The importance of having a strong brand and positioning it properly was a key topic at the first B2B Marketer Awards & Conference, held today at the Graduate Center in New York.
Sometimes, B2B brands need to be reimagined. But sales training provider Holden International didn’t just want to just rebrand—they wanted to change their entire business model, noted Laura Luckman Kelber, chief strategy officer, Sandstorm Design. The current model of holding seminars that attendees went to with little follow-up wasn’t fueling growth and wasn’t sustainable. The company invested in e-learning as a way to connect with clients that were facing accelerated sales expectations and sales staffs that were turning over quickly.
Sandstorm implemented a campaign that focused on the new adaptive learning platform and talked about the pace of change in sales. It didn’t walk away from Holden’s core message but refocused the brand on the future.
The Holden logo was also modernized, with a new tagline to extend the brand’s reach beyond its limited media budget. A “Sales training is over” slogan was used across all media, and 106% of the annual lead goal was realized in five months.
Of course, brand isn’t everything. There are 5.4 stakeholders in the typical B2B buying group, noted Dan Cabacungan, senior director of strategy and planning, BabcockJenkins. In B2B, salespeople usually have the most exposure to the customer. It then behooves marketers to gather insight from sales, not for sales, he said.
“Listen and get the sales people on your side to drive brand value,” he said. “Get rid of ‘wishful branding—have a position and a point of view and stick to it. Brand strategy is not the end point; it’s about how you get there.”
The B2B Marketer Awards were also presented at the event. Winners included:
Best Case Study: Motive for Morgan Stanley
Best ABM Campaign: Besler Consulting
Best Email Newsletter Campaign: Zoominfo
Best Explainer Video: Quartz for Hewlett Packard Enterprises
Best Hosted Event: Zero to 5ive for Rocket Fuel
Best Infographic: Sagefrog for CRO Analytics
Best Internal Communication: CPXi
Best Launch: Sandstorm Design for Holden International
Best Product Marketing Collateral: gyro for DCP Midstream
Best Recruitment Media: Intent Media
Best Trade Show Booth: JK Design for Amerlux
Best Visual Display of Information: Quartz for GE
Best Landing Page: Gyro for KitchenAid