Exact: Winner of the 2014 Markie International Marketing Campaign

Exact is a business solutions company that develops software to support many major business processes such as production, logistics, finance & administration, HR, sales and marketing. Ranging from manufacturing, wholesale & distribution to professional services and accountancy, Exact’s software products are designed to efficiently help businesses manage and access their digital information from anywhere and in real time. The Exact Online platform currently has more than 130,000 companies across five countries doing their accounting in the cloud with extended functionalities for wholesalers, manufacturers and professional services companies. In October of this year, Markie announced Exact as the winner for their International Marketing Campaign category. The Markie Awards is an annual event hosted by Oracle Marketing Cloud that recognizes outstanding achievements in marketing across 12 categories, including IT-marketing collaboration, social marketing, content marketing, marketing metrics and campaign creativity. A good question to ask is what factors does Exact believe are the critical keys to its international marketing success? Mark Appel, Global Marketing Director Cloud Solutions at Exact, took to his LinkedIn page to explain what factors he believes will help B2B companies excel in the ever growing cloud business software industry.

For example, Appel writes that most companies today don’t fully understand the benefit of digital marketing although there are dedicated digital marketing teams formed within these firms. “Especially in somewhat larger companies it seems that specific marketing teams are created to practice so called ‘digital marketing’. Talking with those people digital marketing is about online marketing, marketing automation, SEO, SEA etc. This tells me that senior marketing management still needs to be convinced about the value of the things just mentioned. The only thing at that moment I think is ‘digital marketing’ IS what we currently and only do,” says Appel. This is a very interesting way of perceiving digital marketing and suggests that most firms are still too slow in adapting contemporary marketing strategies. A possible key to success here is that if a firm wishes to internationally market a product, a heavy digital marketing focus is mandatory.

Furthermore, Appel continues to suggest that firms wishing to realize successful international marketing campaigns should start with having a ‘do’ mentality. In order to have a ‘do’ mentality, a marketing team needs to be fully confident that their marketing strategy is going to be well accepted by their customers. Appel explains that the marketing budget him and his team receive for a project is treated as if it is their own money and make well informed decisions based on this belief. Entering new foreign markets are extremely risky and usually require large amounts of spending on marketing efforts. In order to see global success, marketing teams need to conduct proper market research and make sure their financial forecasts are extremely accurate.

By having a mix of high volume within B2B, cloud, ‘digital marketing’ and do-mentality Appel believes these factors set Exact apart from many of the other globally marketed companies. Exact feels the company and the way it market’s itself appeals to many others who want to hear from them and how they operate.

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12 Megatrends in B2B Marketing

In 2007, the Economist conducted an experiment to discover new environmental challenges and opportunities that B2B marketers could expect to see in the near future. The objective research was conducted by sending surveys to businesses around the world; the sample size for the experiment contained 136 businesses with many of these businesses currently having international operations. The Economist concluded that there are 12 megatrends in the B2B market from the data gathered from the completed surveys. In addition, researchers felt the intelligence gained from surveyed advertisers could help B2B marketers reach their promotional objectives in the global market place.

Specifically, The Economist research survey revealed that sponsors and advertisers are:

  • shifting dollars away from single-media promotion in favor of integrated thought-leadership programs featuring print ads, sponsored research, publications and conferences;
  • improving return on investment (ROI) measurement techniques to track lead generation and new business;
  • seeking much closer collaboration with partners to find new ways to achieve unique marketing objectives;
  • going higher and deeper into organizations, targeting not just decision-makers but also key influencers;
  • pursuing a broad range of target company sizes;
  • more closely integrating marketing strategy, messaging and media
  • still relying on advertisers and public relations (PR) firms—but expecting their capabilities to evolve to meet their changing needs;
  • placing greater emphasis on selling globally, particularly in emerging markets—and to companies domiciled in emerging nations;
  • exploring new media—with high growth from Web 0 initiatives on the horizon;
  • increasingly outsourcing their research and conference activities.

Mega Trends in B2B Marketing:

  1. The shift to 360 thought leadership
  2. The ROI imperative
  3. “Me too” sponsorship on the wane
  4. Going higher and deeper into organizations
  5. One size does not fit all
  6. Integrated marketing on the rise
  7. The changing role of advertising and PR
  8. The allure of emerging markets
  9. A new marketing opportunity: Domcoms
  10. The global decision matrix
  11. New media poised for rapid growth
  12. The growing appeal of outsourcing

This blog post will focus on the 8th mega trend, the allure of emerging markets, and shed light on if the Economist prediction of China becoming the largest economy in 2017 holds true. Case studies on Disney and Universal desiring to penetrate the emerging Chinese marketplace by creating theme parks are prime examples of domestic firms trying to become global. However, these studies have proven that entering a foreign market is extremely difficult considering complex government regulations and differing cultural negotiation styles. Furthermore, the Colgate Max Fresh case provided insight that significant market research on Chinese consumers tastes and preferences and adapting these attributes to fit a product (in this case toothpaste) won’t fully eliminate the risk that the promoted product won’t be a success.

However, is the Chinese environment different for B2B industries? And can B2B marketers realize and capture value by tailoring their marketing strategies to fit the Chinese emerging market? 66% of the companies surveyed in this research experiment feel the emerging Chinese market is the perfect environment to start increasing their firms’ profits. A research study about B2B supply chain management conducted by Spekman, Kamauff Jr, and Myhr could possibly help B2B marketers face this emerging mega trend and create immense value for the supply chain partners. The data suggest that buyers and sellers have very little in common, and their “world views” tend not to converge. While some differences are expected, the divergence in motivations and beliefs relative to supply chain management is quite stark. This suggests that it is not surprising that supply chain management practices are difficult to implement. For buyers and sellers to achieve a common goal there must exist a level of consensus (Spekman et al., 1996). At the very least, buyer and seller must have a shared perspective of the merits of such close ties within the supply chain (Spekman, Kamauff Jr, and Myhr). If B2B marketers were to figure out a method of creating a shared global perspective throughout a given supply chain, penetrating the Chinese market would see significant decreases in risks associated with adaptation strategies and FDI. The whole chain would see value creation from reduced costs from operations and differing ideas on how all the firms involved could create profit. Furthermore, this reduction in global operation costs could help elevate the damage firms could receive from unpredictable hick-ups with cases such as Disney, Universal, and Colgate.

If you would like to learn more about the 11 other mega trends affecting B2B marketers please refer to link provided. The Economist B2B Mega Trends

References:

Speckman, Robert E., John W. Kamauff, Jr., and Niklas Myhr. “An Empirical Investigation into Supply Chain Management : A Perspective on Partnerships.” SupplyChainManagement 3.2 (1998): n. pag. Web. 27 Oct. 2014.

No Breaks: LinkedIn Plans on Creating Another Billion-Dollar Business

Could LinkedIn develop a new business that would become a billion-dollar company in a matter of three short years? Confidential documents were leaked from the company and they provide detailed information about how LinkedIn plans on entering the $50 billion B2B marketing industry and establishing a new B2B marketing business that will be worth 1 billion dollars by the year 2017. B2B marketing is about meeting the needs of other businesses, though ultimately the demand for the products made by these businesses is likely to be driven by consumers in their homes. In July, LinkedIn revealed plans to acquire a business-marketing company called Bizo for about $175 million, moving it a step closer toward its goal of becoming “the most effective online platform for marketers to engage with professionals.” Bizo is an online platform used by B2B marketers to find their target prospects and shape purchasing decisions. The Bizo Marketing Platform enables precise and measurable B2B multi-channel marketing programs. LinkedIn wants to expand beyond its current media and content marketing products to build a B2B marketing platform using a combination of it’s own, and Bizo’s tools.

For example, LinkedIn states in the documents that Bizo B2B marketers can target new audiences, nurture prospects and measure the marketing impact by using the myriad of marketing tools Bizo have developed. Bizo’s marketing tools consist of Bizographics, 85 million subscriptions to business professionals, and Bizo multi-channel nurturing. Bizographics are demographics that Bizo uses to differentiate prospects from each other. The five demographics Bizo uses are company size, location, job function, seniority, and industry. Bizo Multi-Channel Nurturing nurtures your anonymous website visitors and known contacts in waves of synchronized display and social ads. Deliver and optimize the most relevant ads and messaging to prospects based on their business demographics, website navigation, and levels of engagement to turn anonymous prospects into known contacts, and known contacts into customers. Furthermore, Bizo has 85 million global subscriptions, which will help LinkedIn significantly attain the firm’s goals in international marketing. For example, the big data on the 85 million subscriptions gained from the merger will allow LinkedIn further predict business buyer behavior. It’s unclear how LinkedIn plans on utilizing the resources they acquired after the merger, but considering both businesses provide services based on their online platforms international marketing will most likely play a huge role in creating a new billion-dollar company by 2017.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/linkedins-1-billion-b2b-marketing-plan-2014-8

To better understand the tools LinkedIn desired from Bizo, refer to the following youtube videos provided by the firm.

Business Audience Marketing

Multi-Channel Nurturing 

B2B Marketing: What Makes It Special?

B2B Marketing: What Makes It Special?

As the world becomes more and more globalized, many company took the advantage of being international. How does the manufacturing products get to the customers hands? Business to Business(B2B) marketing has been play the important factor in this process.  From the raw material to finish goods, each process needs B2B marketing to bring the value to consumers. When the manufacturer made the products, their goal is to sell more and spend less money to another difference company. They have specific contracts to put hold of the low prices and huge amount of the products need to be sold to the consumers. Each process needs die rent purchasing behavior in order to sell to the customers’ hands.

risk-value1

The image divides B2B purchases into four categories according to their value and the level of business risk associated with the purchase.  Each of these categories gives rise to different purchasing behavior and different complexities.

  • Low-risk, low-value purchases are the least distinct from consumer purchases.  There is little financial or business risk involved on getting the decision wrong, meaning that relatively little thought goes into the decision.
  • Low-risk, high-value items such as raw materials typically involve a mixture of technical and purchasing personnel. This complexity is necessary to ensure that price is minimized without impacting upon quality.  Purchasing personnel would usually be the key decision makers on a transaction-by-transaction basis, under the general guidance of more technical employees, who would review suppliers periodically.
  • Low-value, high-risk items such as office insurance would similarly involve a mixture of specialists and purchasers.  As the ‘risk’ is in the product rather than the price, and as each transaction is likely to be unique, an expert would tend to be the key decision maker every time a purchase takes place.
  • High-value, high-risk purchases are the most distinct from consumer purchases, with a large number of senior decision makers evaluating a large range of purchase criteria.

 

chain-of-derived-demand

B2B marketing contains value and risk in purchasing behaviors. As the picture is explained the cause of purchasing behaviors are the purchasing personnel and the complexity. These factors make the B2B marketing special in compare of other marketing strategies. As I believe B2B is so different from B2C marketing is B2B needs to build up good relationships with other businesses to continue to have the business together. The good the relationship the lower risk the company has to continue the long distribution process. Once the foundation is settled, B2B marketing is more stable compare to other marketing strategies.