
No-no Number 1: Your subject line doesn’t reflect your content
People don’t like being tricked or misled, so being coyly ambiguous or outright misrepresentative is a mistake. A good example is, “It’s finally here!”. That type of subject line tells a reader nothing about what’s in your email, which ends up making it scattergun at best, and at worst will you an unsubscribe. When a reader has been enticed to open the email, if they then don’t immediately connect your brand will start to disappoint.
But being ambiguous isn’t the only mistake you can make. Marketo tested two subject lines to see just how much impact a less engaging subject line can have; the results were eye-opening. They used:
“Your Marketing Automation Checklist” and “Are You Evaluating Marketing Automation?”. The first one is clear and specific. The second, however, is purely suggestive without any clarity on what a …
We’re going to put it out there. A great marketing manager is like the conductor of an orchestra. You don’t necessarily play an instrument now yourself, but you’re darned good at overseeing a symphony. You guys have worked at the coal face, yet you also understand strategy… and all those things make you one very valuable piece of kit.
Of course, the flip side to that is that you’re also one very expensive resource to be actually writing and implementing email campaigns, for example, when you could instead be driving policy to support the business’s objectives. So what gives?
Accepting the baton
It can be hard to let go of the day-to-day stuff. Entrepreneurs, business owners, and marketing managers often struggle to do so. It can feel as though other people either simply don’t understand the nuances of the company messaging or don’t have the passion to get things just right. Nobody can do everything, however, and nobody should.
The problem is the ultimate goal of most businesses is growth, and success on that score is dependent on strategic players driving it forward all the time. These key individuals should be creating new products, developing services, scaling the business successfully …
Marketers have been put through their paces in the last few years, eh? Ever since the personal computer ‘took off’, it’s been a fast changing world. Just over a decade ago in September 2008, Google Chrome was launched and the first mobile device on Android made its appearance; iPhone only having appeared the year before. GDPR wasn’t even a four letter word on the horizon, and Blackberries were purely for checking email. But since that time, technology has exploded and digital marketing is unrecognisable. It’s been quite a journey so far…
The internet is now a given
Let’s assume that the internet took off in 1994 when the first mass-market browser, Netscape, was released. Since then, everything from email, to search engines, to ecommerce has become the norm. But interestingly it’s only in the last few years that content has become king. Before then, the search engines catalogued sites, some forward-thinking businesses implemented crude SEO techniques, and users searched with keywords and found all sorts of information.
In the background, as all this was going on though, the pool of big data was growing. Information was building, just waiting to be analysed and dissected. But this wasn’t a collection of …
ePrivacy Regulation (ePR)… Are you nodding sagely, raising your eyes to the ceiling, or feeling nonplussed? Is the follow up to the four letter word that is GDPR even on your horizon? If you’re a digital marketer… it needs to be.
What is ePrivacy Regulation (ePR)?
Put simply, ePR is the next bit of EU legislation covering data law. Its focus – the hint is in the name – is the privacy of individuals with specific respect to electronic communications. It was originally intended to ‘launch’ in tandem with GDPR in May last year, but in truth it’s far from ready and quite a bit of discussion still needs to take place in dusty corridors before it is.
Is it just GDPR in another name?
No, is the short answer; they’re more like siblings. They’re both aiming to align data privacy laws across all EU countries. And both refer to the protection of personal data of individuals within the EU. So if you do business with someone in the EU, regardless of whether you’re actually in the EU or not… they apply. And the system for fines and penalties are the same.
However, ePR is really trying to plug the …
Digital marketing has seen phenomenal growth, and it’s not going away. Society has shifted permanently to fully embracing the digital world and only a long-term power cut is going to have an impact on that. However, with that said, other channels still have influence. Where there’s less activity it’s easier to be spotted. If you walk into a fancy restaurant more than likely your eyes are hit with a million twinkles, glittery lights and amazing décor. Walk into your accountant’s reception, though, and you might just find yourself sitting in a plainly painted room with an eerie silence. See where we’re going here? Print has not been replaced… marketers simply have to work out how to re-place it in their plans.
Putting digital into perspective
The thing is, what works for digital also works against digital. Targeted messages can appear in front eyes quickly and easily. But because they can appear so quickly and easily, web users have subliminally learned to ‘not see’ them. Print, on the other hand, is something one holds, and this in itself draws a reader’s attention rather than switches it off. You could say, with print things are just that bit less busy. And this …
With so many ways in which people celebrate Christmas across the globe, we thought it might be interesting to shed some light on the stories behind why we participate in some of the traditions that we do over the festive period. Have a look at these random but interesting facts, amaze your family and friends with your knowledge or just use them as tales to tell when Christmas dinner is finished……
Unless you work in printing or hospitality, Christmas can quite often appear to be a dead zone for B2B marketers. Time to take a well-earned rest. But actually, done in the right way, seasonal campaigns can work very well for B2B and should definitely be a part of a well-seasoned marketer’s armoury. It’s a question of weighing up the pros and cons.
Yes, there’s no reason why business marketing can’t tap into the season of good will, but your design does have to be spot on. Your images, banners, and messages need to be pitched in exactly the right way or you’ll hit a wall. And that’s because you are up against a lot of distraction. Red, green, gold, and silver sparkles will be flying everywhere; your designs do need to catch the eye, but they also need to be taken seriously.
What’s the best approach?
We’d say, when it comes to B2B Christmas marketing, shift the emphasis of your goals for the season. Let go of worrying about lead generation and instead see your communications as a means of building the strength of your brand. Connect with your audience in a fun but meaningful way by doing something nice …