Born: Cambridge, UK
Worked in: US and UK
Matthew was a founding partner of a successful agency in the consumer space that went from 6 to 60 people before he left it all behind for what he calls the “right opportunity at the right time”: a new role at Doremus. He was intrigued by the challenge of businessto-
business marketing and appreciated how Doremus invested great intellectual capital
in understanding the communications landscape and the business of business.
Now his clients rave about how he has helped them change and reorganize their marketing departments to better function in a new media world. Not only is he a digital crusader, he’s good at understanding an organization’s complexities and injecting a b-toc mindset into a b-to-b challenge.
“When considering business-to-business, there is a temptation to create a marketing schism, that is: people are defined by their professions rather than their behavior. More often, one of the differences between business and consumer behavior is that it’s more considered. Generally, b-to-b decisions have a longer purchase process, are more informed, and involve complex business models and multiple decision makers. The way that b-to-b audiences use media to make intelligent choices is extremely diversified.
Some will look at trade publications, or their online counterparts; they’ll research online and follow up with more extensive searches or a visit to a tradeshow; with further diligence, they’ll go to social channels, likes blogs and peer commentary. This diversified behavior of consideration enables a brand to have a fully integrated digital marketing campaign, touching many different points in the process.
Many business-to-business objectives, like lead generation, are very accountable. By tracking everything from ad performance to acquisition, we can have some very powerful insights on ROI. This can enable us to optimize in real time. As we move forward, we’ll see more ‘multi-attribution modeling’, that is, looking at the impact of one channel on another. To instigate a behavioral change in a potential b-to-b customer, one medium in isolation rarely works effectively.”
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? An important part of innovation is about honing a process or a way of thinking or doing to yield results. Invention is often confused with innovation, but ideas, like people, can be born before their time. There is a tendency in marketing to often associate innovation with the ability to anticipate the future, but my feeling is that if you can predict something, you’re really reimagining the present, not a far-off possibility. As William Gibson famously remarked: “The future is already here. It's just not very evenly distributed”
There is no question that our industry, like many others, is at an inflection point. For example, the democratization of media creation has changed the way we understand the influence of people, especially in how we communicate (not broadcast) messages, build valuable experiences and develop advocacy. The transparency of some social networks and a person’s social graph has changed our planning disciplines. Who you are, what you say, where you say it are all part of understanding spheres of influence and networked interactions. This in itself will generate new processes, will change clients’ perceptions of how to market, and also evolve the relationship between agencies and clients.
How do you learn, stay smart and keep up with change? I try, but don’t always succeed, to read a non-fiction book a week on subjects including business, cultural theory, philosophy, psychology and history. I enjoy diversity and it’s also important to understand many views, no matter how contrary. I attend a wide spectrum of events, training sessions and webinars. I’m a magpie—I collect everything, and then I reflect and try to create my own opinion; I’m blessed that I work in an industry where people share. Today, because it’s changing so fast, we must become sharers and collaborators as the connectedness of our profession doesn’t create risk, it creates opportunity.