Letters: A step too far

I was pleased to hear Coca-Cola’s European vice-president of marketing dismiss concerns that its World Cup sponsorship may be threatened by ambush marketing

I was pleased to hear Coca-Cola’s European vice-president of marketing dismiss concerns that its World Cup sponsorship may be threatened by ambush marketing (mwlinks.co.uk/cokeambush). Controversy is all well and good in the sponsorship world, but recent ambush marketing from brands might be taking it too far. We saw it at the London 2012 Olympics with Nike and Paddy Power, and Peugeot (a non-sponsor of the FIFA World Cup) caused a stir with its #KickItToBrazil digital campaign. 

We should spare a thought for the official sponsors that have paid big bucks to be associated with the event. There’s no reason why brands can’t look to benefit from the World Cup, but it must be done in a way that doesn’t create a brand association with the event itself and doesn’t step on another’s toes.

Will Northover, client services manager, Blackjack Promotions

The digital connection

News of customers walking away from brands to find better customer service is no surprise, especially in the utilities sector (mwlinks.co.uk/brandswitching). We’re in the digital age, so where’s the convenience customers want? Part of the problem is the difficulty providers face when connecting with customers, as there’s no
face-to-face connection. 

This is where digital has an integral role to play in building brand loyalty in the marketplace. But this should not be confined to customer service; digital must percolate throughout the customer journey to engage today’s connected customer, from making payments through to general advice. To build customer loyalty, digital should be seen as a way to make the brand more accessible.

Peter Veash, chief executive,
The BIO Agency

Overcome by emotion

Your article ‘To the heart of the people’ (mwlinks.co.uk/b2blove) rightly points out that emotion plays an important part in B2B buying, but why is there an assumption that it has little part to play in B2B marketing?

The B2B buying cycle differs little from the B2C buying cycle in the sense that we all move from the point of initial awareness through understanding and belief to adoption; often it is only the length of this journey that differs. Throughout this cycle business buyers are influenced by many rational factors but also emotional ones. Emotion and rationale should be considered in equal measure.

In today’s omnichannel world, we are all consumers, so we need to be considered in the same vein. The question is how brands can engage with buyers, irrespective of whether they are B2C or B2B. 

Adam Greener, client services director, Marketing Team Direct

For too long B2B and B2C have been seen as polar opposites, with the (mis)understanding that as humans we are rational when making work decisions vs emotional when it comes to our role as consumers.

We have been working on B2B campaigns for some of the world’s largest corporate brands for over 40 years and in our experience, although the approach to business buying decisions is different, the instinct that drives the purchase is essentially the same mix of emotion and logic for both.

In many ways, it is businesses that are more aspirational than consumers, and hopefully we will begin to see a rise in B2B campaigns that appeal to the emotional.

Simon Wright, owner and managing director, Greenwich Design


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