A typically-British wet and windy Wednesday morning, sees Fox Agency travelling across the Pennines to the headquarters and nerve-centre of global B2B market research consultancy and long-time Fox-Friends, B2B International.
We’ve been invited to speak to the wider B2B team (Manchester, London, Dusseldorf, New York and Beijing) about all-things B2B research, marketing, shared opportunities and future collaboration…Oh, and the difference between brown and white toilet paper (don’t ask!).
The greatest form of flattery and all that…
To give some brief context – Fox Agency has worked for and with B2B International’s team for going on 8 years. We have shared clients and have collaborated on numerous projects over the years. B2B Founder & Director, Nick Hague has delivered research training to the Fox Agency team.
I guess it’s fair to say, we consider B2B International to be ‘strategic partners’ and we’ve watched them grow to become the world’s biggest global B2B market research company.
Hell, we’ve even based our own growth plan on lessons learnt from watching B2B’s journey… first expanding into London, then Dusseldorf… who knows where we may follow them next (hint…probably the Big Apple).
So, when Fox was asked to present at the monthly B2B International ‘Show and Tell’, we jumped at the chance.
How research fits with what we do
First, we cover the standard ‘About Us’ stuff – only this time, it really does mean ‘us’ – as in Fox Agency and B2B International.
We explore synergies in global B2B expertise and shared-experience across verticals ranging from automotive, engineering and construction to electronics, technology and finance.
We discuss shared clients and collaboration with the likes of Brother Europe, Berlitz and Speedy Hire.
Most importantly, we explore the role of market research and where it could be effective throughout all activities for Fox Agency clients.
The answer is ‘always’.
As an integrated B2B marketing agency, research is appropriate for every project, every campaign and every client we work with; for example:
- How can we truly define a strategy without researching the market and speaking with customers, first?
- How can we be confident in propositions and creative, without testing with ‘real’ customers?
- How can we be certain of success unless we benchmark, track and record; before, during and after all activity?
“Clients aren’t buying research, they’re buying the outcomes – they’re seeking answers and the confidence to make big and important decisions – like whether to enter a new market, how to reach and connect with customers, whether to launch a new product, how to best structure pricing, how to deliver an amazing customer experience.…”
Nick Hague – Founder & Director, B2B International – wise man and B2B research extraordinaire.
Exploring examples of collaboration
We take the opportunity to review some real examples of collaboration – like in 2013, when B2B brought in Fox to develop creative stimulus to test ideas for a new online learning platform for global language learning giant, Berlitz – jump forward 5 years and those ideas have evolved into the launch of Berlitz’ new Virtual Learning Centre – language learning redefined, indeed.
And, in 2014 when Fox worked with B2B International to bring to life customer segmentation outputs for Brother Europe – a vitally important project to identify and explore B2B audiences across numerous verticals in multiple geographical locations.
B2B International’s research and Fox’s outputs are still used across Brother teams today – helping drive key decisions in product categories such as printing and scanning.
The importance of landing research
Which brings us nicely onto discussing the huge importance of successfully ‘landing’ research across organisations and teams.
We discuss how, together, we can bring insights to life and ensure outputs are understood, embraced and adopted by B2B clients.
Gone are the days of 500-page PowerPoint decks being stuffed into desk drawers, never to be seen again. We discuss how best to ‘campaign’ research across an organisation – the need to make it important and to launch with a bang; how we need to create a range of materials appropriate to different audiences, and wrap it all up with a creative theme and make it truly engaging.
We agree that it can’t be a ‘one hit wonder’ – if research outputs are to be truly embraced and adopted then regular reminders are required. And, we need ‘research champions’ throughout the organisation.
Bringing new opportunities for B2B International, Fox Agency and to global B2B clients
Finally, we discuss how we can bring a joint proposition to the global B2B market. How we can present a unique offering that brings research and insight, strategy, proposition, creative and activation – all from one joined-up partnership. With proven results and more combined experience and expertise, across B2B markets, than you can shake a stick at.
We explore ways we can support each other to identify and win new clients and projects – with shared knowledge and expertise, creative support for pitches, market insights for proposals and more besides.
A brief note of thanks
We leave B2B International HQ full of vigour and enthusiasm to tackle the M60, the M62 and any other road that wants tackling…
We also know that there’s huge potential for a truly integrated proposition to global B2B markets – and that we have the collective expertise, experience and resources to deliver amazing results for clients.
Oh, and we now know a lot more about brown and white toilet paper, too!
A big thank you to Nick Hague and the wider B2B International team for inviting Fox Agency to speak at its monthly ‘Show and Tell’ event.