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Marketing communications and brands in business markets


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Two-hour lecture to MSc in Marketing students in the Business to Business Marketing module at Lancaster University Management School on 13 March 2017.

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Marketing communications and brands in business markets

  1. 1. Marketing communications & brands in business markets Lancaster University Management School March 13, 2017 Duncan Chapple Web Web Slides Blog Twitter @DuncanChapple
  2. 2. Stepping stones Professional • Ovum: CRM industry analyst • Omnicom: PR Business Group Director • Deloitte: Senior comms manager • Lighthouse: IR/PR board member • Octopus Group: Associate Director, MR • Kea Company: Managing Partner, AR • University of Edinburgh Business School: Faculty member Educational • Manchester: BA Humanities • City: MSc Business Analysis • Leipzig: Entrepreneurship • UCLA/EDHEC: Exec program • LBS/Dartmouth: MBA • Edinburgh: PhD (ongoing)
  3. 3. 1.Start marketing directly to account networks, not to online personas.
  4. 4. Three in four of these sell mostly B2B
  5. 5. Neglecting the importance of networks is an easy trap to fall into. Influencer networks have changed, but their role and significance in B2B buyers' decision making hasn't. Why would it? Product selection is only marginally less risky for the buyer — personally not necessarily corporately — than it once was. Ian Hook Warwick MBA Chief Operations Officer Cognia
  6. 6. Long sales cycles and big, diverse buying teams change the dynamics. It's a long game. Doug Kessler Cornell BA Creative Director Velocity Partners
  7. 7. Persona-based, content-driven online marketing is easier to formulate (or in this case reduce to contextual messages around appealing to generalized personas) because B2B value propositions are much more difficult to communicate in real terms on the one hand and on the other that depending on networks to drive sales can cause fear of lack of market exposure due to a “behind the scenes” approach Joel Terwilliger University of Technology Sydney MSc Fundraising and stakeholder relations UTS, University of Newcastle, Washington State
  8. 8. Easier to execute without value propositions Show the feature. Where’s the value? Booker:
  9. 9. Must content-driven marketing attract low value customers and turn marketers’ focus from high value networks?
  10. 10. Business marketing differs from consumer marketing • More embedded role of networks (of organisations and executives) between the producer and the consumer • Ambiguity of the value of the solution on offer. Modern marketing has become laser focussed onto content-driven online marketing targetted to general models of potential purchase influencer: personas. The reified over-reliance on persona- based marketing means that measurable clicks are displacing brand equity approaches, based on relationships that trust, emotion, relevance and a resulting price premium.
  11. 11. 2. Segment on material and emotional benefits, not just lead scores
  12. 12. There isn't just one B2B. The enterprise sector, small and mid-sized business and start-ups all differ. Many B2B marketing plans are copies of approaches originally tailored either big corporates or start-ups. Speaking about B2B in general, without designing for segments, is a mistake. Often that generic approach leads to an misunderstanding about where and how choices are made. Some small businesses work like consumers while larger businesses have complex decision-making processes. Victoria Rusnac LBS MBA Head of Marketing Adzuna, Intuit, EE, Orange, Nestlé
  13. 13. The largest problem I have seen in B2B marketing is the tendency to focus on your features and benefits rather than your client’s business problem, its cost and how your offer will solve it. Robin Stacpoole LBS Sloan Fellow Energy industry business development Shell, Weatherhead, ComStrat
  14. 14. Rankings, click-throughs, online conversations, are all measurable outcomes which — ultimately for marketing it is where the rubber hits the road. But like any statistics, they only tell part of the story. A lot, of the problem here is the management generation. Marketing has got more complex, more opaque, and they are either still trying to catch up or never got it the first time round. Which drives them to drive marketing for the here and now. Ian Hook Warwick MBA Chief Operations Officer Cognia
  15. 15. B2B buying decisions are always based on a Value for Money calculation and the associated business case. Therefore you need to understand the business case, and how the features and benefits of your products and services apply to it. Key in marketing is to engage and move their business case to fit your commercial and technical offering ahead of your competition's VfM evaluation. Nick Richardson Newcastle BSc Business development consultant The Logic Group, Thales etc.
  16. 16. What interim solutions exist between mass content marketing and very tailored engagement strategies?
  17. 17. Undifferentiated lead scoring is displacing benefit- based segmentation. Marketers buy lists, and then aim email and telephone campaigns at those lists, successively narrowing their focus on customers who keep on responding. The operational logic of that is clear: you can’t call 5,000 executives, but you can send one email a month and then after half a year call the 100 who seem to have opened most of them. Instead of concentrated marketing aimed at the most valuable segment, or differentiated marketing based on competitive positions, you have an approach that focusses on the most externally-informed, and time-rich, buyers rather than those with the highest benefit from your solution.
  18. 18. 3. Prioritise the emotional promise, not clickbait
  19. 19. Case study: Evian
  20. 20. #evianBabyBay
  21. 21. What product brand could not use that creative approach? Does that approach echo the Evian brand? If you swap in another brand, does it still work? Is this about the Evian brand if it could work just as well for Coke, Nike, Gillette, or Samsung?
  22. 22. Evian once used babies in an on-brand way
  23. 23. The association between the message and the brand’s value is slipping away. Mostly shocking, awkward, or somewhat entertaining adverts are everywhere and the most you can remember is the logo but how it will help/why buy doesn’t linger – mostly just remembering how annoying, stupid, or simplistic (I already knew that) it was Joel Terwilliger University of Technology Sydney MSc Fundraising and stakeholder relations UTS, University of Newcastle, Washington State
  24. 24. Sadly too often marketers get distracted by the process of marketing rather than focussing on the purpose of marketing Andrew Yuille MSc (Dist.) Marketing & Management Head of Risk Business Solutions Thomson Reuters
  25. 25. Case study: SaleCycle writes one of 2016’s ten most- shared B2B marketing posts 180-strong online marketing firm, headquarters hear Durham Marketing focusses on blog, but 10 posts produce most traffic Conclusion: make less content, focus on what gets the most traffic (How to… educational posts) Widely shared and praised viewpoint
  26. 26. The tech that's driving new stuff is going to drive your careers more than you imagine. The machine learning account exec sounds like fiction but so did driverless cars... Sandy Purewal Chairman Octopus Group
  27. 27. Are there strengths to these approaches that compensate for the weaknesses? In some ways it's the old problem of marketers confusing tactics/execution with strategy. Content marketing is critical. But it is a process not a strategy. Ian Hook Warwick MBA Chief Operations Officer Cognia
  28. 28. Should B2B brands focus on the content that gets the most views?
  29. 29. Content marketing often uses echoes, not emotional promises. If you give people the content they seem to want, then they will value you as a content source and consume more of your content. But should you focus on the content people want to read? The biggest problem with that is clear from a glance at the SuperBowl adverts or the advertising firms that win the Lions at Cannes: you end up entertaining people rather than reasserting the value of what you have to sell. Of course, the best brands can produce engaging advertising that is on-brand, but many are on the road to cute puppies, monkeys and babies but no emotional promise of the benefits they provide.
  30. 30. 4. Focus on relationships, not easy campaigns.
  31. 31. It's not about hanging with the ad agency, but working with the sales force. Mark Ritson Lancaster BSc & PhD Marketing professor Melbourne Business School
  32. 32. Graduate marketeers are preoccupied with learning about digital marketing. Rightly so: many organisations are still learning. But this is no substitute for understanding the buyer, understanding their buying process, their influences, and ensuring their marketing programme is founded on a rock solid strategy, the tenets of which haven't changed since the days of Kotler. Ian Hook Warwick MBA Chief Operations Officer Cognia
  33. 33. Do marketing metrics develop short termism rather than customer- or relationship- orientation?
  34. 34. Marketing is focussed on webalytics, not satisfaction or repurchase. Because business marketing sells to networks of influencers, and because the initial purchases are often unprofitable, the management of client accounts should be more important to marketers than new business development. Because our value proposition evolves over time, we to need to use the decision to buy from us as an opportunity to increase our understanding of each client's developing problems and opportunities. But marketing also needs to understand how far we are meeting our promises, and which new benefits are being realised, so that our marketing is in line with the value we really produce. Technology-driven marketing points marketing and sales people away from that, and towards a conveyor belt of content marketing campaigns focussed on up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
  35. 35. Summary Start with networks, not personas Lead scoring is displacing benefit-based segmentation Content marketing is turning marketing from an emotional promise into an echo chamber Up-sell and cross-sell replaces relationship-based fulfillment
  36. 36. Recent, valuable opinion • How B2B Sales Can Benefit from Social Selling - HBR • How B2B digital leaders drive five times more revenue growth than their peers - McKinsey • 10 Fearless Predictions for B2B Sales and Marketing - Gartner • How b2b CMOs can align sales & marketing - Branding Magazine
  37. 37. Questions? Comments?
  38. 38. Marketing communications & brands in business markets Lancaster University Management School March 13, 2017 Duncan Chapple Managing Partner, Kea Company Work Slides Blog Twitter @DuncanChapple