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Transform Magazine: Five Minutes with Andrew Godley – 2022

Andrew Godley, client services manager for B2B marketing agency Punch!, explains why industry perceptions of B2B brand marketing need to change.

What do you think are the current perceptions of B2B brand marketing among creative agencies?

This probably comes down to a definition of B2B. I think it’s been quite interesting over the last couple of weeks that there’s been a couple of adverts, one for Screwfix and one for Barclaycard Business, and they’re both really good adverts, but at the end of the day , these are B2B ads aimed at smaller businesses – so it’s a bit different. I think if you ask the kind of creative ad community what they think of these ads, they would say they’re shiny ads without really thinking they’re B2B ads.

At the smallest of things, it is seen that you can have more emotion in this space, so the work is often better. I think most people think of B2B as the big end where you’re talking about these huge companies – often global in scope – where is the job they want, what they are looking for is consistency. They’re big fans of brand guidelines, they’re big fans of stock photos and stuff. I think when creative agencies look at this stuff, they think it’s not very interesting work. I would agree; I don’t think it does an interesting job.

Have you ever felt that B2B companies expect less from partnerships with creative agencies due to the perception that B2C is where all the “creative heroes” happen?

I think probably for me, B2C customers are wired slightly differently than B2B customers. I’ve worked for years with B2C, and all of my clients would have a dashboard that would have things like brand metrics, awareness and consideration, how perceptions are changing, how are my digital ads doing, how does the website work? For a marketing manager, this is the data he needs – that’s what’s interesting. Sure, sales have to work, but that’s less important. I think in B2B there is an obsession with the funnel. In B2C, a lot of studies have been done around the funnel to say that you can’t think of the world in that space where people come in and work in the funnel before they buy your product – they can come in at no any level! Within B2B, it’s always “There’s a funnel”. If we want to sell things, we have to operate at the bottom of the funnel. That’s where a lot of the attention goes, so I think it’s often less about getting creative, it’s more about tactics to drive short-term sales. I think the perception is maybe not even thinking about where the magic is happening, because they might think they don’t need magic. They need the sales, but there’s often a lag, I think, between the brand and the sales. I think that’s what’s happening.

Why is this something worth changing?

Because fundamentally, I believe that creativity can bring about massive change. I think there are a lot of things you can tinker with. You may have additional gains, but creativity can lead to huge business shifts. I think this is something that needs to be addressed. We had deliberations where we discussed with clients whether we should talk about brand or not. But the truth is, you have to talk about brand because every client I’ve worked with in the last 18 months in B2B has had a brand challenge, whether it’s some kind of low awareness in the industry, or they have a notoriety based on something from 20 years ago, which means they look very dated. So, I think it needs to be addressed because it can have a huge impact. And basically, I think some of these companies are really interesting. They deserve good work that represents who they are in a modern and progressive way.

How could the industry change this?

I would love for a few customers to come forward and do something different. We’ve got this classic problem where a lot of clients come in and we’ll have a creative presentation where we’re showcasing some slightly disruptive creative work and then it pretty quickly goes back to ‘Oh that’s great, I’m going to introduce you to the brand guardians who do sports in San Francisco’, or something like that. You have the cat and the work is instantly killed, so I think we need to sort that out. In B2C, there’s an IPA study called “The long and short of it,” where they look at how you should balance brand spend versus activation spend. And I think the ratio should be 60/40 between brand and activation to ensure long-term business success. I actually think such a study within B2B would be really interesting.

Were there any B2B projects you worked on at Punch! who broke the myth that only B2C projects can produce glamorous creation?

We can’t name the company, but last week we came back with work on trucks and truckers. It’s not terribly glamorous, but one of the ideas was the idea of ​​creating a perfume. It wasn’t a perfume like Chanel, or anything like that. We had a Spanish art director say, “When I think of a truck driver, he drives through Spain smelling the smell of lemons and olives,” and then we quickly pivoted. We thought ‘No, that’s not it. It’s about smelling the diesel while you’re filling up, it’s wet tarmac. It’s all those other things that aren’t very pleasant smells, but quite pungent and evocative. So one of the ideas that we came back with was to create this scent that we would send to some of these people to evoke those memories of the road, which went really well. It was an interesting way to use something like a more emotional hook and then promote a very rational message.