Five B2B Companies That Are Anything But Boring

By ANA Staff

It might sound like common sense for brands to create human connections and experiential, tangible experiences, but in our fast-paced digital landscape, this can be challenging to actually create. When companies do successfully create personal, intimate connections with an audience, they stand out in a “sea of sameness.”

Five B2B Companies That Are Anything But Boring

People are drawn together when they create and foster authentic emotional connections, whether as friends or even as patrons of a brand. In recent years, personalization has become prevalent in marketing for B2B companies. It might sound like common sense for brands to create human connections and experiential, tangible experiences, but in our fast-paced digital landscape, this can be challenging to actually create. When companies do successfully create personal, intimate connections with an audience, they stand out in a “sea of sameness.”

A study even backed up this idea; a Gartner forecast suggested that B2B companies that incorporated personalization into digital commerce by 2018 would realize revenue increases up to 15 percent.

Here are five B2B companies that are changing the ways people engage with brands, and making the B2B experience more dynamic:

  1. Comcast Business. Comcast is best known for making the internet a faster, better place with its fiber products and gigabit-speed network, connecting people and brands together seamlessly. Beyond that, however, Comcast has increased its investment in new media — for instance, with a business-friendly partnership with the entrepreneurially-spirited TV show Shark Tank, including sponsorships of local casting calls for the program. The company also has innovated its products, creating a better customer experience including WiFi Pro, a comprehensive Wi-Fi solution that includes fast speeds, cloud-based controls, and Auto Pay and One Touch Conference Call, which allows you to call from your business phone number anywhere, even the beach.
  2. IBM. IBM has made a significant investment in rebuilding its analytics system to increase the company's ability to deliver personalized sales messages, because personalization means relevance. To create a personalized experience, IBM created its cognitive platform Watson to partner with brands to create unique experiences to engage and inspire consumers. Some compelling collaborations and partnerships Watson has done include Marchesa, music producer Alex Da Kid, and art gallery Cadillac House in New York City.

    With Marchesa, Watson created a cognitive dress for the 2016 Met Gala. Watson analyzed images, articles, and social feeds to select fabric and dress styles that fans around the world wanted to see; the dress changed colors to reflect real-time comments on social media. With Alex Da Kid, Watson analyzed songs and events over the span of five years and turned them into emotional insights to create music. Alex Da Kid then turned Watson’s insights into a song about heartbreak. For a special exhibit called “Hidden Portraits” at Cadillac House, Watson was fed information about and writings of Marie Curie, Nikola Tesla, Paul Rand, Charles Darwin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Josephine Baker, and Thomas J. Watson, pulling out common features and themes.
  3. Waze. Waze is a GPS navigation software that works on smartphones and tablets with GPS support. The company’s goal is to recruit more drivers to widen their service area and build a bigger install base. Cities and municipalities are focused on improving urban mobility and public safety, which is why Waze partnered with local communities to create Connected Citizens, a program in over 100 cities and towns (like Ghent, Boston, and Rio de Janeiro) that helps solve traffic or mobility problems. In addition, Waze partnered with Dunkin' Donuts to create an "On-the-Go Mobile Ordering" system to save consumers time both on the road and in line.
  4. TD Ameritrade. TD Ameritrade wanted to create a more personal connection with independent financial advisors and those looking to become independent financial advisors. The brand used insights about this segment to create The Human Finance Project. As part of this project, TD Ameritrade provided resource guides, roadmaps, and inspiration to its target audience. In addition, the company also developed an interactive tool to act as a guide and coach investors, and worked with IBM Watson to develop an interactive tool to guide investors through TD Ameritrade's content based on personality type in order to educate people about their financial lives.
  5. Red Hat. Red Hat wanted to innovate how chief information officers interact, especially as IT is a driver of business and technological change. As such, Red Hat partnered with CIO magazine and the Harvard Business Review to create the Enterprisers Project, which is a content community of CIOs in the U.S. providing editorial on crucial issues.
Source

"Five B2B Companies That Are Anything But Boring." ANA, 2018.