Crocs join DMA Awards panel

The Crocodile’s Managing Director, Jason Talbot, and Head of Social Media, Robyn Pierce, have been selected to be part of the judging panel for the 2017 DMA Awards.

The DMAs are widely respected in the marketing world and reward brands and their agencies for excellence in all facets of marketing. Judged on the pillars of creativity, strategy, and results, a DMA Award is one of the industry’s most coveted prizes.

“As an agency, we are very passionate about our industry and are big advocates of championing excellence.” says Jason. “To work alongside other industry leaders, as part of the DMA Awards judging panel, is a great privilege and we look forward to seeing some exciting and provocative work. We wish everyone entering the very best of luck.”

Entries close on Friday 15 September and the shortlist will be revealed on Monday 16 October. The awards themselves take place in London on Tuesday 5 December.

https://dma.org.uk/awards

Why Google Analytics is awesome

According to Arthur C. Nielsen (Market Researcher & Founder of ACNielsen):

The price of light is less than the cost of darkness.

In our most recent ‘Knowledge Sharing Session’ we discussed why Google Analytics is awesome.

In the era of data-driven campaigns and analytics it is crucial to define our measurement goals from the beginning, establishing the relevant KPIs and measuring marketing effectiveness. A recent Google survey of marketing decision-makers revealed that only five out of ten marketers said that they think about measurement while developing campaign strategy.

At The Crocodile, we seek to understand what turns a lead into a customer, and by using Google Analytics we map the customer journey to understand what kind of information must be provided and when to understand the stages these users travel through until they have completed their goals. Google Analytics allows us to measure audience figures and analyse campaign data, instrument products and services to capture data about usage and behaviour.

‘Without analytics we could not exist.’

It’s not only the media department that is Google Analytics certified at The Crocodile, we also ensure everyone in account management and the social team pass their tests. This allows us to generate actionable marketing intelligence to improve campaign performance across channels, devices and departments.

We always welcome new solutions and aim to make the most of them. We’ve built custom dashboards for our clients in Google Analytics Data Studio to get a quick overview of what is happening in our online campaigns – which can be easily shared with our account managers, providing them with insights so that they can communicate more effectively with our clients or with designers, to show them the impacts or results of their work.

Next up on our agenda is to set up Google Attribution 360 to measure the impact of marketing across devices and channels. Google Attribution 360 offers data-driven attribution which uses machine learning to determine how much credit to assign to each step in the consumer journey.

To find out more about how we use Google Analytics and other insight-driven marketing tools to help our clients achieve their business objectives, get in touch at hello@thecroc.com

 

by Adrienn Pajtok, PPC Account Manager

Simon Hurrell – new Head of Digital

The Crocodile’s appointment of Simon Hurrell as new Head of Digital signals a statement of intent as the agency looks to integrate smarter digital customer experiences across our clients’ businesses.

Simon joins with a stellar B2B agency track record including DNX and McDonald Butler – and brings with him a vast array of experience to help guide our client brands through a marketing landscape rich with potential.

Jason Talbot, Managing Director at The Crocodile says: “We took our time to find the correct balance of strategic capabilities and cultural fit to meet our ongoing ambition to exceed the performance expectations of our clients. In Simon I saw someone who wants to improve whatever he touches and a restless nature that doesn’t settle for second best. We are very happy to have him as part of our leadership team”.

Stop and Rethink B2B Social – Part 3

With 2 billion users worldwide, Facebook is simply too big to ignore – even in B2B.

Facebook is the largest social platform in terms of active users, followed by YouTube with 1.5 billion and WeChat with 889 million.

Apart from YouTube, the only other social media platforms with more than 1 billion users are Facebook Messenger and Facebook owned WhatsApp with 1.2 billion each. You can bet that Instagram (Facebook owned!) won’t be far behind.

With a 17% hike in users this year, Facebook is growing faster now than any year since 2012, despite the fact that the platform no longer appeals to younger users – an audience that doesn’t really concern us in B2B.

The ubiquity and reach of Facebook alone should be reason enough for B2B brands to invest in the platform – B2B buyers are Facebook users too.

Yes, it’s true that the usage profile of people on Facebook is different to that of LinkedIn and Twitter. And it’s true that people typically aren’t using the app for work, but show them something great that happens to be work related, and they’ll click on it.

People use Facebook to be distracted and entertained. Maybe part of the problem is that in B2B generally, we’re not confident enough in our ability to entertain. Long sales cycles and complex propositions are frankly poor excuses for not at least trying to bring a little joy to B2B marketing.

To explore the difference it can make, we did some A/B testing on a recent Facebook campaign for Dell EMC, comparing static image ads that were on-brand with gif based ads featuring a distinctly off-brand dancing man. The dancing man outperformed the brand ads by 194%.

B2B brands need to stop fearing failure and push themselves to discover and deliver what audiences really want and the best place to do that is on Facebook.

Facebook vs. Twitter

To understand how B2B audiences stack up on Facebook, I consulted TrackMaven’s 2016 B2B Social Media Industry report and discovered that in B2B overall, the average audience size is bigger on Facebook than on Twitter.

The only industries cited in the report where that wasn’t the case are Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Medical and Engineering. People working in those industries are still reachable on Facebook using targeting parameters like Job Title, Field of Study, Employer and Industry, but how many marketers in those areas are exploring Facebook’s potential?

Part of the problem is there are too many senior stakeholders in B2B marketing who don’t use Facebook, don’t like it or literally don’t know a thing about it. We need to set aside our personal preferences in the same way we do with traditional media. I don’t read Tunnels and Tunnelling magazine or Medical Design Technology but I understand the role they play in reaching certain audiences. I also know that many of the people who read those magazines are on Facebook…

Cost-effective, scalable advertising

Of course there are many millions of companies with Facebook Pages. Over 50 million in fact, but only 6% of them are actively advertising. That’s a massive untapped opportunity. But it’s only a matter of time before the 94% catch on!

Facebook is the most cost-effective and scalable advertising platform on the market, and without doubt, the best video ad buy for your money right now. We often see CPM rates as low as £2-£3 on Facebook that are likely to be £20-£30 in three or four years time.

Facebook data shows that in the US, the average person now spends approximately 60 minutes each day on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. That’s almost 50x more than the average time spent on Twitter, and for comparison, the average LinkedIn user only spends a couple of hours a months on the site.

Think of Facebook as TV. That’s how Facebook thinks of itself these days. Facebook doesn’t care about Twitter or LinkedIn. Facebook is going after Amazon and Netflix. Facebook Live will soon be as big as TV for advertising. Certainly around those Superbowl type moments.

Facebook Live essentially puts TV cameras into the hands of anyone with a smart phone. However, fear of failure is stopping B2B brands from exploiting the opportunity to deliver real-time and personal brand experiences in the most cost effective way imaginable.

The critical forces driving the success of Facebook (like mobile and video) have already converged and you need to ask yourself are you in step and are you moving with the curve?

In next week’s blog… The truth about social content.

Click to read part 1 and part 2 in the Time to Rethink B2B Social series.

New talent. Bright futures

Any good agency knows it’s only as good as the people it has. As an agency, going through growth, recruiting great people with ambition, drive, intelligence and likability is a constant focus.

So it is pleasing to have early success in the summer transfer window with the arrival of Georgie and Hannah.

Georgie joins as an Account Manager having made a strong career start in B2B. Already her infectious appetite for great marketing has made a positive contribution through the agency.

Hannah joins us as an Account Executive with huge potential and the hunger to be involved – qualities any agency would welcome.

We have an exciting summer breeze flowing through the agency at the moment. Welcome Georgie and Hannah.

Stop and Rethink B2B Social – Part 2

(Read the first blog in the series.)

Most B2B social media strategies start and end with Twitter and LinkedIn. In the US, Twitter is used by 84% of B2B marketers (Content Marketing Institute). Across the globe, there are social media managers hard at work, writing and scheduling tweets, searching for third-party content to retweet, crafting their #WednesdayWisdom and #MotivationMonday posts…

The fact is it requires a lot of time and resource to build and maintain a brand presence on Twitter – to grow your followers, find and repurpose content, maintain engagement rates and demonstrate results.

#ThursdayThought
The dispiriting truth is that a lot of this effort is in vain. Which is why we see so many dormant corporate Twitter accounts. People give up. And that’s a terrible shame, because Twitter is awesome for B2B, providing that the approach plays to the platform’s strengths.

An example of where Twitter really comes into its own in B2B is during events. Pick an industry – any industry – and I’ll show you a spike in Twitter activity around conferences, exhibitions, awards nights…

The mobile nature of the app and the ability to share images, use hashtags to find, follow and contribute to conversations in realtime, makes Twitter the natural choice for social networking at events.

Industry events have always been important in B2B, but these days the opportunities extend well beyond the event itself. Use events to grow your followers, join in conversations, share your own content, and engage with customers and prospects.

Of course Twitter is also where people go to complain. If someone takes the time to complain to you on Twitter, don’t be the company that provides a phone number or an email address for the customer service team. The best customer service is real-time and personal, and with its fast moving conversational nature, Twitter most closely resembles traditional chat.

So here’s a #ThursdayThought: stop jumping on irrelevant hashtags and start building out your Twitter strategy around events and customer service.

LinkedIn
Getting back to our typical B2B social media strategy. LinkedIn is used by 94% of B2B marketers (Content Marketing Institute).

On LinkedIn our social media managers are plugging away on the Company Page, sharing updates, posting blogs on LinkedIn Pulse, possibly running some paid activity, and probably targeting the C-suite – because that’s how we think about LinkedIn, right? It’s where the C-suite hangs out…

I guarantee that what our social media managers are struggling with is how to get the business more engaged with LinkedIn. Employee advocacy is a huge part of success on LinkedIn. Tapping into the real-world professional networks of everyone in the business is really as simple as getting employees to share and engage with LinkedIn company updates.

But it’s hard to affect a shift in company culture towards employee advocacy. Even we struggle at The Crocodile, but when we do manage to get people sharing on LinkedIn, we routinely see 20-25% spikes in traffic to our site.

Employees need to be supported in their use of LinkedIn and I’m not talking about setting the sales team up with LinkedIn Sales Navigator. We need to do more to help the business as whole to understand why LinkedIn is important and why everyone needs to get involved. That starts at the onboarding stage with new employees, and continues with each new blog post, business win or product launch.

Another area to focus LinkedIn strategies on is advertising. LinkedIn targeting parameters are unparalleled in B2B social advertising but it’s important to test multiple targeting strategies – job title and industry targeting alone doesn’t cut it.

If you have an EMEA remit, consider that Skills targeting can be more effective in some markets. I also recommended targeting by Group membership. Try it and I guarantee your CTRs will go up.

Tempting as it is, try and avoid hyper-targeting, or overly targeting directors and the C-suite. Executive audiences are difficult and expensive to reach, plus keep in mind these audiences look to managers and senior practitioners to inform business decisions. Include these decision influencers and consider using Years of Experience targeting to filter out entry-level and less influential audiences.

The good news is LinkedIn Marketing Solutions have never been better. You no longer have to guarantee £10k quarterly spend to access InMail – it’s available self-serve. They’ve launched Lead Forms and announced Integration with Marketo and Eloqua.

It’s a exciting time for B2B social and we, as an industry, need to make sure we’re set up to move quickly and take advantage of new functionality and tools as they become available. And that demands that we take a step back and reset our perspective.

In next week’s blog on B2B social… We need to talk about Facebook.

Grow your own

When agencies are able to retain and grow their best people, it’s the clients that invariably reap the rewards.

They win through better customer service from committed agency professionals, deeply immersed in their client propositions.

That’s why The Croc is so delighted to have made two significant promotions in our client services team, with both Simon Driscoll and Jon Evans jumping into the hot seats of Group Account Director.

As well as rewarding their individual growth and talent, these moves place two incredibly experienced agency-side marketers at the forefront of our senior team, further bolstering the quality and effectiveness of our service as we continue to grow our UK and international client base.

Well done guys.

Simon Driscoll and Jonathan Evans

 

How the iPhone got marketers talking to the hand

The release of the first iPhone 10 years ago today marked the start of the smartphone era and wholeheartedly changed the marketing landscape forever.

Many of the significant changes in human behaviour over the last decade can be attributed to this small but incredibly powerful device. There have been resulting shifts in way we communicate, the way we buy and the way we research and as such, a requirement for marketers to adapt their thinking and approaches to ‘mobile-first’.

This is highlighted by 2017 mobile usage data from comScore which shows mobile devices dominating total minutes spent online. In the UK, mobile’s share of digital minutes is reportedly 61%; in Indonesia this rises to 91%!

A decade ago, we weren’t necessarily considering site responsiveness, apps, geo-targeted SMS, push notifications, mobile video, photo filters, or disappearing messages – certainly not to the extent we are today. The iPhone has been instrumental in the cut-through of these techniques and their prominence in today’s marketing plans. The marketing mix has changed beyond all recognition.

From a social media perspective, the rise and rise of the iPhone (and its ‘smart’ competitors) has had momentous impact. In my opinion, the need for brands to be ‘always on’ has been a direct effect of having such capable and connected devices in the palms of so many people’s hands, so frequently. Let’s face it, most of us feel genuinely lost if we leave home without one!

Consider this: wherever your brand’s fans/followers are these days, the likelihood is they’re never more than an arm stretch away from getting in touch, checking out your social media real estate or spending (online) time with your brand on a small(ish) screen.

Customer complaints and compliments are instant – no need to return to your desktop to post a delayed review or share feedback (if you remember), and brand crises can spread like handheld wildfire.

Users’ expectations have changed too. Instant gratification or acknowledgement for engaging with a brand is not just coveted, it’s expected. I’d say we have Steve Jobs to thank for this somewhat crazy connectedness! Never has the need for marketing and communications to be real-time and personal been so prominent.

With all this in mind, perhaps marketers should have a new mantra… ‘Talking to the hand’ has always been a derogatory notion but it seems increasingly like a positive necessity these days.

All thanks to the ever-present iPhone.

Talk to The Crocodile about optimising your marketing campaigns for mobile.

Illuminating social at Ignite 2017

The Crocodile’s partnership with B2B Marketing on Ignite Live proved a huge success at Ignite 2017 at the Business Design Centre, London. The agency’s live social team streamed presentations, panel sessions and exclusive Q&A interviews with some of the key speakers at the event.

A thousand professionals from across B2B marketing attended the event to gain insights and knowledge from a day of seminars and keynote speeches.

The seminars included a presentation from The Crocodile’s Head of Social, Robyn Pierce, who delivered a compelling talk on the state of B2B social to a packed out audience, with an additional 400 people tuning in on Facebook. Watch it here.

Ignite 2017 represented a step change for B2B Marketing. The event was a reinvention of its B2B Summit series, and The Crocodile helped give a fresh twist to promote and enhance the rebranded event through social, both before and during the conference:

  • Ignite 2017 Facebook Canvas. Seen by over 1,000 B2B professionals a day in the week leading up to the event, achieving an engagement rate of 3%.
  • Live streaming presentations and keynotes. The closing keynote on the power of language in marketing reached an online audience of more than 3,500, achieving a 30sec video view rate of 4.6%.
  • Exclusive Q&A interviews with keynote speakers. An interview with Emma Roffey, Senior Director Marketing EMEA at Cisco, achieved a 30sec video view rate of 6.3%.

In total, the real-time social activity driven by The Crocodile helped extend Ignite 2017 to over 27,500 Facebook users through 10 separate live broadcasts.

If you haven’t tuned in yet, check out the Ignite LIVE playlist to watch all the live streams back.

Congratulations to Joel Harrison and everyone at B2B Marketing for an excellent event. Judging by the reaction on social and the feedback the agency received on the day, Ignite 2017 was a resounding success and Ignite Live brilliantly extended the reach and audience in real-time, far beyond the north London venue!

Want to know how and why you should be rethinking your social media? Give us a call on 020 7749 4400 and our award-winning social media team can help.

A fresh twist on event social: Ignite 2017 on Facebook LIVE

The next generation of tools are now available to take your event social strategies to the next level.

With the convergence of mobile, video and Facebook now viewing itself as the alternative to TV a fresh perspective on how you view your social strategies is required.

Make the leap from a few sterile live tweets and the odd snap to unlock a whole new opportunity on how you build reach and influence for all those people that could not attend the event in person. After all from an audience perspective events are bit like an iceberg – the minority in attendance versus the masses who could not.

Build in platform anticipation and a sense of experience with Facebook Canvas, a media rich format that creates a great mobile UX.

The combination of canvas, paid social across channels and Twitter list building should be viewed as an opportunity to build a viewer audience base, not unlike TV, in the build-up to airing your event live-streaming.

Live streaming requires a production house mentality in regards to ‘making it a show’ and delivering a sense of entertainment. Ideally it should at the very least match the production values of the event itself but requires further consideration on how you capture the energy and essence of the day, in real-time.

The B2B industry is holding its largest event of the year, Ignite 2017 on June 22. Watch it live by following B2B Marketing on Facebook

Those of you lucky enough to be attending in person drop by our Ignite LIVE set on booth 41/42 and say hello.

A real-time first for B2B Marketing with Ignite LIVE 2017

As a lead sponsor of the upcoming 2017 B2B Marketing Ignite event – the world’s biggest B2B learning and networking experience – we made the call to place ourselves at the heart of the event and not just be another logo on the wall.

Working closely with the B2B Marketing team, we were able to find strategic and executional ways of deepening our involvement in the event to create a better and more meaningful presence, while also adding to the very fabric of the Ignite experience.

Playing to our ‘Real-time + Personal’ strengths, this has translated into a contemporary suite of additional social activity based around Facebook Live Streaming – a first for B2B Marketing. We’ll share more details in the run-up to the event.

Fancy your five minutes of fame? We’ll be engaging with B2B opinion-formers on the day, so let us know if you want to get involved.

Ignite 2017 takes place on Thursday 22 June 2017 at The Business Design Centre, London. Register at b2bignite.com

Zombie marketing must die

The biggest barrier to personalisation in marketing is not really having a clue who you are talking to. In B2B marketing we see so much activity devoid of human insight, incapable of building deeper relationships.

Without this knowledge, it becomes almost impossible to be alert to the needs of the real person you are trying to communicate with, whether relating to life goals or business goals.

Instead, individuals blend into a kind of zombie persona – and your marketing invariably follows suit: characterless, slow moving, and potentially dangerous!

Why is that, and what can we do about it?

We all know businesses sell to people, and yet it’s still staggering how often the people bit gets overlooked in B2B.

Perhaps this is because we’re so fixated by addressing the complications of the B2B world:

  • Longer, more difficult sales cycles
  • The rigidity of contractual service levels
  • Huge time investment needed to deal with complexity
  • The magnifying effect of having multiple decision makers

Dealing with that lot, it’s easy to forget the simple human truth of marketing: the path to success lies in maintaining personal contact and dialogue between people.

So how can we apply this logic to B2B marketing today (and by today I really do mean ‘now’):

  • Start acting on the mind-set that every customer and prospect is a person with unique needs, not a characterless dead-head.
  • Take an editorial approach to embracing today’s in-market topics, and build the capability to blend them into your marketing, in real time.
  • Tailor content with insights and ideas that map to (and resonate with) the real people you are trying to reach. Product knowledge alone isn’t enough.
  • Red Letter Day – do something to make people feel special and recognised. Think about birthdays, significant professional dates, or complimentary product upgrades.
  • Make it your business to understand the stakeholder structures within target organisations and invest in making multiple relationships to widen impact.
  • Repeat the above.

So, kill the zombie marketing, and next time you’ll know exactly how to answer the question:

Do you have any idea who you’re talking to and what motivates them?

World first on Facebook Live

Real-time and personal has been a strong focus for us as an agency for a while now. This is expressed in different ways, but a recent global product launch by a world famous Swiss watch brand gave us the opportunity to bring all the pieces together and deliver something really spectacular.

Sweet sixteen

With 300 international press and influencers in attendance, our job was to bring the event to life for online fans of the brand. In doing so we achieved a world first with a Facebook Live broadcast across 16 regional Facebook pages.

Over 120k fans tuned in to experience the unveiling of the new product range during the 50min live broadcast. This was the first time Facebook Live has been used to broadcast simultaneously across this many pages. Achieving the live synchronised broadcast required a tech setup that included multiple encoders, industrial strength broadband, and a team to activate each channel, alongside multi-camera editing and a live presenter roaming wirelessly around the venue.

Snap decisions

To extend social reach, Instagram Live was used for previews and sneak peeks behind the scenes. Snapchat and Instagram Stories were used throughout the evening to capture the excitement of the event and drive viewers to the website, where the new product line was available to buy.

As well as live streaming and capturing content for Snapchat and Instagram, our production team was able to supply the brand’s regional social media teams with optimised content including 360 degree videos of the event, Boomerangs and short video clips for posting locally so fans around the world could see what was happening and be part of the event – in (almost) real-time.

Now trending

Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Snapchat all represent exciting new opportunities to deliver more real-time and personal experiences with customers, and encourage long-term loyalty. The challenge – particularly in B2B – is for brands to identify the right applications and make the case for embracing trends like expiring content, AR, chatbots and increased personalisation.

Keeping up is not easy – just as we wrap our heads around a new set of features the rules change. At The Crocodile, we see these changes as stages of an ongoing journey towards making marketing more human. And thanks to the quality of our clients, and a shared appetite to be the best at what we do, we’re always innovating. So if you’re looking for a world first on social, get in touch!

The Crocodile goes 360° with Blend Media

The Crocodile has been appointed by Blend Media to optimise its digital marketing strategy.

Blend Media provides an end-to-end content solution to make the creation of 360˚ video content and immersive campaigns quick and easy for brands, agencies and publishers. With the goal of lowering the barriers to entry the solution includes a drag and drop editor, a large catalogue of premium 360˚ videos and distribution solutions that help to quickly and more easily create engaging formats.

Blend Media also runs the largest 360˚ videos page on Facebook globally: Facebook.com/360vidz

The Crocodile’s team will be working closely with Blend to shape the go-to-market strategy and execution plans across search and social media.

This is a really exciting space and we’re looking forward to helping Blend drive their next stage of growth!

Check out some of Blend’s content at www.blend.media

 

Image courtesy of Blend Media Creator – William Briscoe Photography