Putting the Human Touch Back Into Marketing

A roundup of the top insights and inspiration presented at this year’s B2BNXT events.
One year. Three outstanding B2BNXT events. And countless insights from the trailblazers lighting up our industry. I’ve never been more thrilled to work in B2B. And here’s the most exciting part – the best is yet to come! But what have we learned over the last 365 days?

Well firstly, we’ve seen how data-driven means nothing without a dollop of creativity. We’ve heard how personalisation is so much more than inserting a name into a subject line. And we’ve found that, at its core, the difference between B2B and B2C is little more than a letter.

More than anything though, we’ve discovered that people are people – even (supposedly) boring B2B folks with suits and complicated job titles. And in a connected future, success lies in connecting with our customers on a far deeper level.

This DigiBook summarises the five headline insights from across our three B2BNXT events. From buyer psychology to the creative process, we’ll examine how to successfully marry right brain and left brain thinking, and build a customer journey that’s truly fit for the digital age.

In a connected future, success lies in connecting with our customers on a far deeper level.

Caroline Lotinga, Business Director EMEA, MOI

2019 has been something else.

01

Going Through
the (E)motions

We usually think of emotions as the domain of B2C.
Aspiration. Excitement. Fear of missing out – how are any of these relevant to a hard-nosed, spreadsheet sifting B2B buyer?

It’s simple: our buyers are only human.
read more

02

Getting Personal

Where is the best starting point to make your offering more emotionally compelling?

In a word: personalisation.

Are you more likely to engage with a seller who blindly proffers their wares to a crowd, or someone who looks you in the eyes, knows your name, understands your needs, and talks to you on a 1:1 basis?
read more

03

Unleashing Your Creativity

Creativity was a huge theme of B2BNXT. While data and technology are powering the next wave of marketing innovations, it takes more than science to turn the heads that count.
read more

04

Providing Head-Turning Experiences

So you’re gathered your behavioural insights. You understand your audience’s emotional triggers. You have the tech to personalise at scale, and you have a whip-sharp creative culture in place. What’s the final piece of the puzzle?

Simply this: to create experiences that knock their socks off.
read more

05

Bridging the Gap Between B2B and B2C

Did you notice the above brands have something in common? Amazon, Spotify, Netflix - they are all B2C.

Here’s a little fact for you: 71% of consumers want B2C-like experiences.
read more
What’s NXT For B2B?
read more
It’s time to get personal
The availability of information through digital channels has made it far easier for buyers to gather information independently. Marketers have less access and fewer opportunities to influence customer decisions.
By engaging audiences on a human-to-human level, B2B marketers can better influence the buying process, generate more leads and drive better ROI.

about MOI

MOI Global is an integrated B2B agency connecting you with a new breed of buyer, re-engineering your marketing ecosystem to target the places they hang out and the people they listen to. In today’s always-on world where your buyers can research, reject or shortlist your brand without even talking to you, we’ll get you into the conversation.
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With offices in London, Munich, San Francisco, New York, Singapore, Sydney and Dubai we help our clients deliver head-turning campaigns that target international and local markets, covering all aspects of a buyer’s omni-channel world, including digital, social media, events, direct mail and video.

Phil Barden, author of the seminal Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy Things, reminded us of one key stat during his presentation:

A buyer doesn’t take a B2C brain out at work and put a B2B brain in.

Phil Barden, author and MD, Decode Marketing

80%

of buying decisions are made completely unconsciously.
Human brains are lazy. Even for the most ardent, stat-happy buyer, it’s impossible to weigh up every fact and figure when it comes to making a decision. Instead, our brains take a shortcut. They rely on systems of association, relevance, and other criteria that simply aren’t rational.

In short, emotions are key to supporting the decision making process – and you need to wield them effectively.
B2B purchasers are almost

50%

more likely to buy a product or service when they see personal value1.
emotional connections with B2B brands surpass 50%2.
Purchasers’ emotional connection with B2C brands has been rated as being between

Want more proof?

10%

AND

40%

When asked ‘do you see a difference between suppliers and value the difference enough to pay for it?’
Just 14% of B2B businesses answered yes.
(suggesting perceived business value is only a small part of the decision-making process)3

14%

What does this mean in practical terms?
Simply, it means instilling an unconscious sense of reward and personal value. Superiority, greatness, security, job protection – adapt your messaging to show your prospects how great your product can make them feel, and increased sales are sure to follow.

50%

of B2B buyers are more likely to buy a product or service when they see personal value.

You wouldn’t guess it from looking at your inbox, but personalisation goes far beyond starting emails with ‘Hi [name]’ – and this was something our speakers were keen to emphasise.

For example, our speaker Brian Macreadie, Head of Marketing at Addleshaw Goddard, shared a compelling story of how a business effectively tailored their marketing to him. They learned he was a massive movie buff, so they sent him a framed Michael Caine poster, along with a personalised note. The stunt made a big impact on Brian – to the extent that he still recounts it to this day.

Of course, the effectiveness of personalisation isn’t exactly a secret.

We use lots of data to guide us, but we also rely on personal relationships. Customers are effectively betting their lives on a decision, so it’s about trust.

Andrew Court, Senior Marketing Director, Oracle

Of course, the effectiveness of personalisation isn’t exactly a secret.

Research shows

92%

of marketers consider ABM to be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important4 and 85% cite ABM as delivering more ROI than any other channel5.

But there’s a problem: traditional ABM’s popularity makes it a game of diminishing returns.

To stand out from the pack, your ABM efforts – and your content in general – needs to do two things: enable deep, personalised conversations with prospects, and to do so at scale. Modern technology and behavioural analytics are critical to this – but equally as important, as you’ll find out in the next insight, is approaching projects with a creative mindset.

Best-in-class organisations are

93%

more likely to use data to personalise content or communications6.

No one knew this better than comedy writer Tim Reid. For Tim, writing a joke and planning an effective campaign involves the process. Both are an act of subversion: of catching audiences off guard to change their way of thinking.

In the words of the great David Ogilvy himself:

The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.

David Ogilvy, Advertising legend

But remember, creativity doesn’t need to be limited to nice words and pretty pictures. Look at players like Spotify using stream data to predict the mood of listeners, then targeting ads accordingly. From growing your tech stack to interpreting data and audience segmentation, you need to look at your campaigns from top-to-bottom, and empower stakeholders across the whole business to think outside the box.

Creativity isn’t a phenomenon, as most definitions would have you believe. That just embeds the idea that creativity is like pixie dust, that you’re either born with it or you’re not.

Tim Reid, co-creator of Peter Kay’s Car Share

Richard Robinson, Chair of the DMA’s B2B Council and CCO at DPL, encouraged marketers to be brave, playful and unexpected. The world of B2C provides great examples. Look at KFC’s self-depreciating ad campaign when they ran out of chicken, or Burger King giving away free burgers to people dressed as clowns.

I was told I wasn’t creative at school because I couldn’t draw, but then I discovered other ways to be creative. For me, it means producing content I can relate to.

Kate Baker, Senior Marketing Manager, Netskope

88%

of those most successful at B2B content marketing say their organisation values creativity in content creation7.
This is where you bring it all together.

All that knowledge of your prospects you’ve leveraged through data (who are they, where they hang out, what their interests are,) your emotive edge, the creative twist, and a frictionless execution enabled through automation.

There aren’t many B2B marketers who take risks with their promotions, but look at those that do, and you see it can be a game-changer. It’s only when you go out on a limb by bringing creativity to your campaigns that you stand out.

Fergus Gregory, Facilitator of B2BNXT and Group Commercial Director, The Drum

At MOI, we have a word for these kinds of experiences.
We call them Content 3.0.
Content 3.0 is the next giant leap we need. It lets us use technology and data to create content that understands the context in which it’s being consumed. Examples came up again and again at B2BNXT: the way Amazon tailors its product pages, or how Spotify seems to know exactly what you’d like to listen to next.If Netflix can keep you binging, why can’t you do the same for your content? From eBooks to landing pages and videos, you should be capturing data and using your technical and creative prowess to ensure prospects have no choice but to pay attention.

Creativity without data is just art. But data without creativity is neglect.8

Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer,
Vaynerchuck Media

only

9%

of B2B marketers describe their content marketing maturity level as sophisticated9.
Here’s a little fact for you: 71% of consumers want B2C-like experiences.

With that in mind, it seems odd that on average, 16% of B2C organisations’ spend is on marketing, whereas it’s less than 9% in B2B.

Why is there such a difference?

B2B is actually ahead of B2C in many ways – just think about how advanced B2B marketers are in targeting customers at a personal level and using data to generate insights.

Fergus Gregory, Facilitator of B2BNXT And Group Commerical Director, The Drum

As Phil Barden said, ‘a buyer doesn’t take a B2C brain out at work and put a B2B brain in.’ We are effectively marketing to the same people, yet we lack the courage of our B2C counterparts – whether that be in how we outwardly market ourselves, or for getting internal buy-in to do things differently.

While discussing the subject, our panel reminded us there are tons of stuff we are great at. And the low-volume, high-value nature of our audience means we excel getting under the skin of who we are talking to.

71%

of consumers want B2C-like experiences10

Today’s B2B buyer needs are changing rapidly and we’re now talking directly to lines of business.  They’re savvy, they want their needs met quickly and they want to see value.  They have lots of choice, so we need to be more dynamic to meet their needs.  Fortunately, digital gives us new ways to engage them.

Chris Patton, Senior Marketing Director, Western Europe, Fujitsu

We’ve been building really good, deep relationships with the sales teams. By giving them insights that broaden the focus on their accounts that gives them a deeper understanding of the industry.

Edyta Malesza-Malatrat, UKI Head of Industry Marketing and Strategy, SAP

It’s time to get personal

By engaging audiences on a human-to-human level, B2B marketers can better influence the buying process, generate more leads and drive better ROI.

But how much do you really know about your customers?

A lively discussion tonight at B2BNXT around how B2B marketers can learn from B2C and vice versa. At the end of the day though, we are all marketing to humans.

Vicky French, Emedia and Social Media Lead, HPE

Join us in 2020 for B2BNXT
get even closer to your audience.
A series of dinners and workshops will provide you with practical insights, case studies and best practices, including how to:  
Our marketing and industry experts will tell you what to do and show you how to do it in an informal and relaxed environment.
If you would like to speak at one of our 2020 events, please contact fiona.handley@moi-global.com
With thanks to our expert speakers of 2019
Phil Barden
Managing Director
DECODE Marketing Ltd
Jon Clarke
CEO,
Cyance
Andrew Court
Head of Cloud Marketing,
EMEA / JAPAC, Oracle
Kate Baker
Senior Marketing Manager,
NetSkope
Tim Reid
Multiple award
winning comedy writer
Brian Macreadie
Head Of Marketing
Addleshaw Goddard
Helen Brougham
Marketing Operations 
Manager B2B, O2
Edyta Malesza-Malatrat
UKI Head of Industry 
Marketing and Strategy, SAP
Richard Robinson
Chair of The DMA’s B2B
Council, CCO at DPL
Fergus Gregory
Group Commercial Director,
The Drum
Chris Patton
Senior Marketing Director,
Western Europe, Fujitsu
With offices in London, Munich, San Francisco, New York, Singapore, Sydney and Dubai we help our clients deliver head-turning campaigns that target international and local markets, covering all aspects of a buyer’s omni-channel world, including digital, social media, events, direct mail and video.
Clients include:
How MOI Global can help you, email Caroline Lotinga, Business Director for EMEA:

TO FIND OUT MORE

Watch Caroline’s exclusive B2B interview here. More information about B2BNXT can be found at moi-global.com/b2bnxt
To find out more about the agency behind B2BNXT visit moi-global.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

References

  1. https://blog.zoominfo.com/content-marketing-statistics/
  2. https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2018-b2b-research-final.pdf
  3. https://blog.adverity.com/big-data-putting-end-creativity-marketing
  4. https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2018-b2b-research-final.pdf
  5. https://content.buysellads.com/articles/creative-b2b-marketing-campaigns
  1. https://www.b2bmarketing.net/en-gb/resources/blog/why-b2b-marketing-needs-emotional-storytelling
  2. https://www.b2bmarketing.net/en-gb/resources/blog/why-b2b-marketing-needs-emotional-storytelling
  3. https://www.b2bmarketing.net/en-gb/resources/blog/why-b2b-marketing-needs-emotional-storytelling
  4. https://www.salesfusion.com/resource/10-key-account-based-marketing-stats-marketers-know/
  5. https://www.salesfusion.com/resource/10-key-account-based-marketing-stats-marketers-know/
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