MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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The most recent BrandZ report by WPP and Millward Brown includes a ranking of the Top 20 Most Valuable B2B Brands, with the top 5 spots going to:

Microsoft
IBM
Wells Fargo
GE
UPS

What can we learn from these companies about the changing ways in which B2B companies are using digital opportunities to engage with their key audiences and build their brands, particularly in an increasingly challenging and competitive environment?

1. The corporate website is becoming more focused and aligned

B2B company websites are becoming more focused and aligned, with homepages no longer being a conglomeration of every type of stakeholder communication. Rather, we are seeing the emergence of a more considered attempt to get across key issues and topics on the homepage. There is now an increased understanding and expectation that seasoned users, be they journalists, investors, career seekers, or others, will use the navigation to find any specific but standard content (including press releases, publications, and corporate information) that they are looking for. Tellingly, none of the main sites of the above five companies have a statement describing who they are on their homepages, instead placing marketing and editorial content at the forefront. This stems from an increasing realisation that reputation, corporate brand and B2B marketing are closely aligned and that providing simplicity and clarity in the overall brand and user experience is a lot more fruitful than using the website to broadcast an overwhelming amount of siloed information.

2. B2B companies can do content marketing too

We already know that content is king – great stories engage audiences, and companies need to compete with a deluge of other content to get their messages across in an attention-light digital world. But it’s hard to actually do this well, and to do so continuously. And to top it off, there’s a common misperception that compared to their B2C counterparts, it’s a lot harder for ‘boring’ B2B companies to excel at content marketing. GE proves this wrong. The company has done an amazing job at creating unique content across multiple channels and formats in a way that’s consistently bold, relevant and engaging. From the jargon-free and visually interesting GE Reports to a range of innovative virtual reality content to the lightweight but hilarious ‘Hey Girl’ memes on Pinterest to the ‘What’s the matter with Owen’ recruitment campaign, the company’s approach to content marketing has had a huge positive impact on their brand. At the heart of this approach is the culture and ability to think and act like a publisher – combining speed, agility and experimentation with an understanding of how to create an emotional response from audiences while staying true to who they are as a company.

3. More B2B companies are adopting a campaigning mindset

Digital technologies have empowered B2B companies to run more impactful, data-led, engaging and tailored campaigns, be they for sales, marketing or lead generation. However, the scale and speed of digital communication reinforces the importance of careful campaign planning and implementation. IBM’s #HackAHairDryer campaign was viewed as patronising and sexist and missed the mark, but the company was quick to apologise and withdraw the campaign. Arguably this quick reaction, coupled with their strong brand equity, negated any long-term reputational damage. IBM’s recently launched ‘Watson at Work’ campaign feels more in line with the company’s DNA, and demonstrates the multitude of benefits of IBM’s work in cognitive intelligence in a compelling way. The campaign has a strong customer focus, but doesn’t feel like a traditional customer campaign or an aggressive sales pitch. Instead it tells stories that are newsworthy and uses platforms that have a broader reach and appeal. The impact of this campaign remains to be seen, but this is undoubtedly the new face of B2B campaigns – creative and visual, human and emotive, wide-reaching yet personalised, and facilitating conversations rather than broadcasting information.

4. Social media is not an option anymore

Social media is not just for B2C companies, and needs to be (sensibly) integrated into B2B marketing and communication strategies rather than being an afterthought. UPS has been doing this well for a number of years now. Its employer brand proposition and recruitment efforts are largely driven by Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and it has also leveraged Periscope for live Q&A sessions to efficiently but meaningfully engage with potential employees. The company has also enhanced its customer service model using a variety of social media platforms to listen to and engage with customers and potential customers in a timely way. Beyond harnessing social media for their own marketing and communications efforts, UPS has also identified it as a relevant topic to engage their customers with. A majority of UPS’ customers are small businesses, and through Compass, UPS’ business insights publication aimed at its customers, the company provides social media information, advice and guidance for small businesses across a range of different sectors.

5. Reputation still matters, and is hard to rebuild

At the end of the day, no matter how good your brand and reputation is, it needs to be backed up by credible business practices. Wells Fargo may have been identified as a top B2B brand in mid-2016, but later that year, a fake accounts scandal tarnished its reputation and the trust that customers placed in the brand, with a tangible financial impact. Wells Fargo is trying very hard to win back the trust of its customers and improve its reputation with initiatives including suspending executive bonuses and a new brand campaign called ‘Building Better Every Day’, but it is going to be an uphill struggle.

 

Written by Gauri Mahtani at Addison Group

To strengthen the multi-specialty expertise of the agency and to help build brands in this age of data-digital, driven convergence and complex consumer dynamics, DDB MudraMax has roped in Sommnath Sengupta as Head-Tech Innovations, OOH & Experiential.

Sommnath Sengupta aka Somm, erstwhile the National Creative Director at Kinetic Worldwide (a WPP company ) comes with an expertise in concept, digital content, digital activation, interactive content, design and tech innovations. In his career span ranging more than 15 years, he has specialized in creating interactive technological innovations; creations that have an impact on the brand and the consumer alike.

With the DDB Mudra Group moving towards digital driven transformation; Somm would be playing a pivotal role at DDB MudraMax by putting digital and tech at the heart of each campaign.

Somm’s earlier associations include long stints with reputed agencies like Kinetic Worldwide, Madison OOH, Ogilvy Action and Bates 141. At Kinetic, he was part of Kinetic’s Global Council and was instrumental in creating Kinetic’s static offerings into technology and ideas. He was responsible for creating the new brand identity of Kinetic Worldwide. 

Somm has worked with established brands like, Audi, Cadbury, Ford, Google, Idea, Indian Super league, Motorola, Samsung, Vodafone to name a few. He has many ‘firsts’ in his kitty. India's first augmented reality experience for Star Plus show ‘Just Dance’ was his brainchild. In 2016, he customized Arduino Technology for Ford Mustang Launch at Delhi T2 terminal which garnered a lot of attention from the marketing, media fraternity and consumer alike.

World's first rainwater harvesting billboard for Vodafone by Somm was a unique idea, driven with a distinct SIM based mobile technology that helped the drought effected regions across the country. One of his award winning ideas include ‘Mukhota’, the lifesaving mask with an exclusive GPS based product design, created for fisherman of coastal border regions. This innovation got a lot of appreciation & awards from Indian & International fraternity.

When not at work, Somm is also a mixed media installation artist and has done various interactive art installations along with various commissioned art projects. His recent work includes art installation at Lakme Fashion Week 2016. He believes that the mix of technology and art is the most interesting and interactive combination to create a good experience and everybody loves a good experience.

At DDB MudraMax, Somm will be based out of Mumbai and will be working closely with Sanjay Shukla, President, DDB MudraMax (OOH, Events & Experiential). 

Quoting on his association with DDB MudraMax, Somm mentioned, “I am looking forward for an innovative association with DDB MudraMax. When we integrate technology with storytelling experience, we will be able to gather ‘data’ which is an integral part of any campaign. We will be providing in-house, end to end technology solution from Concept – Design – Execution for our clients.”

Quoting on Somm’s appointment, Gour Gupta, Executive Director, DDB Mudra Group and CEO, DDB MudraMax (OOH, Events & Experiential)quoted, “Somm’s restless passion for technology’s integration in storytelling and interaction delighted me. He is the right fit to drive our tech integration and content. Since technology is our ally in storytelling experience, we will be offering our clients a bouquet of tech innovations and content creations with the integration of Social media and Data.”

The RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group recently announced its foray into the FMCG space with Guiltfree Industries Ltd. The launch has been kicked off with the unveiling of its packaged foods brand - Too Yumm! for which Guiltfree Industries Ltd has appointed Mullen Lintas Mumbai as its creative agency. Mullen Lintas was chosen after a multi-agency pitch that saw the participation of six agencies across India.

The Too Yumm! mandate includes strategic and creative duties for a high impact launch across markets for digital and mainline. Interestingly, the brand name Too Yumm! was proposed by the agency. Though not a part of the pitch brief, the agency presented the name as part of the pitch deck and that found unanimous appeal with the team at the client’s end.

On appointing Mullen Lintas as the creative agency, Suhail Sameer, President Business Development & Growth, Guiltfree Industries said: “We met multiple big creative marketing agencies to help us in our brand and product launches. While all of them had their strengths, we loved the creative and strategic thinking which Mullen Lintas brought to the table. Also their solution orientation and proactive approach, critical for the tight timelines we are working under stood apart. We are extremely happy with their support on Too Yumm! so far.”

Commenting on the win, Amer Jaleel, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Mullen Lintas said: “It’s an exciting win for Mullen Lintas. It’s not often, especially in FMCG that one gets to work with a client right from the formation of a company on its very first brand- a brand we have literally birthed from the name itself. It’s been wonderful working closely with Sanjiv Goenka and the leadership team in bringing this brand to life.”

Virat Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, Mullen Lintas said: “Too Yumm! from RP- Sanjiv Goenka Group is a very special win for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are a very ambitious client and that puts good pressure on all of us to do some really stand-out work. Secondly, they are very open to experimentation and that’s always such a welcome thing for agencies. Last but not the least, this is an integrated mandate for us. This close partnership amongst creative, media, PR and activation is really important at this early stage of brand creation as we try to define what this brand is and how it engages with its audience.”

• The win comes for its youngest practice, Health and Wellness

• Recognises efforts of an integrated team across PR, Content and Digital

Within three years of its inception, the Health and Wellness Practice at Genesis Burson-Marsteller, a leading public relations and public affairs consultancy that delivers integrated communications services to some of the best global and Indian companies, has won the Best Campaign in Public Sector for Immunization Technical Support Unit’s (ITSU) One Shot Against Seven Deadly Diseases at the PR Week Global Awards held in London on 11th May. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India, and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) established the ITSU jointly

Sheena Sharma, Chief Health and Wellness, Issues and Crisis and, Client Studio said, “We are delighted to accept this award as recognition of the work done by our teams and our client. Working on such a large-scale immunization campaign by itself was a great learning and a rewarding experience for us. Winning awards at a global level is indeed a special honour and I am extremely proud of the creativity, passion and hard work put in by our teams in successfully pushing the boundaries of communication. This award is truly special as it is a testament of our integrated efforts, with public relations, content and digital teams working seamlessly to deliver a high-impact campaign.”

The coveted PR Week Global Awards honour transformative communications work that build brands, establish trust, and enable the growth of international enterprise. This win for Genesis Burson-Marsteller was a combination of great work put in by the public relations practices and Centres of Expertise, with the coming together of the Health and Wellness Practice from public relations, the GBM Content & Design Bureau and GBM Digital Studio—making it an integrated win for the consultancy.

Hemali Bhutani, Managing Partner and Team Lead PHFI - Health and Wellness Practice, Genesis Burson-Marsteller said, “What makes the victory sweeter is that this campaign actually served one of the biggest public health programs globally, that continuously strives to save children in the remotest corners of the country. The campaign has brought the routine immunization in the country to the forefront all over again. My team and I are honoured with this recognition and thankful to the jury for considering it.”

They say marriages are made in heaven, but then again so are thunder and lighting. Married couples after spending years together often find themselves ‘trapped’ in a relationship with few avenues for re-creative change.

FYI TV18 brings us the second edition of a novel show ‘Seven Year Switch’ starting from 15th May at 9 PM which aims at rekindling the lost magic of married couples to bring back the love and warmth in their relationships.

The show which is based on the innovative switch therapy comprises of 4 couples whose relationships are in turmoil and is spanned over a period of 10 episodes. As a part of this social experiment, each partner lives with a stranger for two weeks to help determine if different traits and characteristics in a companion could help strengthen their marriage. Two relationship experts Charles J. Orlando and Dr. Jessica Griffin, guide the couples through the process as they adjust to living with an experimental spouse.

Seven Year Switch is a test of endurance for the participating couples. At the end of the experiment, each couple decides to either part ways or reaffirm their commitment and renew their vows. Will their temporary partners be able to fill the void they’ve been yearning for or will they discover that the grass isn’t always greener? Get answers to all these questions and more with Seven Year Switch season 2.

Tune into FYI TV18 every Monday and Tuesday at 9PM for ‘Seven Year Switch’ Season 2

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