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Hiscox recently won an Econsultancy award for Innovation in B2B Marketing, with a campaign that used wi-fi hotspots to target potential customers. 

Annabel Venner, Marketing Director for Hiscox UK & Ireland, will be speaking at our JUMP event on October 12. 

i've been asking Annabel about planning and measuring multichannel B2B campaigns.

How does Hiscox approach multichannel campaigns? 

Around this time of year we will develop a communications brief for our media and advertising agencies.

This will contain information on target markets, objectives, budget, positioning and the agencies will jointly respond to the brief with a 12 month media/communication plan 

What are the challenges in implementing campaigns such as the Wi-Fi hotspot ads? How do you decide what mix of media you use for campaigns?

Once we had business buy in, there were minimal challenges in getting this partnership live. It needed to be mapping vs. our other offline media (outdoor) and tracking had to be put in place in order to measure commercial impact. 

The media chosen will depend on our business and communication objectives for the year. 

How does mobile fit into this strategy? 

We have a home contents insurance app for the iPhone, as well as a mobile-optimised website that offers business and home insurance in the UK. We try to drive traffic to our mobile site by tailoring our search campaigns for smartphone users.

How did you measure the success of the Ji-Wire campaign

For Ji-Wire we looked at click through rates vs. our existing and also other financial services campaign. The campaign provided glue between online and outdoor activity and had a measurable effect at the start of the purchase funnel.

The other benefit, that it is hard to put a tangible value on, is that clearly positioned Hiscox as an innovative company and we got a significantly amount of PR coverage in relevant trade titles.

How has the web changed B2B marketing? What are the major challenges and opportunities that it presents for B2B marketers? 

The web is another way for customers to interact with businesses; however it is an additional channel and doesn’t replace more established ones. The choice of channel will depend on why, where and when they are conducting their business.  

Customers can now easily compare prices, review feedback on products and services, chat on forums, and discover a wealth of information without going in store or speaking to a salesperson.

This can make the buying process more impersonal so the challenge is to have engaging/compelling information available on your website and on the broader internet. 

How can B2B marketers make the most of social media?

It depends on the industry that you work in, as business customers will engage in different ways on different subjects. Initially you have to listen and understand which channels your customers are using, for what reason, and what they are talking about.  

Insurance is a low interest category, though our customers use social media for new business, as a learning tool, etc so we need to engage them with relevancy in these areas.  

In the US, Hiscox did this successfully using Leap Year (which I will be talking about at JUMP).

What is your favourite B2B ad campaign past or present?

I was impressed with Easyjet’s use of Linkedin, winning a Revolution Award, that engaged business travellers and delivered tangible business results. 

Finally, can you tell me a little about your upcoming presentation at JUMP?

I will be presenting four Hiscox case studies on innovative approaches that we have taken over the past 12 months in the online/digital space, including JiWire and Leap Year from the US

Graham Charlton

Published 26 September, 2011 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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