During the lively panel session at b2b ignite earlier this week, Tony Temple of WWP pulled together an honest account of the challenges and opportunities for global campaigns.
Andrew Davidson, Fujitsu, made some great points, particularly around the need to differentiate in a more human manner. Andrew commented that all products are ‘the same’ in b2b and that differentiation comes from your brand and people. In the past we have seen a lot of push messaging but now your audience wants to be pulled towards you and importantly advised. The most effective way to do this is through your internal experts who create or hold these relationships.
It chimed with Mika’s (Chief Digital Officer, SAP) presentation during the day where she explained that the expectation of b2b buyers is to receive a b2c experience (personalised, timely, relevant).
In summary Andrew’s view was that you need to have a core idea that is global and then enable your regional teams to tailor and deliver this to their audience. This was confirmed by James Himpoletz, Speciality Coffee Association who said ‘to be relevant, you have to have a cause that people can buy into’. Whilst this sounds closer to b2c, I think this could be translated to b2b as the need to create and own a category.
Global brands are torn between the need to maintain brand consistency and efficiency worldwide, and the desire to reach local audiences in an engaging and believable way. After all, in the era of Customer is King, the demand is for personalised and tailored messaging and approaches. So how do organisations, driven by the need to control brand and cost efficiencies through the development of centralised and global campaigns, answer to this challenge posed by a new and demanding B2B buyer?