25/08/2021No Comments

ABM Scorecard: Who should you target?

Picture this...

You've successfully managed to bring sales and marketing together into a common cause: account-based marketing (ABM).

Everyone has agreed to go after one or a handful of customers or prospects with a highly targeted and carefully planned approach.

So far so good.

But now you're at the most important step in the entire ABM process: choosing your accounts.

Sales might steer you towards a more immediate win.

Marketing might be looking at a longer-term prospect.

Whilst your business leadership might want an impressive client for the logo board.

These are all valid options, but which path should you take? And how do you keep everyone happy with your decision?

Join us on Thursday 9th September 2021, at 11.00, for a practical 40-minute session where will take you through our proven ABM framework to:

  • Help you choose your target ABM list with confidence
  • Give you the four factors against which to score your potential targets
  • Show you how to objectively assess how viable and effective your ABM campaign will be

Sign up here:

16/08/2021No Comments

Silver is way better than gold

How we won a Demand Generation award in 2021

When Thomas International came to us for paid media support, we quickly realised this wasn’t just going to be a job of… well, paid media. Not only did it need to make up a shortfall of leads (caused by – you guessed it – the P word), but it also needed to convert them further down the funnel. What’s more, it needed to expand on its limited data, and build up visibility and intelligence from scratch.

What started out as a demand gen project became more than just a numbers game. It became a process in its own right – gathering intelligence and harnessing data to give Thomas the insight it needed. Plus, we made a vow when we took this project on: to win a B2B demand generation award. No pressure, right? Well, we’d only have ourselves to blame.

Our MarTech guys began with a full-funnel audit (they love a funnel) to completely understand Thomas’ existing process. Then, it was time to set up a detailed action plan, which included several testing sprints. These sprints allowed us to feed into a demand gen engine at different points, and improve performance incrementally.

We worked closely with the web and development team at Thomas to create our solution – a comprehensive demand gen engine. And, we carried out test-and-learn paid media and CRO activity to identify the ideal customer. Once Thomas knew this, it could understand the most effective way to reach them. In addition, to monitor how leads performed throughout the sales funnel, we optimised and experimented at different stages of the conversion journey.

Deployment took place throughout 2020 across a healthy mix of paid media channels, including social, search, publishing partners and webinars.

Together, we:

  • Increased monthly MQLs from 71 to a peak of 306 – a 330% increase
  • Generated 79 won deals across a 6-month period
  • Achieved £1.66m in revenue, based on Thomas’ average LTV
  • Reduced CPL by 43% on LinkedIn, 32% on search and 31% through new landing pages created

Now, armed with helpful data, quality leads and the right thinking, Thomas has a platform built for success. Just without the need for those OMG reactive media spending moments.

But what about that award we promised? Well, back in January, we submitted our entry to the B2B Marketing Awards 2021 for ‘Best use of MarTech for demand generation'.

March came and we found out we were one of six shortlisted entries. It’s fair to say this wasn’t your average awards ceremony, what with it being live-streamed during an afternoon. But hey, we made the best of it.

So, there we were with our videos on, cocktails raised and – never one to be deterred – one member of the team fully suited up (though he will do that every chance he gets).

And, as you may have guessed, we won the award we swore we would get – the Silver Award for ‘Best use of MarTech for demand generation’.

A superb effort from everyone involved. Who says you can’t guarantee what you promise?

04/08/2021No Comments

Choosing an agency with Matt Laybourn

🎙 Now Live! 🎤

Matt Laybourn, our Digital Performance Director at TMWB, sat down with Alex Holliman (agency founder of Climbing Trees) on his new podcast series: Choosing An Agency to discuss agency relationships, transparency and values.

Have a listen below.

We'd love to hear your thoughts.

And if you find it useful, please share!


Matt is the Digital Performance Director at TMW, a multi-award winning digital agency based in London, Reading and Bristol. He leads a team of paid media, SEO, CRO and marketing automation specialists across both B2B and B2C projects. Prior to agency life, he founded a multi-million e-commerce business called Slim’s Detailing.


29/06/2021No Comments

Saying what you mean AND meaning what you say

How techniques from neuroscience and behavioural psychology can provide a deeper insight.

We may often think that these two statements are equivalent. Of course, with best intentions, we do say what we mean. And we’d like to think that when we say something, we mean it. Right?

The brain is more complex than that.

Emotion (feeling) is at the heart of our decision making. But emotion largely operates at an unconscious level that we are unable to articulate, and therefore have little insight into its effect on our decision making.

What does this mean in the real world?

Well, when we’re asked a question – in person, by a friend or colleague, or more specifically in a research survey – in addition to the answer we declare, there is a previously hidden dimension aligned to that emotional component.

Hidden until now, that is: reaction time testing allows us to measure not just what people say, but also the strength of their emotional conviction. By correctly measuring the speed of reaction and controlling for the speed of response through robust calibration and data cleaning procedures, our reaction time testing approach allows us to understand what people say but add an additional layer of insight from the emotional reaction.

Let’s look at it more (possibly too) simplistically.

In a simple agree/disagree question, we capture the rational response (% agree) and their emotional reaction (speed of response). When reaction time is introduced to the methodology, the same “YES, I agree” response can indicate two different things. This distinction is lost in traditional survey responses that just take the “Yes” as, well, a yes.

While at an explicit level, people rationally may declare the same answer (they both say “yes”), their speed of reaction helps us to understand the strength of belief. The faster the response, the more accessible the attitude from memory, the stronger the level of emotional conviction. So:

“YES I agree” where reaction time is FAST = Says it and truly believes it

“YES I agree” where reaction time is SLOW = Says it but doesn’t truly believe it

This capability has become a game-changer in the research we’re carrying out to gather market and persona insight but also to test responses to creative concepts, or stimuli.

We’ve used it internationally for clients like Castrol, to understand real sentiment on complex topics and themes like “sustainability” where often responses can be conflicted and difficult to interpret meaningfully.

We’re also using it in the B2B space to test creative stimulus.

For Capita for example, we carried out implicit reaction time testing to dig deeper into the emotional responses to creative routes, not solely to find the winner – but to understand how the messaging, the visuals and their combinations speak to the rational and emotional decision-making process.

We spoke to 200 C-Suite and senior decision makers, across public and private sectors in the UK. With three creative concepts to test, we wanted to go beyond a superficial appraisal and understand how the communications really impact at an emotional and cognitive level in order to assess true effectiveness.

We set a high bar for ourselves:

We believe good creative needs to capture attention, stimulate emotions, create and reinforce memories and importantly, drive action.

We call these: Ideas that move people.

Our questionnaire design allowed us to interrogate against these three criteria: catch attention, stimulate emotions, drive action.

Within that we’re looking for attributes like for clarity, believability and relevancy.

While the results helped us to identify the strongest creative, it also allowed us to understand which elements of the other concepts could be leveraged or adopted to guide next-stage creative development.

Our Capita campaign will be in-market shortly – and both we and the client have real confidence in how it will be received, processed, remembered and critically – acted upon.

If you’d like to speak to us about our implicit reaction time testing – and how you could put it to use in your next campaign, drop me a line: eoinr@twmunlimted.com

26/02/2021No Comments

What’s in your briefs?

Whether you’re a copywriter or an account manager. An MD or an intern. You’ll probably find something similar in your briefs. The little box that says something like:

What is the single most important thing we have to say?

The answer is usually short. A sentence, maybe two.

It’s where creatives get their ideas and how clients measure the work.

Because this Cadbury’s ad might not have made sense on paper, but everyone gets how effortlessly enjoyable eating their chocolate must be.

This Sony Bravia ad might have been a bureaucratic nightmare, but you can imagine the visual experience you’ll get from their TVs.

And this Apple ad might have used actual skinheads, but you can’t help but think maybe a computer is an antidote to dystopia.

Because the ad works as long as the audience gets the message.

So, while this John West ad might be a little silly, you get that they’ll go to great lengths for good salmon.

This Honda ad might have taken ages to pull off, but you can’t miss how well the components of their cars work together.

And this Levi’s ad might be a bit steamy, but you come away knowing that a pair of Levi’s jeans is all you need.

The audience gets the message because the message is clear.

So, these ads might make John Smith’s seem a little rough around the edges, but that’s what they want from their customers, too.

And the message behind this Cravendale ad might be almost identical to the John West one, but at least they filled in the little box in the briefing document.

And these ads for Aldi also advertise their competition, but you know that the only difference is the price.

The message is clear because the client knows what they want to say.


In some famous instances, clients turned their noses up at these ideas. They were too different or too lateral or too, dare I say it, “creative”. But when you weigh them against the brief, there’s no denying these ads do what they’re supposed to – say what the client wants to say.

At TMW Business, where I work, we’re pretty good at finding out what our clients want to say. Then coming up with the best, simplest, most creative way of saying it. From that little box that’s in the brief to the work that ends up on paper or a screen.


Want to talk about briefs and how to fill them? Send me an email at tomr@tmwunlimited.com. I like coming at things from creative angles and don’t mind receiving constructive feedback.

01/02/2021No Comments

Brands play god

What makes a hero? And what makes a god?

Sometimes, Greek and Roman plays got stuck. Characters killed too many other characters, and relationships meandered along. Before long, the writer was up against the end without a way to tie it all together.

And the get out of jail card? An actor dressed up as a god and descended on some wires to solve everything.

You might have heard of it. It’s called deus ex machina – god from the machine.

And it’s infuriating.

That’s according to Aristotle, as well as just about anybody who’s ever watched or read a story unfold. There’s nothing more frustrating than weaving through a complicated plot, only to have it cop out with a big sweeping solution to all the characters’ problems.

But it doesn’t happen because writers are stupid. It happens because weaving a beautiful, well-wrought story that culminates in a tied-up ending is hard.

So, where else does someone or something sweep away all the problems in a story? In copy.

There’s so much talk of storytelling in marketing. Of the brand as the hero.

What makes a product or brand a hero? And what makes it an annoying, white-bearded actor dangling on wires?

When a hero solves something, it happens progressively.

In a screenplay, the trials and tribulations happen in act two – and act two is twice as long as the other acts. It doesn’t come out of the blue.

As Aristotle puts it, in the best stories “events do not seem to be mere accidents.” They “follow each other probably or inevitably.”

What does it mean? First, ‘storytelling’ is much easier said than done. Second, we seem to want more logic in our stories – brand or otherwise – than we get in life.

Speak to us about Storytelling today >

01/02/2021No Comments

Think tech marketing. Think human touch.

Human to human. It’s the best way to communicate. Even when what you’re talking about is cold, hard tech.

Take the project we undertook for Fujitsu UK.

When the global giant needed to spread the word about its range of laptops, we gave technology a face – and a voice – to strengthen its appeal to the (very human) audience.

The work went down so well, it achieved 300 leads and a ROMI of 10:1. It also won first prize at the WPI Impact Awards.

In the words of our client at Fujitsu;

“This campaign might have been charming, but it packed the punch we needed to get results.”

The fact is, human understanding underpins our whole approach as a business. Both in how we treat each other and how we deliver client work.

At our Human Understanding Lab, our neuroscientists, research practitioners, trends analysts and data scientists work hard to put people at the heart of everything we do.

Learn more about this project here, or visit this page to find out more about our Human Understanding Lab.

06/01/2021No Comments

On the minds of B2B agencies – globally

I was delighted and honoured to be asked by John Harris, President & CEO of Worldwide Partners to moderate a panel discussion at our bi-annual Partner Summit.

For those of you who don’t already know, Worldwide partners is our network of over 70 independent agencies operating in 40 countries. This year our Partner Summit was completely virtual – a challenge deftly handled by a talented tech team and delegates from our member agencies who love to collaborate, share and learn together.

We called out to our partners to name the topics that were pertinent to them right now, with what is going on in the world. We heard about elections, Brexit, COVID testing and the lack of international travel – but we also got some ideas for B2B marketing topics to discuss together too.

I thought it might make an interesting snapshot blog if I recount to you the topics on the minds of our member agencies across the globe.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation seems to have taken over as the buzz term of the day – year even. Second only to dreaded COVID-19 and in part, fuelled by it.

There’s transformation in the way we go to market, serve customers, engage prospects and I think every marketer feels they’re on that journey. Some have been for a while and some have been forced to digitally transform because their physical world just got a shake-up.

The other side for us in B2B and specifically at TMW Business is the way businesses operate. As an IT & Tech agency, we see almost all our tech clients aligning their corporate narratives to digital transformation because quite frankly it’s gone from a trend to imperative.

"One does not become transformed."

The discussion panel talked about the ‘fluffiness’ of the trend and how everything from WFH tech to app development, cloud migration, automation and live-chat has been heralded as digital transformation.

We talked about how digital transformation is not a destination “one does not become transformed.” Transformation is a process, a journey and potentially one that will be ongoing rather than ever finally complete.

Events: from physical to virtual

How could we avoid the follow-on topic of events: now there’s an industry that has been forced to digitally transform if ever I saw one!

When the world as we knew it shut down, events got cancelled and everyone flocked to create digital events. Marketers the world over punctuate their calendars with trade shows, seminars, conferences and show & tell events. But it seems like there’s a bit of digital event fatigue setting in. The hype and intrigue have faded and people are getting more and more virtual event invites. How do we keep it fresh and drive better engagement?

The conversation took us to the topic of personalisation. Core to the idea of event attendance is relevance. You’re only going to sign up if the content, speakers and engagement opportunity are highly relevant. And when delivering an “event” at scale, that calls for personalisation.

"It was fun to be nostalgic as we sat – looking at a screen full of faces looking at screens."

We also touched on the notion that some physical interactions are best not replicated in the digital world. Some experiences call for AR and VR to support that hands-on experience, a rich and immersive way to engage in products, demos, samples etc.

On the other hand, we talked about a yearning for a return to the analogue - how some of the more traditional engagements like good old-fashioned phone calls, socially-distanced sales meetings, site visits and face-to-face charm. It might be a while until that is possible again, but it was fun to be nostalgic as we sat – looking at a screen full of faces, looking at screens.

Account Based Marketing

A beautiful segue from the personalisation topic took us to the next: Account Based Marketing.

In the B2B world, we’ve been talking and talking about ABM for years now. The darling of B2B marketing, everyone’s talking about it and it is certainly the fashionable thing to be doing. But we joked about every marketing campaign now coming under the banner of ABM. The slightest sniff of targeting, personalisation or insight makes a campaign ABM it would seem!

"Adopting the principles of ABM – even at scale, is certainly better than the more traditional ‘spray-and-pray’ marketing campaigns that happen otherwise."

Laughable maybe, but adopting the principles of ABM – even at scale, is certainly better than the more traditional ‘spray-and-pray’ marketing campaigns that happen otherwise.

We acknowledged that few companies are willing to ‘put all their eggs in one basket’ and adopt strategic ABM where the focus would be on just one of few ‘big bets.’ Instead, more are opting to spread the risk in something more like ‘ABM-lite’ where clustering like-minded, like-challenged or just alike organisations together brings economies of scale. This means they can be targeted in a semi-personalised way for deeper relevance, smaller target audiences and better engagement.

The MarTech stack

Our final topic of the day was that of marketing automation, CRM and all things marketing technology.

Many brands have spent hundreds of thousands on their tech stack to get better at capturing attention, converting leads and driving customer engagement, but is it working? ‘Using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut’ comes to mind - in this case, is using a very sophisticated and expensive tool to do something simple and somewhat rudimentary.

“Using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut” comes to mind

We discussed the inhibitors to getting better ‘bang-for-buck’ when it comes to tech investment.

Data was the biggest barrier: the availability of it, the format and usability of it as well as the compliance of it. Data is one of the requirements for these marketing tech solutions to function. You can’t automate marketing that you don’t have. Some organisations have spent years capturing, holding and sorting data to enable them to get closer to their customers and prospects. They’re the ones that’ll be able to actually do the exciting things the martech vendors sold: propensity modelling, predictive lead scoring, behavioural actions, intent monitoring, proper attribution - and the rest!

AI was brought to the table as the next wave of martech investment. Lots of platforms are injecting AI capability into their tools: ways to make smart decisions, faster and at scale. From the successes we shared, it’s clear automation and AI are here right now. Hopefully they’re not eyeing up our human-occupied marketing roles just yet though!


All-in-all the panel discussion whipped past in the blink of an eye, each of the topics deserving of more time and focus.

It was interesting and cathartic to hear of similar experiences from our agency partners in countries as distant as Malaysia and Mexico and hear about their work, projects and successes.

It’s a small world after all.

If you want to talk more about any of these topics, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

08/12/2020No Comments

Just a pre-pandemic campaign living in a post-pandemic world

It was March 2020, and we were getting ready to pull the trigger on a social media campaign for Domo.

Our target?

The casual dining industry.

Domo wasn’t the only client to put its marketing plans on hold when COVID-19 hit. And we weren’t the only agency affected.

Coca-Cola GB suspended all marketing in March.

Almost 55% of marketers postponed or at least reviewed their ad campaigns.

And, with nothing to replace it, the same sun-bleached poster for The Invisible Man has stayed on the sides of buses for close to a calendar year.

When the country went into lockdown and restaurants closed for the summer, our audience found new challenges to address. And while our client understandably took some time to reassess where it was spending its money, we tucked our campaign away for another day.

That day came in July, when restaurants reopened and Domo decided that, yes, it wanted to go ahead with the campaign. In fact, with restauranteurs looking for answers about their futures, there was no better time for Domo to offer its data-driven assistance.

We had to move fast, reinterpreting a familiar message for an audience facing unfamiliar circumstances. But in just a few weeks, we delivered a new spin on the Domo casual dining social campaign, helping restaurant owners answer the questions that really matter to their businesses.

Oh, and around the same time, at the end of July, Coca-Cola resumed its own UK marketing.


Here are a few examples of the work:

05/11/2020No Comments

Cool tools: 5 con-tech gems to boost your content creation

The art of content writing is as old as the marketing industry itself. For the modern content professional, the tools of the trade haven’t changed much over the years; an eye for a good story, a keen ear to explore and filter multiple sources and, of course, a dab hand to scribe it all in fluid prose.

What has changed, however, are the software tools a content writer has at their disposal to lighten the workload.

Leveraging the power and utility of these tools can bring massive improvements right across your content process flow – from ideation and research through to writing and quality control.

Here are some of the tools I use on a daily basis.


OtterAI

What is it?

Remember the days of transcription services? You had to record an interview, get a (sometimes eye-watering) quote, send the recording and await the transcript. Luckily, we’ve evolved from the analogue era and that entire process is now easier, faster and much cheaper.

With OtterAI, you simply press record at the start of your web conference call and let the software do the work. After a short processing period, you can access a full transcript of the call with the ability to scroll through the text and listen back to any words or sections you want.

How do I use it?

Personally, I use it for everything – team calls, client meetings, expert interviews (remember to let them know you’re recording!) It allows me to easily collect actions and insights. Far more reliable than trawling back through near-illegible scrawls of handwriting.

How much does it cost?

OtterAI offers a freemium service. Basic recording and transcribing is free, but for advanced capabilities it’s $9.99 per month (around £7.60).


Buzzsumo

What is it?

There’s a lot of content out there on the wild web. Type any industry buzzword or phrase into your search engine, and you’ll be greeted with a stream of links with varying degrees of relevance. Wouldn’t it be great if you could zero in on the content people are actually consuming? Well you can; Buzzsumo lets you conduct advanced content analysis to gain a comprehensive picture of the content that already exists in the niche you're researching (including what your competitors are putting out there). It also shows you what’s actually being shared by real people across digital and social channels.

How do I use it?

Finding out what content has been most widely shared is one valuable aspect, but Buzzsumo can do so much more. Building it into your content development processes will help you investigate topics and spot holes in the existing content on offer. So, you can keep your angles sharp and stop yourself from falling into the trap of ‘me too’ content.

How much does it cost?

The service has multiple packages based on your company’s level of usage. It's best to contact them directly to find out which option will suit you the most.


Grammarly

What is it?

Even seasoned content professionals make errors hear and their (😉). To save yourself from being redfaced when the client picks out a glaring typo in your headline, you can use Grammarly to keep you right.

How do I use it?

You can plug Grammarly into your web browser, desktop publishing tools and mobile device. So it'll be active wherever you are.

How much does it cost?

$29.95 per month (around £23), with savings for multi-month subscriptions.


Canva

What is it?

As a writer, it’s easy to feel intimidated by anything involving graphic design. Professional design platforms alone can be daunting and hard for a novice to navigate. Fortunately, Canva has abstracted the process so that us mere content-writing mortals can ascend to master the visual arts.

Whether seeking an image for a blog post, infographic or social media, Canva lets you create high-quality images without bothering your design team.

How do I use it?

It’s simple. Either select your basic image from the Canva library or else upload your own. From there you can add filters and text to match your needs and add some colour to your content.

How much does it cost?

$9.95 (around £7.65) per month when paid annually, or else $12.95 when paid monthly.


Trello

What is it?

No content writer is an island. Collaboration is a key part of the job and it’s not always easy to stay on the same page. Trello fixes this by creating a virtual post-it board where people can add tasks, mark the level of priority and update on the status.

How do I use it?

Create a board, get the members of your content team to register and start collaborating. The tool can be used as an editorial calendar to keep your content flowing.

How much does it cost?

The basic package is free. However, they also have enterprise packages for heavy users.


Have we missed any cool tools? Let us know your favourites in the comments below...