Why you need to up your B2B marketing (and how not to let it fall on deaf ears)

By | April 23rd, 2016|Insights, Marketing|

Are you taking steps to improve your B2B marketing?

Whenever we talk about marketing and promotion there’s typically a divide between businesses that market directly to consumers (B2C) and businesses that market to other businesses organisations for commercial gain and partnerships (B2B).

Whilst B2C marketing has really embraced digital technologies, B2B marketing, on the other hand, has been relatively slower to adapt, preferring to continue investing in more traditional channels such as in-person events and other traditional techniques.

But with the buyer experience evolving towards increased online interaction and personalisation throughout the buying process, it is more important than ever that B2B marketers rethink their strategies.

Dispelling the myth that B2B and B2C are different

Perhaps the biggest reason that B2B marketers find it so difficult is the emphasis on ‘differences’ in best-practices between B2B and B2C marketing — with B2C practices supposedly lending themselves more favourably online — when in actual fact, the real focus should be on the similarities.

There are going to be differences, sure, mainly in terms of measurability and motive, but the principles of promoting/marketing/selling are basically the same for both instances. Consumers and company buyers may have different reasons for wanting to hear from you, but that doesn’t mean the ways in which you go about it need to be worlds apart. In fact, B2B marketing is a lot closer to B2C marketing than you might think.

The key is understanding what those differences are, where any limitations may lie, and finding suitable ways of adapting in order to leverage the most effective outcome in your B2B marketing campaign.

In fact, a report by Forrester Consultant showed that 46% of B2B sales this year will be a result of marketing across online channels such as websites, social media and email. If you haven’t already thought about stepping up your B2B marketing efforts, now is definitely the time to do so.

Inspired, influential and informative – Creating effective B2B marketing content

First impressions hinge on strong and effective content. But what kinds of content should B2B organisations be putting out there? Whilst consumer-based marketing focuses more on the emotional appeal of the product/service, you can still appeal to B2B buyers from an emotive standpoint but in a more professional way.

The motive for B2B buyers is ostensibly from a more pragmatic standpoint, but your marketing efforts will fall on deaf ears if your content does not resonate with your audience while emphasising the unique and interesting parts of your brand. Personality and engagement are as equally important in B2B marketing as in B2C marketing, make no mistake about it.

Like B2C marketing, the above B2B campaign uses concepts and interesting ideas as a means of promotion rather than just serving up raw facts and information, appealing to buyers on a level beyond the pragmatic.

Of course, B2B buyers are still looking for those tangible ‘pragmatics’ in order to find a reason to buy from you. Knowing what they are and using them to underpin your

Keeping pace with the mega-marketers

By | April 23rd, 2016|Marketing, News|

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”

– Henry Ford

In all its forms, marketing and promotion enables your business to grow. But consider everything that’s involved from an investment perspective and it’s easy to see why many SMEs tend to shy away from it.

Budgets constraints, staffing, creative methods and strategy — all of these things differ greatly between small and large businesses, which doesn’t make the playing field exactly level.

Understandably, smaller businesses are spending less when it comes to their marketing — as little as 2% of revenue, compared to 14% and upwards in bigger businesses — but this kind of conservation doesn’t necessarily equal strategic success. Like Henry Ford infamously said, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time”.

In other words, the marketplace is always shifting, always changing, and you can’t afford to stand still and hope for the best.

Understanding the mega-marketer mentality – Why marketing is important for SMEs in 2016

The IPA Bellwether Report for 2015 revealed that marketing spend in the UK reached £20billion last year, the highest it’s been in almost a decade.

The vast majority of big marketers in the UK see driving new customers as their highest priority at the moment (73%), that’s according to last year’s AFL Marketing Spend report.

This definitely makes a lot of sense, considering that customers (both B2C and B2B) are generally spending a lot more right now. After a few tough years, the economy is picking up again. Internet usage has gathered momentum also, providing marketers with greater opportunities to reach out to their customers.

Increasing customer engagement and driving value from existing customers is also high on the agenda for big marketers — the same report shows — with the ultimate objective being to enhance customer experience right across the board.

In short, big businesses are now on a post-recession marketing blitz. If SMEs are going to keep pace, they need to adopt a similar mindset.

That’s not to say smaller businesses should go irresponsibly blowing their revenue on marketing and advertising, it simply means they need to look at what the mega-marketers are doing and find ways of scaling those processes to achieve the same things.

You don’t need a costly in-house marketing department to get your message out there. All you need is the support of a skilled and knowledgeable team to effectively facilitate your brand communications.

What the big marketers are doing. Are you?

Developing fresh, regular and engaging content

Content marketing is fast becoming one of the leading channels for customer engagement and brand awareness, with the focus very much on quality and delivery. There’s a lot of it out there at the moment, all competing for the attention of your customers, so it’s more important than ever to have a proper content marketing plan in place if you’re going to cut through the

Bluu Sky – Case Study of a Branding Project

By | April 6th, 2016|Branding, Case studies|

“Koobr has reimagined our brand identity and brought it spectacularly up to date – helping us to redefine who we are and how we can communicate with our customers for the better.”

– Geoff Seymour, Managing Director, Bluu Sky

Earlier this year, Koobr worked with Bluu Sky to develop a new and exciting brand. We wanted to bring out the warm and personable side of this East Midlands based company while demonstrating their prowess in the field of telecommunications.

Communicating the right feeling

Customer service is very important to Bluu Sky, so we worked closely with the team to unearth their values and core beliefs as a business, which we then polished and refined in a very real and tangible way.

This allowed us to word-craft phrases and marketing messages around an authentic, emotive and engaging brand voice – in addition to a primary strap line to sit alongside promotional material – resulting in a consistent, impactful and authentic tone of voice for the brand overall.  

A breath of fresh air

From very the start, we wanted to make sure the new brand had a look that was contemporary and timeless, sophisticated yet simple; all important aspects for any tech-based service provider.

We also wanted to visually communicate the idea that using the service was a pleasurable experience – a real breath of fresh air – and so a minimalist style was adopted, using a positive and palatable colour scheme.

How to avoid (or recover from) a social media disaster

By | April 3rd, 2016|Insights|

It’s important to keep in mind that no social media plan is ever going to be guaranteed problem-free. The very nature of social media is that it is totally unpredictable, and that’s why preparedness is absolutely crucial to see a successful turnaround in the event of the dreaded social media crisis.

Hopefully these tips will help you ensure that you’ve streamlined your social media crisis management, and also have avoided a few potential no-nos.

Social media has revolutionised the way that businesses communicate with their customers, and more importantly, how customers communicate with businesses.
It’s never been so easy for customers to publicly make their opinions heard and seen. This transparency can be both a blessing and a curse for any business with social media platforms.

Providing excellent customer service should be a key pillar of any business, but this alone will not always guarantee happy customers, 100% of the time. An angry social media post that goes viral is bad enough, but combine this with a poorly handled response, and your business’ reputation is in serious trouble.

Even if your company prides itself on being first class in it’s approach to customer service, there are still a whole host of reasons things can go awry and lead to a social media disaster.

The rogue employee

Employees with access to social media hold your business reputation in their hands.

As HMV learnt the hard way in 2013, disgruntled employees can have a significant impact on a business if they decide to go out in a blaze of glory. Social media page hijacks, personal detail sharing and abusive responses to customers are just some of the cringe-inducing scenarios that have happened before, and will undoubtedly happen again.

So, how can you and your business make sure you aren’t one of those featured on ‘Social Media Fail’ blog posts at the hands of an angry employee? We think that Anca perfectly sums this up in the below quote from her post on the Entrepeneur.

There’s no reason that your social media team should be treated any better, or any worse, than any other employee. Just because they have the ability to post something damaging on your Facebook page, shouldn’t mean they’re given additional privileges. Creating a culture that keeps your entire workforce happy, and addresses any issues they have, goes a long way to avoiding a rogue employee in any capacity.

Be human

Some of the best success stories from corporate social media accounts are down to the hilarity, empathy, or above and beyond service of the person responding on the company’s behalf. Stop training your staff to give out robotic responses, but instead set out clear guidelines on what shouldn’t be discussed on social media.

Allowing your social media team to put their own personal stamp on their social posts will also allow them to feel as though they are responding as themselves, and not as a nameless person copying and pasting approved responses all day. Let your social team add