The ‘marketing pendulum’ sure has a habit of swinging backwards and forwards. And for professionals working in B2B marketing roles it can be hard to keep up.
Working out the right mix of marketing strategies to employ to reach your target buyers and influencers is always a challenge, but today the choices have never been wider.
I think we’re still deep in the era of ‘Digital First’, which for many B2B marketers has been a very welcome period of cost-effective experimentation. After all, with so many opportunities to promote your brand via social media, owned and paid platforms there’s been plenty of scope to try new stuff out. But often this has come at the expense of more ‘traditional’ marketing tactics.
As a brand producing solutions that are enabled by technology, it might make sense for The Floow to tie its colours to the mast of a ‘digital first’ strategy, but is that the right way to go for maximum impact?
Here’s 10 things that we’ve deduced after six months of experimentation here at The Floow.
Yes, ‘digital’ marketing works!
But it works in combination – we see responses and results from all of our chosen tools which stands to reason. Our target buyers are mainly in insurance, fleet and automotive companies. Not all of them like the same stuff, react to the same content or prioritise the same tools. So we need to keep a number of plates spinning at any one time. But for us, digital marketing tactics are working; we’ve seen a 16x uptick in inbound leads in the last six months that can be attributed to focusing on digital content and careful programme management.
Not every social media tool is useful to us
We decided early on to centralise around LinkedIn and Twitter and to discontinue our Facebook page. In the light of the pub-chain Wetherspoon’s much publicised decision to close down all its social media, the topic of media selection is very much in the spotlight. As for The Floow, we will continue to experiment with different tools and formats, and track response rates carefully, particularly as Twitter and LinkedIn tend to change their algorithms quite regularly and you need to adapt accordingly.
Video rocks, but blogging is powerful too!
We’ve focused a lot on creating a range of video assets and generating an approach to story-telling using our people which I believe helps us bring our brand, culture, technology and team to life. The best bits of feedback I’ve had were from clients telling me they had got a really strong sense about the company’s intent and differentiation via this content, and from prospective employees saying they had really got to know our people and culture via our video and blog content. We’re committed to managing and publishing a regular stream of blogs against a set of key topics that matter to us and have found that this is a great way to create a dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders.
Our team is a powerful source of content amplification
Creating limitations around who’s allowed to share and post content to our blog or via social media doesn’t work for us here. What works better is empowering our team to share their own content rather than relying on company handles to do the work. That’s where our best reach and response is coming from.
Events are still important
Our industry is awash with scores of events and conferences every month. And whilst there is still enormous value from attending and speaking at well-managed, well-targeted events – we do get leads that way – it is a law of diminishing returns. Being selective and differentiated is going to be the key to gaining traction.
Consistency is key
We’re trying hard to create content for sales and marketing that is consistent in message and style. This is a work in progress, but it’s enormously important that we try to centralise around key information and facts, particularly because at our heart we are a data company.
Keep it simple
Telematics is still a young and nascent market. Not everyone understands it. It can seem complex and obscure. We are trying to talk about what we do in simple language and limit the industry jargon we use, particularly as we expand into international markets. This too is a work in progress and requires constant attention and I’d be interested to hear from stakeholders to understand whether we need to do more as an industry to educate end users on how telematics works and the benefits it offers.
Perfect doesn’t exist
Fear of getting something wrong or something not working very often holds people back from trying new stuff. In my opinion ‘perfect’ or ‘done’ doesn’t exist – you can keep iterating on something forever and it doesn’t necessarily result in a better output. So in the spirit of agile we’ve taken an approach to ‘failing fast’, experimenting often and testing assumptions. In this way, for example, we’ve understood that webinars are great means of educating, building awareness and nurturing prospects. We have also determined that there’s a particular role for email marketing in our strategy and that it can work better in insurance circles than I’ve seen in other industries. By taking an open approach we remain alert to new ideas and are happy if they succeed – and just as happy if they fail because that’s when we learn.
We’ve got a very memorable company name!
I have lost count of the time that people have asked how to pronounce our name. That could be a good or bad thing – but for sure, The Floow is memorable. One thing though – I’ve realised that on Twitter and in youth culture, ‘the floow’ is a slang colloquialism for writing ‘the floor’. That can get confusing when we’re looking at our Twitter mentions!
As an added extra, check out our video of our CEO Aldo talking about the genesis of the company name.
Measure what you can
One of the benefits of using digital marketing methods is that it comes with an ocean of metrics and measurement opportunities. We measure and target-set for every major activity so that we can benchmark different tactics against one another from an ROI perspective. This is particularly helpful in event marketing which is very time and budget consuming. A close eye on measurement keeps us honest and informs planning and confident decision-making.
So there it is. No mystery perhaps. No ground-breaking insights, but much left to do. And we’ve learned and continue to learn a great deal supporting this brand from a Marketing perspective. And one thing’s for sure: it’s a lot of fun!
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