Posts Tagged ‘b2b marketing’
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.
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.”
- 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!
Thought I would share something I was reading from the clever chaps at nef (the new economics foundation). They have summarised behavioural economics and contrasted it with neoclassical economics where the assumption is made that humans are rational and maximise their individual self-interest. Cue puff on pipe and re-adjustment of wide-rimmed spectacles.
The pursuit of better B2B marketing models that positively influence buying behaviour often requires pulling ourselves out of our self-contained, safe little bubbles and trying to view the world through a different lens.
The seven principles:
- Other people’s behaviour matters: people do many things by observing others and copying; people are encouraged to continue to do things when they feel other people approve of their behaviour.
- Habits are important: people do many things without consciously thinking about them. These habits are hard to change – even though people might want to change their behaviour, it’s not easy for them.
- People are motivated to ‘do the right thing’: there are cases where money is de-motivating as it undermines people’s intrinsic motivation, for example, you would quickly stop inviting friends to dinner if they insisted on paying you………no really you would!
- People’s self-expectations influence how they behave: people want their actions to be in line with their values and their commitments.
- People are loss-averse and hang on to what they consider ‘theirs’. This can lead to what could be described as irrational decision making to avoid any perceived loss.
- People are bad at computation when making decisions: people put undue weight on recent events and too little on far-off ones; they cannot calculate probabilities well and worry too much about unlikely events; and they are strongly influenced by how the problem/information is presented to them.
- People need to feel involved and effective to make change: just giving people the incentives and information is not necessarily enough.
Next time you’re writing a brief or planning next quarter’s activity consider things such as point 5 and how this could support free trials instead of discounts or how point 1 could influence a social media strategy. We should all also constantly remind ourselves of point 2 – it’s crucial to deliver clear strategies that will genuinely effect the greatest change in customers’ buying behaviour – at The Crocodile we never lose sight of this.
Read the full paper – nef Behavioural economics: seven principles for policy-makers.
I was intrigued recently to come across an idea that has been used by an English school in Brazil that asked children what they wanted to be when they grew up.
They took the responses and created photo business cards for the children. The result – more kids had a clearer focus of their aspirations and their parents were more enthusiastic about them learning English and signed them up at the English school.
Applying a creative approach to the information available, and making it personal, made all the difference.
With all the different ways marketers can collect and use data these days – it’s when we team it with clever creative thinking that we see the most effective results.
You should never overlook genuine creativity if you want to truly capture your audiences’ attention. Here are two ideas I’ve seen done recently that have managed to surprise, and achieved results.
Intel made it personal brilliantly with their museum of me. What a thrill to walk through your own gallery that is simply all about you. With your permission, they collect all your photos, friends and information from your Facebook account and turn it into your very own personal gallery. Then they take you on a 3D journey through your gallery room by room. All your pictures and thoughts are used to take you on a compelling journey of your life.
With a more down to earth approach, KLM caught our attention recently delighting passengers with little acts of kindness to brighten a traveller’s day. Using Twitter and Foursquare the team were able to find passengers travelling with KLM, and from their public profiles they could find out a little bit about their life to help them choose an appropriate personal (carry-on sized) gift to brighten up their day. Like an apron for the passenger on route to a food blogging conference, a Spanish dictionary for the traveller on his way to Spain, or the Dutch souvenirs for the couple going back to Singapore. This creative way to reach audiences proved a real smile is better than a virtual smiley icon….oh, and it generated 1,000,000 Twitter impressions!
There may not be much that feels genuinely new these days. But there are certainly new ways of doing things to surprise and delight – it just requires a bit of creative thinking, something we at The Crocodile have a bit of an obsession with!
No. 1 – Localisation.
Over the next few weeks and months we will be searching out and commenting on the outlook for social media marketing in 2012. This post will be looking at The Crocodile’s own prediction that localisation will be a key trend.
Localisation means moving away from a one size fits all global approach and adapting social communication to suit different audiences. An example would be targeting a specific offer or discount at customers based in a certain region. You wouldn’t advertise a great offer available in Spain to a customer in the US so why treat social communications any differently?
Localisation can also mean the consideration of different social tools and approaches for different countries and cultures. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are by far the most popular social networking sites in the Western world but barely register in China where sites like QZone and Baidu dominate.
In Japan, Facebook lags behind sites like Mixi and Gree but Twitter is hugely popular, perhaps because in Japanese it is possible to express the equivalent of 260 English characters, an increase of over 85% on Twitter’s 140-character limit. Conversely, in the Philippines a staggering 93.9% of the country’s online population (roughly 25% of the overall population) has signed up to Facebook but only 16% have embraced Twitter*.
Something else to factor in is the different ways people use social networks. Understanding different behaviour profiles is key to the effective planning and delivery of social marketing activity. This infographic from GlobalWebIndex gives an overview of the global state of social networking in 2011 and shows how users differ in their use of social networks around the world.
What’s great about localisation is the focus it puts on the individual. Ultimately social media is all about the individual and the key to success is to engage with people on a personal and meaningful level. In this new hyper-social world what’s needed is a totally organic and flexible approach that can be adapted on an almost a case-by-case basis.
This might seem daunting, particularly to any time poor B2B marketer lacking resource and struggling to define success metrics, but there are plenty of tools out there to help. The key is to spend time getting to know your audience – wherever they may be – and to adapt your communications accordingly.
Have you got your own forecasts for social media marketing in 2012? If so we’d love to hear them. Watch this space for further predictions.
In 1999 a group of authors, intellectuals and journalists came together to write a thesis on the need for businesses to adapt to a more communicative network of customers. The Cluetrain Manifesto, written by Rick Levin, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger is a set of 95 ideas and observations on the way businesses and their consumers interact.
The manifesto’s call to action was for all businesses operating within a “newly connected marketplace” to stop faking it and start talking to their consumers as individuals and humans. The authors took a predictive look at how businesses could use the Internet to focus on their customers’ real needs rather than deploying marketing for purely financial gain.
Over ten years later and The Cluetrain Manifesto is still impressively relevant, yet many B2B organisations still struggle to realise the importance of many of the fundamental ideas put forward.
The most successful marketing is now gained through the implementation of free flowing, personalised strategies. The focus has moved away from campaigns aimed at ‘target markets’ and onto communicating with individuals. Consumers are looking at marketing in a different way too, focused on the value of communications to them and not necessarily the product being sold.
What is interesting about this personalised style of marketing is that consumers are increasingly aware of their power as an individual, demanding so much more. Consumers can insist on answers to questions from people that previously hid behind a hierarchy or marketing mask. Simply being told by a company that their product is the best just isn’t enough, and if a product isn’t living up to expectations then get the product designer out to talk about why!
Over the last 100 years advertising and marketing has shouted at consumers, insisting their product is a necessity. However, as the Internet has opened up conversations, consumers have been able to find more value and openness in talking to each other. As these communities formed they began to unravel business jargon and speak to each other in their own, more accessible voices. The Cluetrain Manifesto established that in order for B2B marketing to succeed in this world of honesty they needed to drop their jargon and corporate mystique. Thesis 15 of The Cluetrain Manifesto states:
“In just a few more years, the current homogenised “voice” of business – the sound of mission statements and brochures – will seem as contrived and artificial as the language of the 18th century French court.”
~ from Thesis 15, “The Cluetrain Manifesto” (1999)
The reason that even today this approach is still not being fully embraced by B2B companies is perhaps that this seemly-disorganised way of marketing cannot be controlled. The success of this style of marketing is in the freedom of its voice. By tentatively – rather than wholeheartedly – moving towards this method of marketing, companies are in danger of unwittingly stifling its success, leading to even more of a reluctance to proceed, creating a cycle of ineffectiveness.
In order for B2B businesses to flourish through evolutionary and fast-paced marketing they must have transparent and credible values that are not there to hide behind, but are there to shout about. Instead of worrying about potential customers seeing the inner workings of their business they should have great pride in their companies, employees and products, sending them out into the world to be advocates of the brand.
The communities are out there and they want to talk. This open communication cannot be stopped and B2B companies can truly be invigorated by grasping the opportunity to fully open up and join the conversation.
Our top five Cluetrain Manifesto ideas to boost your marketing:
- Converse with your customers, don’t just talk at them
- Deliver communications in a human voice – drop the jargon
- Try not to control the conversation – its power is its freedom
- No tentative toe-dipping – go for it and open up your business!
- Be accessible, proudly allow your employees and products to be brand advocates
We’ve all caught ourselves repeating the age old cliché ‘where does the time go?’ – and if you’re like us you’ll currently find yourself planning Christmas campaigns despite it being only the tail end of a (somewhat bleak) UK summer outside. Yes, thinking ahead can be painful when there’s still this year’s plan to get through – but it mustn’t be ignored.
With the not so distant memory of a nasty global recession, marketing spend is still under close scrutiny. In order to secure prosperous marketing budgets the savviest marketing departments will be already thinking about 2012 plans. But with Q4 projects not even out the door, incomplete results still coming in, and the usual amount of future uncertainty, it’s hard to know where to start.
Here are 5 tips to help you get the most from the planning process. Unsurprisingly (or surprisingly to some) it’s back to basics:
1. Make sure every marketing activity, and every penny attached to it, is linked to a specific business objective. Engagement and awareness are nice but contributing to the bottom line is much more valuable! This is something we live by – we call it the Slide One Principle (you can read more about it here).
2. Be realistic – look at what you did and didn’t do in 2011. Ask yourself why activities weren’t executed. Be critical of what was in and out of your control. With this insight, make sure you aren’t going to fall into the same traps again next year. A plan is no good unless everyone believes in it and is committed to it.
3. Get the right people involved – all too often we see marketing departments almost competing with sales teams or customer service departments. If your organisation is serious about leadership – you should all be working towards the same business goals, so your plans should be aligned to maximise impact. Resist the silos – work together to pool expertise and create a plan that really delivers for your organisation! (For advice on aligning marketing with sales, click here).
4. Look ahead – big events could help make your marketing efforts more relevant and amplify their impact. This year we had an epic Royal wedding and next year London hosts the biggest sporting calendar event! Map out any key dates important to your industry – awards dates or technology releases for instance – and think about how you could use heightened awareness to get a conversation started. (You can check out our tips on winning with the Olympics in 2012 here).
5. Be flexible – try to think reasonably of things that could de-rail your plans (do you suspect head count is under threat? Are there any new regulations or laws posing a risk?) and have a plan for them. We have already been through quite a lot in the recession so we can all appreciate how crucial it is to accept (and embrace) change in order to succeed.
Putting in the time now to agree the direction you are heading, assess where you are now and decide how you will advance will stand you in good stead to ensure your 2012 story is remarkable and profitable, instead of stressful and regretful.
The prestigious B2B Marketing Awards are the benchmark of excellence in our field. 2010 saw The Crocodile scoop one winner and one runner up award, and this year The Crocodile are incredibly proud to be finalists for an amazing five awards.
Best Integrated Campaign
CSC Cloud Blueprint Campaign
Most Commercially Successful
CSC Cloud Blueprint Campaign
Solidworks EPDM Campaign
Best use of Direct Mail
Solidworks EPDM Campaign
Best International Campaign
EMC Unified Storage VNXe
As an agency that prides itself on influencing buying behaviour and generating qualified leads, having two separate campaigns shortlisted in the Most Commercially Successful category is a huge achievement and testament to the importance we place on this.
We are also excited about the new category – Best International Campaign. Many of our clients are looking to run campaigns globally. This obviously effects the creative but with good planning and insight it doesn’t need to neutralise it. A special thanks to the team at EMC, it was worth the late nights.
The winners will be announced at the awards event in November so there’s plenty of time to lose weight to fit into those black tie garments.
To Anne, Mark, Vince, Julie, Jess, Mike, Susan, Craig, Iain – game on!
To view the work just click here
Official Olympic partners are already rolling out campaigns but there are great opportunities for all businesses to benefit in 2012. Tapping into the excitement may be an attractive prospect but how can you ensure your campaign doesn’t end up breaching the stringent rules protecting the Olympic brand?
How to avoid ambushing the brand
Although encouraging marketers to utilise the values and spirit of sporting excellence is a great way to keep marketing relevant and topical, be careful not to overstep the mark.
The 2012 Olympic logo, Olympic rings and anything similar to either are reserved for Olympic partners only.
The brand colours
Colour combinations of the Olympic rings, the Olympic torch/flame and athletic images are also banned.
Advertising and affiliation
It is prohibited to use any advertising, marketing or sales promos in conjunction with any images, words, sounds, designs and marks of the Olympic brand. Also be aware that it is illegal to endorse, affiliate or claim sponsorship with the games, 2012 Olympics, Team GB or the International Olympic Committee/Olympic movement.
Mottos, word combinations that suggest affiliation with the games, and using various combinations of words surrounding the Olympic brand are all prohibited.
Phew! And there are many more. To ensure you don’t fall at the first hurdle (sorry, it had to be done) here are the Brand Protection guidelines.
A few things you could do…
Simply plastering the Union Jack over your marketing material and using clichés like ‘Be on the winning team’ will guarantee you get lost. Think differently. The games are about pride, determination and collaboration. Your thinking needs to embody those values.
Be big and bold
The Olympics will show the world that the UK is front-runner for innovation and energy. With an opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle we can be sure the games will be nothing short of spectacular. Marketing teams should follow suit with campaigns that are adventurous and innovative. Don’t hold back, I am sure Mr Boyle won’t!
Take advantage of the extra footfall
According to an article by MarketingWeek outdoor advertising is set to increase as the Olympics get nearer. Be sure to follow the guidelines set out for advertising to gain the greatest value.
The last London Olympics were held in 1948, so let’s get excited about what they mean to the country, the economy and of course our sense of national pride. The games are a great example of global marketing for the whole country, something marketers can only learn from and engage with. We’re really looking forward to seeing some great campaigns springing up this year, let’s see who comes out on top and who ends up being disqualified. Happy 2012 marketing to all!
Disclaimer: Please note that this post should be used for reference only and should not be used as definitive legal advice.
Image courtesy of The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd.