Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Havas Business MD reveals reasoning behind launch of new global B2B division

Last week, Havas Media Group (HMG) unveiled Havas Business, a new global division designed to disrupt B2B marketing. The launch comes hot on the heels of HMG winning a B2B Grand Prix in Cannes for the second year running with its work for Maersk.

Positioned as a ‘boardroom-ready’ marketing solution, Havas Business creates the first division within the group that’s devoted to helping clients respond to the rapidly growing and increasingly complex B2B landscape.

New Digital Age (NDA) spoke to David Goodall, Managing Director, Havas Business, about the changes happening in the B2B space and his goals for the new division…

NDA: What convinced HMG that the market is ready for a disruptive approach to B2B marketing?

DG: We are seeing a huge increase in demand for B2B marketing from our existing clients and also in new business opportunities. You only have to look at how the disruptions to the global supply chain affect our everyday life to see how much B2B drives the B2C world. We have enjoyed notable success by approaching B2B through a B2C lens, giving brand purpose a stronger focus and investing for the long-term by taking the spotlight away from hyper-targeting. Our case studies show what the potential can be for brands that broaden their horizons with a new approach in B2B marketing.

What do you mean by a ‘boardroom ready’ marketing solution? What typical sticking points does this approach overcome?

A focus on lower funnel activity such as demand generation and account-based marketing, which is the approach taken by most B2B agencies, can be effective but only so far. A study from the B2B Institute showed that in the B2B space only 5% of any category is in-market at a given time, and we want to help B2B marketers make the most of this opportunity. Havas Business empowers clients to make the case for brand investment which can also unlock further marketing investment. We are giving clients all the data they need to demonstrate the power of brand marketing to deliver meaningful outcomes. This is what we mean by “boardroom ready”.

Which of your recent award-winning B2B campaigns would you point to as an example of the future of B2B?

Our work for Maersk, which picked up the WARC Grand Prix for Effectiveness in B2B, is a brilliant case study in long-term brand building and demonstrates our ability to set up measurement initiatives that prove short and long-term effectiveness. Interestingly, only 4% of B2B marketers measure campaign impact beyond six months, while the average sales cycle is nine months! 

What untapped opportunities exist for B2B marketers?

Rebalancing investment between performance and brand channels offers huge potential for B2B brands. The category has been preoccupied with direct response to drive short-term results, ignoring brand building and long-term growth. Introducing brand activity and including additional channels to the media mix can deliver both short and long-term results.