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23 August 2016

Sense of purpose "an important element of B2B marketing"

Content team

One of the many things B2B marketing professionals should be seeking to do as they plan their strategies is establishing a clear sense of purpose.

That's according to Henry Clifford-Jones, director of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions in the UK, who wrote an article for The Drum looking at some of the lessons B2B marketers can learn from the latest attention-grabbing trends and crazes on social media.

One example is the ice bucket challenge, which caught the world's attention in 2014. Participants had a bucket of ice water dumped on their heads to raise money and awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Social media played a huge part in the success of the challenge, as people shared videos of celebrities and famous figures from around the world taking part.

Following in the footsteps of this craze is the 22-push-up challenge, the aim of which is to draw attention to the issue of veteran suicide.

While there is a clear distinction to be made between charitable, awareness-raising initiatives like these and corporate marketing campaigns, Mr Clifford-Jones noted that it is becoming increasingly common for B2B clients and buyers to want to work with brands that have a clear purpose and recognise the importance of wider issues.

He referred to research from Harvard Business Review which showed that creating a feeling of collective purpose can also contribute to employee satisfaction and brand loyalty.

"Brands must bake their campaigns into a clear purpose and build a strong narrative before getting too obsessed with execution," Mr Clifford-Jones advised.

"Unilever are the poster child for 'purposeful' brand in the consumer world but we are increasingly seeing B2B brands such as Philips and GE doing a great job too."

Tapping into the power of social media to drive engagement is becoming an increasingly common goal in B2B marketing, but many brands are "only scratching the surface of its potential", according to the LinkedIn director.

Content team, Bureau van Dijk

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