The Crocodile – big appetite for B2B marketing

Posts Tagged ‘b2b marketing’

Christmas ads and B2B marketing

Unless you’ve been resolutely avoiding contact with the outside world, you’ll know that 2013’s Christmas ads are, well, everywhere in the UK. From the massive retailers vying to outdo John Lewis, to the perennial Coca-Cola Santa, it’s official: ‘Holidays are coming’.

For B2C brands this is a unique time. Rather than talk about aspirational lifestyles or product benefits, many focus on communicating their values and fostering empathy in their audiences. Perhaps this is something B2B marketers can learn from – could you communicate your values and build empathy as simply as these brands?

John Lewis – a “thoughtful giving” theme that is inclusive, considerate and personal

 

Sainsbury’s – a 50 minute feature film about people’s experiences of Christmas, with shared lives, food and family quirks at the forefront

 

Tesco – real families, part of life for decades, shared happy memories

 

Waitrose – socially responsible and giving something back

 

Which values would you communicate if you had the luxury of creating a Christmas ad?

I’m not suggesting that fibre manufacturers or managed services providers should create lavish 50 minute Christmas feature films, as fun as that might be. Instead this is about taking a moment to consider how your clients and customers are affected by your brand values, and how you can create a lasting impression and bond.

B2B marketers don’t have the luxury of massive above the line creative and media budgets so must utilise their channels throughout the year to reinforce brand values.

Consistent brand building is key. Your hypothetical ‘Christmas ad’ messaging could give you a new perspective on your annual marketing programme. Taken as a whole, how do your campaigns reinforce brand values throughout the year? Do your customers experience them consistently from awareness to purchase and re-purchase stages? And does anything run against the grain?

Don’t forget social in your review. The Crocodile has found that social channels are super effective at getting brand personality and values across. In social spaces you can truly live the brand and demonstrate that you are passionate and hands on, for example.

Which values would you prioritise in your Christmas ad? Let us know on Twitter @crocbites.

Social video platforms for business

Video is a highly effective marketing tool and has become an increasingly important part of maintaining an online presence. For years we have seen YouTube dominate as the top platform for video sharing. Launched in 2005 by three former PayPal employees and owned by Google since 2006, YouTube has become the second biggest search engine with around 4 billion video views a day, 800 million unique visitors per month and roughly 72 hours of content being uploaded each minute.

Second to YouTube yet quite some way behind in terms of audience size is Vimeo with 60 million unique visitors a month. Favoured by creative professionals, Vimeo offers some advantages over YouTube in terms of production quality and aesthetics, and password protection, plus it doesn’t have ads. In fact Vimeo doesn’t like commercial content in general so most B2B companies would have to pay for a pro account to promote their products and services.

With a reported 69% of marketers planning on increasing their YouTube marketing in 2013*, YouTube’s dominance shows no signs of abating. However, in the past year, new video platforms have emerged that aim to capitalise on the mobile boom.

The Twitter owned Vine app enables users to create and post six-second looping video clips that can be shared on Twitter or embedded on websites. Initially only available on iOS devices, Vine for Android was released in June 2013 and a Windows 8 version of Vine was unveiled during the Microsoft 2013 Build Conference.

Vine claims a modest 13 million users but the medium is growing in popularity. Facebook‘s fastest-growing page in the U.S. (in terms of ‘likes’) is Best Vines, with nearly 9 million fans and 693,000 likes per week, according to Inside Facebook.

Not to be outdone, the popular mobile photo sharing app Instagram recently added support for video. Launched in 2010 and bought by Facebook in April 2012 for $1billion, Instagram boasts 130 million monthly users. The key to Instagram’s success lies in the filters: digital layers added to photographs or videos that give the appearance of professional editing and lend a nostalgic, vintage appeal.

The uptake of these new video platforms in B2B is slow but likely to increase as B2B marketers hone their mobile and social media marketing strategies. Danish container shipping company, Maersk Line, provides a powerful B2B case study, making use of ten social media platforms including YouTube and Instagram to achieve its stated goal of getting closer to its customers.

Maersk has yet to embrace Vine but General Electric (another B2B social media heavyweight) recently proved that new and emerging platforms have a place in B2B with its #6SecondScience Fair Vine campaign that relied on user-generated content in the form of six-second science lessons.

The issue with mobile video is that it’s not actually easy to create slick short videos in formats that don’t allow editing. The results are always going to be a little rough around the edges but that’s part of the charm. Plus, keep in mind the value Vine adds to your Twitter activity: fun and engaging visual content will make your tweets stand out in a crowded timeline.

The Crocodile has just completed work on a set of six Vine videos designed to bring various assets to life on Twitter as part of a broader integrated campaign for a big B2B client. Those prepared to have a go with mobile video technology stand to get ahead of rivals and reach their target audiences in new and creative ways that drive up social engagement.

YouTube may still reign supreme for long form video content but with an increasing need to market to short attention spans we should consider the need to be more precise in our communications and use the constraints of short form mobile video to inspire creativity in B2B.

* 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, SocialMediaExaminer.com

Second chance for Facebook posts

We’re big fans of Facebook for B2B marketing here at the Crocodile. It might not seem as immediately relevant to business marketing as LinkedIn, for example, but it’s worth remembering that each target audience member is an individual as well as a professional. With the right nurture strategy in place, engagements on Facebook can lead to MQLs.

Last week, Facebook changed the algorithm that determines which stories appear first when a user logs in or opens their Facebook app. Now, businesses that have good audience engagement can expect even more people to see their most popular posts.

Essentially, the change gives a post a second chance of being seen if a user didn’t get to it the first time they looked at their News Feed.

Google reported that a trial found: “Previously, people read 57% of the stories in their News Feeds, on average. They did not scroll far enough to see the other 43%. When the unread stories were resurfaced, the fraction of stories read increased to 70%.”

Looking specifically at Pages – the profiles that organisations can create and manage – Google reported “an 8% increase in likes, comments and shares on the organic stories they saw” under the new algorithm. The ‘second chance’ means that more people will not only see but also engage with the post.

How do you increase your chance of a second chance?

The change only benefits posts that make it into News Feeds in the first place. So, this is another great reason to post stories and content that your audience will want to engage with and share.

At the heart of Facebook, an algorithm called EdgeRank determines which stories a given user will see. EdgeRank is an equation with three key factors: Affinity, Weight and Time Decay.

• Affinity grows when people repeatedly interact with your brand

• Weight grows when people engage deeply with your brand by spending more time on their interactions with you

• Time Decay is a negative factor in which posts are less attractive the older they are

EdgeRank gives businesses that engage with their audiences a significant advantage on Facebook. By regularly posting content that relevant people feel compelled to ‘like’, comment on and share, you will increase the likelihood of making it into their News Feeds, then into the News Feeds of their colleagues and industry friends.

In addition to the mid-term benefits of increasing your EdgeRank, you could also be building a strong foundation for your search engine performance in the future.

Facebook looks increasingly set to take on Google search with Graph Search, a Facebook specific search engine designed to leverage the data acquired from over 1billion Facebook users. Graph Search makes the people, places, photos and other content on Facebook more easily discoverable. So improving your business’s EdgeRank today could well improve your future organic search performance too.

Look out for more on Facebook’s Graph Search in upcoming posts here on Crocbites.

Nominated for nurture and content!

It’s great to be shortlisted in the B2B Marketing Awards, but even better to make the grade in the two areas that everyone’s talking about! The Crocodile’s work for Equinix has just been shortlisted for Best Lead Nurture Campaign and for Best Use of Content in the 2013 awards, with another nomination in the Content category going to our Big Data campaign for EMC.

Companies of every size from every sector are beginning to incorporate at least some element of nurture and automation into their marketing plans, and yet there are still relatively few examples of live and successful campaigns out there. The Crocodile is a notable exception, having been a nominee and winner of the runner-up prize in the Best Lead Nurture category last year.

Content is a fast emerging area of focus across the B2B spectrum with significant overlaps into social media, lead nurture and search. At The Crocodile our ongoing obsession is to link all content activity to results-focused objectives, and to challenge content briefs that don’t make the connection.

Well done and thanks to our fabulous clients at Equinix and EMC – here’s to a big awards night in November!

KPMG appoints The Crocodile

The Crocodile has been appointed by KPMG in the UK to work as one of their strategic digital suppliers.

We’re very excited about working with KPMG to create compelling, persuasive digital experiences and campaigns to maximise current and future opportunities for them. We’ll be working on a broad digital scope; and it looks like we’re going to be busy.

Bring it on!

Proof of social media’s ROI

Marketing budgets are a constant challenge. Allocating the right amount of money to the right area, as well as being able to justify the overall spend, has never been more important or more challenging. In a down economy businesses are understandably reluctant to increase spending in any area without definitive proof of ROI, let alone invest in new areas like social media.

The rise of the social web and the corresponding changes in buying behaviour have happened concurrently with the economic downtown and the squeeze on marketing budgets. The result is that many businesses, particularly in B2B, have completely overlooked new inbound marketing techniques that offer significant, quantifiable results without the need for a large capital outlay.

The content, conversation and on-going interaction that make up an effective social media strategy create an online experience that keeps customers in your orbit, drive consideration and set you apart from the competition. Sharing interesting, relevant and useful information will hold the attention of your existing customer and help you attract new ones.

Social media is proving to be a powerful source of revenue for Crocodile client Ellisons, delivering an online uplift of 70%. Facebook is now the 3rd biggest referrer to the Ellisons website after Google and Bing. Through running regular competitions and special offers to drive engagement and using a strategy designed to drive traffic Ellisons has achieved:

  • 71% increase in online sales over six months (against a 50% target)
  • 44% increase in the number of customers ordering online
  • Incremental ROI of 1534%
  • 36% increase in website traffic
  • Enhanced customer service
  • New levels of customer insight

As marketing moves away from a quarterly campaigns approach towards a continuous dialogue, social media can help you tune in to what your target market is talking about, nurture prospects through the buying cycle and deliver valuable repeat custom. If you’d like to find out how a social media strategy from The Crocodile can benefit you, contact us here.

Topical wins in top Awards

The Crocodile was recognised at 2012 B2B Marketing AwardsThe Crocodile was recognised at last year’s B2B Marketing Awards with trophies in two tough categories.

At a fabulous black tie event in London on the evening of 22nd November, we took home the winner’s trophy for Best SME-Targeted Campaign for our social media work with Ellisons, and the runner-up prize in a brand new and highly topical category: Best Lead Nurture Campaign for our excellent Cyberconfidence for CSC.

There could hardly be two hotter topics in B2B marketing right now than lead nurture and social media, and we have made it our business to build stand-out capability in these two areas, ensuring we develop skills and experience that feed our clients’ results-led agendas.

With so many companies looking to tap the SME sector, The Crocodile’s win in this category underlines our sure touch for unlocking the vast spending resources of the British economy’s primary powerhouse.

It’s great to win prizes; it’s even better to deliver great campaigns that make a real impact on our clients’ business objectives. Our thanks go to the marketing teams at Ellisons and CSC for giving us the chance to do it The Crocodile way!

The Crocodile wins Equinix account

Equinix, one of the world’s fastest growing data centre providers, has appointed The Crocodile to support its UK lead generation programme following a strategic pitch process.

With a $1.8bn turnover, and presence in 30 countries across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific, Equinix is a leading global player in the data centre market, with growth driven by increasing customer demand for mobile data, cloud computing and accelerated IP traffic.  Equinix’s advanced data centre platform is an enabler of these technologies and helps position Equinix as a strategic partner with those companies looking for high levels of interconnectivity, scalability and global reach.

The Crocodile has been appointed to help Equinix raise its UK profile and generate demand for its data centre services, initially across key vertical. The agency will be building content frameworks to support a long term nurture strategy implemented onto Equinix’s marketing automation platform.

“We approached the pitch brief with a very clear perspective on Equinix’s marketing challenge”, explains Adam Wooff, founding partner and managing director of The Crocodile. “Our results-led approach is focused squarely on winning the attention of prospective customers at each stage of the buyer journey, gathering sales intelligence and delivering the assets and information that will help drive consideration and short-listing. We feel very much part of the team charged with delivering on Equinix’s UK sales targets.”

Sarah Wright, Equinix Marketing Director, UK, commented, “Like most companies we need to demonstrate exceptional value and ROI in our marketing spend and that means working with agency partners that can both talk and walk a results-focused approach. The Crocodile’s commercially oriented style is a good fit with the Equinix marketing ethos.”

The Crocodile wins global Gemalto account

Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, has appointed independent London agency The Crocodile to support its global marketing programme for Near Field Communications (NFC) technology following an international five-way pitch.

With a €2bn turnover, and presence in 43 countries, Gemalto provides enabling technology for mobile devices, payment security, authentication services and e-ticketing. The company is at the forefront of the fast emerging NFC market, building the SIM-based platforms and software that bring together the key players in the cashless revolution: service providers, mobile operators and banks.

The Crocodile will be creating and deploying campaigns aimed initially at mobile operators in Europe and Asia, followed by campaigns targeting service providers in the more advanced NFC markets including the UK, France and Japan.

“We came to Gemalto as an agency with proven credentials in centralised campaign development and local market activation”, explains Adam Wooff, founding partner and managing director of The Crocodile. “The team responded to the brief with a clear vision of how our results-led approach would help Gemalto consolidate its position in existing markets, and gain the traction it needs in emerging NFC territories. It’s a terrifically exciting business sector and we’re really looking forward to working with the Gemalto team.”

Awards shortlist reflects key focus

Ask anyone in B2B marketing which skill sets, capabilities or challenges they really need to crack, and there’s a good chance the following might make the list:

  • Social Media – Taking the next step on from using social as an essential dialogue tool and exploiting its capability as a revenue generator, delivering tangible, measurable financial results
  • Lead Nurture – Using developments in marketing automation technology to enhance lead nurturing, leading to a more measurable and strategic relationship between marketing and sales
  • SME - Unlocking the all-important SME market (ie reputedly the B2B segment with all the money!)
  • Cost effectiveness – Achieving more with less in a world of shrinking budgets

By no means an exhaustive list, however it’s one that neatly sums up some of the key focus areas for The Crocodile during the last 12 month – or more accurately, our clients’ key focus areas.

That’s why we are so pleased to have been shortlisted as finalists for three of the most topical categories in this year’s B2B Marketing Awards:

Best SME-targeted campaign
Transformation to Social Media for Ellisons

Best Limited Budget Campaign
Transformation to Social Media for Ellisons

Best Lead Nurture Campaign
Cyberconfidence for CSC

The B2B Awards are fast becoming the gold standard in B2B marketing and this year attracted a 20% increase in entries. So well done to the guys at B2B Marketing, and good luck to our great clients at CSC and Ellisons – looking forward to the usual tense black tie evening in November!

Crocbites

Crocbites is our running commentary on the trends affecting B2B marketing, alongside our own insights and independent viewpoint formed from working with global brands turning marketing budgets into bottom line benefits.

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