Zoe Merchant

Zoe Merchant

After 20 years delivering B2B marketing strategies in the IT industry, Zoe founded Bright to help tech and consulting firms get the most from their marketing investment. Using agile marketing to test, learn and build on success. Zoe leads the team in delivering results through continual and focused improvements in order to support client’s business goals. A huge foodie and committed turophile – Zoe counter balances this with gymming, running and walking.

Is RevOps B2B marketers next big move?

Is RevOps B2B marketers next big move?

Times are tough, changeable and high pressured for most senior B2B marketers and CMOs. Aligning to business goals and demonstrably driving business growth is more important than ever.  

Over the last few years working with senior marketers to deliver greater marketing effectiveness and agility I’ve learnt about and applied the ideas of Revenue Operations (RevOps) with the principles of agile marketing. Agile marketing, the foundation of Bright’s ethos to help marketers demonstrate value through delivering great work; champions adaptability, customer centricity, and efficient collaboration. The introduction of RevOps expands these benefits across all revenue-generating functions, through improved alignment, efficiencies and effectiveness, and quantifiable growth against shared goals. 

Before diving into the relationship between agile marketing and RevOps, I’ve identified common indicators that signal the need for a RevOps framework in B2B organisations: 

  1. Misalignment between revenue generating functions:
    including Sales, Marketing, Partner & Alliances, Product and Customer Success: Operating in silos indicates the need for the unified strategy that RevOps provides 
  2. Inefficient use of data:
    If leveraging data across customer touchpoints is challenging, RevOps’ integrated data analytics approach offer a cohesive view for informed decision-making
     
  3. Inconsistent customer experiences:
    Disparate customer experiences suggest a coordination gap, which RevOps addresses by harmonising interactions
     
  4. Operational inefficiencies:
    Manual processes or redundancy point towards the process automation and efficiency enhancements facilitated by RevOps
     
  5. Difficulty in measuring Marketing ROI:
    The inability to directly link marketing efforts to revenue outcomes underscores the need for RevOps’ accountability and clarity.
     

Lots of firms have these challenges many of them are perpetuated through the organisational culture, the ways of working as well as team and departmental silos. As I share how the integration of agile marketing principles with RevOps, the emphasis on collaboration with the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), cross-functional teamwork, and a cultural shift towards alignment and collective goal pursuit becomes increasingly significant. These are critical success factors for marketers committed to making an impactful contribution to revenue growth. 

Collaborate with the CRO 

We all know that a productive partnership between marketing leaders and the CRO is critical for sales and marketing alignment and forms the bedrock of RevOps success. For example, when one of our software client’s CMO and CRO began holding regular strategic sessions, they achieved a unified view of the customer journey, enhancing cross-sell opportunities by 10% within six months. This partnership ensures every initiative is directly linked to revenue, creating a united approach to growth.  

The power of cross-functional collaboration 

Cross-functional collaboration is a key principle of agile marketing and underpins the success of a RevOps approach, reducing and removing (where you can) silos to create greater cross functional collaboration to continually improve the customer experience. An example from our work at Bright is a project with a global HCM software marketing team that focused on improving cross-functional collaboration to improve efficiencies and formed cross functional agile squads/hubs including their sales stakeholders and product Subject Matter Experts (SME), which led to a 20% reduction in lead follow up times and improved conversion rates by >5%. This collaborative approach and culture ensure all departments are working towards common business goals.  

Cultivating a culture of alignment and collective goals 

RevOps necessitates a shift towards an alignment and collective goal pursuit are prioritised. Everyone moves in sync and are focused on KPI and OKR that are shared and aligned to the business goals. A Bright client – a continual improvement product and services firm – implemented agile marketing and activated RevOps to define, agree and set common goals and metrics as well as ensuring there was data & reporting to support this approach. This included the CRO, CMO and CFO as well as cascading across the sales and marketing teams. This culture of alignment enabled the organisation to adapt to changing internal and external market factors effectively and meet strategic objectives with greater cohesion. 

How to get started 

Implementing a RevOps model is a strategic shift that focuses on aligning cross-functional teams and cultivating a culture of shared goals and objectives. For B2B marketing leaders, establishing common goals and KPIs is the first step. This ensures alignment across all teams contributing to revenue generation. 

Quick-start Agile Marketing & RevOPs checklist: 

  1. Align on objectives and KPIs:
    Ensure revenue generating teams such as marketing, sales, and customer success teams agree and share common goals
  2. Review current processes:
    Identify gaps in collaboration and alignment 
  3. Establish regular cross-functional communication:
    Keep all teams informed and engaged
  4. Implement shared reporting:
    Use dashboards for transparency and to track collective progress
     
  5. Pilot small agile marketing projects:
    Demonstrate the benefits of agile marketing and RevOps approaches by starting with manageable initiatives such as a pilot customer acquisition or retention campaign. 
     

 This approach offers a clear framework for beginning with RevOps, guiding organisations through the early stages of adopting a more aligned and efficient revenue generation strategy. 

Integrating agile marketing principles with a RevOps framework is an effective strategy for not only elevating the role of marketing in revenue generation but creating alignment and strategic focus to propel your businesses forward towards its objectives. 

 

Zoe MerchantIs RevOps B2B marketers next big move?
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The interplay of key components in B2B Agile Marketing

The interplay of key components in B2B Agile Marketing

In the high-octane world of B2B marketing, standing still is not an option. Agile marketing is not just changing the game—it’s rewriting the rules. This approach, with its heart set on adaptability and laser-focused on the customer, is propelling forward-thinking businesses into new realms of success. It’s about being nimble, quick, and, most importantly, effective. 

So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty, the bread and butter of agile marketing: epics, user stories, tasks, and deliverables. These aren’t just buzzwords; they’re the gears in the engine of change. Through our adventures in transforming marketing strategies with our clients at Bright, we’ve seen first-hand how these components can revolutionise practices and align with OKRs and KPIs to deliver unmatched value. 

The essence of Agile Marketing: Where strategy meets action 

The core quartet: Epics, user stories, tasks and deliverables 

  • Epics are the grand visions, the “what ifs” turned into “let’s dos.” They’re ambitious missions tied to the heart of your business goals or defined by the critical functions of your marketing strategy such as lead generation or customer retention.  
  • User stories are the soul of your customer persona, sharing their desires, needs, and aspirations. These stories draw you closer to your audience, guiding bespoke marketing initiatives. 
  • Tasks are where thoughts turn to action. These are the steps that transform user stories from dream to reality, aligned with your epic ambitions. They’re the day-to-day on your Kanban boards, the pulse of progress. 
  • Deliverables are your battle scars and trophies; they’re tangible proof of the journey from concept to completion, marking your path towards conquering your epics. They’re milestones that measure success, learning, and adaptation. 

 Real success stories 

  • Informa Markets Pharma market leadership: Their leap into agile marketing was based on an epic focused on market leadership. Breaking down this monumental goal into actionable user-stories led to ground-breaking engagement and a dominant position in the pharma industry, surpassing key tradeshow objectives. 
  • Reward Gateway conquering a new segment: They took on the epic of penetrating a new market segment with agility on their side. Focused on “Rapid SME market entry,” they tailored their user stories breaking down their approach into tasks and deliverables that tested, learnt, and adapted, turning feedback into gold and smashing their KPIs. 
  • TECHNIA embracing the virtual shift: The epic was to capitalise on the success of their physical event investment to captivate and grow their audience with virtual events. By weaving the magic of their physical events into the digital fabric, they created user-stories that crafted immersive experiences that not only retained but enhanced the value of their community in the virtual space. 

The interplay of components: The engine of marketing effectiveness 

Diving deep into the mechanics of agile marketing illustrates the importance of a harmonious interplay between epics, user stories, tasks, and deliverables. These components combined with agile marketing ceremonies, principles and critical success factors to create strategic coherence, responsiveness, and iterative brilliance. It’s about moving with purpose, making every note count, and every action sing. In the end, agile marketing isn’t just a way to do marketing; it’s a manifesto for doing business in the modern world, brilliantly orchestrated for those ready to lead the charge. 

 

 

 

Zoe MerchantThe interplay of key components in B2B Agile Marketing
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AI, RevOps and emotion! A look back at the top B2B marketing trends of 2023

AI, RevOps and emotion! A look back at the top B2B marketing trends of 2023

It’s that time of year where we all start to reflect on the trends that have had the biggest impact in 2023. At Bright we’ve spent our year reinventing marketing with our amazing clients, including injecting greater agility into how marketers work together and with other revenue generating teams to refocus on the customer. It’s been a big year for marketing transformation. Marketing is emerging stronger, leaner, more data-driven and able to be more effective and efficient at engaging audiences.   

It’s been a rollercoaster from a macroeconomic perspective and as a business founder and MD there’s been a lot to navigate personally, as well as helping clients become more adaptable and able to manage change.  

One of my highlights was being selected as a juror for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the B2B Creative Lion. Not only was this an amazing experience but it gave me unique insights into some of the biggest trends and critical success factors in B2B. Ranging from why you need to forge an emotional connection with your audiences, to the need for investment in long-term brand building to augment your demand and performance marketing.

As well as this, we have seen the growth of AI and RevOps (my personal favourite), and marketers moving further away from a traditional funnel to a fly wheel model. Throughout all of this, an agile marketing approach is fundamental to being able to quickly test and adopt these developments by staying responsive, data-driven and collaborative. 

The importance of emotion and patience

During my time as a judge at Cannes Lions it was clear that a shift towards a more creative approach (akin to the boldness of B2C) is increasingly evident and showing results in B2B. It’s evident in successful campaigns such as Workday’s Rockstar and Disco’s Lady J [add links] B2B marketers to use emotion in their campaigns to achieve cut through and connect with their audiences.   

Research has shown that using emotion, storytelling, and humour leads to better audience engagement. Campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) with only rational content according to neurosciencemarketing.com. This is still fairly new ground for B2B marketers so using agile principles to test and measure what works and what doesn’t is key. 

The other trend I saw emerging at Cannes Lions was that patience is a virtue in B2B. From the entries we consistently saw more of a focus on long-term brand building, and a move away from over-reliance on performance marketing. According to LinkedIn’s B2B Marketing Benchmark report, 59% of B2B marketing leaders say their C-suite has increased the importance of brand building given economic conditions. Fellow B2B Creative juror Ty Heath, Director of Market Engagement at LinkedIn’s B2B Institute commented: “Brand building is the single greatest opportunity in B2B. We see that most B2B marketers are over-leveraged in lead generation, but brand building is what drives future cash flows.” 

The AI wild west

No 2023 wrap-up would be complete without mentioning the impact of generative AI. This was the year when AI really started to disrupt B2B marketing, and beyond. The areas where we have seen the biggest impact from generative AI has to be in content generation with the launch of ChatGPT back in November 2022, what a difference a year makes! Other content AI tools soon followed. Lead generation tools such as LeadIQ and Kartra are also helping to identify and generate high-quality leads for B2B marketing campaigns. 

AI in marketing offers unpreceded opportunities, with many starting to realise efficiency gains through simple use of AI apps within their existing martech. Longer term marketing leaders will need to understand which types of AI to test and invest in and how to approach it. Privacy and security related issues are a key consideration. Leaders need to set up their teams to be able to successfully test AI solutions by putting in place the guardrails for successful and safe adoption of AI. This points to an agile marketing approach and being able to test and learn then quickly scale where value is demonstrated. Marketing leaders need to be careful to safeguard and remain customer centric and authentic. Quick efficiency gains could spell disaster without proper consideration around effectiveness and the impact on engagement. There is plenty of upside in AI adoption as long as developed within a proper framework.

From funnels to fly wheels 

The move away from a funnel view of our customers to a fly wheel model continues to gain traction. In a traditional marketing funnel model, the focus is on attracting customer prospects and then converting them to purchasing customers. But marketers have realised that it’s not just about acquisition and customers can fall out of the model. Smarter marketers are recognising the full value of a customer and the need to market to clients at every stage of their lifecycle. By fostering loyalty and advocacy you can maximise the customer lifetime value.  

The flywheel model focuses on keeping existing customers engaged and turning them into repeat customers who are also willing to act as promoters for your business. The flywheel business model is more effective and should drive higher revenue because it prioritises the customer. 

The rise of RevOps 

Another big trend in B2B marketing this year has been the growth of  Revenue Operations or RevOps . Aligning your revenue generating teams – sales, marketing and customer success functions across the customer life cycle to drive growth and keep teams focused on the same metrics and KPI is quickly becoming table stakes. This cross-functional alignment clearly requires an agile approach, breaking down siloes to improve communication, collaboration and alignment to business goals.  

Agile remains key 

What’s clear is that 2023 has been one of the most exciting years for B2B marketing. All of these trends have the potential to transform how we engage with our audiences and increase marketing effectiveness. While the developments and trends in our industry are exciting, it can get overwhelming to keep up and remain innovative. An agile, growth mindset, alongside the related tools and processes enables marketing teams to respond quickly and effectively to changing customer preferences, market conditions and developments to ensure they are delivering the best results for their companies and clients.  

Get in touch to find out how Bright can help you harness agile marketing to deliver your marketing strategy in 2024.

Resources/reading list:

Zoe MerchantAI, RevOps and emotion! A look back at the top B2B marketing trends of 2023
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Behind the scenes at Cannes Lions: Emerging trends in creative B2B

A first-hand account of the role of a juror and the trends emerging

Behind the scenes at Cannes Lions: Emerging trends in creative B2B

Unexpectedly, an invite to join the jury of the prestigious Cannes Lions landed in my inbox, thanks to an anonymous nomination. Quite the surprise, and I can’t deny it, I was absolutely chuffed. It’s not every day you’re offered a chance to contribute to such a distinguished process and simultaneously tap into the pulse of emerging trends for the B2B community.

Now, this isn’t any old jury service. This is the B2B Creative Lion category and it’s just in its 2nd year. A ten-strong team of rather remarkable jurors, which it has been a pleasure to meet, we’ve been handed the baton and with it, the responsibility to spotlight the very best of B2B creativity. We’re a diverse bunch, with different stories and backgrounds, but united by one shared goal — to inspire B2B marketers across the globe.

I will pull back the curtain on this journey — give you an insider’s view of our deliberations, a glimpse at the standout trends, and a deep dive into what really happens in a Cannes Lion jury room.

The jury assembled in May, and we are deep in the throes of the first round of judging, with the deadline steadily approaching. This stage is rigorous and immersive, an explosion of creativity, clever marketing ideas and beautiful crafting of creatives, it offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolving landscape of B2B marketing.

Blurred lines between B2B and B2C marketing

One trend that stands out is the blurring of B2B and B2C marketing lines. B2B campaigns are increasingly employing emotion-driven, personalised elements often found in B2C marketing, resulting in more engaging, human-centred experiences.

Redefining the B2B aesthetic

Bold colour palettes and daring design choices are challenging the traditional, more reserved B2B aesthetic, signalling a shift towards a more vibrant visual language. Combined with the emphasis on clear and simple messaging in the most impressive creative ideas. Amidst the clamour for attention, straightforward messages still hold their ground as the most effective.

A fresh take on creative playfulness and emotional depth has also surfaced in the entries, amplified by the refined use of omnichannel marketing strategies. These campaigns resonate deeply with audiences, reflecting the maturation of the industry.

Business value at the forefront

Marketers have made significant strides in leveraging data and insights, aiming to deliver not only creative campaigns but tangible business value. Personalised experiences, enabled by the blending of channels and tactics, are on the rise, fuelled by the quest for a seamless buyer journey.

Brands rallying around a cause

Interestingly, many submissions underscore a compelling shift towards purpose-led partnerships. Brands are aligning with causes and missions that resonate with their audience, leveraging shared values to cut through the noise. This approach builds authentic connections, deepens brand engagement, and proactively supports many noteworthy causes.

The tech-savvy marketer

The emergence of Web3 and AI technologies within campaign execution, a shift towards a more digital, automated marketing landscape. Clever campaigns tuning into tech-savvy audiences are making the most of emergent channels such as NFTs or AI tools to harness the power of AI for personalisation. These campaigns have fine-tuned their messaging for specific industries or individuals. Demonstrating a next-level understanding of not just where the audience is now, but where they are heading.

The quality of the submissions is high, signalling that B2B marketing is moving up a gear and redefining benchmarks of creative excellence.

I’m excited to continue the journey towards shortlisting the final contenders, and I’m looking forward to the time spent discussing the entries with my fellow B2B jurors, without a doubt, there will be some lively debates on who makes the cut.

I’ll continue this series, documenting the intriguing process behind the scenes at the Cannes Lions Awards. Keep an eye out for the next update.

Zoe MerchantBehind the scenes at Cannes Lions: Emerging trends in creative B2B
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How will Web3 and the Metaverse affect B2B marketers?

How will Web3 and the Metaverse affect B2B marketers?

Women in Crypto event takeaways:

Check out the event here

Last week I attended a great event with some fantastic speakers – Women in Crypto: How will the metaverse affect you? It got me thinking as a B2B marketer – there is a lot to unpack and explore to harness the opportunities Web3 presents. The event made clear that Web3 is a long-term strategy; spanning a 3 to 5-year time horizon and needs to be considered alongside other marketing channels and tactics. As the world becomes more immersive B2B marketers need to think about how they will complement Web2 experiences and how it can be used to build their brand and generate leads.

Lavinia D Osbourne founder of the Women in Blockchain talks brought blockchain to life by sharing a simple train metaphor – think of blockchain as the train tracks, the trains as the platform providers (such as Coinbase) and the train carriages as the assets such as NFTs and tokens. Lavinia focused on the opportunities for mass adoption to create a more diverse and inclusive web experience within the Metaverse.

Seema Khinda Johnson, founder and COO of Nuggets, a leading self-sovereign verified identity and payments platform, spoke about the potential for Web3 to level the playing field. One area that is ripe for change is KYC (know your customer). In Web2 you provide a lot of data to organisations who then control that data. With Web3, you own your data and can share it with organisations on a permission basis. This has massive implications for marketing as we know it today, where organisations have access to large amounts of data that they can use to target individuals, including selling it off to unknown buyers, and presents a huge risk if it falls into the wrong hands.

Kerry Elsdon, VP of Global Digital Marketing at Mastercard talked about three areas that we’ll see shifts in and marketers need to consider. Firstly, fun & social interactions will change hugely and we’re already seeing a shift in newer generations focusing on how they present and express themselves via avatars, wearables and NFTs. Secondly, the way we shop and why we shop – how shopping will become more immersive, interesting and accurate (yes! the demise of multi-buying and endless trips to the post office for returns!). Finally, shifts in how we learn and work as the Metaverse provide new immersive and interactive experiences.

A thought that I agreed with was that marketers should avoid feeling overwhelmed by the new environment by asking questions and not being afraid to seek assistance and advice; much is still developing, and you’ll get there sooner if you’re nimbler in your approach.

It was reassuring to hear some war stories from Camilla McFarland, VP & Head of Customer Success at Mojito, an NFT platform for brands entering Web3. Camilla shared how major brands such as Nike are taking a long-term 3 to 5-year view of their Web3 strategies and projects and are still very experimental.

Marketers have a huge opportunity with Web3 to become more inclusive and create truly engaging and immersive experiences that transcend geographic and economic boundaries. Now is the time for B2B marketers to get Web3 ready and take an agile approach to understand how they can offer a valuable and meaningful experience to clients, partners and employees. Start small, test, learn and improve to build out a strategy that works harmoniously with their Web2 presence and will allow users to direct how they want to engage in a Web3 world.

The event was informative (Bravo to Lauren Ingram from Women of Web3, Wirex and The Cryptonomist for a great real-life event). It was great to hear from some of the industry leaders about their thoughts on Web3 and the Metaverse. My biggest takeaway was the importance of being agile and taking a long-term view when developing a Web3 strategy. It’s also important to remember that we are still in the early stages of adoption and experimentation so it’s important to be open-minded and willing to learn.  Web3 and the metaverse will provide new opportunities for B2B marketers to reach their target audiences through more engaging and interactive content whilst allowing more efficiently and accurate data collection.

What did you think of the event? What was your biggest takeaway? Let me know in the comments.

Zoe Merchant Banner

Zoe MerchantHow will Web3 and the Metaverse affect B2B marketers?
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Why is an agile marketing approach to briefing so important?

Why is an agile marketing approach to briefing so important?

You’ve got the idea; now how do you make sure it’s successful? This is where effective briefing comes in. The process of briefing sets up your team for marketing success by ensuring everyone has a clear understanding of the what, why and how of the campaign or project. It starts with ideation and ends with validated results – making it an essential part of any B2B marketer’s toolkit. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why good briefing is so important and outline key steps to help you deliver winning outcomes every time.

For those looking for greater marketing agility having good discipline around briefings is key. By following a few simple steps, you can make sure your team is always aware of the big picture as well as the details. This will help them to deliver better results, faster.

So, what are the key steps to take when briefing for agile marketing success?

Set clear objectives

The first step is to set clear and measurable objectives that align with your marketing and business goals, KPIs and/or OKRs. Without these in place, it’s impossible to know if your team’s efforts are having the desired effect. Be sure to involve key stakeholders in this process so that everyone is on the same page from the outset.

Data should be driving your marketing team’s activities. By setting out baselines and KPIs for key performance indicators, you can keep your focus on the appropriate outcomes while giving your team a goal to strive for.

Identify your target audience

Next, you need to identify your target audience. This might seem like a no-brainer but it’s critical to define and prioritise your target market and the personas of decision makers and influencers. For B2B marketers’, audiences can often be narrow with a relatively small number of key accounts they want to target. Part of your briefing process is to understand these accounts and work out what their pains or barriers are, what gains they want to create and their personal and business drivers – then you are able to create a proposition that fits their requirements and use this knowledge in your marketing to test best how to engage your audience. Without this level of detail, your team will have a hard time creating targeted and effective content.

Outcomes vs outputs

When briefing your team, it’s important to focus on the desired outcomes of the project rather than outputs. In other words, what do you want to achieve and how will you measure success? For example, if you’re looking to increase brand awareness, you might measure this by tracking web traffic or social media engagement. By clearly defining the outcomes you’re looking to achieve, you’ll be able to create a more effective brief and ultimately get better results.

Sharpen your brief with experimentation and testing

In order to be most adaptable and agile in your marketing, you’ll need to agree on how you’ll take ideas forward and iterate until you find the most compelling creative approach for your campaign or asset.

The majority of agile marketers focus on a minimum viable approach so that they can rapidly test different ideas, channels, messages, or calls to action. They then use the information gathered from these tests to help make informed decisions and cut down on the overall time it takes to get their product or services out onto the market. You should aim to capture how you want to use experimentation and testing as part of your brief and even start to set some hypotheses to prove or disprove early on to support fine tuning the project or campaign outputs.

Include a call to action

Don’t forget to include a call-to-action (CTA) in your briefing. This could be anything from asking the team to create a piece of content that’s shareable on social media to designing an interactive tool that a prospect can use to calculate the cost or efficiency savings. Without a CTA, it will be hard to drive engagement, generate responses and measure the success of your marketing efforts.

Get a grip on the business case and budget

It’s crucial that B2B marketers can show ROI, so they must be mindful of their budget and how it affects their bottom line. To get the most out of their marketing campaigns, modern marketers should follow a framework that includes small, regular releases of funds to support larger investments down the road. Because money matters are often sensitive topics within companies, especially when facing an economic downturn, it’s essential for marketers to be able to demonstrate the value they bring with every penny spent.

Get sign off

Finally, it’s important to get sign off from key stakeholders. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and buy-in has been achieved for the project. Once you have sign off, you can move forward with confidence, knowing that you have the support of your team and senior management.

Make sure your team is always on the same page by ensuring quality briefings. This will lead to a more agile marketing process, and your employees will thank you later when they see how much better they work and the impact of their efforts.

Download our free one-page Agile Marketing Campaigning game plan here to begin your campaigns and projects the Bright way.

 

Zoë Merchant Managing Director

Zoë Merchant Managing Director

Zoe MerchantWhy is an agile marketing approach to briefing so important?
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Four ways agile marketing can help overcome bias

Four ways agile marketing can help overcome bias

Bright explores how agility, curiosity, empowerment and spirit can #Breakthebias

Beyond hashtags, inspirational videos and moving quotes, celebrating International Women’s Day should serve as a reminder of the ongoing effort and change that is still needed to bring true equality and equity to women in society. As a female led business Bright place diversity at the heart of our business. Zoe Merchant, Bright, Managing Director comments “We, as marketers, whose profession it is to create awareness, drive change and make an impact, have the power to tackle biases and discrimination that permeate our much evolved yet still opinionated society.”

Unconscious bias and systemic prejudices are innate traits of the human being which affects opinions, decision-making and actions. But we believe that by challenging the status quo and testing preconceptions we can disrupt mindsets and create positive change in the workplace, our society and in culture, day after day.

“None of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes, and nor likely will many of our children. That’s the sobering finding of the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, which reveals that gender parity will not be attained for 99.5 years,” Global Gender Gap Report 2020.

As pioneers of agile marketing, we apply the same methods we use for our strategies to our approach to diversity and equality within the work we do. We’re focused on proving how an agile approach to all areas of business, combined with a culture of empowerment and a diverse workforce fuels operational capability as a business and helps us remove the limitations of bias in marketing both for Bright and for our clients.

Our business values of agility, curiosity, empowerment, spirit, encompass our commitment to breaking the bias.

Break the bias with Agility

As a collective of agile marketing practitioners, the discipline of research, test and validate; learning and improving goes beyond our approach to marketing strategy. We know that diverse talent and influences contributes to a richer pool of experience where positive friction allows us to challenge the norm to embed new ways of working and test new methods to achieve results.

At Bright, we pride ourselves on embracing flexibility to attract and, most importantly, keep a diverse and talented team. Zoe Merchant comments, “At Bright, we respect, challenge and nurture each other to ensure our marketing and campaign strategies are creative, innovative, and rooted in validated concepts.”

Break the bias with Curiosity

As part of our agile approach at Bright, we’re to always examine the bigger picture and understand its origin and trajectory with a methodical approach. The environment we find ourselves in shouldn’t mould us into accepting facts at face value. Scrutiny and curiosity should challenge and fuel our perspectives, we should continue to ask ‘why’ to understand the details that will allow for improvements. Interrogating the data will help to set us free from legacy and unconscious bias. Marketers need to move away from vanity metrics and set robust KPI through measuring what matters. Only then can we drive change by making more educated and insightful decisions.

Break the bias with Empowerment

Remaining data and insight driven is how marketers have comprehensive knowledge of the state of the market and the audience mindset before planning any strategy. We believe that acquiring an agile, innovative, and creative mindset can help us connect with a more diverse audience and offer more far-reaching solutions. It’s also important to ensure unbiased segmentation as well as considering any unconscious or conscious bias in market & brand positioning. At Bright, we believe that empowering our team to interrogate the status-quo and ask difficult questions helps us to discover new opportunities, tackle market or brand stagnation and achieve faster growth.

“Gender-diverse companies are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability and boost productivity.”

– McKinsey

Break the bias with Spirit

We’re continually aiming to expand our team’s demographic diversity – diversity of experience and opinion is valuable and helps overcome stale assumptions and challenge conventional thinking. Working as a team towards common goals, we strive to maximise outcomes through innovative solutions, never letting preconceptions and ideologies hold us back. Zoe Merchant comments, “Liberating ourselves from bias helps Bright craft agile marketing strategies and campaigns that better connect with target audiences and deliver a positive impact.”

“Diverse teams are more innovative—stronger at anticipating shifts in consumer needs and consumption patterns that make new products and services possible, potentially generating a competitive edge”

– McKinsey

The Brighter Way

As a female-led business, we celebrate diversity not only within Bright, but also by partnering with likeminded organisations who advocate for minority groups to have equal opportunities and celebrate the success of women and minorities across the business and leadership landscape. Bright is an active member of WEConnect, a global network that connects women-owned businesses to corporate buyers around the world who are committed to diversity and inclusion. Being a member of WEConnect allows us to tap into the talent of creative and entrepreneurial women and access business opportunities from organisations who are aligned with our values. At Bright, we celebrate diversity across all intersections, not limited to gender. Zoe Merchant has been selected for two years running as a member of the 40 over Forty List, celebrating the talent and experience of over 40’s in the advertising, marketing and media industry.

All marketers benefit from creating an inclusive environment around agility, empowerment, curiosity, and spirit resulting in creating better, more effective marketing. We enjoy challenging the status quo, testing to validate new, diverse approaches and measuring performance through audience response. Through iterating to continually improve we achieve viable and impactful agile marketing, endorse our talented team, and break the bias.

 

Zoe MerchantFour ways agile marketing can help overcome bias
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Bright enlists corporate advisory consultancy, Cactus, to help navigate expansion 

Bright enlists corporate advisory consultancy, Cactus, to help navigate expansion 

During these changeable times, businesses are increasingly seeking ways in which they can adapt and transform with a more agile approach. Due to the increased requirement for marketing agility, driven by the unpredictability caused by the pandemic, world-leading B2B agile marketing consultancy, Bright, has experienced more demand than ever.

Founded in 2013 by Zoë Merchant, Bright’s goal was to accelerate business growth for its clients and push their marketing forward through greater agility to achieve better results. Nine years later, Bright’s goal remains the same, now with a team of 21 agile marketing specialists and a roster of market-leading, technology, publishing and engineering clients.

To navigate the next phase of growth, driven by a collective passion for evolution, Bright has teamed up with Cactus – Europe’s leading corporate advisory and growth consultancy for agencies.

Cactus is uniquely positioned to supply corporate commercial development support, operational guidance and expert financial advice, having worked with over 2,500 agencies globally and some of the fastest growing agencies in their territories. With these credentials, 2022 is set to be a landmark year for Bright’s growth.

 

“It’s an exciting time for Bright, agile marketing has moved beyond nascent and we’re seeing clear benefits to those businesses that change their way of working to fuel business growth, through greater adaptability, client centricity and a data driven approach.

Bright’s on a mission to drive marketing agility forward and we continue to expand how we deliver our services and work alongside clients to co-create, coach and train marketers to become more agile.”

Zoë Merchant, Managing Director of Bright

 

“Bright is a remarkable business, one with huge potential to be a leader in the industry and one we’re thrilled to be working so closely with. They have such an interesting proposition and a truly unique service offering for their clients”.

Danny Turnbull, Managing Partner for Consulting at Cactus

 

Discover how Bright’s approach to agile marketing can equip teams with the expertise to adapt to a fast-paced, changeable business environment, take advantage of opportunities for growth and transform your business.


Bright is a world-leading B2B agile marketing consultancy, providing strategic marketing services, supporting transformation through co-creation and training for tech & professional services firms.

Bright’s team of expert B2B agile marketing practitioners inspire businesses to think and act differently; embrace curiosity and use data-driven insights to drive continuous learning, improvement and transformation, always putting the customer at the heart of activity.

Zoe MerchantBright enlists corporate advisory consultancy, Cactus, to help navigate expansion 
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Four ways agile marketing supports the future of work

Four ways agile marketing supports the future of work

The future of work has been completely reshaped as a result of the pandemic. Both employers and employees have been awakened to the advantages of virtual and home working, but this has also thrown up its own challenges including ‘the great resignation’. But for marketing agencies, adopting an agile approach is one of the ways they can manage some of the workforce challenges caused by this seismic shift.

Agile marketing is no longer a niche methodology for marketing organisations. Our own 2021 annual survey found that over 50% of marketers are adopting agile marketing to respond faster and build resilience. More and more organisations are adopting agile marketing principles, and the gap between those that do and those that don’t is going to get bigger as a result. Marketing organisations who adopt agile are better placed to adapt to changing circumstances, whether that be external factors influencing a campaign, or internal factors impacting the running of your business.

The great resignation

Agile practices will be needed to handle the talent shift many industries are currently going through, including marketing. Internationally, a staggering 41% of the global workforce was considering leaving their employer in 2021, according to the 2021 Work Trend Index by Microsoft.

In the UK, the number of job vacancies rose to a record high of 1,102,00 between July to September 2021 according to Accenture Fjord Trends 2022. In particular, agile marketing expertise are scarce because it is still a relatively new concept for marketers.

It may be considered smarter to build this agile capability internally, so organisations can benefit from cross functional and capability-based teams, whilst building a growth mindset culture with their teams. Marketers need a productive and empowering environment that encourages development and entices them to join or stay in your organisation. Investing in agile marketing training and embedding new ways of working can make you a destination employer making recruitment and retention that much easier.

Hybrid working

As we begin to learn to live with Covid-19, it is clear that hybrid working is here to stay as the benefits are obvious and favourable for both employers and employees. While working from home has its work-life balance advantages, some employees also miss bonding with colleagues and access to mentors, especially those in their early careers. Agile marketing helps marketing teams adapt to this new normal both in terms of processes and in the implementation of new tools.  Agile working practices help to break down barriers between employees and traditional ways of working, enabling teams to work at their best and most efficient. These agile working practices accelerated by hybrid working will attract new generations of top talent.

Forever transforming

Change is a constant. Agile marketing doesn’t just mean that you can respond and adapt quickly to change, but it gives you new ways of working that equip you to handle business transformation of all kinds.

Agile marketing principles encourage marketers to only plan to a level sufficient to ensure effective prioritisation and execution so that they can quickly adapt to anticipated change. Other principles include organising in small, cross-functional teams where possible and learning through data and experiments rather than relying on opinion or past experience, all designed to enable marketers to respond and adapt to new developments and constant change.

Empowering teams

Agile marketing can also help with staff retention as it helps create empowered individuals and teams, and empowered individuals are less likely to quit. The fifth principle of agile marketing according to the agile marketing manifesto is ‘build marketing programmes around motivated individuals and trust them to get the job done’. As teams mature in their application of agile marketing, they become more confident and empowered to make decisions autonomously.

Dan Meek, CEO at global leadership consultancy, LIW, follows this rule with both his internal team and clients, “we encourage our leadership clients to adopt agile principles to help create the right conditions for their teams and their business to succeed.”

Agile isn’t the future, it’s now

Currently the marketing industry is being heavily impacted by these significant changes to how people are working. But by adopting agile marketing principles, organisations can set themselves up to manage and adapt to ongoing and different types of change, whatever that change may be.

Jim Ewel, Founder of the Agile Marketing Manifesto summarises:

“We’re currently experiencing a period of intense change and disruption which some marketing organisations may struggle to survive. But organisations that embrace agile marketing methods are the ones who are most likely to succeed now and, in the future, as they will be more efficient, more customer focused and able to adapt to whatever challenges they may be faced with.”

Zoe MerchantFour ways agile marketing supports the future of work
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Recharge. Refresh. Reignite.

Recharge. Refresh. Reignite.

B2B Marketing Report 2022

We asked the big questions about the challenges and opportunities that marketers have faced throughout 2021, and you answered. Our smart team at Bright have analysed the responses from the survey to understand the business landscape that marketers face, and how agile marketing and transformation can guide us into 2022.

Three key insights emerged from Bright’s annual marketing survey results:

  • Powering up MarTech - Harnessing the potential of technology to optimise your marketing
  • Saturated digital landscape - Cutting through the digital noise to resonate with your customer
  • Skills scarcity - Developing the skills to keep pace with transformation

Our services

On the back-foot when it comes to demonstrating results and performance? We’ll give you a leg-up through embedding new agile ways of working.

Strategy & Planning

We help you identify the best opportunities for growth and develop a tailored plan to achieve your goals.

Campaigns

Generate demand, enable your sales team, deliver higher quality leads and accelerated pipeline with measurable, customer-centric agile campaigns.

Communication

Cut through the noise with impactful messaging and communications that engages your internal and external audiences.

Data and research

We use data-driven insights to help you make informed decisions and optimise your activity for maximum impact.

Brand and positioning

Define a consistent brand image, tone of voice and messaging that clearly demonstrates your value to entice and retain clients.

Content and creative

Content and creatives that standout to engage and connect with your target audiences wherever they are in the buyer journey.

Let’s start driving your success

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can accelerate your success and grow your business.

Get in touch
Zoe MerchantRecharge. Refresh. Reignite.
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