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Five crucial B2B marketing lessons from General Electric
Stephen Whiteside, Event Reports, ANA Masters of Marketing, October 2013
This event report describes how General Electric (GE), the engineering and technology giant, approaches business-to-business marketing in an innovative way, identifying five key lessons.
This event report describes how General Electric (GE), the engineering and technology giant, approaches business-to-business marketing in an innovative way, identifying five key lessons. 'Micro-relevance' is important to GE as it seeks to target specific, and sometimes small, groups of people. An example of this has been through connecting with users of Vine, the short-form video app. The second key lesson is that brands should create content; GE has invested in data visualisation as part of this strategy. Other lessons include that it is important for a brand to define and embrace its identity: GE is 'geeky'; brands should not lose sight of the role of 'mind share'; and it is argued that engaging with clients and the public is a useful way of promoting a brand, especially amongst influential cohorts.
B2B customer experience
Bruce Temkin, Warc Best Practice, June 2013, pp. 52-53
This paper argues that most business-to-business companies need to master the basics of customer experience (CX) management.
This paper argues that most business-to-business companies need to master the basics of customer experience (CX) management. As a result of interviews with executives at 28 companies, three key best practices in customer experience are described. The paper argues that in order to build stronger ties with clients, B2B firms must develop a client-centric model of account management (examples of this new approach are described). Investment in customer experience is key to building more loyal and long-lasting business relationships.
Brand strategy for B2B companies
Brigid McMullen, Admap, April 2013, pp. 44-45
Building a brand in the business-to-business community is about much more than visual cohesion and integrated communications.
Building a brand in the business-to-business community is about much more than visual cohesion and integrated communications. As for consumer brands, in the B2B arena, products and services are created to 'prove the promise' to the customer and in this sense, brand strategy is the means of executing the business strategy. This article advises that the brand should guide and inspire all areas of the business from talent attraction and retention to new product development and performance development plans. An example of this strategy in action is shown with Balfour Beatty and the evolution of three brands within its Support Services Division.
GE's new digital marketing metric: behavior, not numbers
Geoffrey Precourt, Event Reports, ARF Re:think, March 2013
General Electric, the conglomerate, is transforming its approach to digital media, focusing not on specific data sets but instead on the actual behaviour of customers and consumers in response to its marketing activity.
General Electric, the conglomerate, is transforming its approach to digital media, focusing not on specific data sets but instead on the actual behaviour of customers and consumers in response to its marketing activity. Achieving this goal is challenging, according to Andy Markowitz, the firm's director, global digital strategy. This is especially the case as no single metric exists for cross-media measurement. This should change in time, but until then, General Electric is looking at the specific outcomes that each media outlet can deliver as a way of developing its strategy.
Get a grip on B2B branding
Brigid McMullen & Alec Rattray, Market Leader, Quarter 2, 2013, pp. 49-51
This article offers pointers for getting full value from B2B brands by stemming product and service substitution, copying and commoditisation.
This article offers pointers for getting full value from B2B brands by stemming product and service substitution, copying and commoditisation. The article also highlights the common reasons for not investing in the brand. These include arguing that, rather than being merely a logo, the business brand sets the direction for the whole organisation; it represents a commitment to focus on the customer and helps identify customers with aligned ambitions. The paper goes on to argue that B2B can also benefit from the perspective of creative partners and agency fees are worth investing in because branding can build sales, advocacy and productivity. Appealing to strategy or vanity can also be the driver to reappraise the role and value of brand.
B2B marketing: A more positive picture
Fran Brosan, Market Leader, Quarter 2, 2013, pp. 14-15
This article discusses two recent and conflicting viewpoints on the state of B2B marketing. Recent research on the topic by the Capsicum Group painted a gloomy picture of the sector, suggesting that B2B marketers are not close enough to customers and do not understand the businesses they work in: this has the overall effect of holding the B2B sector back.
This article discusses two recent and conflicting viewpoints on the state of B2B marketing. Recent research on the topic by the Capsicum Group painted a gloomy picture of the sector, suggesting that B2B marketers are not close enough to customers and do not understand the businesses they work in: this has the overall effect of holding the B2B sector back. But Omobono's research, conducted with the Marketing Society among senior marketers from over 150 companies, paints a more positive picture. It has found that customer relationships are a top priority, and that marketers clearly understand their role and are aligned with buyers.
Carat, Twitter and HSBC: Channel, data and lead generation strategies from the AOP B2B Conference
Joseph Clift, Event Reports, AOP B2B, March 2013
A round up from the annual B2B Conference organised by the UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP).
A round up from the annual B2B Conference organised by the UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP). The main points from the day's presentations, which came from media agencies and clients as well as publishers, include: that content will remain king for B2B marketers; that the complexity of the media and marketing landscape has vastly increased recently – and the industry has a way to go before developing appropriate measurement metrics; and that clients are increasingly likely to adopt integrated solutions and are increasingly open to using new platforms and services to reach a human, rather than a business, audience.
Value pricing for B2B: Maximise B2B profitability
Dr Andreas Jonason and Richard Greenwood, Admap, January 2013, pp. 42-43
Selling profitably to business-to-business companies has become more challenging for vendors as globalisation has dramatically increased sourcing options for buyers.
Selling profitably to business-to-business companies has become more challenging for vendors as globalisation has dramatically increased sourcing options for buyers. Added to this, the rise in importance of professional procurement departments has restricted sellers' ability to capture value from their products. However, there are cases where sellers have successfully countered this trend by moving negotiations away from product price and into discussions about the unique value their offer creates. And others have constructed innovative charging models to better capture value. Using examples from the mining industry and Michelin tyres, the authors outline five critical steps involved in achieving value extraction.
B2B marketing - Wanted: more commercial CMOs
Bev Burgess, Market Leader, Quarter 1, 2013, pp. 31-33
New research has revealed that a disconnect between business leaders and their marketers is threatening growth.
New research has revealed that a disconnect between business leaders and their marketers is threatening growth. The problem is that that marketers lack the necessary business acumen and connection with customers that their colleagues expect. What the sector needs is 'the commercial CMO', who is business-led, client-connected and accountable for delivering against the same business metrics as their colleagues around the board table. The seven steps to transforming marketing for business results include: hiring business people; reconnecting marketers with clients; and aligning marketing with business KPIs.
How Corning broke the rules in online video - and won
Geoffrey Precourt, Event Reports, ANA Digital & Social Media, July 2012
Describes the viral success of an online video by Corning, a global glass manufacturer that wanted to reposition itself away from its historical association with Pyrex glass cookware, a brand it sold 15 years ago.
Describes the viral success of an online video by Corning, a global glass manufacturer that wanted to reposition itself away from its historical association with Pyrex glass cookware, a brand it sold 15 years ago. 'A Day Made of Glass… Made Possible by Corning' - which offers an engaging view of how the company's glass technologies and products could improve consumers' lives in the future - is nearing 20m views on YouTube. This success has been achieved despite Corning breaking several conventions of online video, namely: length (the film is over five minutes long), branding (the corporate logo is consistently present) and sector (only videos from B2C brands usually generate substantial sharing). The video's unexpected consumer traction required a multi-lingual response strategy from the company in order to answer the many queries it generated from fascinated viewers all around the world. Corning has since followed up with a second video, including an even longer 'unpacked' version with accompanying commentary.
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