Marketing technology infrastructure

By December 7, 2015 Thinking No Comments

As technology advances rapidly, B2B needs to step up the pace

Technology is making today’s buying process more complex and putting more control in the hands of prospects. The new buzzword ‘martech’ is starting to become commonplace, but are B2B marketeers really taking full advantage of these new tools and do they fully understand what is possible?

Some businesses have already adopted very sophisticated marketing technology infrastructures to support business growth. However, most B2B businesses have not yet gone beyond search, marketing automation and customer relationship management infrastructures to support their initiatives. For some, this has been seen as the ‘saviour’ of marketing.

The challenging relationship between Chief Marketing Officers and their CEOs is familiar given reported concerns Mark Lethbridge CEO, Gravity Global and President of MAGNET (Marketing and Advertising Global Network) experience and shift the score. The technology is a customer relationship assessment tool that considers B2B customers’ end-to-end brand experience, getting their feedback not just as an overall NPS score – customers are also asked to score each aspect of their experience at a granular level. Armed with this set of measures, it highlights with accuracy which parts of a brand experience should be enhanced to make a positive difference on customers’ perceptions.

In addition to providing an NPS, it details where improvements could be made to improve that score and the relationship strength with each B2B customer. It scores the strength of the customer relationship, indicates how likely that customer is to desert, and identifies what needs to be done to retain that customer’s business. The technology provides clarity on where to spend resources to improve the brand experience and how to improve the relationship with key accounts. Over time, brands can track their performance in specific aspects and identify brand and operational strengths and weaknesses contributing to brand perceptions.

 

Technology Landscape 2015

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Technology can validate how you go to market

When developing new messaging, identity, imagery and describing value proposition, how can brands ensure effectiveness? Conventional research tests address these questions via focus groups or in-depth interviews using stimulus boards, both very much removed from how target audiences might see a brand in real life.

The alternative is online, quantitative research that puts brands in a digital context, but this only allows closed questions to be asked – lacking the insight of qualitative research. Now technology exists to deliver testing environments that are more true to life. This allows brands to put messaging into context – on the screen of the target audience – depicted as web pages, advertising, emails, or brochures. The survey is all online but enables brands to gain qualitative responses. By responding electronically and dropping the digital equivalent of a post-it note onto their screen, respondents identify issues and the exact location of those issues.

This type of research should be called ‘mass qualitative’ – it has all the advantages of qualitative research but, because the survey is online, it is possible to mass sample a target audience quickly and cost effectively. Once the electronic responses are aggregated, it shows hot spots on the materials tested – where respondents have commented most. It gives an overall assessment identifying modifications and enhancements, and can dive into specific areas to reveal individual verbatim comments.

Technology reduces the risk of launching brand positioning and messaging that is unclear or misinterpreted by a target audience. It enables fine-tuning of a brand’s proposition and message to improve engagement prior to investment and market collateral. This, in turn, puts a brand in a more real life context and minimises ‘research effects’, giving greater insight than conventional quantitative research through a larger sample size.

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Technology enriches the customer experience

Technology exists that helps strengthen the brand experience for B2B customers. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is said to be the strongest overall measurer of brand experience, reflecting B2B customers’ approval of their experience and their intention to recommend it to others. But what is the next step after measuring NPS? How can a brand ensure next year’s score will be higher?

The issue with the single score is that it doesn’t identify issues an organisation needs to address to enrich the experience and shift the score. The technology is a customer relationship assessment tool that considers B2B customers’ end-to-end brand experience, getting their feedback not just as an overall NPS score – customers are also asked to score each aspect of their experience at a granular level.

Armed with this set of measures, it highlights with accuracy which parts of a brand experience should be enhanced to make a positive difference on customers’ perceptions. In addition to providing an NPS, it details where improvements could be made to improve that score and the relationship strength with each B2B customer. It scores the strength of the customer relationship, indicates how likely that customer is to desert, and identifies what needs to be done to retain that customer’s business.

The technology provides clarity on where to spend resources to improve the brand experience and how to improve the relationship with key accounts. Over time, brands can track their performance in specific aspects and identify brand and operational strengths and weaknesses contributing to brand perceptions.

B---Benchmarketing your brand against key attributes for competitive success

 

Technology to help drive brand performance

  • How healthy is your brand?
  • How do you compare with your competition from capturing the interest of a prospect to turning them into a customer?
  • What competitive attributes are market buyers using to make their provider selection choices?
  • Is your brand best positioned to attract the largest market opportunities, and if not, how should it be repositioned?

Most brands can respond anecdotally to these questions, but few have hard evidence or tracking data as a key business metric. Using a range of measures the tool is able to connect a brand directly to its business strategy and prove that continued brand investment will enhance the commercial performance and potential of the business.

There are three distinct elements to the performance modelling platform; a brand strength tracking index, an assessment of marcomms effectiveness in driving prospects to and through the purchasing funnel, and a map of competing brands, their relationship to these attributes and to the market segments missed. As each of the above elements positions a brand amongst those of its main competitors, it’s possible to relate a brand directly to commercial opportunity. It will identify, with great accuracy, how brands can capture market share from competitors by strengthening or transforming aspects of itself. It provides ongoing tracking metrics to validate investments in the brand and evidence the impact a brand has had on the success of the business. As a minimum, it will help you track brand health.

Used to its full, this is a platform from which it’s possible to capture unseen business growth opportunities and to connect the brand with the business development strategy of the organisation. The benefits of this technology demonstrate to a business the existing and potential performance of a brand to generate sales and profit opportunities, while putting brand investment at the top of the boardroom agenda.

The analysis provides an ongoing tracking of key brand performance metrics of an individual brand and competing brands through a benchmark set of metrics prior to change and the measures that validate change and investment. These are just three of the many technology tools that go beyond the norm. Imagine the added value to a brand and business if B2B marketers unleashed the full potential technology now provides.

Gravity is an award-winning, full-service global B2B agency network. It is integrated across all channels from strategic consultation to implementation. gravityglobal.com how can brands ensure effectiveness?

Conventional research tests address these questions via focus groups or in-depth interviews using stimulus boards, both very much removed from how target audiences might see a brand in real life.

C---Mapping segments

 

Written By Mark Lethbridge CEO, Gravity Global and President of MAGNET (Marketing and Advertising Global Network)

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