Engaging a business audience of One

3,040 views

Published on

"A brave, new business world."
It’s difficult to imagine any landscape that’s changed more than business-to-business. The last 5 years has seen almost all the rules re-written, re-worked or simply revoked. Social platforms. Mobile connectivity. Niche business media. Content as a sales source. Targeting business people as people. They're just the tip of a moving landscape. In the pages of 'Engaging a business audience of One,' the OgilvyOne thought-leaders examine each of these game-changers.

Published in: Marketing, Business, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
3,040
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
350
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
68
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Engaging a business audience of One

  1. 1. Engaging a business audience of One Driving customer engagement with today’s business community
  2. 2. A brave new business world It’s difficult to imagine any landscape that’s changed more than B2B in the last five years. Social platforms. Mobile connectivity. Niche business media. Content as a sales source. Targeting businesspeople as people. In the pages that follow, the OgilvyOne thought-leaders examine each of these game-changers and outline how you, as a business-to-business leader in your industry, cannot just survive, but must thrive. 3
  3. 3. Contents Businesspeople are people too Rob Morrison, Creative Director, OgilvyOne 7 How to deliver successful B2B leads via LinkedIn Curtis Tracey, Neo@Ogilvy 11 Digital B2B – reaching a niche audience Curtis Tracey, Neo@Ogilvy 15 B2B mobile marketing – three myths debunked Emily Kelley, OgilvyOne 19 Social media ‘barely negligible’ as a sales lead: you’re missing the point Roger Christie, Social@Ogilvy 21 B2B guide to social media Roger Christie, Social@Ogilvy 25 The seven steps to building a B2B content machine Gordon McNenney, DT 27 5
  4. 4. Businesspeople are people too Appeared in Encore/Mumbrella Rob Morrison, Creative Director, OgilvyOne First a confession: As a fresh-faced junior copywriter I once put a B2B concept in front of my Creative Director which included a briefcase. It may even have had a balding man wearing glasses dressed in a business suit. Yep, I played to the clichés. I was young. And I was dumb. The reality is that B2B customers come in as many shapes and sizes and colours and genders as B2C customers. Why? Because they are the same people. Not similar people. EXACTLY the same people. Businesspeople go home. They have lives. They have things they love, things they hate and things they’re ambivalent about. In short, they’re consumers too. Other people say B2B decisions are strictly rational. That emotion has less influence over choosing Brand A over Brand B. These people are called idiots. Of course emotion is a key driver. There is nothing more emotional in your life than your career. It affects everything. Make a poor decision at work and that decision can follow you forever – ask Julian Assange or Nick Leeson. When I first started in marketing there was a well-known expression: “No-one ever got fired for buying IBM.” It doesn’t get more emotion-driven than that. So how do we rediscover the humanity in B2B communications? I’ve written five rules of emotional business. Rule 1: People have egos Businesspeople love to feel special. Give them something they can’t get anywhere else. Talk to them in a way that’s sympathetic to their trials and torments. One of my favourite pieces of communication of all time was sent to media buyers from a Swedish newspaper group. They found the birth announcement of each member of their target audience and sent it to them in a frame with a line that simply said, “The First Media Choice” . 7
  5. 5. Rule 2: People prefer being shown There’s a reason Tom Cruise shouts “Show me the money” and not “Tell me about the money.” As a rule, demonstration ideas are always hardworking. They engage your audience in a way that simply talking about your benefits never will. What do I mean by demonstration ideas? For example, there was a solar energy report in Austria which was printed with solar-sensitive ink. You could only read it in bright sunshine. Rule 3: People like surprises Businesspeople are acutely aware of what’s going on in their marketplace. They know their customers and their competitors intimately – because there’s comparatively few of them. So you need to work hard to surprise them. But if you can, the results will follow. DHL recently sent a wall calendar to customers where each page was split either side of midnight – because that’s their working day. Rule 4: People crave understanding This is not a new technique. In the 1960s David Ogilvy talked about getting the reader nodding. We now have more research, more insight, more information than ever before. So let’s use it. Let’s demonstrate that we understand our business audience’s pain points. My favourite example of this is from the UK where a software company sent a letter to IT managers printed on a dust cloth. The message was “With our new security tools it may be a while between trips to the server room.” What a brilliant demonstration that you understand them. 8
  6. 6. Rule 5: People love being engaged We live in a social age. Real time. Instant feedback. Shared content. In the B2C world there are lots of examples of marketers using this to their advantage. But there are far fewer examples in B2B. Why? Businesspeople are just as likely to get involved if it’s something they believe in, or can help them to be successful. One of the few examples of this is the American Express ‘Small Business Saturday’ program. Spotting that small businesses were struggling, Amex declared a single day for residents of the US to ‘shop small’. The small businesses themselves did all the heavy lifting, using everything from posters and balloons to social media and content assets. It was helping their business, so they got engaged. Still reading? If you’re still reading, then hopefully I’ve adhered to at least a few of these B2B rules. Were you surprised? Understood? Engaged? I’ve clearly shown you what I mean. I may even have pandered to your ego – unless you’re a briefcase-carrying, grey-haired suit wearer (sorry about that). All of which hopefully makes this article a clear piece of business communication. And treats you as a person too. 9
  7. 7. How to deliver successful B2B leads via LinkedIn Appeared in B&T Curtis Tracey, Neo@Ogilvy Want to deliver a lead-generating campaign with content that the audience will demand? Of course you do. It’s every marketer’s dream for their customer to demand a conversation. Social networks provide the platform for brands to build one-on-one relationships. For a professional audience, no-one does it better than LinkedIn. Here are three ways to use LinkedIn as a media provider and a social platform: 1. Building brand awareness to a niche audience LinkedIn is unrivalled by its competitors in the B2B landscape for targeting. No other channel can offer its level of granular audience targeting for display. When running either display or InMail, businesses need to ensure they understand what will be delivered. For large business solutions, it’s unrealistic to expect identified prospects. Advertising objectives should be set for awareness. Cathay Pacific, for instance, employed a creative way of using LinkedIn’s audience information. To help promote business travel from the US to Asia, Cathay Pacific used LinkedIn targeting to segment the audience that belonged to groups related to business travel in Asia. Display and poll ads were used, targeting this specific audience. They achieved 97 recommendations on their product page and 1,324 responses from business travellers. For selling larger business solutions, LinkedIn presents other lead-generating tactics that are unique to their platform. 2. LinkedIn Groups: building brand influence The majority of companies have created a LinkedIn group. In some cases, 11
  8. 8. companies will have 20 or more groups, each with only 10 members. This becomes confusing for an audience interested in a specific topic. Companies need to be smarter when creating groups, and if it’s not providing value, take it down. A group is a useful tool for influencers within your organisation to build relationships with potential customers and for your sales team to gather audience insights. Over time, groups have the potential to grow into important tools that will establish your brand in the market as a thought leader. To create a successful group, you need support within three areas of expertise: Social marketer: He/she will put together a recommendation for community management and resources for managing the group. If no resources are set aside for social, it will be difficult to harness a productive discussion. Group members will not stay without relevant and consistent interactions. Media strategist: This is where your audience is going to come from. Don’t expect your group to grow organically. To drive audience, you can run highly targeted group promotion ads throughout LinkedIn. Without it you might struggle to increase numbers and have an engaging conversation. Content marketer: Some organisations have employed content marketers, but if you do not have one, reach out to your agency for help. Content is the staple of your group and it’s important to ensure that your influencers are posting relevant and consistent content. Content is key to maintaining and growing a successful group, therefore invest in resources for content management. IBM has recently created a group within its growth markets. Smarter Cities Connect is an award-winning example of how best to use this environment. Smarter Cities Connect developed into an always-on platform allowing IBM’s sales and marketing team to gain insights from a very specific and engaged audience. It also allowed them to invite these civic leaders to events for face-to-face engagement. In just one year, the group grew to more than 12,000 civic leaders. 12
  9. 9. 3. SlideShare: A new environment for content distribution SlideShare is a competitive platform for business decision-makers to discover information about products/services and industry information. SlideShare Ads are the first lead-generation offering from LinkedIn. The ads promote your content through display media. This promotion can only use PPT content, whereas SlideShare can host video and PDF, but this will soon change as the technology develops. This is currently being tested in the US but is available in the Australian market. Remember what your core objectives are for your investment with LinkedIn. If you want to help build awareness with a niche audience, LinkedIn is a great environment to run your digital advertising. But if your expectations are lead generation and sales enablement, then look to LinkedIn’s social capabilities. After all, LinkedIn is one of the strongest social networks in the world. 13
  10. 10. Digital B2B – reaching a niche audience Appeared in Marketing Magazine Curtis Tracey, Neo@Ogilvy In a business-to-business environment, making use of reporting analytics is a complicated process, writes Curtis Tracey, but the marketing and business opportunities cannot be ignored. There’s no doubt that the amount of data collected each year is growing exponentially. It provides new opportunities – with web analytic tools – to enrich digital advertising and increase the intelligence of each campaign. Data can be used in myriad ways to discover the most effective methods to convert your key audiences. But each opportunity presents new challenges. One of the biggest for marketers always has been and always will be accountability and ROI. Now more than ever it’s imperative to have an ROI model in place that will help optimise digital and traditional media, aiming for consistent quarter-on-quarter growth. Furthermore, strong reporting metrics are key to proving digital marketing success. It provides a true understanding of performance and how additional business revenue has been achieved. This is especially true for those working within a B2B context. As a B2B marketer, it is crucial to ensure that the opportunity of ‘big data’ and the benefits it creates for business are fully embraced. Marketers must make fundamental changes to the way they have operated in order to take advantage of the new media landscape. There is now the opportunity to share and communicate with potential consumers in environments where they are most receptive. Together with the correct content strategy, this presents a chance to allow data and analytics to drive performance and ensure content is cleverly targeted to the right place at the right time. Additionally, the evolution of mobile is changing the way potential consumers are undertaking business research, therefore presenting huge opportunity for agencies and brands alike. 15
  11. 11. The challenge In Australia there are limited amounts of digital opportunities available to B2B marketers. With limited targets it becomes imperative to ensure the right environment is chosen to drive the most revenue for business. For example, a particular publication may appear to be the most credible and have the strongest reach. But, in fact, the people engaging with the content in that particular environment may not be looking to make a purchase decision at that stage. Volume does not always mean quality. Therefore, using an intelligent trial strategy will help identify which environment works best for a particular brand or product. When a digital advertisement produces an efficient cost per lead, a decision to invest more in that channel can be made. However, first we need to consider this: are the leads coming through driving business revenue or are the leads going nowhere? Some publications will generate a higher cost per lead, but if the potential customer is of higher quality it will result in an increase in revenue. Some channels are excellent for driving volume, but their audience may not be the right one for driving revenue. The only method to truly report on lead generation is through use of a data analytic tool that can connect the initial touch point with the consumer and track them through a complicated journey. To be able to prove ROI is the first step in developing a true digital performance campaign. Addressing the challenge As a general rule, true reporting is more difficult with B2B clients. It is a more complicated process to have a seamless reporting analysis, not to mention receiving feedback from sales representatives. This is usually due to the complexity of the user journey through to purchase. With large-scale products and services valued at $100,000 and over, the conversion process is most likely going to be taken offline. It may take more than a month to convert the opportunity. Once the conversation is moved 16
  12. 12. offline, there are several steps that need to be in place to report accurately. This opportunity can start from something as simple as a click, following through to a one-on-one conversation with a sales representative. If the proper reporting is not in place, the marketing investment in digital (along with other channels) will become a leaky bucket. You may be mining for leads, but there will be little understanding of which channels are driving the business objectives. ROI models are unique to every business. Experience has shown that by allowing a small amount of resources to set up an ROI model, it will yield efficiencies within three months and ROI will increase through optimisations. Staying up to date with methods of how potential clients are consuming media and doing research is paramount. Mobiles and tablets are rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing sources for business solution research for C-suite clients. Solutions are now available for lead generation across mobile devices as well as effective geo-location targeting. Three must-dos in data for B2B marketers 1. Embrace data. There are many business analytics tools in the market available to help optimise and analyse data. The right solution can vary depending on the company’s product and the complexity of the customer journey. Remember, data is your friend. It will result in more effective use of marketing budgets and, over time, a stronger ROI. 2. Mobile and tablet. As trends quickly shift and smartphone and tablet technologies rapidly change, it’s important to recognise the marketing value and opportunities these devices present. Importantly, there are also additional opportunities offered in mobile for B2B campaigns. ‘Click to call’ functionality gives potential consumers the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation directly. Further, without a mobile-friendly site, a user’s first experience with your brand could potentially be ruined. 3. Reporting and analytics. In order to use digital media to its full potential, a strong reporting offering is a must. Any digital execution needs to be able to provide an ROI for the business. Once a reporting process is in place, proving 17
  13. 13. the effectiveness of digital as a channel is easy. Ultimately, this provides a more successful B2B campaign and drives stronger ROI business results. The traditional way to market to a B2B audience is rapidly changing. With the evolution of data and analytics there is an opportunity to evolve digital marketing to reach audiences in places and environments that were previously not considered. Business results are the most important metric, so don’t be afraid to prove yourself with your investment. 18
  14. 14. B2B mobile marketing – three myths debunked Appeared in B&T Emily Kelley, OgilvyOne B2B customers get a bad rap. They are thought to have distinctly inhuman behaviours that the typical fun-loving marketer doesn’t quite comprehend. And most agency types will push the B2B briefs to the backburner, choosing to focus their efforts on the seemingly more exciting consumer briefs. But why this trepidation when it comes to marketing to B2B customers? There are a number of misconceptions about B2B customers; they’re behind the times, they’re safe, they don’t like creative creative. These misconceptions are having a detrimental impact on the effectiveness of B2B marketing campaigns, particularly as communication platforms and customer behaviour evolves. And nowhere is this more evident than in mobile marketing activity. So what are these misconceptions about the elusive B2B customers and their mobile behaviour that are holding marketers and advertisers back? Myth 1: B2B customers are laggards – we’ve got plenty of time to optimise our communications activity for mobile. Reality: Your email and web metrics have been inexplicably on the decline, despite what should be an obvious negative correlation between your customers’ mobile usage and campaign performance. The majority of the B2B audience is relying solely on their mobiles to view emails while they’re on the go; they’re adopting mobile search at a rate much faster than the uptake seen for desktop searches; and they’re visiting your website from their mobile devices at a surprisingly rapid growth rate. If you haven’t already started improving your customers’ journey from mobile devices, then now is the time to get started. Myth 2: B2B customers don’t consume content like consumers – after all, they are making serious decisions about serious matters and therefore our content needs to be weighty and serious. 19
  15. 15. Reality: Your customers do leave their offices. But, like you, they don’t always leave their work behind. So they are continuing to think, plan and be inspired about work – even when they’re not at their desks. Time-pressed, they’re often consuming business-related content while they’re away from the office, and this content is increasingly being consumed from mobile devices. And you know how you don’t sit down after dinner to read a lengthy PDF from your tablet while you’re watching The Voice? Neither do B2B customers. So consider rich, engaging content formats that may distract your audience from Ricky Martin. Myth 3: B2B customers progress from research to buying in a completely linear fashion. Reality: Er, no. And once you add mobile to the mix, the journey becomes even more convoluted. It also becomes much more difficult to control. Retargeting becomes next to impossible. An email scanned from a mobile handset rarely gets followed up when the customer is back at his or her desk. However, if managed correctly, the customer journey aided by mobile is arguably faster. Mobile behaviour is generally more action-oriented. If there are tactics in place to effectively manage customer progression from mobile devices we can capitalise on a customer’s specific need. For example, mobile-friendly emails with clear CTAs, click-to-call SEM, and mobile-optimised websites improve the customer experience and allow them to take an action immediately. If you haven’t put a plan in place for optimising your marketing for mobile devices, you need to stop making assumptions about your audience and start looking at your communications’ performance. More than likely, you’re seeing a sharp decline in metrics. In order to capitalise on the evolving customer behaviour, it is critical to act now. 20
  16. 16. Social media ‘barely negligible’ as a sales lead: you’re missing the point Appeared in Marketing Magazine Roger Christie, Social@Ogilvy Not long ago, a research report from Forrester made headlines when it claimed that less than 1% of online transactions reviewed in the study could be traced to a specific social media post. Despite all the hype, the report concluded, social media was failing to generate any results, and businesses were being lured by the bright lights and shiny new platforms only to end up empty-handed. So I suppose I should pack up my things and leave my pass and snake oil certificate with reception? Well, maybe not just yet. As my colleagues in the US have identified, there is much more to social media than getting people to click through to buy from a single post. As they correctly identified, the report from Forrester was based on 30 days worth of data – not much when you consider that 2.5 quintillion (two and a half billion billion, or 25 followed by 17 zeros) bytes of data are created every day – which presents two problems in my eyes, and two core principles behind business success in social media that this report fails to address. Firstly, social media is not a 30-day campaign, or a 60-day one for that matter. Social media requires a long-term view and commitment to develop tangible results. There is no switch to flick which will lead to instant business success. Unfortunately it’s not just Forrester that is critical of the short-term pipeline issue around social media, with many Australian businesses adopting the perception that a Facebook page will result in increased revenue. Why? Will having a website without a clear strategy and mapped user journey lead more people to buy your product? 21
  17. 17. We need to move our thinking away from ‘what can I get from social media?’ to ‘what potential can I unlock by integrating social media as part of my broader communications and business activities?’ And we are starting to mature in our approach. This attitude is beginning to shift, with marketers locally beginning to understand the importance of developing a relationship before earning the opportunity to sell to customers. In fact, a recent report from iStrategy revealed almost 50% of marketers have ‘engagement only targets’ for social media, while one in five had already implemented ROI targets for their businesses. For me, this indicates that marketers are still struggling to pin down the exact measures for their social media activities, but it also suggests there is work to be done in developing a clear understanding of customers’ needs and how to use social media channels to engage them. For Aveeno Australia, the brand was looking to drive awareness of a new product launch while also activating brand ambassadors and driving word-of-mouth around its product suite. It understood its customers and prospective customers, knowing there was a disconnect between awareness and consideration. However, once the product was tested, customers were convinced and converted to using the product. Based on this insight, Aveeno developed a campaign targeting Facebook users to drive consideration and purchase, seeing a 7% increase in sales as a result of the campaign. While the sales increase was welcomed, the CRM benefits of capturing an audience of potential advocates to engage with around future product launches and brand activities was a valuable secondary outcome. Secondly, social media requires investment in building and nurturing relationships, understanding stakeholder needs and meeting them wherever possible. You may not produce an instant sale or conversion, but you will develop stronger ties to those with whom you will do future business, both in the B2C and B2B environments. Social media provides the opportunity for businesses to connect with people where previously impossible. While your enewsletter or direct mailer may not make it past the trash, engaging in conversation with your target audience via a LinkedIn group affords you the opportunity to showcase expertise and value with an audience where no formal working relationships previously existed. 22
  18. 18. One of the best examples of this investment in relationships comes from American Express who, through their OPEN Forum online community, provide a unique value proposition to small businesses online. Rather than trying to generate immediate sales, Amex has developed a collaborative forum offering advice and insight to SMBs, providing them with the tools and expertise to do their jobs more effectively. Far from being a one-trick pony, this community engages influencers, showcases real business success stories, ties in offline campaigns (like the Small Business Saturday movement), and ultimately directs users to Amex products and experts for conversion. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a comprehensive social media listening and monitoring process ticking away in the background as well. This concerted effort to have a conversation with stakeholders rather than push product ensures Amex better understands their needs and provides an enhanced service as a result. Ultimately, if the only value social media provides for business is driving less than 1% of sales, I expect corporate investment will rapidly taper off, and companies like LinkedIn and Facebook should probably start jettisoning stock immediately. But if businesses use social media channels to develop a clear understanding of (and engagement with) their customers, choose the environments or platforms they are active in, communicate via compelling and engaging content, and create a sound social strategy based on listening to customer needs and wants, there is no reason why they can’t drive not only sales but valuable, lasting business relationships. 23
  19. 19. B2B Guide to social media Appeared in B&T Roger Christie, Social@Ogilvy It genuinely surprises me to see there are still some that seem to believe that investing in social media is risky business. Why would a company not want to know exactly what customers think of their brand and products? Being able to reach into the minds of your customers is no longer a mere figment of marketers’ imaginations. It’s a reality. As is the ability to learn what your competitors are up to in real time and understand market reactions. Social media listening provides businesses with the opportunity to identify where your customers are talking, engage them in conversation, and – when the time is right – convert ‘prospects’ to ‘advocates’ . Despite this fast-changing digital world, what doesn’t change is a client’s expectation that ROI must be achieved, no matter the marketing discipline or methodology. Fortunately, social media provides opportunities for B2B marketers to measure referral traffic, net new customer opportunities and brand share of voice through accurate reporting. Earlier on in the digital era, businesses rubbed their hands over the reach their corporate websites would afford, and other one-to-many communications models. All of a sudden, businesses could sculpt their online presence as desired – a relatively cost-effective way to engage customers en masse, rather than seeking one-on-one engagement via ‘physical’ marketing collateral. The appeal of the early one-to-many communications model – for example, corporate websites – was obvious. It was as a cost-effective way to engage customers. Then they realised – although websites made it easy to speak to customers, it was impossible to engage them. That’s now changed. Although capturing online intelligence isn’t always the most straightforward process, our experience shows there are a few basic steps every B2B practitioner can take to ensure social media success. 1. Do your groundwork before digging the trench Don’t tack a ‘social media execution’ onto the end of other business and marketing 25
  20. 20. communications activities. Before B2B marketers jump into social media, they should first ask themselves: What do I want to accomplish? Is it filling a new business pipeline, developing and showcasing industry expertise, or uncovering customer insights? A recent report cited 69% of B2B marketers are ignoring social media feedback from their customers. If you’re not tapping into the insights already available to you, you’re missing a vital opportunity. 2. ‘Likes’ are not the be-all and end-all B2B Social media marketing isn’t a popularity contest. If all you want are ‘likes’ spend $20,000 on Facebook , advertising and drive people to your page. If you want genuine business results, develop a deeper understanding of the customer and what they want or need from your business. Listen to their needs and build relevance in their eyes. The days of accumulating mere ‘likes’ and ‘fans’ are dead, as enormous communities of online stakeholders are valueless without engagement and insight. 3. Data is the new addiction Love your data – collect it, analyse it, act on it and optimise insights learned from it. Research from Penton Marketing Services showed 26% of B2B marketers don’t know how to measure their social media success, but a rigorous measurement process ensures that you uncover business results. If you’re keen to have your CEO understand the benefits of social media, make sure you evaluate your social media activities and bring measurable results to the boardroom table. If you aren’t measuring what you’re doing (in terms of business impact, not fan counts and ‘likes’!) and learning from your successes (and failures), don’t expect social media to be taken seriously by the C-suite. Social media marketing was once considered a fad, but doubters are now eating crow pie. The 2013 SIIA Marketing Industry Report showed that over 98% of US companies reported that they are at least dabbling in social media marketing. It is now clear to see that social media has grown from niche to norm, and it’s here to stay. Now, B2B marketers must gear up to move past prejudices and seize the potential of social media to drive business impact. 26
  21. 21. The seven steps to building a B2B content machine Appeared in Marketing Magazine Gordon McNenney, DT In a world where every brand has a digital soapbox, it’s what you say that draws a crowd. But filling a digital content pipeline is a big shift for marketers more used to finessing brand campaigns. That’s why the challenges most frequently cited by B2B marketers using content channels like blogs and YouTube are ‘producing enough content’ and ‘producing engaging content’ . B2B marketers need more brand stories, ideas, research, analysis and case studies, and they need to share them with more audiences in more ways. In short, they need ‘an insight creation and delivery machine’ . Here are seven steps B2B marketers can take to get their ‘insight machines’ up and running, and keep them running smoothly: 1. Start with clearly defined audiences and objectives Content marketing is a long-term proposition. It’s difficult to sustain content initiatives if you can’t measure progress towards objectives. By getting senior-level agreement on what you will achieve, you’re more likely to get buy-in for most complex initiatives such as ebooks that can deliver significant long-term value. Unlike paid advertising, there is no ‘guaranteed’ audience for your own content. Before commencing any content marketing program, consider how you will attract and retain your target audiences, and make sure your tactics align with audience preferences. 2. Think about what your audiences are searching for Your ‘insight machine’ needs to be highly tuned to audience interests, since you want them to find your content even if they’re not searching for you. What influences their success? What problems are they trying to solve? 27
  22. 22. At DT/Ogilvy, our data team works with clients to do ‘consumer intent modelling’ Using a range of data, from internal site searches to social . media trends, they identify key customer interests. It’s big data thinking on a manageable scale. B2B content marketers also need to spend time talking to team members in sales, customer service and product development. Create customer personas and use them in content brainstorm sessions. It’s good to put a face on your target audiences when you’re judging whether ideas will be relevant to them. What’s more, the more you understand your audiences, the more you can customise their experiences. Content marketing and content management are rapidly merging. You’re not building websites anymore. You’re building the right experience for the right person at the right time. 3. Identify and recognise your organisation’s content heroes Every company is full of great content ideas, but you only need a small group of people to make them happen. As a B2B content marketer, it’s up to you to find and nurture your content champions. These are the people who are naturally inclined to take on content development tasks and can commit to writing blog articles, appearing in videos, creating case studies, and so on. Your core team of content developers should reflect your full organisation’s expertise. You may find the best content ideas originate from product teams. Look for writers and social media enthusiasts, and team members with expertise in photography and video. Work with managers to include content development in these team members’ job descriptions. Give your ‘content heroes’ access to support from your marketing team, as well as from your advertising and digital agency partners. Clearly define responsibilities and commitments as part of your content marketing calendar. Celebrate their achievements in annual reviews and staff meetings. Their successes will attract up-and-coming contributors, and build content marketing enthusiasm company-wide. 28
  23. 23. 4. Give content marketers the freedom to fail David Ogilvy famously said, “You can’t bore people into buying your product. You can only interest them into it.” When you ask a team of content marketers to ‘produce engaging content’ you may get some ideas from left field. Embrace them. Some of the best ideas I’ve seen started as jokes. No-one took them seriously, until we agreed, ‘Hey, why not?’ Even for the most conservative B2B companies, being boring is never ‘on brand’ Be willing to walk away from ideas that aren’t working, but be fun and . courageous. Let your content marketing objectives be what defines success. 5. Get top people involved from day one Your company’s leaders are likely to be your best salespeople. When you take away all the marketing filters, their insights are content gold. No-one can write or speak about your products and services more authoritatively, and they get a lot of practice doing it. They’re already giving presentations, fronting the media and telling the story of your company, and its products and services. Find out when the presentation is happening and have a camera in the back of the room. Ask them to turn their last company-wide email into a blog post. Repurposing is essential when executive time is scarce. When an organisation’s leaders create a culture of transparency, they’ll be building the most important foundation for content marketing initiatives. Their active participation will create a virtuous circle of customer and internal engagement that drives and maintains the momentum of content marketing success. 6. Court external influencers Content marketing depends on social amplification: its impact grows exponentially when influencers from outside your organisation are involved. Leslie Reiser, IBM’s program director for digital marketing worldwide, describes this as a highlight of IBM’s content marketing approach: “Instead of working within a siloed, pure marketing discipline area, we have amassed a group of influencers. They include our business partners, IT analysts and independent bloggers, many of whom are compensated for their unique 29
  24. 24. point of view and perspective on a particular area. We work in concert across all these various constituencies in IBM to form (essentially) a very robust influencer ecosystem.” Reiser’s approach is moving content marketing in new directions that blend earned and paid media, as well as public relations. By giving influential content developers privileged access to your company’s people, information and events, you can massively increase your ‘content machine’s’ reach. In B2B content marketing, where audiences are often smaller and more time pressed, external influencers are likely to drive your greatest reach. 7. Continually measure results – and build quickly on successes B2B content marketers need to be not only more entrepreneurial with planning, development and distribution, but they also need to be more rigorous with measurement. When a content marketing tactic works well, the results appear quickly in your analytics data. As any Hollywood producer will tell you, your ‘hits’ won’t happen often, so when you have one, run with it. Turn a single content initiative into a series. Create a video interview based on a successful blog article. Turn a one-page report into a white paper or an ebook. Prime your ‘insight creation and distribution machine’ with your successes to build a critical mass of influencers, subscribers, fans and followers. In B2B content marketing, customer engagement is the primary driver of ROI, so you’ve got to listen to them closely. Make customer insight the ultimate driver of your content marketing ‘insight machine’. © OgilvyOne 2013 30
  25. 25. Don’t count the ones you reach. Reach the ones who count. Contact Sally Kissane or Michelle Holland +61 2 9268 1633

×