Opinions, best practices and research into B2B marketing strategy and practices

Denmark: A great B2B nation

The Danish flag or Dannebrog with a white cross on field of red flies on a boat

Denmark has a distinguished history of successful global commerce. As a small country, Denmark consistently punches above its weight, being home to an unlikely number of current consumer superbrands. Think Carlsberg, LEGO, ECCO, B&O, Arla and Pandora to name a few.

But it’s not only in consumer brands that Denmark stands out. In their niche markets around the world, B2B brands such as Maersk, FLSmidth, Rockwool and Vestas are recognised leaders in their fields. And behind these and other multinationals, there’s a plethora of successful, growing companies – particularly in IT and tech – that keep Danish concepts and technologies right at the forefront of global development. Continue reading

What it means to be part of a collaborative B2B agency: An interview with Ken Saito

Night time streetscape of Japan

As B2B customers become increasingly global and ask for more from their agencies, international collaboration between agencies has never been more crucial. Even large agencies don’t have everything that is needed to meet such demands. Being a part of BBN – the world’s B2B agency couldn’t come at a better time. Continue reading

When less isn’t more: the new model of collaborative B2B agencies

international flags on a white background

The days of Mad Men-type agencies are gone – and not just because we’ve moved on from casual misogyny and heavy-drinking lunches. The scope of marketing and advertising has expanded, technology has advanced at lightning speed and no one agency can expect to have all the competencies and specialized knowledge necessary to serve all of their clients’ needs. Even large agencies don’t have everything that’s needed for international campaigns across many different platforms. Continue reading

Branding workshops 3/3 – How to get great results

colleagues results fist bump ideas

It’s either a CMO’s dream scenario or his/her worst nightmare: The entire marketing department gathered in a workshop and told they should put all their branding ideas on the table – and that every idea is welcome. But how do you extract really useful concepts from it all while ensuring everyone feels their input is valued? How do you get results from a branding workshop?

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Branding workshops 1/3 – Big Ideas and picking winners

neon slot machines in a row in a dark casino

I’ve run plenty of B2B branding workshops over the years. Big Ideas come out of them, whether they’re team-building or educational exercises for corporate marketing departments or brand creation/makeover projects of all sizes – but it’s all about picking the winners.

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Powering up your value proposition

Is it time to get clearer on exactly why customers should prefer your company?There can be many attributes for which a product, service or entire company wants to be known: Fastest, cheapest, best quality, most features, most reliable, perfect for a specific situation, trusted, great customer service and more – the list of possibilities is endless.  Continue reading

Customer centricity: The ‘easy’ way to better business performance

Make it easy for your B2B customers

In a B2B environment that is becoming increasingly competitive, there is growing interest in what actually drives business performance.

I was recently presented with some research by Professor Moira Clark of the Henley Centre for Customer Management, which concluded that making it easier for customers to do business is a sure-fire way of improving the bottom line. This takes the notion of customer experience one step further, and she claims that more companies are beginning to bring this line of thought into their strategic planning.

Essentially, it’s about having a customer-centric approach, and the research suggests that customer centricity in B2B drives business performance. The great challenge facing B2B companies, however, is how to change the business to become more customer-centric. For many, it may seem an unrealistic task. Continue reading

Build a great B2B corporate website: a model for aligning strategy with content (part 2)

This second article of a two-part series discusses two of the four strategic pillars of building a B2B corporate website. In the first article, we looked at Strategy and Value Proposition. This time, we look at Brand and Offerings. Continue reading

Build a great B2B corporate website: a model for aligning strategy with content (part 1)

Align your website and company strategy

How often do your colleagues complain about your company’s website? Like many website managers of B2B companies, you’ve probably had conversations with people who are reluctant to use it in their daily business. It could be that it doesn’t truly reflect the company today. Or maybe the content doesn’t support the negotiations salespeople have with customers and the conversations Executive Management have with key stakeholders.

But that’s not how it’s meant to be. At the very least, the website needs to support the business; at best, it should drive business opportunities. So how can you achieve that?

As with any marketing or communications initiative, website planning involves some level of strategic planning. But rather than being an academic exercise, it must be a targeted, pragmatic approach that aligns your online presence with the company’s strategy, brand, offerings and value propositions – what I’ll call the four strategic pillars of the B2B company website.

Long before even beginning to consider a website structure and content, these four strategic pillars need to be defined and documented. Don’t leave a strategic stone unturned until you’re sure. Not only will you save time creating and building your website, but you’ll be confident that you’re making good decisions about architecture, design, usability and content. Indeed, this strategic planning will be the foundation for the website’s success.

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