Brand Awareness


How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part two of two)

How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part two of two)

How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part two of two)

In Part One, I talked about the first two stages of the messaging roadmap, ‘awareness’ and ‘interest’ and proposed tools for delivering tailored messages. In this article, I complete the loop by addressing the remaining two phases, ‘preference’ and ‘action’ explaining how you use them and what tools you might consider.

Once you’ve built brand familiarity and trust with your prospect through the first two stages, the next stage is to start guiding their attention to your remarkable credentials – which, if you’ve done phase one and two correctly, will perfectly match what they are now looking for.

The Messaging Cycle of awareness, interest, preference and decision / action

Preference

Let’s talk about you baby!  At long last, it’s ok to talk about you and put your brand on a pedestal.  The next stage of communication is all about defining, in the mind of your target audience, how your offering is the most desirable for addressing their specific needs.  If you have spent time nurturing them through phases one and two, this will be a logical progression of the conversation. 

Tools to deliver your Reinforcement messaging

The preference messaging will be delivered through your website, specification sheets, tailored presentations, and tender documentation.  Most businesses will have this material in abundance – the problem is, you’ve probably been using it at the wrong stage of the relationship and in terms of content, it’s been developed with you and your interests at its heart, rather than those of your prospects.

Remember, this is about how you measure up, as a perfect match to your customer’s needs, to be at the top of any tender list.

Action

This is the close, the finesse. So, at this stage, the prospect is considering two options – you and one other. Relentless telephone calls and emails are not going to nudge you over the line.  This phase is about communicating the value you can add, the successes you’ve delivered to other businesses and shining a light on the advantage of working with you over anyone else – in specific regard to the problems they’re addressing.

Tools to deliver your Value messaging

This is reasonably straight forward: case studies (both editorial & sales), LinkedIn references, Social Video, co-authorship focussing on success stories and success metrics – while bringing your company’s personality and values to life.

Buying Cycle & Messaging Phases - Preference Action

Note that every company’s messaging will differ. Once you have clear messaging, you can apply it methodically – creating a coherent customer journey.  This provides a logical and realistic purpose to your marketing activities with the bonus of your leadership team being engaged and immersed in the process because they were engaged from the start.  The outcome, therefore, is more engaging communication that delivers greater impact, longevity and effect.

Click here to see part one of two

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download How we guarantee your PR Results 

Read Read this B2B PR Brand Messaging case study: Concirrus

Watch Watch: Why your business needs a communication strategy

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is.

Your Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR Management

The Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR

Unforeseen circumstances have hit us all in 2020. Our guide shows you how to manage your PR in a crisis.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

EC-PR How We Guarantee Your PR Results Brochure Cover

How we guarantee your PR results

 Free Insights

Turbo boost your PR today and expand your ability to reach business goals.

Download

Our insights

How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part one of two)

How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part one of two)

How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part one of two)

There are four stages through which a connection must move to successfully form an enduring commercial relationship.  These phases are awareness, interest, preference, and action.  And, your messaging at each stage of the relationship must evolve to reflect the needs and desires of your target audience to keep your brand relevant and compelling.

The Messaging Cycle of awareness, interest, preference and decision / action

Awareness

At this stage, your target audience is becoming aware they have an issue and your objective is to get them to see you as someone who has an in depth understanding of their sector challenges, through your engagement message. This is not about flogging a solution or your brand but positioning yourself as an expert they can trust.

To achieve this, your brand, senior executives, and subject matter experts, need to be visible and proactive.  They can do this by expressing opinion within LinkedIn posts, sharing relevant insights, authoring thought leadership in the media, presenting at key events, and addressing the issues that matter to the target audience with whom they seek to work.  Remember, people buy from people.

How to deliver your engagement messaging

The key B2B PR tools you can use include: your website, Insights/white papers, event sponsorship, speaking opportunities, LinkedIn engagement and news management. Your brand needs to be active and relevant.  ‘Everywhere’ your target persona ‘goes’ – your brand needs to be visible.

Interest

During this phase, your target audience is starting to formulate possible solutions to their issue. This is where you help your target audience to better understand the specific nature of their challenges and begin to formulate the ideal solution – still curbing your desire to reveal your self-interest.  Your challenge is to build trust by advising and guiding them a myriad of possible options and highlighting the pros and cons of each, maintaining an independent stance, while steering them towards your solution as the ideal fit.

How to deliver your solution messaging

This is where thought leadership articles can be invaluable, as well as independent round tables, white papers, issue-led podcasts and social videos, and objective explainers with strong visual prompts.

Your need to use your B2B PR to make your target audience feel that by listening to you, they are better equipped to deal with their challenges. They trust you and value your counsel.

Throughout both the awareness and interest phases, your focus is entirely on building familiarity, trust and influence before starting the next phase, although it’s fair to say that in the words of Simon Sinek, it’s an ‘infinite game’ and each phase will be in play as long as the business is seeking to grow.

Buying Cycle & Messaging Phases - Awareness Interest

Click here to see part two, where we suggest how to leverage the next stages of the comms journey; preference and action.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download How to Become a Thought Leader 

Read Read this awesome B2B PR case study: Lloyds Maritime Academy

Watch Learn: Why your business needs a communication strategy

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is.

Your Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR Management

The Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR

Unforeseen circumstances have hit us all in 2020. Our guide shows you how to manage your PR in a crisis.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

EC-PR How We Guarantee Your PR Results Brochure Cover

How we guarantee your PR results

 Free Insights

Turbo boost your PR today and expand your ability to reach business goals.

Download

Our insights

7 Benefits of outsourcing your PR

7 Benefits of outsourcing your PR

7 Benefits of outsourcing your PR

If you are considering outsourcing your public relations (PR), then you’ll be looking at the pros and cons of commissioning a PR consultancy over managing your reputation in house.  Here are 7 reasons why you should consider outsourcing your PR:

1. Focus:

The benefit of appointing a PR agency to manage and protect your reputation is that you can focus on your core business, secure in the knowledge that you have a team of professionals dedicated to driving your brand awareness.

2. Scale:

An external agency can commit a team of PR experts to apply their combined knowledge and creativity to further the interests of your brand in line with your business strategy. Working with an agency gives you access to a wealth of talent.

3. Creativity:

An agency is experienced in bringing your strategy to life in creative executions and campaigns that evolve and develop over time. Creative thinking and execution are what they do, what they thrive on and what they excel at.

4. Perspective:

A PR consultancy not only brings an external perspective but a perspective through multiple lenses of expertise. They can and should challenge, inspire and guide based on their informed opinion. As an external, their perspective is not influenced by internal dogma.

5. Cost & liability:

There is no cost associated with appointing an agency. This allows you to avoid bringing an employee into the company, which saves you money on everything from benefits to training. Engaging with an agency’s services is straightforward.

6. Influential network:

Every individual within your agency comes with a proven network of media contacts, database subscriptions and business network to leverage your stories and brand awareness.

7. Speed to excellence:

A PR agency will start delivering at pace as soon as you appoint them. Their focus is entirely on your brand and while there will be a short period of getting to know your culture, there will be no lengthy induction period holding up the process.

There are always pros and cons to outsourcing any business activity. However, recruiting an internal resource to handle PR is not the equivalent of appointing a PR agency. It is not a like for like comparison. Appointing a PR manager demonstrates intent but appointing a PR agency is decisive action.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our guide on how to make your PR work harder: How to Optimise your News Release

READ this awesome PR case study: Lloyds Maritime Academy

look at this Infographic: “How PR differs from advertising

to receive regular insights on how to make your PR work harder.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is.

The brand awareness formula – B2B PR

The brand awareness formula – B2B PR

The brand awareness formula – B2B PR

BA = (M+C2) x (R+I)

Brand awareness is the result of presenting your message consistently, in a way that is relevant, interesting and engaging to your target audience. Sounds easy right? What could possibly go wrong? Let’s break it down and have a closer look.

 

MESSAGE

what is it? It’s right there on the tip of your tongue – or it should be. You won’t be convincing if you, and your team, aren’t singing from the same hymn sheet. Top to bottom, you shouldn’t be able to put a cigarette paper between you. If you know where you’re going, you’re more likely to get there. Truism after truism because…it’s true. Effective messaging starts with clarity of vision throughout the business and communicating with target personas appropriately at each stage of the buying cycle. Your message must start and end with how you will make the lives of your target persona better – anything else is hyperbole. Brand awareness starts with the CEO.

Lack of message = weak brand

CONSISTENCY

inside and out. If you’re not being consistent internally, you have no hope externally. Even if you are clear about your message, the further down the chain of command you get, the more diluted your message becomes; unless you take steps to ensure it isn’t. For example, if you say: ‘it’s all about the vibrancy of colour’, a month or two later someone else will be saying: ‘it’s all about how bright the red is’ and, by the summer a new member of staff will be saying: ‘It’s all about hot pink!’ Internal consistency ensures alignment between departments and concentration of effort.

Internal inconsistency = anchor not accelerator

CONSISTENCY

in the look, feel and tone of how you communicate to your external audiences gives your gravitas and instant credibility. You need to walk the walk, and present yourself as a authoritative, passionate and authentic business partner that will enhance the lives of your prospects. This is where I feel soulless content and click bait fails so meteorically because it lacks integrity. Present your message with conviction and flare, in your channel(s) of choice and then perform the ‘terrier protocol’ (i.e. don’t let go!)

External inconsistency = prospect confusion

RELEVANCY

If you have put your customer at the heart of everything you say and do and focused on solving their problems, your prospect traction is likely to be high. Admittedly, the relevancy of a message can evolve and change but probably not as fast as your boredom threshold might suggest! If you’ve spent a couple of months or more gathering customer insight and developing your messaging, by the time you’ve immersed the business and planned your go-to-market campaigns the danger is you’re already a bit over it. Patience! Messaging rooted in business insight and prospect empathy will endure, inspire and be effective. Invest your intellect and energy in finding new ways of interpreting your key messages in your marketing channels.

Irrelevancy = prospect indifference

INTEREST

what most people find interesting is themselves and their problems. Make sure you put your customers and prospects front and centre and use a range of creative treatments that inspire and embrace different media formats and channels to speak with your community. Lead and inspire – be an advocate. Believe you can make a difference to your target community and you will create curiosity and followership.

Uninteresting = no engagement ☹

BA = (M+C2) x (R+I)

Don’t leave marketing to the marketers.

Brand awareness is everyone’s responsibility and should be led from the top. Insight 2020 revealed that less than 1/6 of b2b businesses had a clear vision. That means that more than 80% of b2b businesses don’t think having clarity of vision is important – which means that their marketing communications are being done while wearing a blind fold. Why would anyone think that’s a good idea?

Thought Leadership Case Study: SELIS – Amplifying Success

Thought Leadership Case Study: SELIS – Amplifying Success

SELIS – Amplifying Success

Thought Leadership Case Study

BACKGROUND

SELIS (the Shared European Logistics Intelligent Information Space) was a three-year €17 million flagship European Commission-funded research project and part of the EC’s €77 billion Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Bringing together 37 partners f rom across Europe, including research organisations, SMEs and large industry players, SELIS delivered an open source, cloud-based intelligence platform for logistics collaboration. The project hopes to motivate faster, more efficient, flexible and sustainable supply chain ecosystems in Europe.

Challenge

After three years of research & development, during which time the SELIS project team’s own efforts to promote the project had had limited impact, and the logistics community, which was set to be the main adopter and beneficiary of the project’s innovative platform, remained largely unaware of the strides the project was making.

SOLUTION

EC-PR proposed an intensive three-month PR outreach programme aimed at celebrating the successful conclusion of the SELIS project and promoting the commercial benefits of adopting SELIS’ logistics collaboration models. The programme consisted of a proactive media outreach, including profiling key journalists and influencers from across Europe interested in the subject, securing story placements, arranging media interviews and developing news announcements, combined with building thought leadership by means of articles and blog posts.

OUTCOME

After an intensive and brief ramp-up period the programme swiftly generated the first tangible results, including press coverage in tier 1 media outlets, such as Forbes and Intelligent CIO, and leading logistics trade publications, including Logistics Voices, Supply Chain News and JOC.com.

Dr. Takis Katsoulakos and Makis Kouloumbis of Inlecom Systems (the SELIS project coordinating partner) were positioned as thought leaders on innovative new logistics models through article placements in JOC.com, Logistics Voices, Computer Weekly and TechTarget.

The results of SELIS ‘Living Labs’ (real-life testing environments) were communicated through press interviews with key Living Labs partners from the industry and academia who endorsed the project’s outcomes.

“EC-PR have quickly grasped the complexities of the SELIS project and managed to transform them into a compelling media narrative. By building strong connections with our project partners and bringing them into media activities they have strengthened the credibility of our story which is important for future commercialisation of the project’s innovations. The results generated have been impressive.”
Dr. Takis Katsoulakos

MD, Inlecom Systems, the SELIS project coordinating partner

SELIS Project at a Glance

Intense ramp-up of PR programme

2

News releases

4

Press interviews with SELIS project partners

3

Feature articles placed

15

Pieces of coverage in tier 1 business and trade publications

1

Speaking opportunity secured

Intense ramp-up of PR programme

2

News releases

4

Press interviews with SELIS project partners

3

Feature articles placed

15

Pieces of coverage in tier 1 business and trade publications

1

Speaking opportunity secured

Intense ramp-up of PR programme

2

News releases

4

Press interviews with SELIS project partners

3

Feature articles placed

15

Pieces of coverage in tier 1 business and trade publications

1

Speaking opportunity secured

More Case Studies

GUARANTEED PERFORMANCE

Being in the right place at the right time… We will deliver feature length coverage to your target press… or your money back.

Brand Awareness Campaign Case Study: Predatar – Evolving the Brand

Brand Awareness Campaign Case Study: Predatar – Evolving the Brand

Predatar – Brand Awareness Campaign

Evolving the brand

BACKGROUND

Predatar delivers a business automation platform and framework that enables value added resellers (VARs) of IT services to rapidly grow their offering and evolve into profitable and sustainable Managed Service businesses.

A visionary leader with a strong interest in marketing communications, Alistair Mackenzie has been instrumental in the development of the Predatar brand, which came about as an enabler to the transformation of Silverstring where he had been MD.

Problem

Alistair needed to find a way of building an understanding of the Predatar concept and articulating the vision, whilst increasing awareness and engagement within the target audience.

SOLUTION

Alistair asked EC-PR to design and deliver a brand awareness campaign that would build credibility within the IT channel – specifically the target audience of ambitious CEOs of Value-Added Reseller businesses who are looking to evolve and expand into a Managed Service business, at speed and scale.

The campaign would introduce Predatar focusing on the pain points of a business transformation strategy. EC-PR devised a six-month brand awareness programme that was to include: two round tables, a white paper, LinkedIn articles and thought leadership.

Outcome

“EC-PR has really focused in on understanding the business and it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t just about building brand awareness – we needed to have absolute clarity around our value proposition and our messaging throughout the different stages of the buying cycle.

EC-PR helped us to formulate this, which was instrumental to ensuring the brand awareness campaign was aligned and laser focused on our target audiences.

Tenacious and challenging, coupled with a great spirit, Lorraine and Liz are committed to raising the bar and delivering a PR programme that is dynamic and impactful.”

Alistair Mackenzie

CEO, Predatar

More Case Studies

GUARANTEED PERFORMANCE

Being in the right place at the right time… We will deliver feature length coverage to your target press… or your money back.