April Six, a global B2B marketing agency, provides strategic marketing and results-driven integrated programs to some of the world’s most innovative and recognizable technology brands. They recently added a new offering — media services — to their core business.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, we sit down with Jill Melchionda, Managing Director (now President) of April Six, North America, to discuss the growing personalization and relevance of marketing, the B2B sector, and the overall user experience.
“I think what’s going to be really exciting for us as B2B marketers and marketers in general is when there is the level of integration that that sort of consolidation will allow right now. For marketers there’s point solutions that we put together in a marketing stack to be able to allow that kind of personalization and that optimization of them from a marketing perspective but to me that’s going to be really interesting when we see that.”
Putting media in the mix [1:27]
“A number of our clients are looking for that full service offering… really having that end-to-end knowledge.”
Beginning in 2018, April Six began offering media services to their clients, expanding upon their core business of creative and design campaigns. How do they meet client expectations? How can other agencies incorporate a similar media strategy to gain a competitive edge?
Crossover audiences [3:14]
“We are keeping an eye on what innovations and advances happen on the B2C side and applying those to our B2B clients.”
Although marketing for the B2B audience can be significantly different than marketing for the B2C audience, there is still some crossover between the two. How do you apply what you learn on the B2C side to the B2B side (and vice versa)?
Changing the landscape: New B2B technologies [4:39]
“There’s a lot of consolidation that’s going to happen in that industry and we’re seeing it already today.”
According to the Marketing Technology LUMAscape, which forecasts the marketing technology landscape and trends, there are now more than 7,000 martech solutions. Consolidations and acquisitions have had a significant impact. What can we hope to see in terms of solutions down the road?
“[April Six] had a very specific vision, mission and purpose.”
April Six is a specialty agency with technology brands in the B2B sector. What are some of the marketing and growth opportunities for agencies in the B2B world?
Staying on top of trends [7:25]
“We have a select group of companies that we work with in order to be aligned with the leaders in their particular area or field.”
How do you stay ahead of your clients? How do you keep them engaged? Some agencies, like April Six, invest in strategic partnerships. Attending key events and conferences to stay current on products and solutions doesn’t hurt.
Benefits of working with an agency [9:08]
“Your agency should be your partner to make sure you’re exposed to best practices.”
Some businesses choose to do marketing in-house as opposed to partnering with an agency. In working with an agency, however, a business is privy to the best practices and lessons learned from the agency’s experience with other clients.
User experience: The new branding? [9:46]
“Technology is essentially what is behind this massive shift that’s happening.”
Connecting with consumers and users in a relevant and meaningful way is paramount to successful marketing. What worked in the past, such as digital advertising, doesn’t have the same impact it used to have. The need to tell stories which personalize the experience is crucial.
Data privacy and personalized marketing [11:51]
“I think it’s a way of leveraging knowledge and insights about your prospects and the companies you’re trying to connect with.”
Account-based marketing can help manage data in a secure way. It’s personalized and helps you gain additional insight into the client while identifying decision-makers.
“One of the things that drew me into marketing and being in the agency business at the beginning of my career is still one of the things that guides me today, which is that it’s an incredibly dynamic and exciting industry. You get the opportunity to always balance that marriage of business delivery and creativity and that’s the thing I don’t think will ever change about marketing.”