It’s time to humanize B2B Marketing strategies. LinkedIn’s B2B platform reshapes their idea of Business-to-Business Marketing; this is explained by speaker Keith Browning at the event “The Human Touch: LinkendIn’s B2B Brand Marketing Strategy”. To get a feeling for the new trend, to sneak a peek for implementation ideas and to meet with like-minded people at once, I went to this networking event.

In this article, you will find some insider information about the latest Online Marketing Dublin meetup event. Atmosphere, thoughts and fascinating content. You will also find news and statements about B2B Marketing and how LinkedIn is handling their B2B Brand Marketing. How do they launch a new brand campaign? What is most important but most forgotten?

Keith works as Senior Global Marketing Manager for LinkedIn and is known for his stand-out marketing campaigns for well-known brands in tech, travel and hospitality sectors[1]. LinkedIn has 575 million active members across the world, one million in Ireland. LinkedIn mainly earns their money through Sales, Marketing, Talent and Learn Solutions. The “The Human Touch: LinkendIn’s B2B Brand Marketing Strategy” event focussed mainly on Sales Solutions, like the Sales Navigator. LinkedIn Sales Navigator supports “Sales professionals find and build relationships with prospects and customers through modern selling”.

LinkedIn and their Human Touch

The event took place in one of the event rooms of the Dogpatch Labs, which is one of Dublin’s start-up hubs. By entering their rooms, you can feel their mission statement come true: accelerate the development of Ireland’s startup ecosystem by providing a valuable community from where you can grow, share knowledge and form connections.

Dogpatch Labs Dublin, Photographs: Vivien Berger

Through a short walk through The Dogpatch Labs, beneath their ground floor, you can find the event location The Vaults. The redeveloped 200-year-old former wine and whiskey storehouse have a rustic but also elegant atmosphere that makes one excited and curious for more.

Dogpatch Lab Dublin - The Vault, Photographs: Vivien Berger

Most meetups are sponsored by companies; most are sponsored by more than one firm, just like this one. This event was sponsored by Rebrandly and Recruiters.

The technical equipment of the Dogpatch Labs and sponsors are excellent: cameras, microphones, sound-system, the lighting of the premises, etc. Everything works well. Furthermore, the event was filmed with two cameras by Rebrandly.

The Vault

By entering The Vault, I was nicely greeted by the sponsors, all had a smile on their faces and created a pleasant atmosphere. With a red marker for writing my name tag, I got prepared. Everyone also got the chance to participate in a little lottery by putting one’s business card into a box. At the end of the event, a lottery business card is drawn to estimate the winner. Unfortunately, I missed my chance because I run out of business cards – next time!

After a chitchat with the sponsors, I entered the lobby which was filled with many conversing people, freely available tasty-smelling pizza, beer, and soft drinks. I still can’t believe that the event was for free!

Dogpatch Lab Dublin - meetup Online Marketing Dublin, Photographs: Vivien Berger

3,2,1 Networking!

It is always a slightly awkward feeling to enter a room full of strangers as a guest and being aware of the fact that you are going to go to some of those strangers and start a conversation out of nowhere. After entering the room you only have a few seconds to find the friendliest looking faces. Good for me that I had a second mission this evening: getting content to write this article. So, I took some pictures here and there at first, got rid of my jacket and bag, and grabbed a beer, few more seconds to find the right spot – lucky me!
But isn’t it so worth it to get over the first few uneasy seconds with your new dialog partner?! I met really nice people this evening with great talks about business and being in the Marketing sector and also about traveling, differences in cultures that we experienced, and more.

LinkedIn and the Human Touch

The speaker, Keith, walked onstage he was welcomed with a round of applause. In his sneaker and shirt, he made an open and friendly first impression. I was glad. As a Senior Manager, he appeared not only conversant with Global Marketing but also down to earth – and isn’t that what this evening was all about?!

Keith started his speech with a short story about him visiting Stockholm, where he held his first presentation. It was a nice way to break up the ice. He told us a bit more about himself – five facts with five hidden lessons. Keith included the audience in his speech and asked questions to the crowd, which was in particular very enjoyable. He also allowed questions in between. Keith took us through the best ways of humanizing a business marketing strategy for the target audience Business to Business (B2B) and gave some fascinating insights about LinkedIn and LinkedIn’s B2B Marketing Strategy and Execution.

One of the top challenges is to achieve not only a passive Brand Awareness but also the active awareness of a brand. Another one is to change from functional messaging to a more humanized, emotional communication.

“Forget B2B, forget B2B, it’s human to human.”
– Andrew Sheehan, Marketing Manager at Recruiters

Firms can follow three ways of Brand Strategies: House of Brands, Branded House, and Hybrid. House of Brands Strategy is an umbrella brand that has consistent various sub-brands, often the umbrella brand is not really known as umbrella brand of the sub-brands. P&G was one example that Keith gave. Some Branded House Strategy examples are firms like Virgin, Google, and LinkedIn as well. These firms have the same branding for all brands, and an umbrella brand just as their sub-brands. Hybrid Strategies are in the middle of House of Brands and Branded House Strategy, practiced by firms like Microsoft, Apple, MS Office, Xbox, bing.

Devising Brand Strategy, Graphic by Sameer Mathur

In Brand Marketing you usually have two choices for which you can work on Brand Awareness or Brand Perception. To implement a Brand Campaign it is necessary to keep in mind that you always go step-by-step in the customer’s journey, not from “never heard about the firm/product” to “being an actual user/buyer”.

“Most people forget about this [the internal launch] by launching a campaign.”
– Keith Browning, Senior Global Marketing Manager at LinkedIn

By launching a new Brand Strategy Campaign most companies forget to do an internal launch as well, where all employees are shown the campaign by having it visible on the walls, lifts, screens, etc.

3 Insights about LinkedIn you may not know

LinkedIn Insights meetup 2018, Graphics by Vivien Berger

While telling us about the latest campaign implementations and how they have already changed the Brand Awareness and Brand Perception of LinkedIn’s Sale Solution segment, Keith underlined it with facts, figures, pictures, and the final campaign video. It was nice to see how they got from the idea to the actual outcome.

Is it worth it?

Is it worth it? Oh yeah!
I had an excellent evening with the right portion of networking, presentations, and beer. I connected with some lovely people, where some warm coffees and nice meetings will follow up. It was pleasant to meet new people with many other viewpoints, to exchange experiences and knowledge as well as just having a change of scenery. You might be tired at the end of a long study or working day but don’t miss the chance to gather some new energy through refreshing your mind.

Upcoming

The next event will take place on the 17th of January 2019 with the Global Communicator Manager of Dropbox Edu Giansante – Save the date and come over for chitchats and a beer.

Do you want to join such an event as well?
I found this (and a lot of other great events) on meetup, where I created an account and joined some groups that sounded interesting for me. Through the group Online Marketing Dublin I encountered this event and saved myself a spot.

 

 

[1] Meetup Online Marketing Dublin

A special thanks to Kristin Bell for proofreading!

 

Feel free to write questions and/or comments below 🙂

"The Human Touch: LinkendIn’s B2B Brand Marketing Strategy" – a Meetup Review
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