I get the idea of owned, earned, paid (and people add shared, but how is that not earned?) However, it feels like it’s phrased so tactically, and without a relationship or journey between the different elements. They are just smushed in a single hierarchy.
In practice, this means it can feel a clumsy way to outline a strategy, sitting each in their silos and making choices about where ambiguous elements must sit.
Instead, we’ve started to use a different taxonomy:
These four areas not only cover the general categories of strategy we put together, they also relate in a way that feels more engaged and relevant.
Defining Meaning can stretch from mission/ purpose, to simply clarifying the pitch or the key themes you want to beat the drum for.
From this source, you can then develop Material (not “content”, never “content”) which explores those ideas, and captures them in a way that is useful to your strategy (and your audience.)
Having put all that work in, it’s nothing without ensuring subsequent and growing Reach, by developing the audiences and relationships that bring in eyeballs — from mailing lists, to sponsored social, to a handful of valuable influencer relationships.
And underneath it all are the Systems that make it work. For us, principles like Objectives and Key Results, evaluation with Google Analytics and automatically updating dashboards, things like “founder therapy”, which we use to generate interesting article and commentary ideas on a regular basis.
If you want to work strategically, you need to set out your toolset and approach in a way that inherently serves it. This feels like a way to do that, which matures the PESO categorisation for our own purposes. It allows us to think better — and demonstrate more clearly to companies we work with, how and where we will provide real strategic value.
https://i0.wp.com/www.augur.london/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/tree-696839_960_720.jpg?fit=960%2C640&ssl=1640960Max Tatton-Brownhttps://www.augur.london/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/au_black.pngMax Tatton-Brown2019-05-17 09:56:012019-05-17 10:14:00A better taxonomy for Comms strategy
There are many reasons I chose to focus Augur on “unsexy” tech. But one of the key ones is that I believe the nature of PR and marketing is a really good fit for the B2B market.
The incentives align better
In consumer marketing, brands try and reach “most people”. They want big publicity splashes. And most people just want to get on with their lives.
The best they can offer is sometimes a glimmer of light entertainment. But 99% of the time, they are still interrupting normal programming to get it in there.
By contrast, our clients help other businesses make more money. Most of the time, anyone running a business wants to improve how they do it. However, if anything, they are often too busy to make it enough of a priority.
When we target, it’s most often by characteristics like job title or industry specialism. It’s not because we think you are vulnerable to coercion, it’s because we know you’re looking at e.g. translation to help your business grow, and we work with a company that fundamentally does it differently.
We lead with content and insight
B2B Tech really means B2B innovation. It means what’s next. It means the new way of doing things and a potential source of advantage over the competition.
That also means that it’s a constant process of keeping track of where the tech is going next, if you hope to use it to help your business.
We help this happen. And what it means is, if we do use paid or targeted in strategies, it’s almost never to just force information in front of an audience — it’s to surface insightful material that others found useful, for more people.
The time of B2B decision-makers is more valuable than consumers. So you have to use it even more wisely. If you don’t directly hit a need they have, and if you aren’t producing material that strikes that need anyway, you’re in trouble.
The rewards make sense
If one of our clients wins a new customer, that can be worth many multiples of our fees per month. Deals of hundreds of thousands. Pipelines of millions, partnerships that open new territories and opportunities
If we produce any kind of asset that helps bring in more of the right kind of lead or close them once they are already in the process, the impact can be enormous.
In that context, where lifetime value is enormous, our fees make sense very quickly as part of customer acquisition costs.
If instead, you’re relying on some obtuse relationship between coverage in the tabloids and downloads of your app which then convert through in app purchases for 99p, then probably don’t renew, you’re getting into a mess of causality that, frankly, I’m just not interested in.
Where privacy matters
Now, with GDPR coming in, this doesn’t mean privacy is something you don’t think about in B2B. It just means that, if you’re doing it right, you should be ticking most of the boxes of the new policy anyway.
Every incentive aligns to give you good reason not to try and reach everyone but to create great material, that is of ultimate relevance to your small and specific audience — then attract them toward it.
More than consumer, and more than ever, B2B marketing just makes the most sense to me.
https://i2.wp.com/www.augur.london/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/38286772641_ef0961f069_k-1.jpg?fit=2048%2C1301&ssl=113012048Max Tatton-Brownhttps://www.augur.london/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/au_black.pngMax Tatton-Brown2018-03-23 09:40:172018-03-26 11:42:57B2B can worry less about its Cambridge Analytica moment
They say it’s bad form to turn up to an occasion empty handed.
So for Web Summit, as well as supporting Lisbon superstars Unbabel, we wanted to bring a little extra with us.
For the first time, we’ll be bringing our Augur Unbound programme to Web Summit.
The idea of Augur Unbound is that “unsexy tech” companies pre Series A shouldn’t be wasting their time thinking too much about PR.
And at the same time, our real service for ongoing clients is much more than just emailing news to journalists.
Therefore, if we meet a company that has an interesting story pre Series A, we’ll share it with a handful of the right influencers for free.
And if it’s not a story, we have the perfect incentive to tell you honestly.
Why do we do it?
There’s no better source for journalists than a story shared without financial incentive. It sets the precedent for everything we share and helps calibrate our awareness of which stories help.
Helping the right companies thrive earlier on benefits the entire ecosystem.
Our mission is to re-engineer PR and Comms for fast-growing tech companies. By “giving away” what people think of as part of the main proposition, it helps us concentrate on the areas that really provide value over the longer term.
Why listen to us?
Augur’s founder (or, me, as I like to call myself), has experience in this space and the honesty to dispense it concisely:
Worked briefly at Wired and has written about tech and culture for Quartz, TechCrunch, the Guardian, Telegraph, tech.eu and more.
Led comms from Series A – C for Tradeshift, a now $750M+ valutation B2B tech giant
Ran a community of 3500+ tech journalists and PRs, with members from Apple to the Economist
https://i0.wp.com/www.augur.london/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Screen-Shot-2017-02-15-at-17.16.01.png?fit=571%2C277&ssl=1277571Max Tatton-Brownhttps://www.augur.london/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/au_black.pngMax Tatton-Brown2017-10-25 12:41:232017-10-26 14:12:02Augur Unbound at Web Summit
Ben Thomson and James Allworth host this weekly session discussing the latest news from the tech industry, from what I’d call the “MBA” perspective.
That means considering areas like bundling and unbundling to create value, digging into the real incentives behind decisions made and just generally taking the analysis one step deeper than most other sources I find.
John Gruber continues his deep look at Apple from Daring Fireball — I think he describes this podcast as a kind of Director’s Commentary to the posts there.
What’s great about Gruber is I can’t think of many other writers who so fully get under the skin and mentality of a business. That can extend a little too far, to the point where he really can’t quite conceive why a company like Google takes a different direction — but that’s fine, because he doesn’t claim to be a journalist, he’s just a guy sharing how he sees the world.
Also a good pick because the podcast has timestamps throughout, letting you jump to the sections you are most interested in.
Each series has explored slightly different aspects of starting a business. Series 1 was the story of the company that publishes the podcast, it’s attempts to get funding and its eventual success. Series 2 mapped another business in a similar way. Since then, they seem to have moved into shorter series focusing on a wider variety of entrepreneurs.
Recommended for its easy listening tone and its acceptance that the startup world is not at all glamorous.
Interviews with thinkers, generally toward media and politics. Ezra seems as interested in process and productivity as we are — and interviews with the writer of Deep Work have provided recent inspiration for improving our workflow.
If you truly care about how editorial is created and where great writing comes from, this is a masterpiece. It speaks with some of the most influential and prolific writers of modern times, about the challenges of what they do, how they consider and piece together narrative.
Account Executives cranking out press releases, it is not.
A Radio 4 classic, but if you’re not familiar, a kind of magazine show that focuses on a particular topic each week with experts from the area. This is the kind of source that gets us thinking about tribes of “I vs We” in PR.
Politics is only ever a small hop from the PR world, and Private Eye continues to balance fearless scrutiny with casual humour as it considers the area. I find it a good reminder that the truth is not as far beneath the surface in society as it can sometimes feel.
I’m desperately trying to get outside my bubble and hear views that conflict with my own. I tried some Breitbart podcasts, but couldn’t bear it after a certain point — by contrast, I feel the Telegraph is just pro-Brexit enough to give me a taste of the other perspective without driving me mad.
It’s a useful reminder of the importance of seeing both sides.