The Human Element Of B2B Marketing

by Georgia Sanders Powwownow

Figaro Digital caught up with Hollie Bennett, head of customer marketing, Powwownow, ahead of her session at our B2B Roundtable this Thursday.

What is Powwownow’s biggest focus right now? 

I’m currently focusing on the launch of Exact Target, which is a new marketing automation system which we’ve recently launched with Powwownow, so we’re looking to implement that across our portfolio – it’s a massive project. Alongside that, we’re also working on our returning customer experience – involving a lot of website development. Historically, we’ve been very focused on acquisition; so we’ve shifted our focus to make it as easy as possible for the returning customer. What we pride ourselves on is our simplicity, from acquisition and sign up, to customers coming back and using our service thereafter.

Why have you chosen now to shift that focus to retention?

We started in 2004; we’re 12 years old now – so historically we’ve been focused on putting people into the top of our funnel, and now we’ve taken people on more of a journey and we’re a bit more established, we’ve realised we need to focus a little bit more on our customer experience in order to grow our business.

We’re at a point now where we want to focus our efforts on the experience of Powwownow, and we’ve also refocused on our core proposition, which is audio conferencing, and making sure that people who use Powwownow know how easy it is to use, and to make sure all of our customer touch-points speak to that. Launching our new CRM tool with Exact Target is part of that. We’ve had a complete revamp of all our email communications to make it as easy as possible for customers to see their login details and their PIN, making sure they can easily navigate our emails to get the information that they need.

Is there one element of B2B marketing that’s the most important for customer retention?

It’s about making sure all of your customer touch-points are joined up. Whether they’re receiving an email from us, visiting our website, viewing us on social, or searching for us in Google – all of those communications are communicating our brand’s core values. Simplicity is our core value – we’ve had a very big focus in 2016 on simplifying all of our key channels, and making those easier to navigate.

What will you be focussing on at this Thursday’s B2B Roundtable?

This Thursday I’ll be focussing on how to distinguish your brand and stand out in a low-interest or niche industry. The focus for us is how, as a brand, PowWowNow has managed to get cut-through in an industry which is quite low-interest, and people aren’t very excited when they’re thinking about making a conference call – so it’s about how we’ve managed to get cut-through in the conference call market, and make it a sexy brand.

How important is the human element in B2B marketing?

We don’t really market in a B2B way – we market in a B2P way, so business to person rather than to a business. Which is how we’re slightly different to our competitors – we don’t talk necessarily about the benefits of our different services, it’s more about how can we benefit the people in the sense of their commute, or flexible working. It’s about how we can benefit the person rather than the business.

Are there any drawbacks to a B2P approach?

We focussed our 2016 campaign on flexible working, and I think that can alienate people- certain people just aren’t able to work flexibly, and that’s what we’ve learnt for our 2017 campaign. It’s really about how anybody can conference call and anybody can benefit – it means greater flexibility, greater time management, less travel – so that can be a drawback, but still whenever we talk about our marketing it’s always in a B2P way rather than B2B.

Are there any mistakes B2B marketers make that you’d advise against?

I think it’s about not playing it too safe. It’s about establishing what your brand identity is, and why you exist as a brand, and having fun with that – rather than thinking, for example, you’ve got a conference call company, it’s conference calling and screen sharing; it’s more about how is that relevant, how is that helpful to the user. What is it that you can help them do?

 

The Figaro Digital B2B Marketing Roundtable event is a morning session dedicated to the issues facing businesses of all sizes as they seek more effective integration of digital channels into their communication strategies.

We’ll be joined by a line-up of expert speakers who’ll explain how digital marketing can help B2B organisations meet their own needs and those of their clients. Under discussion will be the roles of analytics, search, social media, content, web design and more. Register now!