UK B2B Marketing Blogs

Do you put your audience’s needs first? Do you create content based on those needs? Or do you create content to push what you want your brand to say? 

A new study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) shows that 90% of top-performing B2B content marketers put their audience’s needs ahead of their company’s message. This creates a valuable bond, influencing audiences to perceive organisations as credible and trustworthy. 

The report further advises that great content should be valuable, consistent, easy to find and should be about them… not you. 

Other key findings include: 

  • 56% increased their spending on content creation over the past year
  • 61% say changes to SEO and search engine algorithms is the top issue of importance
  • 73% use or plan to use personas for content marketing purposes by the end of this year
  • 86% use email campaigns while 75% use educational content to nurture their audience
  • Only 42% say they have conversations with customers as part of their audience research 

Robert Rose, CMI Chief Strategy Advisor, said: ‘Every digital experience we create should not only reflect our focus on winning a moment of truth – where the customer is paying attention – but in deepening the trust gained (or regained) in every step that precedes or follows it.’


A new campaign from Dropbox explores the concept of flow through a series of visually stunning, sci-fi themed shorts.

Creative Director Michael Jeter interprets flow as ‘that feeling of total focus where the world slips away and your brain is free to do what it does best’; Jeter’s vision is perfectly executed in an artistic animation ‘Stay Golden’, which sees a team of astronauts building an enormous bridge between the Earth and the Moon in glorious retro-futuristic style.

The step-by-step process of bridge building, using what appear to be puzzle pieces, relies on teamwork and shows how, with the right flow, everything ‘just clicks into place’.

‘We want it to feel like each contribution a team member makes contributes to a larger, meaningful purpose. That’s the most valuable feeling we can have in a team. That’s the feeling of staying golden,’ says Jeter.

The film and its wider campaign, made up of further videos exploring the fragility of flow (namely being dragged into meetings) and teamwork, aims to remind users of Dropbox’s collaborative capabilities.

Drawing on such varied influences as Gravity, 70s science fiction and NASA sketches, the video is worth a watch for the artwork alone…

 


Has George Clooney joined Game of Thrones? Nope, he’s just taking his quest for coffee incredibly seriously in this Nespresso ad.

As brand ambassador for the coffee experts, Clooney quite literally steps right out of the big screen in full knight’s armour, abandoning on-screen queen Natalie Dormer (yes, really).

'The Quest’ sees Sir Clooney, having recently slayed a dragon, questioned by Queen Natalie on his choice of reward. To her surprise, Clooney heads off through the fourth wall on another quest - one for the perfect coffee.

The comic short sees medieval Clooney baffled by modern New York, briefly wielding a sword at a taxi, before finally finding refuge in a Nespresso store.

The campaign is the largest Nespresso campaign ever created, launching in over 30 countries, and sees Dormer join a growing roster of A-List celebrities putting their face to the brand.

Clooney, who has been brand ambassador for Nespresso since 2006, said he was delighted to ‘live out my fantasy of playing the role of a medieval knight’ in a press release, while Dormer described working with the star as ‘a dream come true’.

The ad also cleverly links various to other marketing channels used by Nespresso to create individual stories and quests on the company’s website - take a look below! 


Following the storm that erupted around political bodies advertising on Facebook, the social media giant is changing the way it displays sponsored posts.

From October 16th, a new update will label UK political ads explicitly as advertising, verify the identity of those buying political ads on the platform and make it easier for the public to access data about campaigns previously run in the UK.

The move follows similar launches in the US and Brazil in the face of mounting pressure from both the public and the UK Electoral Commission to make digital political advertising more transparent, and aims to prevent ‘dark ads’, essentially fake news and propaganda, on both Facebook and Instagram.

The change affects any political figure or party wishing to buy a Facebook advertisement, as well as impacting posts regarding elections, legislation before parliament and past referenda that remain the subject of ongoing debate (take a guess), ensuring clear demarcation for ‘paid for’ posts.

You can see the full list of changes on the Facebook Newsroom regarding the changes and timings for expected updates.


The digital world is growing faster and faster and we’re more connected than ever before in every possible way. Despite the rapid rise of digital, and its sweeping revolution of ease and automation, throwback products like Polaroid cameras and vinyl records show the value of physical, time-consuming products still exists - and that counts for B2B marketing techniques too.

While eshots, programmatic advertising and all digital marketing methods have their place, ‘snail mail’ is anything but obsolete. A recent B2B Marketing study found that half of B2B buyers actually prefer to be contacted by direct mail.

DMs (not the footwear brand) have a poor reputation amongst marketers; marketing automation obsessives fret about the difficulty in tracking ROI and open rates of a traditional envelope and many people believe direct mail is often ignored. However, average response rates for DM pieces have been recorded as high as 4.4%, compared to just 0.12% for a scattergun email-based campaign. And for the digital number crunchers, a promo voucher or QR code makes DM just as easy to track as an eshot.

Above all, DMs offer a chance to get creative and send your customers something meaningful, well-thought-out and of real value. And traditional media doesn’t have to mean boring - combine DM with digital and discover the wow-factor of such tricks as including video in your DM.

It doesn’t have to be one or the other; blending traditional and digital media can make for an even more effective campaign. Go on - give DMs a go.


Anyone still get nightmares about exams? Perhaps in the dream you’re in the exam hall, woefully unprepared. You can’t remember any of your study notes—why do they never stick? 

Well, fear no more as your anxieties can be cured by… a font (though chances are you don’t need to sit exams anymore). 

Sans Forgetica is a free-to-download typeface created by multidisciplinary designers and behavioural scientists from RMIT University. Based on the concept of ‘desirable difficulties’ (the introduction of difficulty in the learning process can improve long-term retention), the font is deliberately hard to read, prompting your brain to engage in deeper processing. 

Text produced by Sans Forgetica slopes awkwardly and appears cut up, damaged by gaps. And it works: research has shown that readers remember 57% of Sans Forgetica text, compared with 50% of Arial. 

It makes you want to make lots of study notes and sit exams all over again (or not).


You make a kick-ass advert. It’s a head-turner. And when they turn their heads, they get hypnotised. That’s how great an advert it is. 

But how do you know? What possible metrics could there be to support your confidence? 

Well, advertisers can now find out how much attention their adverts are likely to capture before they’re launched, thanks to new technology developed by AI specialists Realeyes and Imperial College London. 

Marketers can measure the levels of attention their content seizes by using test subjects' webcams to monitor behavioural cues such as eye movements and blinking. The tech is so specific it can track attention spiking or dipping by the second. 

Mihkel Jäätma, CEO of Realeyes, said: ‘Our AI-powered metric is the most sophisticated in the market, telling advertisers exactly how much attention their content will attract and provide them with actionable insights on how to maximise the ROI of their content marketing.’ 

Now you can make a (verified) attention-grabbing advert.


What sets the top B2B marketers apart from the rest? 

No, we’re not boasting about ourselves (ahem): B2B Marketing and The Mx Group have released a new report on how the most successful marketers are investing their precious time and what they’re doing differently. 

Top-performing marketers were defined in the How The Best Achieve Success report as those who measured themselves as ‘successful’ or ‘very successful’ across all survey questions.

And it turns out, unsurprisingly, there’s no great dark art to it. 

All of them have good data, 74% have effective lead follow-up and 67% use buyer personas. A fully deployed CRM is a must (63%) as well as the use of performance metrics (60%). As for customer care, 56% have an online response time of less than 12 hours. 

And the worst stat from the poorest performers? Only 4% have marketing automation fully deployed. The research further shows a gulf in marketing activities between the most confident marketers and the least.

So, be like the best (still not boasting): integrate data, teams and technology for greater success.


easyJet, easy holidays. 

The original vision of its founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, was to cut the cost of flying from England to Scotland to ‘the price of a pair of jeans’. And now the airline has again tried to stay ahead of the easy curve: screenshot holidays. 

Created in collaboration with VCCP and Travelport Digital, easyJet now has a new feature for their app that allows customers to book a holiday simply by taking a photo of any place they fancy. 

Called Look&Book, users could, for example, upload a picture of a sunny beach they saw on Instagram. The software then uses advanced image-recognition technology to identify the location, find the nearest airport and pre-populates the booking form with those details. Easy! 

Daniel Young, Head of Digital Experience, said: ‘Look&Book will help people to further explore Europe with ease and open up previously hidden holiday locations for a range of customers. It’s fantastic how technology is enabling us to enhance and streamline the customer search and booking experience.’ 

So there you go. Instagram holidays: just tap, book and fly.


Most manufacturing companies believe there is room for improvement in their marketing activities. 

The UK Manufacturing Landscape report by Cognition has found that, even though the majority of manufacturing companies use online advertising (74%), have a social media presence (68%) and pen online content (65%), more than half (52%) think this output could be better.

A common explanation among respondents was the lack of dedicated marketing teams within manufacturing organisations. In addition to this, one in three felt their marketing processes were outdated. 

The research also found that most manufacturing companies have increased their marketing budgets in the past five years. There was a slight aversion to digital marketing among SMEs, who deemed print to be the most effective marketing method. 

Cognition said: ‘While companies in the manufacturing industry are catching on to the importance of digital channels, it is clear from the results of our survey that marketing is behind the times and in need of manpower to implement marketing strategy effectively.’


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