Raine Gaisford is Founder of LimeHub, a full service specialist marketing agency focussed on B2B, services and technology businesses. With a corporate marketing background in the B2B technology sector, Raine created LimeHub to reduce the cost of client acquisition by automating as much of the customer journey as possible, so that sales efforts can be focussed on converting high quality warm leads.
What led you to start LimeHub?
My background spans across both agency and client-side marketing so I’m familiar with both perspectives. When I was working client-side I worked with a lot of really fantastic agencies. But I struggled to find one which had the perfect mix of industry experience, subject-matter expertise and skills which traverse the promotional landscape. I needed an expert in B2B marketing to support my initiatives, but often received typically B2C-relevant recommendations.
I launched LimeHub to be the agency that I so needed. Also, I wanted to shake up the agency industry as while the marketing industry has been disrupted, the agency industry is relatively unchanged. I’m working to disrupt myself and my competitors with the development of an AI-driven strategic marketing application called SieMo due for launch in 2020.
Share your Top 3 tips on how companies should approach B2B marketing.
- Build a list of your target accounts and contacts and upload them into your advertising platforms. That way your audience will come to recognise your brand through highly-targeted advertising and repetition, but without wastage of your marketing budget.
- Take a strategic, realistic and long-term approach. Unlike B2C, selling to businesses takes more time as sales cycles are longer and dependant on strict budgets, and purchasing typically involves more than one decision-maker. One siloed campaign won’t revolutionise your business, so measure success over realistic timelines.
- Map your customer journey to ensure you are communicating how you are solving a real problem – specific to each customer segment – and amplifying that messaging at the right place and time.
What are some of the common mistakes made in B2B marketing?
- Using ambiguous messaging that doesn’t address the customer problem. It might sound catchy but if it doesn’t communicate clearly then it won’t cut through.
- Commitment to building a strong brand. Many businesses confuse branding and brand and don’t invest in building a strong brand because it’s hard to measure in the short-term, especially on smaller marketing budgets.
- Unrealistic expectations. There is no short-term silver bullet when it comes to B2B marketing. Sponsoring one LinkedIn advert simply won’t cut it. B2B marketing requires a long-term, strategic approach that addresses every stage of the customer journey, and a commitment to investing in and delivering it.
Tell us about emerging new technologies in the B2B marketing space, and their predicted impact.
Most of the marketing technology landscape is made up of tools that assist in either automation and/or personalisation of marketing campaigns as well as tracking their performance. Marketing is becoming less of an art and more of a science and the influx in new technologies only highlights the demand for it.
The emerging trend I’ve been seeing is the move toward the digitisation of services. For example, Grammarly is an essential tool for marketers (and many other professionals) and is disrupting the copywriting and editing industry. It’s Microsoft Word on steroids and can be installed into your browsers and used across platforms. It offers not only spelling and grammar, but sentence structure and tone recommendations. If I’m writing a LinkedIn post, Grammarly will track my spelling and grammar and even tell me how I’m coming across in tone – confident, helpful, aggressive, etc.
Future marketing technologies – like SieMo – will start replacing niche service providers and give more power to businesses to control the creation and execution of their strategies, without the need for specialist external support.
Your greatest challenge?
I’m a marketer which means I have little trouble generating high-quality leads. My greatest challenge has been having to take off my marketing hat and put on my sales one in order to convert those leads. As an introvert, this hasn’t been easy, but it’s also been a challenge that I’ve (mostly) enjoyed.
Most proud of?
That in spite of the challenges of starting a business – of which there are so many and which sometimes feel endless – I’ve persevered. We’ve also recently been shortlisted from over 500 applicants for the Ignite Ideas fund for our software, SieMo, which I’m extremely proud of. Even if we don’t get it, I feel that it is a strong signal of validation for the concept. Watch this space!
Advice for future female leaders?
Take feedback and advice from everyone, but take it objectively, with an open-mind and question every aspect. Including, who did it come from, what are their motivations, how relevant is their experience to your situation, is the timing right, etc. Good advice for one person isn’t always good for another. Likewise, what has worked well for one business won’t necessarily work for another. But don’t let your ego get in the way of the good advice that can help you.
Do what you are passionate about, regardless of the opinions of others, and persevere through the hard times – and there will be many more than you anticipate. Because, in the end, you will either succeed or you will learn the lessons needed for the next time around.
Most of all, be empathetic. Don’t feel the need to mimic the leadership style of business people historically, because society has changed and is changing. Be the leader you always wanted, and that your team need to succeed.
You are the female economy. Whether you are a female consumer, business owner or a woman in the workforce, you can create gender equality by choosing female led brands.
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