disney b2b marketing
disney b2b marketing

After Walt Disney released the movie “Aladdin” in 1992, it became the highest-grossing film of the year thanks, in part, to its hit song, “A Whole New World.” A line from the song pretty much summarizes the current marketing sphere for B2B brands, “A whole new world with new horizons to pursue.”

COVID-19 and technology have changed the B2B landscape probably forever, and some astute marketers have already navigated this new horizon with much success. Here’s some of what they employed to maintain their success.

Before COVID-19, 44% of B2B buyers purchased directly from salespeople, according to a recent survey by digital consultancy firm Wunderman Thompson Commerce. That number has since dropped to 16%.

Agility is critical to survival. The sudden shift forced successful companies to become more agile. Business models have had to adapt, and some brands are even using B2C companies to assist with marketing.

This has also meant investing in more employee training and plant automation in some cases to shorten production timelines as well as for scaling tests and learning approaches. Some CMOs also began getting more innovative in gauging customer experiences by using closed-loop experience feedback on their products.

AI played a major role in brand adjustment, as well. More CMOs began employing AI for basic tasks, like helping consumers with answers to frequently asked questions and even aftermarket support while bringing in staff when necessary for more complex issues. AI use also increased for e-commerce fulfillment and was especially valuable in forecasting or anticipating future customer orders.

The demise of trade shows also led some CMOs to seek other ways to engage potential customers. Out went slide presentations, and in came conversational ads. By analyzing customer data and demographics, some brands were able to create ads tailored to potential customer needs and interests. And in using LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager, CMOs were able to gain deeper insights into this target audience.

Lines have also blurred. The difference between B2C and B2B today is almost nonexistent to some. In a recent company blog, Adobe’s Gary Specter said he estimated that 70% of companies are now a hybrid of the two. He named the combination B2E or Business to Everyone, explaining that brands ask why they can’t do both and seek technology and platforms to serve the two.

Before the pandemic, the focus of marketing was solely directed at the product and getting it sold. The supply chain was never a problem. According to Specter, that’s changed as well, so that the primary concern for many buyers today is fulfillment. Brands must consider the total journey, beginning with completing the order and then ensuring that it gets there when promised to retain customer loyalty. The same holds true for returns.

Securing and keeping customer trust is paramount. This wasn’t as much an issue for B2B companies as pricing and inventory, but today, it’s become critical. Much of this goes back to the supply chain. A brand’s B2B customer must feel confident that the products they need are in stock and that they’ll arrive as scheduled so that they, too, can maintain a high level of trust with their own clients.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.