25.11.16 – Black Friday, News Friday
No need to scour the net to keep up to date with what’s happening in the fast-paced worlds of B2B marketing & tech, we’ve done it all for you. So, here’s your weekly roundup of the industry goings on.
This week, IBM reported a major new investment, following in the footsteps of fellow tech giants Facebook and Google in showing faith in the UK market after the Brexit vote. The company said it had decided to expand its cloud capacity in Britain before the referendum back in June and saw no reason to backpedal after the result, showing that the investment reflected the strength of the UK economy. IBM confirmed it would build four new data centres, adding to the two it already has here, and reflecting the increasing use of cloud-based services such as IBM’s artificial intelligence platform, Watson.
The pace has certainly picked up in the last year for online B2B businesses. A new report by eCommerce solutions provider, Gorilla Group, has revealed that brands are more than twice as likely to offer click-to-chat features as a year ago. Not only that, 50% of the companies studied have implemented a responsive website design, which is twice the percentage in 2015. It would seem that the lines really are blurring between B2B and B2C in how businesses are consumerising their offerings. The report even suggests that becoming more ‘Amazon-like’ will also soon be the norm for B2B merchants – using sophisticated platforms, relevant content and better user experiences to lead to purchase.
In his inaugural Autumn Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, announced on Wednesday plans to further boost the UK tech sector. The government will pledge an additional investment in R&D, with an extra £2bn per year by 2020-21 “to ensure the next generation of discoveries is made, developed and produced in Britain”, and an additional £400m for venture capital funds. Handily, Tech City News has rounded up all the announcements in relation to tech investment, business support, transport and connectivity.
According to Business 2 Community, B2B brands can learn lessons from their B2C counterparts when it comes to Black Friday marketing strategies. The, frankly, bonkers shopping day has escalated in popularity over the last few years, with every man & his dog jumping on the bandwagon to offer deals and discounts. So how can B2B brands benefit? More than you might think it would seem. The key takeaways are; communicate clearly and frequently, create a sense of urgency and add value through discounts and bundles.
Here’s a summary of tech stories from around the continent, including the news that Facebook has stopped collecting WhatsApp user data across Europe, Google is set to open a new HQ building in London, and French IoT start-up, Sigfox, announced it has closed a €150 million Series E round to accelerate the expansion of its global network to 60 countries by 2018 and reach profitability.