Gold – Best Demand Generation

This really is a story of winning through true collaboration. It features a fantastically talented and committed client team, Tom Holland from Tempo, and our own multi-discipline team. Together we took Gold for Best Demand Generation at this year’s Drum B2B Awards in New York.

AppDynamics is one of the fastest-growing software companies of all time. With a clear vision and an ambitious team committed to delivering world-class customer experience, they’ve developed a market-leading technology solution built around the needs of their users.

These core values then shaped the next stage of AppDynamics’ journey: the development of a truly customer-centric approach to brand marketing. It celebrated their customers, and the individuals, or ‘agents’ driving digital transformation.

Agents of Transformation is a global, integrated brand and thought leadership campaign recognising the visionary, ambitious technologists shaping a better future for their organisations. Delivered exclusively through owned and earned channels, the impact of the campaign has been remarkable.

In just six months, the campaign has influenced or accelerated a multi-million pound pipeline, with closed/won business to date delivering a 383x ROI.

Great collaboration. Great work. Great results.

Championing CX with our new B2B hub

As B2B’s first and only customer experience agency, we’ve built up a pretty comprehensive view on all things CX.

Our journey into CX began years ago with our focus on real-time and personal communications. This evolved into conversational marketing, and now our purpose goes way beyond marketing: in our day to day, we help businesses to grow and succeed by reforming them around the needs of the customer.

Enter our new customer experience content hub, #IamCX. It’s filled with personalised news and insights to feed your thinking and sharpen your strategy – saving you time and effort.

The way we see it, having CX expertise is only worth anything if we use it to help others tackle their own unique customer challenges. We want to share our vision of a constantly evolving business strategy that goes beyond the purchase, and creates loyal, long term customers.

Features of #IamCX:

  • Original pieces on live-wire areas of CX, and ideas from off the beaten track
  • Our top picks of CX articles (mined for the best bits)
  • Big industry reports to give you that wide-angle view of the customer experience landscape

So, there you have it: a new place to access customer experience content so you can make your brand Head to #IamCX  to find out what a prison in Norway has to do with B2B CX, why CMOs are the ultimate customer experience champions, and get 3 quick wins to kick off your CX initiative today.

Programmatic: What’s all the fuss about?

As marketers, we are always trying to find the channel that delivers the lowest cost per engagement and highest ROI. Before sophisticated use of attribution was available, that would not include ‘awareness’ channels.

I say ‘awareness’ channels, as ‘programmatic’ has that stigma attached to it, as it’s usually thought of as a display buying process. However, in 2019, there’s far more to a simple programmatic display banner than meets the eye. Why do you think programmatic spend has increased by 19% globally in 2018 and is set to continue to climb? Because people see the power of data intelligence. If you can match intuitive targeting with innovative creative, you have yourself a winning formula.

Don’t be fooled into thinking Programmatic advertising is just Display. It’s much more than that. Whether it’s On Demand TV, Display, or OOH, the programmatic ecosystem is vast, meaning you can have a marketing program that uses a holistic approach rather than siloed channels. This means higher engagement and a larger return on ROI.

So, I think it’s time for a rethink. Here are three reasons why you should think about redistributing your investment in your marketing channels:


Programmatic personalisation is probably the key differentiator for most channels and ways of buying media. From 1st – 4th party data, there are some really powerful targeting strategies you can bring together to make your marketing efforts work for you. For example, you can use your first-party data to remarket to users who have previously engaged with the site. Or, you could invest in audiences who have been categorised by 3rd party providers, for example ‘Small Business Decision Makers’. Personalising activity through audience data provides greater relevancy and a more personalised experience, which results in a better brand experience. Customer Experience is a practice which is becoming more recognised throughout industries, so making sure the first touchpoint with your brand is strong, is a key success indicator.

Quality Over Quantity

Although the Google Display Network (GDN) has provided companies with years of supportive Remarketing & Prospecting, it lacks an assurance and quality from where and how ads are served – especially in the B2B space. Because a B2B approach targets corporate emails, targeting these people through the GDN is simply not feasible.

Programmatic allows Tier 1 publisher placement targeting which is where your key audiences browse content. It also allows you to buy quality inventory so you can showcase your ad against the right people, at the right time, with the right message. Where would you rather invest in raising awareness of your brand, The Guardian or The Sun? I know where my preference would lie.

ABM Acceleration

Depending on your approach to ABM, the costs can vary hugely. However, using programmatic as an accelerator can increase your efforts without attaching the price tag.

Let’s take radius targeting for example. Programmatic allows you to target from a global to individual branch level. If you’re trying to win business from a client you’re targeting via ABM, why not bolster that effort with personalised ads based on each company you target, providing a personalised experience all the way through the buying journey? Similarly with LinkedIn integration, serving ads to those previously unreachable users through the Programmatic solution provides confidence that you are reaching a highly engaged professional audience who are right for you. Whether that’s one-to-one or one to many, the extensive audience targeting available means you can hone in on the right audience for you.

We should all be bridging the gap between a siloed and a holistic marketing approach. Are all of your marketing channels working with each other or are they taking different roads to get to different locations? Programmatic can start to bring those marketing efforts together and provide a single route for execution. To have a successful programmatic campaign, you need to have cross-channel conversations to understand what works and what doesn’t. From there, you can create a game plan, involving your data, your experiences, and then a kick of creative to make your efforts get noticed.


by Alex Barnicoat 

B2B Marketing Awards: AppDynamics up for three


Being recognised for creating industry-leading work is always a healthy benchmark test – both for agency and client teams. So, when this year’s B2B Awards Shortlist called out AppDynamics across three categories we were more than a little happy:

  • Category 17 – Best corporate decision-maker targeted campaign
  • Category 21 – Best brand initiative
  • Category 24 – Best customer engagement initiative

So it’s congrats and a big thank you to AppDynamics and our partner Tempo for collaborating on Agents of Transformation a campaign described by Thomas Wyatt, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, AppDynamics, as:  “….the WHY for AppDynamics. It brings to life our company purpose and speaks to how we help digitally transform businesses and supercharge careers of the individuals who bet on us.”

Agents of Transformation blends thought leadership with a customer-centric approach to celebrate the AppDynamics customers and individuals driving digital transformation. This was achieved through a combination of:

  • Market research – exposing a very real industry challenge
  • Personalised approach – segmentation ensured all technologists could relate to the issues
  • Digital content – blend of content, providing a 360 degree picture of the issues
  • Multi-channel communications – bespoke events and striking content designed per channel

Managing Director at The Crocodile, Jason Talbot: “This is great recognition for AppDynamics who have set high standards and have a strong team ethic that makes great work possible. We look forward to raising the bar with them next year!”

B2B Agency of the Year …shortlisted


Redesigning an agency can be a risky business. Over the course of the last few years we have established our new CX agency proposition, designed a new fit for purpose toolkit, and traded on our people-first principles. Our team at The Croc have been challenged to think differently about B2B marketing and they have risen to the challenge.

So to be recognised in the Agency of the Year category in the prestigious B2B Marketing Awards is a great recognition that our people, partners, and clients are on the right track. We’re up for six awards overall with great collaborations with AppDynamics and VolvoCE, which is arguably more important – we’re in a service industry after all.

To the liberated thinkers that are making 1D persona models redundant, who are killing off the funnel, and are mapping the impact of the multiple contributors to the B2B buying process, we ask you to keep pushing guys. It’s making a difference.

There’s always risk involved when you challenge convention but without risk, innovation is stifled. As an agile independent it’s our job to challenge the status quo, nipping at the heels of the larger groups unable to adapt to the pace of change.

Look out for us on B2B Awards night on 28 November. Independents day?

Customer experience capabilities matrix


It’s a basic fact that different businesses will have different capabilities when it comes to interacting and customizing. One company may be able to interact with individual customers by phone, for instance, while another could engage via online chat, email or social. And in terms of the product or services it renders, one firm might have the ability to deliver different types of service to a few broad segments of customers, while another has the ability to track individual customers and modify its service or offering as necessary to meet specific, individual customer demands.

Looking at these two capabilities – interacting and customizing – on a scale, which any individual business could be highly proficient or not so proficient. Your own company’s mix of capabilities when it comes to interacting with, and customizing for, customers will actually define the kind of experience you’re capable of delivering.

Four different kinds of experience

The below matrix outlines four kinds of customer experience, based on a company’s capacity for (1) cost-efficiently and effectively interacting with customers, and (2) customizing its behaviour toward individual customers, based on who they are.

Quadrant 1

On the lower left, a company that has little ability to either interact with individual customers or customize for them, will rely almost entirely on advertising and promotion, and its product or service offering will be fairly standard for all customers, delivering a mass customer experience designed to be pretty much the same for everyone. This kind of practice is less common in B2B selling, but it could describe the way some large enterprises sell into small-and-medium business market – high volume, low cost.

Quadrant 2

The “niche” bottom right, is the result of a company that can alter its product in meaningful ways for different types of customers, but isn’t capable of interacting with those customers richly enough to be able to fit specific products to specific customers. Instead, it will market to different niches, using specific one-way messaging. We can find many B2B brands in this quadrant as result of silos and complex internal systems and platforms.

Quadrant 3

In the upper left a company has the reverse problem: it isn’t capable of customizing or tailoring its product offering, but it does have capability to interact on a real-time basis with individual customers. In this case, you could think of them as delivering a kind of “targeted” customer experience. That is, the customer knows that the firm is interacting and communicating individually, but the communication is not designed to elicit an individual customer’s needs so much as it aimed at positioning and selling the product that the company has available. Loyalty programs fall into this quadrant, for the most part and is a key consideration for when designing ABM programs.

Quadrant 4

Top right, the company is capable of delivering a genuinely “one-to-one” customer experience. If your business can interact efficiently with customers in real-time, and also tailor your product-service offering for individual customers, then the experience you deliver to the customer will be more meaningful for them and more profitable for you. When a customer interacts with you to tell you how they want to be served, and you tailor that customer’s product or service to meet that specification, the relationship is now “owned” by the both of you. To achieve this at scale requires mastery of data, insight, technology orchestration, channel connectivity and cross department collaboration to achieve – the goal

No company is born into any one quadrant. Business models or internal culture might make it more or less difficult to improve their capability to interact and customize, but no matter where you see your business it’s always possible to create a transformation roadmap to Quadrant 4.

If you want to discuss this further why not join the conversation on twitter #IAMCX or speak directly to or 0207 749 4400.

At The Crocodile we exist to help our clients build customer driven growth engines. To break down silos and create sustainable, repeatable models that unite our clients business around the priorities in their customers lives.

Don’t say it. Be it. #IAMCX

Adobe Summit: What went down

I joined 6,000 marketing and tech professionals at the London ExCel for Adobe Summit recently. Their CEO Paul Robson kicked it off by setting out their mission: to “change the world through digital experience”. I couldn’t have felt more at home.

A lot of talks centred around ‘data-driven organisations’. The definition goes deeper than simply having a lot of data collected from a variety of touchpoints – the key is how we actually use it and how it is compiled, to give us that all-important single customer view.

Speakers over the two days were brilliant. Clare Darley VP of Digital Media at Adobe talked about the company’s new customer journey dashboard initiative, capable of driving data-driven organisations (something that’s looking promising for the market). Jane Moran at Unilever then gave a walkthrough on data-embedded processes and operations that deliver real-time, hyper-personalised experiences.

We listened to Abhay Parasnis EVP and CTO at Adobe, who explained how common it still is to see businesses paralysed by silos. It’s something we see a lot. He explained how Customer Experience Management strategies are a key way to break them down. These issues were big at our recent event series across Amsterdam, Dublin and Stockholm, and it was encouraging to see other big players in the market come to the same conclusions we did.

Then we came on to a great B2B case study showing CX in action. The team at Grundfos, pump manufacturers based in Denmark, gave a great presentation on their 3-year digital marketing transformation that put wholesale managers, pump installers and facilities managers at the heart of their strategy. It was, frankly, inspiring.

Going to events like this makes it clear the CX agenda is still young, but that it’s also growing up quickly, covering a number of aspects:

– Consulting and strategy

– Data management and intelligence

– Technology

– Campaign design and execution

CX requires a cultural shift, and for many, it’s a radical transformation that’s not for the faint-hearted. We love it.

Jason Talbot, Managing Director



Comms giant Ericsson talks CX

It may not be surprising, but the internet and comms giant, Ericsson are big on CX and catering to the needs of the customer. They spoke in Stockholm at our Connected Customer Roadshow last month, and so we caught up with their digital marketing specialist, Eliot Freed to dive a little deeper into the subject, and find out where he sees the market going.

‘The key thing that brands can do in 2019 is to simplify their customer journey experience’, Eliot shares. We need to get closer to our customers, and closer to understanding what they really want from us as brands.

CX is fast becoming the phrase of the moment, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually being executed yet – far from it. Eliot thinks the reason for this is that there isn’t enough transparency in our operations when viewed from the outside-in, and that it has become over-complicated. Reworking your organisation around CX is a big deal. Particularly for small brands, this can seem too complex and overwhelming – and is nearly impossible without buy-in from the top.

But, especially at the beginning, CX doesn’t need to be a huge overhaul. One place to start is with engaging content. ‘Brands need to start conversations and be genuinely genuine.’ From here, tech helps scale this messaging, and then the whole thing becomes more doable.

‘My biggest piece of advice is to really listen to your customers, adapt to what they really want, and be ready to make some hard decisions on priorities,’ Eliot continues. ‘I’m most excited that CX will bring a more seamless, simplified experience that is fully transparent and respects privacy.’

Eliot Freed, Global Experiences & Digital Events Manager, Ericsson




Defining Customer Experience


There are many terms and buzzwords around customer experience. We like this simple and straightforward definition from Don Peppers:

Customer experience is: The totality of a customer’s individual interactions with a brand, over time.

Each of the terms in this definition is important, because each term identifies some aspect of the CX to focus on when it comes to making improvements.

Let’s break down some of the terms:

  • “Customer” is meant to include both current and prospective buyers and users. When you make it easier for a prospect to find information about your firm or your product, for instance, you are improving the “customer experience” even though the prospect may never actually become a customer.
  • “Individual” means that we are talking about each different customer’s own individual perception or impression of the experience. What you intend to provide a customer is not nearly as important as how the customer perceives what you provide.
  • “Interactions” occur in addressable or reciprocal channels, i.e., non-mass media. Marketing campaigns, taglines, and brand messages may be important, but they aren’t interactions, so lie outside the “customer experience” domain. On the other hand, improving your mobile app by, for instance, embedding voice or chat connections into it, would certainly improve customer experience.
  • “With” a brand means that only direct contact counts as part of the customer experience. The interactions a customer has with others about a brand are not really part of it, although of course how your company actually engages with customers and prospects within various social channels is, because it is a direct interaction.
  • “Brand” is a proxy for all your marketing, selling, and servicing entities. In addition to your own company, it includes dealers and distributors, marketing and advertising agencies, any retailers that sell your product, and any service firms that install or repair your company’s product, or handle customer enquiries or interactions of any kind. For each of these interactions, you can contract out the task, but not the responsibility – at least not as far as the customer is concerned.
  • “Over time” recognizes the ongoing nature of a customer relationship. Each customer’s experience is not an isolated event, but accumulates through time. You improve your customer experience, for instance, when you make it easier for a repeat customer to get back to their pre-preferred configuration, or when your call centre agent already knows what a prospect was just trying to find out on your website.
  • And the very first word in the definition, “totality” means that you cannot improve your customer experience without considering all of these issues in total, including how each one impacts the others. Integrating your interaction channels may be the single most important step you can take today to improve customer experience, and there are all sorts of new technologies available to do this.

If you want to discuss this further why not join the conversation on Twitter #IAMCX or speak directly to or 0207 749 4400. At The Crocodile we exist to help our clients build customer driven growth engines. To break down silos and create sustainable, repeatable models that unite our clients business around the priorities in their customers lives.

Don’t say it. Be it. #IAMCX

Introducing the new faces in our digital team

From a boutique agency in Vancouver to the best of Adland London, we are searching out the best talent as we continue to grow our digital and creative teams and ensure we are delivering the best digital experiences in B2B marketing.

Elliot Cromwell has honed his development skills within agencies based in the UK and Canada. He’s a cool head and can work at temperatures as low as -15!

Elliot will bolster our development capabilities as we accelerate our response to the growing demand for progressive web apps, and for marketing platforms that deliver more personalised customer experiences.

“Elliot has a rare combination of problem-solving skills and excellence in execution that will allow The Crocodile to bring new innovations to the industry,” says The Crocodile’s Head of Digital, Simon Hurrell. “I’m very happy he’s decided to join us.”

Next up, meet Connor Dyer. Connor has spent a year learning his trade at VMLY&R. Keen to continue his professional development, Connor has joined the team at The Crocodile as a Junior Digital Designer.

The Crocodile’s Creative Director, Chris Tongeman, says: “We are really pleased to welcome Connor. His energy and enthusiasm are great, and he’s also really ready to learn and develop. We see a great future for him here.”

Finally, Andrew Sayward recently joined the team as a junior front-end developer and has quickly grown his capabilities as we push to create great mobile-first experiences for our clients.

“Andrew is a great addition to the team, bringing new ideas on how to develop and optimise the UI for websites and marketing platforms such as Hubspot and Pardot,” adds Simon. “We’re really excited to welcome Elliot, Connor and Andrew to the team. Delivering great digital experiences requires a diverse range of skills along with a team that are curious, inventive and passionate about their craft.”

It’s April: time to spring into action on CX

We’re now over a quarter of the way into the year: the clocks have gone forward and we’re inching our way slowly into the sunnier season. But what about our good intentions from the start of the year? Are we still pushing those big issues that were flagged as high-priority on the 2019 industry reports?

Salesforce’s ‘State of Marketing Report’ is a good benchmark. It was published at the end of last year and highlights the big issues and topics for 2019: personalisation, data, and the omnichannel experience – CX at its heart. We’ll pull out some key insights from the report, and check we’re sticking to our business resolutions.

CX is important – according to the customer themselves! 

80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Is this something that’s reflected in your budget? We’re not saying you have to divert £80 towards your CX programme for every £100 spent on the product/ service you offer, but it gives you an interesting stat to fall back on when you’re seeing how you’re spending money, and where your attention is focused.

In addition, 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. Translate this into actionable advice, and it means providing personalised experiences, and those moments that a customer or client can see that you understand them. The root of this is data, and the moments of delight that creative messaging and concepts can deliver.

But we’re not listening hard enough and acting fast enough

But apparently this isn’t enough to drive us yet. Only 54% of high-performing marketing teams lead customer experience initiatives across the business. This is your wakeup call. It’s been over 3 months since the Salesforce report was published, and if you haven’t already, it’s high time you jumped on this bandwagon.

So… what first?

 The report highlights some really key things high-performing organisations do to get ahead for you to consider:

  • They use customer data and map the customer journey
  • They integrate internally
  • They engage with customers in real time
  • They have a single customer view
  • They provide an omni channel experience

We know these things don’t happen overnight. But they are key action points to future-proof your business, and the composite parts of a CX strategy that you need to be honing. Make it your goal for the remaining eight-and-a-bit months to start tackling some of those key issues on the list.

Find the full report and its findings here.

Croc recruits paid media specialist Alex Barnicoat from WPP agency Wavemaker

Where better to learn about GDN, AdWords and Google Analytics than at Google? That’s what our latest recruit, Alex Barnicoat, did during a 15-month digital marketing apprenticeship at Google UK.

Following his time with Google, Alex further developed his paid media skills as a PPC executive at Wavemaker, one of the world’s largest media agencies.

At The Crocodile, Alex will be responsible for developing and delivering large-scale paid media campaigns for a broad range of clients including the Financial Times, Ticker and ON24.

Over the past 12 months, The Crocodile has seen significant growth in its paid media business and has been expanding its media planning and buying capabilities to match the demand.

Commenting on Alex’s appointment, the agency’s Head of Media and Technology, Paul Wright, said: “Paid media is a fast-paced discipline that is especially challenging in B2B. We believe we’ve struck gold with Alex. As a former Googler who went on to master his craft at Wavemaker, Alex has demonstrated ambition and a willingness to push boundaries – exactly the qualities our clients need to succeed in this ever-changing environment.”

Mission-critical for good CX: Getting the customer journey map right

In our second #IamCX event, we focused on customer journey mapping as a critical step towards moulding yourself into a CX-first business. It was great to see so many market-leading B2B brands there, and to help them drive the CX agenda in their organisations.

The thing is, there’s a growing market for running internal customer journey mapping exercises. It’s not new. But what came out of the event, was that these exercises aren’t leading to any real organisational change. It’s something Jason pointed out, sharing his experiences of seeing individual departments trying to run “customer-centric” programmes and seeing them fail time and time again. Frustrating right?

Most audience members raised their hands when asked if they had run a customer journey mapping exercise – but when they were asked if any had actually used the maps, only one hand remained.

What the Q&A revealed was that this was largely down to the lack of executive buy-in. As Jason put it, ‘For customer journey mapping to actually work, it has to be seen by c-level as a key part of the business strategy. Without their buy-in, the whole exercise is no more than an arts and crafts workshop.’ And it’s true.

Opening our customer journey mapping event, our own MD Jason Talbot stressed the value of customer journey mapping. His 5 key benefits were:

  1. Customer journey mapping gives a framework to support the overall customer experience strategy,
  2. It gives you key areas to prioritise and helps you guide decisions
  3. You get to see the business from the outside in: the customer’s point of view
  4. It gives you a measurement framework to understand why customers stay, grow or depart
  5. Your CX strategy goes from being woolly and intangible, to a clear plan that you can action straight away

Putting CX first is, of course, an immensely worthwhile exercise. At the event, Matt Cheung, the CEO of business consultancy firm Clarasys shared that a 1% increase in CSAT scores translates into 9% revenue growth (The Customer Service Institute). Remarkable – and proof that there is big £££££ to gain.

Adobe’s Thierry Stortenbecker provided a great digital transformation context and made a clear case for the role of tech in creating single customer views – the basis for creating hyper-personalised and contextual customer experiences.

Overall the event delved into the whys and the hows of customer journey mapping, giving clear business incentives for the exercise and then actionable advice on creating and implementing them.

So, in the way of a summary, we have one main piece of advice:
By all means do the customer journey mapping exercise – in fact we urge you to. But you’re not going to get any real value from them unless CX becomes a key part of your organisation’s strategy. Get exec buy in – or else your maps and efforts will only gather dust in the back of a filing cabinet.

The Office of Health Economics appoints The Crocodile

The Office of Health Economics (OHE) has appointed The Crocodile to provide a broad mix of strategic, digital, martech, brand and content services.

The research and consulting organisation provides vital insights for public healthcare institutions and the pharmaceutical industry. In an era of unprecedented innovation, OHE addresses strategic issues that help advance healthcare provision around the world. As the industry continues to evolve, OHE is expanding its marketing capabilities to help it stay at the forefront of healthcare insight.

“OHE is a pioneering organisation with the brightest thinkers in its industry” comments The Crocodile’s MD Jason Talbot. “We’re excited to be working with such a talented team that is doing fantastic work, and look forward to helping them lead the way in healthcare research and consulting. OHE joins a growing agency portfolio of consultancy-based clients, and we are delighted to have them on board.”