Scot McKee is the managing director of a B2B branding agency who believe in creative branding for B2B companies. McKee is the author of the unconventional marketing book Creative B2B Branding (no, really), where he takes the boring lot of B2B brands by it’s horns, which is the focal point of this lecture; he speaks about how new digital media changes everything for B2B Brands, and he presents different B2B branding cases of different sizes with different impact. The University, where he held his lecture, didn’t want it’s name associated with the video nor the slides of his lecture because they didn’t want to locate their brand “next to the deliberately provocative brand image he presents”.
As the new digital world embraces participation, openness, conversation, community and connectedness through social media, it brings new opportunities and challenges to B2B branding. It is not to suggest that social media will change how businesses do business, but it is another layer to brand management that needs to be treated different from traditional marketing efforts.
The thesis includes four interviews with social media experts, synthesised around brand management for B2B companies, where as the theoretical background is B2B brand management. Thought leaders of social media and branding in the online environment are currently doing their work out in the field, whilst the academics are lagging behind.
In order to shed some light on issues regarding how B2B companies should manage opportunities and challenges in the social media space, this master thesis seeks to address the topic by conducting an exploratory study on how B2B companies can utilise social media to enhance the brand.
ShipServ designed a social media strategy which evolved around using social media platforms as beacons to drive traffic to their main site, in order to qualify the “readiness to buy” of the visitors by tracking and nurturing them with an automated marketing solution. Whilst their product is an innovative technological service, the target audience are conservative late adopters; the challenge ShipServ faced was solved by creating relationships with their target audience through multiple social networks backed by a high-quality content marketing strategy.
During the autumn 2009 I conducted a literature review for my pre-diploma work on business-to-business branding online, which in my opinion has implications for how B2B companies could use social media. The main findings of the study suggest that B2B brand strategies should be aligned towards and reinforce the overall business strategy, whilst striving for consistency throughout every customer touch point in order to achieve interactive effects from branding in multiple mediums.
This week I spent two days in London at The Internet World Expo, and attended a seminar on Blogging and Twitter for B2B hosted by B2B Marketing. It’s fair to say that those two days absolutely gave food for thought. In this post I will try summarise my main lessons learned.