A global tech giant that knows the value of a local story
The advanced car battery in your electronic car. The media production equipment streaming giants use to create your favourite series. The high-quality camera that allows your children to watch school lectures from home. You can thank Panasonic for all these innovations and many more.
From high tech to higher education, more than 300,000 companies worldwide rely on Panasonic’s B2B solutions to run their organisation. But with so much to offer, Panasonic is not resting on its laurels.
“We have an enormous pool of existing customers and partners, but there are so many untapped prospects out there who can benefit from our technologies,” says Joerg Hufschmid, Marketing Manager for Panasonic Business Europe. “It’s my team’s job to unlock this opportunity and help to refine our marketing on a global scale,” he adds.
This is no small feat for such a large organisation, especially one with hundreds of offices around the world and local marketing teams to match, each with its own approach to telling Panasonic’s story. To complicate matters further, Panasonic offers an incredibly broad set of products that cater to customers in virtually every industry, which means its marketing campaigns can target everyone from CEOs to on-site technicians.
“No matter how big we get, we need to stay mindful of what distinguishes the different audiences we serve, not just from one industry to the next, but also from one job role to the next. That’s what personalisation looks like in B2B marketing—the ability to roll out creative content in a way that’s highly targeted and relevant,” says Hufschmid.
“It’s also worth remembering that we’re not Coca-Cola or P&G, who have enormous budgets to roll out massive consumer campaigns,” he adds. “We need to be much more strategic in our outreach and in the way we address our customers’ complex needs.”
And then, there was one.
Hufschmid and his team first adopted Marketo in 2012 to fuel their B2B marketing and consolidate all of their outreach onto a single platform. The move was also motivated by the enactment of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which called for greater control in the way companies manage and use their data to serve customers.
Today, Panasonic Business Europe alone runs 1500 Marketo campaigns every year, delivering increasingly personalised emails, newsletters and event invites to a growing number of customers and prospects.
With Marketo proving its value in European markets, Panasonic now plans to roll out the platform further and engage prospects on a global scale. The team has set three primary aims for the project:
1) Automate processes and reach prospects more efficiently
2) Drive more demand among prospects and grow Panasonic’s B2B footprint
3) Begin generating leads through social channels, especially LinkedIn
“Marketo is ideally suited to these ambitions,” says Hufschmid. “We want to get more personal with customers while getting rid of siloes between our teams. The key to making this happen is to work from a central platform that allows for flexibility and personalisation at the local level."
Hufschmid stresses the importance of understanding the nuances that distinguish Panasonic’s many customer groups. “When launching a new product for retailers, there’s no point in highlighting its tech specs for chief marketers in these companies because that’s not their concern. The data we collect through Marketo allows us to automatically factor these points into our outreach, so even when we automate our campaigns we know we are speaking to our audience in a language that resonates."
Hufschmid points to the additional value his team has seen from Marketo’s Smart Lists feature, which allows them to filter down their target lists and program dynamic sendouts to individual audiences, all from a single platform. Building on this functionality, Panasonic has also turned to Marketo’s integrated GotoWebinar feature to create a successful digital content series.
“We pivoted towards webinars at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, realising that many of our prospects could not attend the conferences and events they usually rely on to get the latest on technology in their industry. Suddenly, we were getting 700 attendees for online events that would previously attract 50 or 60 people,” says Hufschmid.