Brilliant Reads: B2B storytelling, connecting employees and market research innovation

Group of people standing on a jetty.

Make your brand matter to employees

A strong company culture isn’t just nice, it’s a competitive advantage. It aligns everyone to the brand purpose and makes teams responsive to rapidly changing customer needs. In this article, our CSO Jason Ryan outlines that, to begin developing a successful company culture, you need to:

  • Identify and tell stories of change to inspire.
  • Choose change heroes to lead the charge.
  • Encourage collaboration between your teams.

Why customer experience starts with your people
Campaign, 3 minutes

B2B stories should convey trust, reliability and expertise

B2B customers tend to have long, systematic purchasing journeys – there are potentially disastrous consequences if a poor decision is made. In contrast, a customer of a B2C brand can make quick, emotional purchasing decisions without much consequence. This means that emotional storytelling isn’t something that’s often done by B2B brands, leading to somewhat dry and product-led marketing.

However, B2B customers are people, too. It’s just that the emotional drivers for B2B purchasing are different from B2C ones. Telling stories about trust, reliability and expertise – showing the customer what they can achieve with this product rather than giving a detailed description of it – is a powerful way for B2B brands to speak to their customers.

Why B2B marketing needs emotional storytelling
B2B Marketing, 5 minutes

For continuous change, don’t overthink it

Many organisations overcomplicate what change management means. It’s thought of as some special task that occurs occasionally to address certain company challenges. However, change management is not something that should start and end. Changing your ways of working should be constant. It should be the central component of your work.

There are several ways to shift this thinking. Leaders need to be empowered to undertake continuous and rapid experimentation with new ways of working. Collaboration with other teams should also be encouraged. The constant test-and-learn approach encourages innovation and collaboration combines the strengths of teams. Critically, this enables change to scale at pace, in turn allowing an organisation to be responsive to changing customer needs.

All management is change management
Harvard Business Review, 4 minutes

Innovations in market research

The ultimate goal of any organisation is to get a deep enough understanding of their customer that they can give them exactly what they want, how they want it and when they want it. Investing in innovative market research is critical to this.

Canon is using behavioural economics to understand how behaviours like hover time and scrolling help define different kinds of customers, and what this means for purchasing decisions. To do so, they have partnered with Clicktale, a digital customer experience company whose software combines cognitive computing, machine learning and psychological research.

Meanwhile, Condé Nast has been measuring people’s brainwaves in an attempt to understand branded content’s effect on long-term memory encoding, engagement and emotional connection. According to Chief Experience Officer Josh Stinchcomb, one key finding was that, compared to traditional Youtube pre-roll, branded content was 60% more effective for memory recall.

How brands are taking advantage of innovations in market research
Marketing Week, 7 minutes

Put customers, not advertising, at your core

The era of telling customers what you think they want to hear is over. New digital disruptors and visionary legacy brands (e.g. Burberry and adidas) recognise this. Both are embracing this change and replacing ad-led marketing with customer-first marketing strategies.

In this article, our CEO Antony Mayfield says that what brands have to focus on is organising the business around what the customer needs – what they want to hear, where and when they want to hear it, and understanding when the best time for them to hear it is. By doing this, you can deliver useful and compelling content to your audience.

Shouting at consumers is a losing game – it’s time for a rethink
City A.M., 3 minutes