The launch of ChatGPT in November 2022 propelled AI back into the spotlight. Widely considered as the best chatbot to date, it signifies a step change in the evolution of generative AI and has led many organisations to wonder how best to harness the ever-growing potential of AI.
The applications of generative AI for B2B marketers are numerous and wide ranging, with many CMOs initially prioritising solutions that improve personalisation and the customer journey. Here are the top five use cases we think you should be considering right now:
Generative AI can be used to create high-quality, engaging content for B2B marketing purposes such as blog posts, articles, social media captions, and product descriptions. This technology can also provide personalised content recommendations based on user preferences and behaviour. While this type of AI can undoubtedly save time and effort for content creators, all content needs to be reviewed and carefully edited, bringing in your own industry knowledge and experience. Any content you put out into the public domain should always reflects your brands’ unique tone of voice to ensure it remains authentic and fact checked for credibility of sources and references.
Generative AI such as LeadIQ and Kartra can help identify and generate high-quality leads for B2B marketing campaigns. By analysing vast amounts of data, including user behaviour, demographics, and firmographics, AI models can predict potential customers and generate targeted lead lists. This enables marketers to optimise their lead generation efforts and focus on the most promising prospects. Always remember as marketers, you’re only as good as your data, and never more so than in the age of AI. Prioritising regular data hygiene is a must, along with regularly updating your ideal customer profiles and personas.
Personalised email campaigns
Personalisation is crucial in B2B marketing, and generative AI can play a significant role here. By analysing customer data, AI models can create a personalised experience including ads, social outreach and tailored email content, including subject lines, body text, and recommendations. This level of personalisation increases the chances of engagement and conversion, leading to more effective email marketing campaigns. The caveat here is that personalisation and privacy is a delicate balancing act and marketers must ensure they avoid becoming invasive and use reliable data sources.
Market research and analysis
Generative AI can analyse vast amounts of market data, including competitor analysis, industry trends, and customer behaviour, to provide valuable insights for B2B marketing strategies. By processing and interpreting this data, AI models can generate reports, recommendations, and predictive analytics that help businesses make informed marketing decisions. Again, the quality of the data here is key and must be up-to-date to be most effective.
Chatbots and virtual assistants
AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can enhance customer interactions and support in B2B marketing. Generative AI allows these conversational agents to understand and respond to customer queries, provide relevant information about products or services, and even assist with lead nurturing and sales. This technology enables businesses to offer round-the-clock support, improve customer experience, and streamline the sales process.
These are just a few examples of how generative AI can be leveraged in B2B marketing. The next things to consider are, how do I decide what type of AI to invest in first and how do I test different AI solutions? Privacy and security related issues are also a key consideration. Talk to Bright about setting your teams up to be able to autonomously test AI solutions and establishing the guardrails for successful and safe adoption of AI to drive marketing effectiveness and increase engagement with your audiences.
The key to driving engagement and marketing outcomes through customer perception
In a world dominated by digital noise and constant competition, the power to make or break your brand now lies in the hands of your customers. Their perceptions, opinions, and experiences with your brand carry significant weight, capable of influencing not only their own purchasing decisions but those of countless others. It is more important than ever for marketing professionals to understand and amplify the customer’s voice to create compelling, relevant, and successful marketing strategies.
In this post, we’ll examine the pivotal role of customer perception, explore the value of embracing the customer’s voice, and unveil the secrets to adopting a customer-centric marketing approach that drives engagement and delivers impressive business outcomes.
The importance of customer perception
Customer perception is a powerful force that shapes how consumers perceive a brand, its products, and its services. It encompasses the emotions, beliefs, and attitudes they associate with your brand, all of which contribute to the overall customer experience. The key to unlocking the potential of customer perception lies in understanding it, harnessing its power, and aligning it with your marketing efforts.
As marketing professionals, it is essential to recognise that customers hold the power to make or break a brand. Negative perceptions of your brand can spread like wildfire through social media, online reviews, and word-of-mouth, greatly impacting your reputation, sales, and ultimately, your success. The opposite also holds true: word of mouth from a positive experience can do wonders for your business.
The customer’s voice: a catalyst for engagement
Above all, one of the most effective ways to understand and leverage customer perception is by actively listening to and engaging with the customer’s voice. This involves gathering customer feedback, opinions, and insights through various channels, such as surveys, reviews, social media, and direct interactions.
London City Airport worked with Bright to deep dive into consumer and market research, identifying five key personas which embody key characteristics and preferences to deliver a seamless customer experience. This resulted in a 54% increase in website revenue within the first six months.
Basically, by incorporating the customer’s voice into your marketing strategies, you can create content and campaigns that resonate with your target audience, driving engagement and fostering lasting relationships. Listening to and valuing the customer’s voice is key to meeting their needs and exceeding their expectations, leading to customer loyalty and advocacy.
Shifting to a customer-centric marketing approach
In today’s business environment, embracing a customer-centric marketing approach is not just beneficial—it’s vital for success. This transformative strategy encompasses a comprehensive process that begins with in-depth market research and the development of insightful buyer personas to effectively identify and understand your target audience. Achieving alignment between marketing efforts and customer needs and expectations is accomplished by delivering highly personalised content and messaging and offering unparalleled value via compelling unique selling propositions (USPs).
Measuring what matters: the 4 measurements to embed into your strategy
To measure the impact of customer-centric marketing on business outcomes, focus on:
Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as customer satisfaction
Net promoter score (NPS)
Lifetime value (LTV) to effectively evaluate the success of your marketing strategies.
After all, the key to devising powerful and effective marketing strategies lies in wholeheartedly embracing customer perception. This means placing the customer’s voice at the forefront of your decision-making process. By steadfastly adopting a customer-centric approach, you can drive exceptional engagement and foster unwavering loyalty and propel your business towards unparalleled success.
At any rate, in today’s ever-evolving and fiercely competitive market, it is imperative to listen attentively, adapt swiftly, and seize every opportunity to thrive. Empower your brand by amplifying the customer’s voice and unleashing the full potential of customer-driven marketing success.
If you’re interested in refocusing your marketing strategies toward your customers or audience, get in touch with one of the Bright team here. And together let’s drive the engagement you and your business want to see with your customer at the heart.
Your people and teams are one of your biggest assets. But when they aren’t functioning properly or in a cohesive way they can also become your biggest blocker to success. Are they communicating effectively? Do they have a clear vision of what needs to be accomplished? If you’re having trouble with your team’s performance, it may be time to look at how well they work together.
Assessing the way your team collaborates is an essential first step towards understanding where dysfunctions may exist in your team and how to overcome them. Lencioni’s five dysfunctions of a team provide a useful framework for assessing whether your team members are working well together, focusing on the behavioural patterns that can be counter-productive if left unchecked.
Recognising where your teams are showing dysfunctions
There are a few characteristics you can look out for that can help you identify where your team may be susceptible to any of the five dysfunctions:
Traits to look out for
Absence of trust
Team members reluctant to be vulnerable with one another
Unwilling to admit weaknesses, mistakes or need for help
Fear of conflict
Team members are unwilling or guarded about sharing ideas and opinions
Discussions are veiled or lots of backchannel comments
Individuals unwilling to address key issues in meetings
Lack of commitment
Lack of transparency across the team on activity and progress
Ambiguity is common within your team
Lack of commitment towards decisions made
Avoidance of accountability
Individuals hesitate to call out their teammates when demonstrating bad behaviours
Teammates hesitate to challenge plans and approaches
Team members do not care about letting down their peers
Inattention to results
Teammates unwilling to deprioritise or step out of their role to support overarching goal
Teammates are not phased when team goals aren’t met
Teammates don’t celebrate or recognise work / contribution of others
Building trust among team members is essential to any workplace environment as it encourages open communication and makes collaboration easier and more efficient. If this isn’t nurtured, it can lead to a silo mentality in which innovation, cohesiveness and productivity deaden. Senior marketers must get their teams to understand the importance of looking out for one another and working together efficiently. Regular activities that promote feelings of camaraderie such as teambuilding events or peer-mentoring programs help foster the trust needed for any effective team environment.
There are also several design thinking tools that can help align teams and build trust:
Team alignment maps are a great way at a project level to ensure individuals are clear on the objectives, team roles and to openly discuss, document and where possible resolve risks and issues that can cause distrust or conflict down the line.
Adding team charters to the above is a great way to also agree how they work together, the principles, values, and behaviours that teams will live by to generate better trust. Balancing this with agile marketing values is also a great mechanism for creating better psychological safety.
Engaging in conflict
Conflict is a natural part of team dynamics, and savvy senior marketers often see it as an opportunity for progress. If there are dissatisfactions within the team that have not been adequately addressed or if debates tend to lead to strong disagreements that obscure a potential solution, then engaging in conflict can be a powerful tool. Conflict offers the possibility of looking at existing problems in new ways, as well as introducing ideas that may not have previously been considered. When harnessed correctly, engaging in conflict can assist senior marketers to find solutions that elevate their teams beyond what they could potentially achieve working alone.
What does that mean in practice?
Part of this is thinking about how you make space for individuals to feedback and for debates and disagreements to take place. Retrospectives can be a great tool here to highlight what didn’t work or what teams need to do differently moving forward in order to deliver business outcomes
Sometimes conflict happens due to a lack of clarity, generalisations, assumptions, or judgements. Team alignment maps can be useful here, but also working and coaching your teams to respond rather than react is also important. Ask questions, clarify what is being said in order to be more accurate and factual
Facilitators and coaches can be useful in this instance to help individuals express disagreements constructively and help ensure conversations use non-violent language
Working together effectively to drive success requires each team member to be invested in the desired outcomes. Without the commitment from everyone, momentum is quickly lost, and progress slows. Senior marketers need to ensure that their teams are both inspired and motivated by the vision they’re striving toward while having a clear understanding of what’s expected of them. By promoting an environment of enthusiasm, understanding and collaboration, seniors can help drive commitment within their group and direct teams towards producing their best work.
Elements of what have been discussed previously can be useful here, particularly the team alignment map. Other things to consider here are your sprint planning, reviews and retrospectives as ways to align teams to vision and outcomes, clarity of ownership and celebrate the successes and learnings along the way.
Holding each other accountable
Senior marketers need to be able to hold the members of their teams accountable for the tasks they are assigned. This is especially important if there are inefficiencies in the workflow that need to be addressed. From ensuring projects get completed on time, to properly executing strategies and plans, every member of the team must take ownership for overall success. The key is creating a culture where problems can be flagged up openly and discussed without fear so that tasks don’t slip through the cracks. By holding each other accountable and having honest conversations, senior marketers can make sure everyone on their team is doing their part and working together successfully.
There are a few things marketing leaders can think about here:
Sprint planning and stand-ups are useful ways to help individuals plan, own, update and ultimately be accountable for their activity.
Implement the team charter as a way for teams and individuals to own their behaviour and how they interact and engage with employees and consider including how you will resolve issues as they arise
Attention to results
We’re human, which means it’s very easy for us to put our own needs (career development, recognition etc.) ahead of collective goals and results. Identifying when ego is behind the wheel of discussions or decision-making and finding ways to move past it can help ensure projects stay on track. To achieve collective results while also encouraging team input, try suggesting alternatives or inviting external experts for impartial advice if needed. The goal should always be getting all members aligned to guarantee an effective workflow that produces the desired results.
Agile ways of working inherently create opportunities for teams to check in, review progress against results and identify areas for improvement – in activity as well as how they work together as a team.
Moving your teams in the right direction
Across all these dysfunctions, leading by example, creating an environment where individuals feel safe and recognising and rewarding the right behaviours are critical to moving your teams in the right direction. When your teams can build trust and be vulnerable with each other, engage in productive conflict, drive commitment, and hold each other accountable to achieve collective results you’ll start to see the benefits not only in terms of improved productivity and results, but also happier teams.
Want to understand more about improving team cohesion? Get in touch today.
Are your marketing efforts feeling a bit stagnant? Need a new way to innovate and find creative solutions to engage with your audience? Design thinking can be the perfect tool for marketers to get closer to their customers – both in understanding their needs, discovering unique insights, and creating effective campaigns. It’s an approach that requires active listening, creativity, and empathy – three characteristics all great marketers need!
What is design thinking?
Design thinking is a human-centred approach to problem-solving that emphasises empathy, creativity, and collaboration. It can be a powerful tool for marketers looking to get closer to their audience, align their leadership, and drive innovation. Sitting closely together with agile marketing principles, we use these tools regularly at Bright to challenge our thinking and drive towards more effective marketing activities.
It helps align your teams by encouraging cross-functional collaboration and communication. By bringing together people from different departments, such as marketing, product, customer success and sales, you can break down silos and work together to solve complex problems. This can lead to more cohesive marketing strategies that are rooted in a shared understanding of the customer and the business goals.
Design thinking drives innovation by encouraging experimentation and iteration. By taking a user-centred approach to marketing, you can quickly test and refine your ideas based on real feedback from your audiences. This can help you stay nimble and adaptable in a fast-changing market and ultimately lead to more effective campaigns that resonate with your customers.
The phases of design thinking
There are many examples of using design thinking frameworks in marketing. One common approach is to use the “understand, observe, define, ideate, prototype, test” framework to guide the marketing process, image above from the brilliant book by Lewrick, Link, and Leifer – The Design Thinking Toolbox.
Here’s how this framework could be applied in the marketing context:
The marketing team comes together to collect and gather existing information and understand different perspectives on the challenges the marketing team want to solve. Once aligned the team build assumptions that can be tested and discussed in the observe stage.
The marketing team conducts research to better understand the market and the needs and pain points of their target audience, through interviews, surveys, or observing customer behaviour.
Using the insights gathered, the marketing team then outline the identified problems and start to share potential opportunities. Creating problem statements, persona development, journey mapping and even the value proposition canvas to define your solution fit are useful at this stage.
The marketing team generate a range of possible solutions to the defined problem. This should involve team brainstorming or using other creative techniques to generate a range of ideas.
The marketing team develops a tangible representation of one or more of the ideas generated in the ideation phase. This could involve creating mock-ups, wireframes, or other prototypes that help to bring the idea to life.
The marketer gathers feedback on the prototype from the target audience conducting user testing, surveys, or other forms of customer feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of the idea and whether it should be developed further.
Other examples of design thinking in marketing include empathy mapping to better immerse marketer’s in their target audience’s environment, or the brand superhero canvas to map the competitive landscape. The sailboat exercise (which is also a great retrospective tool) helps to define a team’s vision, strengths and risks. Overall, design thinking is a versatile framework that can be applied to a wide range of marketing challenges to create more customer-centric solutions.
It’s clear that design thinking is a powerful approach that can help marketers get closer to their audience, align their leadership, and drive innovation. By putting the customer at the centre of their strategies, marketers can develop more effective campaigns that meet their audience’s needs while fostering collaboration and experimentation within their organisation.
If you’re ready to find out more, join us next Thursday, 2nd March for our panel event on when and how to use design thinking in the marketing context.
How do you enable marketing agility in your organisation?
In this piece we dive into what makes up marketing agility and whilst it’s important to understand the key characteristics that make up marketing agility, making it happen in your organisation is a different matter.
Changing how your teams work is hard, and at times thankless. It’s no surprise that businesses often underestimate the amount of support and investment needed to drive change effectively. And if you’re nodding along to this then the following model may help you understand what you’re missing or need to focus more on to enable marketing agility to happen within your team or marketing organisation.
The framework for enabling marketing agility
The framework for enabling marketing agility has been created to help support marketing teams thrive and survive in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, and complex environment.
Shaped by classic models such as McKinsey 7s and modern marketing models by XYZ and our experiences enabling marketing agility with medium to large enterprise across tech, engineering, and professional services.
Shared vision & business goals
Organisational purpose is clear, compelling and guides decision making with the North Star embodied across the organisation and people sense and seize opportunities.
To put it simply, you need to make sure the shared vision is truly embedded, understood and lived across the organisation and that your vision guides all decision making.
Those means ensuring each business is clear on what these goals mean to them in their market, function or team and that performance management is aligned with these goals.
Agile leaders believe we all have the potential to deliver on a shared purpose. They develop individuals as leaders at all levels, showing direction and enabling action, acting in a selfless and supportive way to deliver against business objectives and customer and client satisfaction.
They advocate for being agile rather than just doing agile and do this by harnessing:
Learning and continuous improvement
Team engagement and accountability
Agile culture and growth mindset
Collaboration and empowerment
Culture and mindset
An agile culture provides an organisation with a set of core values, behaviours and practices that drives the businesses’ ability to succeed.
To truly drive an agile culture means promoting, encouraging, and rewarding the values, behaviours and practices that enable your teams to act with autonomy, apply a growth mindset and demonstrate a strong commitment to experimentation, learning, reflecting, and adapting.
Collaboration and empowerment
As leaders, you need to ensure that people have an appropriate level of autonomy to carry out their work, and that there are opportunities for teams to work together, collaborate, share learnings, and align themselves towards the common goal / strategic vision.
Continuous learning and improvement
Critical to marketing agility is that teams are constantly evolving and learning to deliver the best possible outcomes; through data driven build test learn loops to validate new ideas, optimise activity if appropriate or discontinue activities or initiatives if they are not aligned or helping the business reach its strategic goal.
Team engagement & accountability
Engagement and accountability are important. Your teams have to be bought into your vision if they are going to give you their best. Your employees need to have a deep sense of fulfilment, feel safe to push back and hold themselves and their colleagues accountable.
In addition, they need to be clear on their goals, with rewards aligned to this as well as clear lines of career development and progression to keep them engaged and retained.
Governance supports how businesses set and achieves its goals, how risk is managed and how it improves performance and is supported by structures and processes, skills and capability, tools, and data.
It can be defined as the structures and processes for decision-making and accountability.
Critical to agile governance is transparency of process and performance and doing so consistently across the marketing organisation. Supported by:
Structures and processes
Skills and capabilities
Tools and data
Skills and capabilities
Driving agility means ensuring your teams have the right skills and capabilities to utilise new ways of working, channels or disciplines. That means matching the needs of the market and making sure you’re making skills and resource available in the right place at the right level. Providing opportunities for your teams to upskill, test and experiment to understand what works well and what doesn’t for your market context.
… become a data-driven marketer?
Structures and processes
As highlighted in agile governance this is focused on the structures and process for decision making and clear accountability. In the context of agile marketing things to think about here are regular planning, reviews, and retrospectives, KPI tracking that is visible to all and clear repeatable processes within your teams, and across your teams (depending on the structure of your marketing organisation).
Tools and data
Last but not least, agility can’t happen without the right data to support data-driven decision making. Centralised dashboards and insight that supports deep understanding of customers and audiences in real time, enabling transparency in reporting and performance and quick changes and flexing of resources as appropriate to increase the effectiveness of activity. But we aren’t just talking about data on what you’re doing, but also how you’re doing it. Using tools which allow you to have ‘work in progress limits’ and prioritise work will lead more things getting across the line – focus on the things which are delivering business results.
How agile is your marketing team?
Discover how agile your marketing organisation is with our agility calculator tool and determine whether you are surviving or thriving.
Bringing together the latest trends, tools and news at your fingertips
We’ve given the newsletter a shake-up, bringing you the ‘need to know’ stories for successful marketing, bitesize insights from the Bright team and the latest in market trends. In short, everything you should be embracing to better equip you for a smashing 2023. Looking to deliver Smarter Marketing this year? Look no further…
Embracing a growth mindset whilst being data-driven | Marketing Metrics
Data-driven insights are your key to continuous improvement and optimisation. They are fundamental to agile ways of working, giving you the data you need to iterate and optimise your marketing activity and better support your business goals. But how do you apply a growth mindset to your data capturing to drive better business results?
A growth mindset is all about the attitude with which you approach obstacles, how you process failure, and how you adapt as a result. Applying this logic when reviewing marketing activity can mean you approach failures as lessons learned.
With a growth mindset, you’ll be able to see what didn’t work well as an opportunity to try something new, doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t. This is particularly useful now when marketers must focus on costs whilst still driving the same results. Marketers are having to do more with less and drive efficiencies whilst still delivering value to the business
If you’re interested in finding how to cultivate a growth mindset within your marketing team, attend our free online event on Friday 3rd February.
With the rise of the AI Chatbot, is first always best? | Tech, tools & trends to pay attention to
It seems like ChatGPT is the talk of the town on LinkedIn, news reports and among marketers! It’s no wonder – with all its exciting new possibilities, it can be hard to know where exactly to start. As competing tech options appear, we ask, is first always best, or are there advantages of learning from your competition?
DeepMind, a subsidiary of Google, has announced its plans to launch a ChatGPT competitor. ChatGPT made headlines last year as the interactive chatbot that can fulfill several tasks for its user, from typing out a human-like text response for someone to coming up with an entire dissertation on any given subject.
Demis Hashibis, CEO, DeepMind, has said their chatbot, Sparrow, will be much safer and have features which the star rival is currently missing.
Set for private beta release this year, Sparrow will be more “conservative and constrained” than ChatGPT but with close links to Google, could this make it the search giant’s answer for ChatGPT?
Google isn’t putting all its eggs into one basket as they have also developed another AI-powered chatbot with DeepMind, MedPaLMa, for the medical community, which could generate safe and helpful answers using datasets covering professional medical exams, research, and consumer queries.
Why is this useful to you? As AI-powered technology makes its introduction to marketing activity, it’s important to remember that we are still in the early stages of AI advancement. Throughout the year we’ll likely be introduced to many more AI innovations, but all need relevant testing and experimentation to see if they work for you and your business. If you’re working agile, this will enable you to experiment to find the right tool for you and your team to help with marketing efficiency. What’s your AI strategy?
– Lydia Kirby, Client Services Director
6 steps to leading successful organisation change | Leading Change
Change enablement focuses on providing employees with essential information and support, alongside tools, processes, and strategies to help them adapt and transition to change within their organisation – it’s often a last-minute consideration! Without following these six simple steps, you’re likely to face organisational barriers to effectively implementing any Marketing Transformation.
Set realistic expectations – Leaders can easily over-promise the benefits of the proposed change, and when those benefits aren’t achieved, trust is broken. Once employees lose trust, it’s hard to regain it.
Address concerns early – The chance of success greatly improves if employee concerns are proactively addressed. This usually surfaces through three main areas; information concerns (what and the why), personal concerns (how will it impact me) and implementation concerns (how will we do it).
Be approachable – Create an environment of psychological safety where your team feel safe putting themselves on the line, such as asking a question, seeking feedback, reporting a mistake, or proposing a new idea.
Over-communicate always – When leaders withhold information, they are showing a lack of trust and lack in confidence in the change by wanting to control what people know, when they know, and how they know it. In the absence of information, people will make up their version of the truth.
You don’t know what you don’t know – Admitting you don’t know something can be one of the most powerful trust-building behaviours you can use. It shows humility and honesty to admit you don’t have all the answers.
Invite everyone on the journey – People take ownership of the plans they create and implement. Successful change efforts are those that are done ‘with’ people, not ‘to’ people.
– Danny Whitebread, Senior Communications Manager
What you need to know about the latest Google Analytics update
This year will bring the biggest changes and opportunities to the Google ecosystem in years. One of the biggest changes that impact marketers will be Google Analytics 4 replacing Universal Analytics (GA3) in July 2023.
Some of the advantages of GA4 for marketers include:
Cross-device and cross-platform tracking: GA4 allows marketers to track user interactions across devices and platforms, giving a more complete view of customer behaviour across the buyer journey. With 90% of leads doing research online before they even speak to you – this information is key to your ongoing marketing strategy
Improved integration with Google Ads: this allows marketers to better understand the impact of their advertising efforts, and often huge budgets, on website traffic and conversions.
Enhanced machine learning capabilities: GA4 includes a range of machine learning-powered features, such as predictive analytics and automatic anomaly detection, which can help marketers make more informed decisions about what marketing is working to drive business results.
Empower your data-driven decision-making and be ready for the switch later this year!
With 90% of leads doing research online before they even speak to you – this information is key to your ongoing marketing strategy
– Sophia Howard, Digital Marketing Manager
Resources to support your agile marketing journey | Agile marketing in practice
“Bright supported ADP’s international division ably through its agile marketing transformation and continues to be a wonderful agile resource to our marketing staff across various regions. I look forward to continuing our fruitful relationship as we continue our agile journey.”
As world-leading in agile marketing, the team at Bright are equipped to guide you through its agile marketing journey, however far into that journey you are. From agile novice to agile aficionado.
As unprecedented becomes the new normal, ensuring your marketing activity is effective, and engaging and your processes are efficient means you’ll be able to drive better results for your business with fewer resources and be more adaptable to changing markets.
As always, the Bright team is primed and ready to help you reach your goals faster, why not book a short introductory call with one of our directors and see how we can drive the growth your business wants to see in 2023?
The pace of marketing can be relentless. Jumping from one project to another can be challenging, with little time to look up and around at how the industry is evolving. The risk is you miss an opportunity to get ahead of the competition or jump on a new piece of tech without understanding the how or why.
It’s easy to stick to what you know, and it’s no doubt the fundamentals of marketing don’t change – create value for your customer and drive business growth. But as we enter another period of economic difficulty, in a rapidly changing business, it’s arguably more important than ever to look to new and emerging ways of working, technologies and practices.
The market has changed
You’ve likely heard the names. The recent influx of AI developments has impacted so many facets of marketing – for copywriting like ChatGPT; creative designers have DALL-E; audience targeting with AdRoll… there’s a lot to take in.
And that’s just AI. What about newer social platforms like TikTok and Mastodon – how could they help you reach your audience? And these are just some currently in-vogue; precedent suggests there will be newer, trendier channels just around the corner. And then there is the challenge of gathering the right data to inform your marketing with cookieless tracking and Google’s next-gen analytics with GA4 (more on this soon!).
Marketers don’t need to go all-in on everything new, but they do need to be aware of how these tools could be game-changers for their customer target audience.
Shift your team focus, things you can do today
Here’s a few things you can do today that can help shift you towards where you want to be:
Retrospectives: The start of the year is a great time to look back, but it’s something you and your team should be doing consistently. Schedule a retro with your marketing teams to look at what worked, what didn’t, and what the learnings are. Retros are judgment-free opportunities to help improve for the next iteration. We love the Sailboat retro for Marketing teams, Mural has a great example to get you going. I ran a session with our client TECHNIA at the end of last year, and the positive feedback from the team was brilliant – as were the new ideas for 2023 marketing.
Host lunch & learn sessions: Taking time to learn from others knowledge sharing can be quick and fun. It can also serve as an opportunity to connect as a team beyond your project work – there’s a lot of positives. Find a subject you’re interested in – or haven’t ever heard of – and book it into your diaries. This could simply be playing a YouTube how to video, asking a team member to share their knowledge or bring in an outsider to share… show the team you’re invested in their development and generate new ideas for your marketing challenges – win-win!
External POV: Sometimes, all you need is an outside perspective. Bring in someone from outside your project – from an external organisation, or even a team member working on a different project – to facilitate a brainstorm or retro. When you have your head down, getting work done, sometimes you need to shut the laptop (metaphorically if you’re remote!) – to introduce a new point of view. There are huge benefits to bringing in an external view to facilitate and challenge the thinking of your team – set out a problem statement and start creating solutions.
So how do you create an environment that allows your team to stay up to date and also test the new and innovative approaches to marketing?
Increasing your awareness of the wider marketing world doesn’t need to be a big lift. Here are some actions that, over time, will help increase your awareness of developing marketing trends:
Sign-up to email marketing newsletters – it may sound obvious but signing up for marketing agency and industry newsletters can be a great way to stay in the know about new marketing techniques. They’re generally free, and you don’t have to interact if you don’t want to. Create a ‘must read’ list of your team
Follow marketing influencers on social media channels – by adding some additional industry figures to your social channels, you’ll be able to keep abreast of what those in the public eye are endorsing, and whether it is a good fit for your marketing.
Set alerts – using a tool like Google Alerts, set updates for broad terms like “digital marketing” or be more specific and search for something like “copywriting AI tools”. You don’t have to check your alerts every day but setting aside time to review any news is a handy way to ensure you don’t miss out on anything.
Look at your competition – what channels are your direct competitors using? Are there learnings or changes you can make from this? Perhaps they are seeing good engagement in an area you haven’t even considered – could be worth some experimentation.
Attend industry events – whether in-person or online, it’s good to occasionally attend marketing events; they’re a great way to see other organisation’s marketing tools and strategies, and you could also happen upon something invaluable that you didn’t even realise you were looking for.
As an agile marketing consultancy, we are well placed to offer impartial advice on your current ways of working and marketing agility and implement plans to give your marketing team a structure that allows you to take advantage of new marketing techniques and tools.
Our game plans are designed for those who want to build resilience and deliver game-changing marketing at pace. One page is all you need to increase ROI and transform your ways of working. Designed as an overview of the 30 minute bootcamp sessions, the topics cover everything from sprint leadership to building emotional connections in B2B.
The perfect tool if you want to optimise your marketing and inject agility without watching a full webinar.
Whether you like it or not, you can’t deny the hype that surrounds Web3, which includes the Metaverse, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain. But how do we as B2B marketers cut through that noise and identify the opportunities for us?
Here at Bright, we’re always looking future forward, scanning the horizon for what’s next and staying ahead of the curve – which is why we’re going to digest the top three things you need to know about Web3 for B2B marketing.
History of the internet
To understand what Web3 entails, we must first look back to the beginning with Web1, or ‘Web 1.0’. It was the first iteration of what became the World Wide Web, headed by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. His idea was to create open, decentralised protocols that allowed information sharing from anywhere on Earth. Web 1.0 lasted between 1990 and 2004, and featured static websites owned by companies, with little interaction between users, leading to it being known as the read-only web.
Fast forward to Web 2.0, from 2004 to the present, where the web has evolved to be read-write, increasing audience participation and engagement. This means that instead of companies providing content to users, they began to provide platforms to share user-generated content and engage in user-to-user interactions, propelled by the explosion of social networking fuelled by sites like Facebook or Twitter.
As more people join the online community, a handful of companies, such as Meta and Google, began to control a disproportionate amount of the traffic and value generated on the web. Web 2.0 also birthed the advertising-driven revenue model, meaning that while users could create content, they couldn’t own it or benefit efficiently from its monetisation. Leading us to Web3 – the next stage of the internet.
The impact of Web3 on marketing
With exciting new developments in technology and how much we rely on the internet, it can often feel overwhelming, trying to navigate the line between what’s relevant and ‘the next big thing’ and what will pass as a short phase. You can already see big brands, such as Unilever, who have utilised Augmented Reality (AR) experiences to showcase a virtual career fair using their ‘Pot Noodle’ brand, replacing its live event, which was cancelled due to Covid-19. On another side of Web3, you can see how brands like Nike or Mercedes have utilised virtual configurators to visualise products with their customisations.
This will have a profound impact on the buyer’s decision-making process, in the near future, moving towards a more personalised and visual hands-on experience, which has become imperative for both B2B and B2C marketing within the past few years.
One of the benefits of a blockchain, which is a decentralised, public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across desktops, is that there is complete transparency within it. You can see how much crypto a wallet address has and where transactions have been taking place. With some sophisticated analytic research, you could get a relatively clear insight into what your audience is spending crypto on online, and target that accordingly.
So, how can B2B marketers can harness Web3
Cryptocurrency and loyalty
One of the burning questions surrounding those interested in Web3, is how it can be utilised commercially. Cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum are popular in the B2C market, however, the applications around coin or NFTs as a loyalty mechanism may be more applicable to B2B – firms can establish their own ‘coin’ which can reward loyal clients and employees. This coin could be used in more diverse ways than a loyalty scheme, for example as reinvestment in future projects or joint ventures with clients.
Metaverse and virtual worlds in B2B
An area of value to B2B marketers is the utilisation of virtual experiences to showcase a product or service offering. It can be done in a way as simple as going into Meta’s ‘Horizon Worlds’ platform and designing a virtual store or using Unity’s ‘Unreal Engine’ to create a gamified experience.
How about utilising Web3 within your workplace? You could create a virtual office space to bring team collaboration into the modern age, ditching the typical ‘zoom’ meetings that gained popularity during the pandemic, or even hold a virtual event in the Metaverse.
Forward thinking firms such as Sony are working with pioneering virtual experience firms like, V-gather to create an immersive shopping experience.
Generating leads through the Metaverse
It doesn’t stop there; Web3 can be utilised to create virtual-only services for B2B, such as ads. Advertisement within the Metaverse is something we believe will explode in the coming years, as brands learn more about what possibilities lie ahead, and embark on early adoption so they don’t get left behind. It’s important to note that advertising in the Metaverse is not yet as sophisticated or programmatic as it is in the Web2 landscape.
With innovative updates and features created in the Metaverse, it’s easier for B2B marketers to find leads. The Metaverse is an avenue for B2B marketers to reduce traditional methods of lead prospecting. You can support an end–to–end engagement and commence the marketing process from lead prospecting to customer acquisition and rewards. It’s possible to interact with prospects like never before.
NFTs and gated content as a community tool
One of the hottest trends of 2021 was the hype surrounding NFTs (non-fungible tokens) which are collectable digital assets that link ownership to unique physical or digital items, such as art, property, music, or videos, and are considered modern-day collectables. NFTs could be utilised in a B2B environment by rewarding clients with your native token for using your services, like a loyalty programme; providing real tokens that they can exchange on cryptocurrency exchanges. You could produce an NFT to give to your target audience to access gated content, such as a Discord server, support channels, videos, articles, webinars, and so on, creating a stronger sense of community.
Get started by taking an agile approach
Knowledge sharing is going to be powerful; we’re keen to hear about what you think of Web3, and how you think they can be effectively utilised within the B2B marketing environment, we’ll be sharing our learnings as we venture further with clients.
Bright’s founder and Managing Director, Zoë Merchant, commented:
“With Web3, we’re getting ready for the biggest evolution yet in Customer Experience. B2B marketers need to take an agile approach to testing, learning and building on success to understand how they can harness the power of Web3 to take advantage of immersive and virtual worlds and make good use of the data they can gather to get closer to their customers and prospects.”
One thing is for sure, by taking an agile marketing approach B2B marketers can start small and set hypothesis to test ideas and learn from the data they garner to build on success. A great place to start is to understand your client’s perception and areas they would find beneficial and start to build out immersive customer experiences as well as innovative promotional strategies harnessing Web3.
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.