Archives for July 2023

31st July 2023

The B Word: ‘Marketing the brand’ vs demand generation.

The B Word is the show where we demystify everything to do with B2B branding. Every month we invite guests from the worlds' of technology, venture capital, private equity and beyond to discuss what branding is, how it works and why it matters for businesses today.

Episode 3: In this episode, host John Galpin, co-founder, Design by Structure speaks to special guest, Paul Mills, CEO and founder of VCMO. Paul launched VCMO in June '23, he discusses his new proposition for the marketing industry, and how he hope to foster positive change for the role of the CMO.

 

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Episode highlights:

Brand marketing in B2B: The concept of brand marketing in B2B is often misunderstood and wrongly associated with visual aspects, but it is crucial for corporate strategy and gaining a competitive advantage.
  1. Brand marketing in B2B is widely misunderstood, often perceived as being limited to visual elements like logos, colours, and fonts.
  2. The term "brand marketing" should be reframed as "marketing the brand" to emphasise its connection to corporate strategy.
  3.  Brand marketing in B2B is about developing a competitive advantage, strategic growth, and adding value to the business. It involves strategies for positioning the business ahead of competitors, reducing the impact of new entrants, attracting and retaining the right talent, leveraging influencers, and gaining bargaining power over suppliers.

 

Marketing the brand: The difference between 'marketing the brand'  and 'demand generation' and how these two concepts are related.
  1.  The term 'brand' can be a loaded and misunderstood term, leading to confusion among people.
  2. 'Marketing the brand' and demand generation are interconnected, coexisting within an overarching marketing plan.
  3. 'Marketing the brand' involves various strategies across different business elements, such as creating awareness, conversion, communication, customer service, and talent retention.
  4. Demand generation primarily focuses on generating awareness and interest in a product or service, involving tactical activities like advertising, PR, word of mouth, events, and digital marketing.
  5. While 'marketing the brand' is strategic, demand generation is more tactical and focused on creating immediate interest and demand for a product or service.
Driving success: The interdependence of demand generation and marketing strategy and the importance of having both for a successful business.
  1. Having a world-class demand generation strategy alone is insufficient if there isn't a comprehensive marketing plan to support it.
  2. Without a well-structured marketing plan and the ability to service the generated demand, a business can encounter problems and challenges.
  3. The common denominator for both demand generation and marketing strategy is the need for a fundamental and well-thought-out strategy. It is crucial to ensure that the tactical execution of these strategies is done effectively.
The current macroeconomic context: the importance of marketing professionals (CMOs) delivering tangible results with fewer resources. Therefore, 'marketing the brand' and demand generation need to coexist to achieve measurable metrics that boards are seeking.
  1. CEOs and business leaders are looking for a return on their marketing investments and are concerned about generating leads rather than mere impressions.
  2. The role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) becomes more critical in challenging economic times, and their duty is to prove that marketing investments deliver a return.
  3. Technology, including AI, enables marketers to do more with fewer resources and streamline workflows.
  4. CMOs need to demonstrate a tangible link between marketing activities and sales results.

Rebranding exercises: considerations when embarking on a rebranding project, include the type of rebranding, agency selection, stakeholder involvement, data gathering, and the creative process.
  1. CMO's must be clear on the type of rebranding exercise being undertaking, whether it's a visual identity change or a full market repositioning, because they require different approaches.
  2. For full market repositioning, it is crucial to choose an agency with the strategic capability to test and challenge the assumptions related to the repositioning.
  3. In rebranding exercises, it's advisable to involve as many key stakeholders, functions, and customers as possible in the data-gathering process to gain insights and avoid relying solely on gut assumptions.
  4. Gathering more data and empirical evidence is important to prove or disprove assumptions about how employees, stakeholders, and customers perceive the brand.
  5. Agencies should be given the creative freedom to do what they excel at, and CMOs should avoid micromanaging the creative aspects of the rebranding project.
  6. Don't involve everyone in the creative process to prevent complications and conflicting opinions, particularly in partner-led organisations. Focus on key stakeholders, such as the managing partner or CEO, and do a final reveal at the end of the project to maintain a more streamlined decision-making process.

“ You could have the a world class demand generation strategy but If you don't have a marketing plan, if you can't service that demand… you haven't got a business... you start having problems. Both need strategies to make them work together in the right way.”  Paul Mills

Also available here:
About our guest:
VCMO

VCMO is transforming how complex marketing problems are solved through its flexible and cost-effective solutions. Say goodbye to boardroom frustration and embrace success in today's ever evolving business landscape. Whether you need remote, on-site or hybrid marketing support, VCMO's transformative approach will help to build, protect, and accelerate your competitive advantage.

Read about Paul Mills. 

17th July 2023

The B Word: Go-To-Market Challenges for Tech Businesses

The B Word is the show where we demystify everything to do with B2B branding. Every month we invite guests from the worlds' of technology, venture capital, private equity and beyond to discuss what branding is, how it works and why it matters for businesses today.

Episode 2: In this episode, host John Galpin,
co-founder, Design by Structure speaks to special guest, Paul Wiefels, Managing Director and co-founder The Chasm Group about the GTM challenges tech businesses face.

Paul shares his vast experience and discusses the five key dimensions marketers need to explore to help their business thrive in today’s markets.

 

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Episode highlights:

Common Challenges in the Technology Industry
  • Identifying Target Customers: Companies need to understand their target customers, which includes not just end-users but also economic buyers and technical buyers.
  • Crossing the Chasm:"Crossing the chasm" refers to the challenge of transitioning a product designed for early adoption to the mainstream market.
  • This transition is critical because it involves moving from early adopters to pragmatist and conservative buyers and users.

Contrasting Buyer Behaviour in Different Adoption Stages

  • Different Buyer Behaviour: Early adopters and later adopters exhibit significantly different behaviours due to their varying tolerance for risk.
    - Early adopters are more willing to take on substantial risks for the potential reward of being the first to adopt a new technology and gain a competitive advantage.
  • Delayed Decision-Making: Later adopters, often labelled as "laggards" or "conservatives," tend to postpone their decisions until they are convinced of the technology's suitability and effectiveness.
    - This delay in decision-making can result in a plateau or even a decline in the adoption curve.
  • Adaptation Strategies: Transitioning a technology from early adoption to the mainstream market requires different strategies than those used in the initial stages.
    - These strategies may not involve just minor adjustments but, in many cases, a complete reversal of the previous approach.

Identifying the Customer's Compelling Reason to Buy

  • The "Why" Factor: The next crucial step is to understand the "why," which is often referred to as the compelling reason to buy. It's about uncovering the specific reason why someone would be willing to invest money in what you have to offer.
  • Focus on Customer Needs: The compelling reason to buy is not solely determined by the features and benefits a product or service provides.
  • Avoid Assumptions: A common mistake is assuming that what you offer perfectly matches what people need, it's essential to validate the customer's compelling reason to buy.
  • Customer-Centric Approach: The focus should be on the customer's perspective and their motivations to purchase, rather than what the seller believes is compelling.

Key Elements in Adapting to a Complex Go-to-Market Strategy

  • Vision and Strategy: The importance of ensuring that your vision and strategy are contemporary and aligned with the current market landscape.
    - The relevance of your strategy to the present and its alignment with your vision.
  • Category Dynamics: Analysing the category your product or service belongs to.
    - Evaluating whether the category is growing, static, declining, or facing competition from emerging categories.
    - Understanding your position within the category.
  • Offer Relevance: Assessing the relevance of your product or service.
    - Determining if your offer is considered a must-have or a nice-to-have.
    - Checking if it addresses current and future problems or if it's designed for past issues.
  • Positioning: Examining the positioning of your company and your products or services.
    - Understanding that buyers evaluate both the company and its offerings.
    - Recognising that a favourable view of the company does not always translate into interest in its current offerings.
  • Branding and Messaging:  Evaluating the branding and messaging that stems from the positioning strategy.
    - Ensuring that branding and messaging are contemporary, fresh, and relevant to both current and prospective buyers.
    - Acknowledging the interdependence of all five elements and avoiding the mistake of changing one without considering the others.

 

"Go-To-Market strategies have become more complex for technology companies. The five key GTM elements (vision & strategy, category, offer, positioning and branding) are interrelated. If you look at one, you need to look at them all. Don't just tinker around the edges. Treat them all as key parts of how you bring your company to market.”
Paul Wiefels

 

Also available on:
About our guest:

The Chasm Group, LLC

The Chasm Group helps technology companies, from start-up to Fortune 500 achieve market leading, differentiated, and profitable positions for their products and services.

Paul Wiefels and his colleagues at The Chasm Group, LLC Group have written books on the subject, including the seminal ‘Crossing the Chasm’ and Paul’s own book helped companies put this into practice ‘The Chasm Companion: Implementing Effective Marketing Strategies for High Technology Companies’.

6th July 2023

The B Word: How to Create a Category King

The B Word is the show where we demystify everything to do with B2B branding. Every month we invite guests from the worlds' of technology, venture capital, private equity and beyond to discuss what branding is, how it works and why it matters for businesses today.

Episode 1: In this episode, host John Galpin, co-founder, Design by Structure speaks to special guest, Quentin Colmant, CEO & Co-founder of insurtech, Qover, about the creative process for Qover's recent category creation exercise and rebrand. From his initial reservations about change to loving his new brand.

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Episode highlights:

The vision for the future of insurance, focusing on creating a global safety net by making insurance more accessible, efficient, and integrated.
  1. The complexity and lack of efficiency in the insurance industry make insurance expensive and cumbersome.
  2. Embedded insurance seeks to connect the insurance capital with society in a more efficient manner.
  3. The vision for a global safety net involves making insurance invisible but fully accessible, offering maximum protection with minimal cost.
Transforming the insurance market by enhancing the customer experience and addressing consumer cynicism through immediate value delivery.
  1. Enhancing the customer experience in insurance can lead to increased adoption and a change in consumer perceptions.
  2. Immediate value and visible benefits from insurance coverage can drive greater acceptance.
  3. Long-term vision is to distribute €100 billion of protection through leading brands, which would position the company as the world's largest insurance provider.
Defining a new category is essential for clarifying a company's purpose, positioning, and value proposition in the market, making it easier for people to understand the company's business.
  1. The rebranding and category creation were driven by the difficulty in articulating the company's mission and purpose in one sentence.
  2. Creating a new category in the InsureTech space helps clarify what the company stands for and its positioning.
  3. A defined category enables people, both internally and externally, to easily understand the company's business and value proposition.
The rebranding and the creation of a new category have significantly impacted the company's positioning and visibility in the market, resulting in increased inbound interest and invitations to large enterprise deals.
  1. The introduction of the new category has eliminated the need for the company to explain its services, as clients now understand their value and role as orchestrators.
  2. The company has experienced an influx of inbound requests from large risk carriers and brokers, positioning it well in the enterprise space.
  3. The rebranding has led to a rapid shift and pivot toward being enterprise-ready, enabling the company to participate in significant deals (jumbo deals) and partnerships.
The branding process "its a revelation!"

“How is it, after seven years in the business, that I'm not able to label my problem properly?… Defining category is, for me, a very strong way to define what you stand for. By understanding the category you are in a directly, you understand what is your business about.”
Quentin Colmant
Also available on:

About our guest:

Qover was just listed by Tech.EU as one of the 10 European InsureTech companies and its technology has been used to provide insurance cover to over 2.6 million people worldwide.

Quentin Colmant is the CEO & Co-founder of insurtech Qover.

 

 

 

6th July 2023

The B-Word Podcast

 

We have wanted to launch a podcast for a while now and here it is, The B Word.

The B Word is a show where we demystify everything to do with B2B branding, to get to what it really is, how it works and why it matters for businesses. 

Each month we are inviting guests from the world of technology, venture capital, private equity and beyond, as we set the record straight on what branding is and how it impacts and changes business for the better.

It's all about branding with no BS!

Listen to our trailer here.   

Episode 1 drops at the end of May.