Award-winning digital marketing and customer experience agency

Another high-profile win for Novacom. Here’s why.

Another high-profile win for Novacom. Here’s why.

Novacom has won Best B2B Digital Marketing Agency 2019 in the high profile 2019 UK Enterprise Awards, adding this to a growing number of prestigious awards picked up in the past twelve months.

We believe that what any of our clients will tell you is how the team at Novacom work hard to lead in the markets in which we operate, rather than follow client industry trends.

They’ll tell you how we deliver accelerated transformative digital marketing experiences, measurable, high performance customer engagement and ultimately, return on marketing investment.

But why?

The answer is simple, but not visible: our team have worked hard to gain both ISO 9001 certification for digital management, allowing us to follow given processes and workflows that deliver predictable financial performance and client return on investment in the digital campaigns we launch.

We’ve gained ISO 27001 certification for data security – one of only 0.05% of companies globally to achieve this – meaning when you work with us, you’re GDPR compliant and every system we use is independently audited for security regularly.

Behind these ISO certifications are other accreditations and marketing platform approvals which means we can go all out to deliver powerful client success, with global legal compliance and with industry-leading security.

That doesn’t sound particularly glamourous, does it?

No, but when this level of global legal compliance and security is mixed with award-winning creative thought, communication and innovative multi-language, multi-cultural delivery, it puts our clients on the fast track to market leadership across the world.

And we keep moving. This latest award comes during a year of accelerating change at Novacom, which includes further innovation and evolution in the service offer and business development across an expanding international office network.

This growth includes new geographies with offices in Frankfurt, Germany and New York City, USA, further supporting Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Cambridge, UK operations.

So, while we like to talk with our clients about the more glamourous, creative award-winning stuff we do, it’s the commitment to straightforward, process-driven global management that keeps everything real.

We believe that what any of our clients will tell you is how the team at Novacom work hard to lead in the markets in which we operate, rather than follow client industry trends.

Novacom international expansion continues with Netherlands subsidiary

Novacom international expansion continues with Netherlands subsidiary

It’s an exciting time here at Novacom, with a number of new technology developments, some really interesting client projects and four shiny new awards over the last year.

We’ve also been lucky to enjoy significant growth in international markets over the last three years, building on client relationships across EMEA and the US.

As part of this development, we’ve been looking to help support our clients even better and have been growing our international office network rapidly with presences in continental Europe and the US.

Now we’re pleased to announce the latest chapter in our international growth: the founding of a brand-new subsidiary in the Netherlands, Novacom Amsterdam BV.

Based (as the name suggests) in central Amsterdam on the prestigious Herengracht, minutes from Central Station and Dam Square, we chose Amsterdam for its dynamic, vibrant creative atmosphere and innovative thinking.

From this office, our multi-lingual team support our clients in the Netherlands and across Europe, and we’re continuing to build on our recent client successes to grow our offer and provide the very best service we can to our global clients.

We’ve also been lucky to enjoy significant growth in international markets…across EMEA and the US.

Novacom wins award for Most Innovative UK Digital Marketing Agency 2019

Novacom wins award for Most Innovative UK Digital Marketing Agency 2019

Novacom has won the prestigious 2019 Acquisition International (AI) Global Excellence award for Most Innovative Digital Marketing Agency, UK.

Handpicked by AI magazine’s expert research panel, Novacom was awarded the title following comprehensive analysis of the business’ performance and competitors.

AI’s proven approach ensures they select winners purely on merit – not popularity – and recognise the very best in business. Whether the contenders are smaller companies or multinational corporations, the award goes to fast-growing innovators, who demonstrate continuous business improvement.

The award comes at the culmination of a year of rapid change in the Novacom business, which includes industry-leading evolutions in the service offer and business development across a rapidly expanding international office network.

This includes new offices in Frankfurt, Germany and New York City, USA, further supporting Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Cambridge, UK operations.

This prestigious new award compliments two further major wins in the last 12 months, where Novacom took home Best Digital Marketing Agency of the Year, and Excellence In Integrated Marketing Solutions at the UK Enterprise Awards 2018.

The Most Innovative Digital Marketing Agency 2019 award comes at the culmination of a year of rapid change in the Novacom business.

Digital transformation: the devil is in the detail

Digital transformation: the devil is in the detail

The term ‘digital transformation’ sounds like the type of project designation only some kind of seasoned management super-hero should ever utter in the corridors of a shiny, mythical, intergalactic consortium.

But in reality digital transformation is very far from shiny and certainly isn’t mythical as it happens in the here and now, and it can be very time consuming and complex to initialise and implement.

Digital transformation or fragmentation?

This is because different areas of a business need different things from a digital resource and in some cases implementation of digital systems have been delayed for decades due to the complexities involved in integrating one system with another.

This is certainly true in the marketing departments of many corporations where marketers may be planning marketing automation (MA) system roll-out only to discover that the customer and prospect data they need and held by their sales colleagues is in disparate spreadsheet formats.

Technology roadblocks

But data formats are just one issue, and there can be greater barriers to overcome. These include the very basics within an organisation, such as issues around SAP, or even fundamentals such as what server operating system (OS) is deployed.

For any marketer aiming to develop an MA programme, these issues can leave the plan dead in the water, as most MA platforms or the sales integration systems that allow for marketing and sales team collaboration will only work with reasonably new software systems.

Finding viable workarounds

What these roadblocks represent are the inherent inflexibility in company digital infrastructure and how detrimental this can be to an enterprise’s market development, growth and even its survival in certain markets.

If your company is in a situation where the levels of internal digital infrastructure inflexibilities are as described here, then you need to look to avoid the introduction of further inflexibilities through bringing in a mainstream MA platform, for example, that will exacerbate these issues.

Digital transformation requires flexibility in thinking.

Rapid, cost efficient but not mainstream

And that’s where a digital agency, knowledgeable in digital marketing as well as having a deep technical knowledge of information technology can help. These are pretty rare, we know, as we’re one of them but there are others.

Because some of these agencies, in order to win business such as MA commissions, offer software platforms designed to deliver these services more cost efficiently than mainstream vendors. This is known as ‘software as a service’ – SaaS.

Fast-track transformation

These SaaS-focused digital marketing agencies have to be very proficient in software design and development, and flexible enough in their thinking to ensure that their software products will fully integrate with a spectrum of existing digital infrastructures.

If you can find one, and partner with them, you’ll have overcome an issue that by attempting to manage and resolve through mainstream solutions, would have taken a very long time. And in today’s fast-moving markets, that’s too long.

Digital transformation requires flexibility in thinking.

written by Will Yates,
Client Services Director at Novacom

Digital security: how client/agency relationships must change

Digital security: how client/agency relationships must change

There was a time when client/marketing agency relationships were reasonably fluid, and agency roster reviews would take place on regular one, two or three year intervals. But that all changed when digital took centre stage and customer databases grew.

This gradual evolution, from traditional to data-driven marketing means that the amount of data clients now store, and the personal nature of much of this information, means that under current and upcoming European Union (EU) laws, data security breaches carry big penalties.

Who is liable for data breaches?

The harsh reality is, that the owner of the data is the company that will be prosecuted and receive the financial penalty, and in the case of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), penalties are now confirmed at up to 4% of an enterprises’ total global turnover, or €20,000,000.

GDPR is now agreed among EU member states and while it will not come into force until early 2018, its influences can already be felt as data security and privacy law comes into sharper focus among EU authorities.

GDPR: gaining perspective

Preparing to meet the required levels of data security and protection is a little less straightforward than you might imagine. That is because one of the most critical weak points in your digital marketing workflow is likely to be out of your direct control: your digital marketing agency.

What is going to become important to you very quickly is your agency’s grasp of GDPR and its clear understanding of how these new and complex laws impact on not only them, but you. Because if things go wrong, it’s you who will be picking up the tab.

Digital agency security benchmarks

The critical issue is having confidence in your agency’s knowledge of EU data protection laws – things like how do we export data to the USA, or how do we transmit personal data? These are areas where, if handled incorrectly, large fines may be imposed.

To gain confidence in your digital agency, you need them to have a clear official international qualification. This should take the form of ISO certification to at least ISO 9001 certification for data management, and preferably ISO 27001 for data security.

ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 agency input

These ISO certifications should give you the confidence to rely on your agency’s advice on national and international data management and security, and means you can allow them to guide you through set-up and the day-to-day running of your data-driven marketing processes.

So, now your agency has taken on a completely new role.

Now, rather than fulfilling a purely subordinate role, they have evolved as partners, collaborating with you in data management and protection, as well as helping you navigate the complexities of digital marketing in this new regulatory environment.

Changing roles and perspectives

GDPR, ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 mean you will either want to find a new and more competent digital agency or completely change the way you work with your existing agency partner. And this will mean a complete change in the dynamic of the relationship for both parties.

Client-side, you will have to gain confidence in your agency and trust their advice on international data regulations, and your agency will need to step up and learn to work in a transparent collaborative partnership – still a rarity it seems, even in the 21st Century.

Securing agency relationships

But what is truly important in this new relationship is that it needs to endure, because both parties will be making a significant commitment to the relationship and in particular your chosen agency, who will always need to stay ahead of the legislative curve on your behalf.

This ongoing next-level client support and guidance places continuous demands on agency resources and means to serve you well they will need to fully understand you and your enterprise.

This requires a significant investment in relationship building for both parties, so placing your agency under a contract that fully reflects this new form of agency/client collaboration means you both have the security of a long-term relationship in a fast-changing world.

GDPR, ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 mean you will either want to find a new and more competent digital agency or completely change the way you work with your existing agency partner.

Content marketing: 5 ways to win B2B hearts and minds

Content marketing: 5 ways to win B2B hearts and minds

B2B content marketing sounds like a rather self important label for old-school copywriting, and in fact many content marketers were at one time copywriters. So, what has changed, and is content marketing really any different from copywriting?

The answer is yes it is, and today it really has to be.

Because to ensure your website stays visible on an overcrowded Internet, with any guarantee of your marketing communications being read, and to create customer trust, engagement and loyalty, your content needs to work very hard indeed.

The reality is that today, prospects and existing customers don’t have the time to read lengthy copy; they want information quickly, and in these crowded and unreliable markets, where anecdotes often pass as facts, they need to have complete trust in your brand before they’ll even consider buying from your enterprise.

Here’s five steps you can take to win over these elusive B2B prospects, and convert them to loyal customers.

1. Understanding your audience

Where old-school copywriting and content marketing vary most is in the level of understanding content marketers must have of your target audience in order to communicate with them effectively.

That is because unlike ‘static’ copywriting, content marketing is not the beginning of a one-sided monologue; it’s the start of a real conversation which will grow and become ever-more personal as engagement develops, so knowing what your targets want to hear is critical to success.

This level of insight requires careful research which will allow you to create a profile of your ideal customer, known as a buyer persona. This profile or persona is the very target you will need to engage with and convert to make a sale, and the process is as relevant to B2C as it is to B2B marketing

2. Building engagement

To build engagement with your prospects and existing customers, B2B marketing content must be proactive and be served not only on your website but across different platforms such as email marketing or, more effectively, via a marketing automation (MA) programme.

This proactive approach means that you can reach out to prospects through email in a way that starts to build value into the conversation as recipients begin to recognise that you are thinking about what they want and drawing them back to your website to offer them more information.

3. Personalising the conversation

As this communications programme progresses, so your understanding of prospect and customer buyer personas will grow, and your marketing content in both email and website content will become ever-more closely targeted to each individual recipient’s needs.

As you analyse recipient feedback and continue to build on your buyer personas, this personalisation process develops further as email and web marketing content guide your target audience through the sales journey, to conversion and sales.

A sale in the B2C space may be as simple as a mouse click, but in B2B, this conversion point is most likely to be a call to a meeting, because while your B2B prospect may have already decided on your product or service, high value transactions will normally be concluded face to face.

4. Creating trust

While this email and web marketing content will be guiding prospects and existing customers on the buying journey, to ensure these individuals convert and buy from you, there has to be a strong element of trust in both your enterprise and your products.

This is where good content marketers, and great marketing content win out over static content, as it is the interactive nature of dynamic communications that create an understanding of your company, its products and ultimately develops trust in your offer

5. Sustaining long-term loyalty

If your content marketers understand the buyer personas they are talking to, and can resonate with them throughout the buying journey, your target recipients will learn to trust your company and at the end of the journey, buy from you or set up a meeting to close a B2B deal.

Having built a level of trust through content marketing interactivity, this relationship can be sustained and grown over time through light-touch nurturing emails, guiding recipients to new products on your website, or even third-party websites with published comparative reviews between your products and others in the marketplace.

This light-touch nurturing, and the ongoing offer of relevant information will help build the long-term relationship you need to sustain loyalty, and place your company front of mind when your audience thinks about the type of products you offer.

And that’s the true difference between static, one-hit copy and dynamic, interactive marketing content. Marketing content is produced by skilled content marketers who work to learn how your customers think and know how to develop a conversation with them that ultimately engages and converts prospects to loyal brand advocates for you and what you have to offer them.

If your content marketers understand the buyer personas they are talking to, and can resonate with them throughout the buying journey, your target recipients will learn to trust your company and at the end of the journey, buy from you or set up a meeting to close a B2B deal.

written by Will Yates,
Client Services Director at Novacom