BBNmixtape – #36 Navigating Japan: Expert Insights on B2B Success and Digital Trends

Gain valuable advice for foreign companies aiming to make their mark in Japan.

In this episode, Annette Fernandes is joined by Robert Heldt, CEO of BBN’s partner agency, Custom Media, based in Tokyo, Japan. We’ll explore everything from the importance of market understanding and the nuances of business etiquette in Japan to effective marketing strategies and the impact of digital transformation on B2B communications. Robert will also share his top advice for foreign companies aiming to make their mark in Japan and discuss emerging trends that could redefine the future of B2B marketing in this vibrant market.

What is Consent Mode V2 and why should I implement it?

You may already be aware of the existence of Consent Mode V2. In recent weeks, there have been numerous posts on LinkedIn on this subject. In case you missed it anyway; From March 2024, stricter rules will apply in the European Union regarding advertising and target group building. This has direct consequences for the use of Google Ads, among other things. Google’s solution to the tightened rules is Consent Mode V2. This enables you to comply with the new legislation. If you are using Google Analytics, Google Ads or other advertising, and you are not yet fully aware of the new rules, then be sure to read on.

Google Consent Mode is a tool from Google that enables advertisers to meet the requirements of the updated privacy regulations in the European Union. This states that parties must request permission from the user about the collection of their data.

One of the key features of Consent Mode V2 is the ability to customize the level of tracking based on the user’s specific consent. This means that advertisers only collect and process data from users who have explicitly consented to tracking. It gives users more control over their data and ensures that advertisers only use data that has been obtained lawfully.

In addition, Consent Mode V2 supports consent management when using different devices. This improves the overall user experience, helps marketers conduct more accurate analyses, and improves targeting strategies. The big advantage is that with this new method you can also send anonymized data to your measuring systems. This way you retain more data and can still comply with the set guidelines.

Even if you already have a GDPR-proof cookie banner on your website, the correct settings are not automatically implemented. Check at short notice whether everything is set up correctly, or have it checked by someone who knows about it. Google will start stricter checks from March 2024 and can stop the conversion tracking of your Google advertising tool. This leads to data loss and less accurate results.

What is server-side tagging and why should I do anything with it?

Server-side tagging is a way of tracking in which tracking tags are not placed by the servers of the advertising party (Google Ads, Facebook), but by its own server. This makes it a 1st party cookie instead of a 3rd party cookie.

Server-side tagging therefore reduces the chance of data loss due to ad blockers or browser settings that prevent tracking, because the tags are executed by its own managed server. This means that user data is collected reliably and marketers can work with that data.

Third-party cookies are already being blocked more and more often and will probably be blocked even more so in the future, which makes it difficult to collect data. Server-side tagging is the solution for this. By placing a server between the web browser and GA4 (the next, improved generation of Google Analytics) you have an intermediate layer from which you can determine which data you want to transfer. This ‘first-party’ data, which cannot be blocked, ensures that you build a more valuable database.

Start now

By implementing Google Consent Mode V2 and server-side tagging on time, you comply with stricter laws and regulations. Moreover, you are well prepared for a future in which first-party data becomes increasingly important for campaigns, insights, and reporting. Give your users more control over their data and gather valuable insights without sacrificing privacy or security. A win-win situation for all parties. So delve into this matter, implement Consent Mode V2, as soon as possible, or have this done if you do not want unnecessary data loss.

Do you want to know more about privacy in digital marketing?

Monique can tell you everything there is to know.

Gain valuable perspectives on the impact of AI, strategic budget allocation, the pivotal role of the CRO and the evolving dynamics of marketing in an era defined by digital transformation.

In this episode of BBN Mixtape, Andrew Haussegger of Green Hat interviews Latané Conant, CRO of 6sense. They cover a wide range of topics including the current state of the marketing industry and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and the impact of AI on marketing. Latané also shares insights on budget allocation, the role of the CRO, and the application of marketing strategies to post-sale activities.

Listen to the BBN podcast about how we explore the unique dynamics of various media types, from display advertising to social media and video content.

In this thought-provoking episode of “Spotlight Strategies,” we delve into the diverse landscape of media platforms and dissect their roles in capturing and maintaining the attention of B2B audiences. Join us as we explore the unique dynamics of various media types, from display advertising to social media and video content. We’ll analyze the effectiveness of each medium in conveying complex B2B messages and discuss how this relates to Share of Voice and building lasting connections with your audience. We also discuss the importance of creating standout creative content to earn attention via the media channels we select.

Listen to the BBN podcast about the art and science of crafting and planning content for the business-to-business realm

This episode of BBNmixtape dives deep into the art and science of crafting and planning content for the business-to-business realm with  Michelle Crawley from BBN’s partner TricomB2B. If you’ve ever wondered how to tailor your content strategy to a specific audience and industry, align your narratives with complex sales cycles, or want to maximise the impact of your B2B marketing efforts, you’ve landed in the right place.

What can B2C learn from B2B?

B2B buyers are often professionals focused on achieving business goals. So the assumption is that they are more willing to spend time researching products or services; they’re an investment. This means the research, and getting colleagues on board, often creates a long decision making process.

But ultimately, this can be true for certain B2C customers too. They buy a kitchen, furniture, solar panels, or a caravan for the long term, and they don’t skimp on the research – they read literature, visit stores, assess reviews. And like their B2B counterparts, they may also have to get someone on board: a partner or the family.

Here’s where B2C can learn from the B2B approach, which builds strong relationships with customers through the use of lead generation, lead nurturing and Account Based Marketing. The B2B world is pretty effective at building a bond using very specific content targeted to the right audience and shared at the right time. This one-to-one relationship is carefully monitored by deploying lead scoring in marketing automation, until the lead is ready to make a purchase.

Arguably, B2C content (while often very well SEO-optimized) is often less substantive and customer-personalized, so appropriate content at the right stage in the journey would be an excellent move for B2C companies/retailers offering products with higher selling prices and profit margins.

And what can B2B learn from B2C?

Of course, there are equal challenges on the B2B marketing side. B2B customers can be harder to reach and persuade than B2C customers; and marketing to them requires a thorough knowledge of the target market and industry.

Perhaps that’s why B2B marketing has traditionally had a more rational, practical, even scientific focus. But any fear of using emotion in B2B marketing is changing: organizations are beginning to embrace the more human, emotional approach of the B2C sector to reach their buyers on a deeper level.

The key here is that while many organizations may embrace emotional content at the top of the funnel (the one place they see it as relevant), they miss the opportunity to keep that emotion alive through all stages of the funnel.

This is where B2B could learn from the excellent measurement approaches of B2C marketers. They know their KPIs well and have a good understanding of what works and doesn’t through A/B testing. And because of the speed of retail, they ensure these insights are always up to date, through frequent adjustment. As a B2B marketer, this approach is a perfect way to discover that an emotional versus rational marketing approach can be measured in terms of additional ROI, lifetime values, open rates, time spent on a site etc – and then fine-tuned to ensure continuing sales success.

Believe in the best of both worlds

At Referro, we’re already combining our knowledge of the two ‘different’ disciplines, and seeing intriguing and strong results in retail environments. Whatever it takes become more effective in reaching and persuading a target audience has to be of benefit to marketers. And we don’t believe in sitting on the fence!

Be happy with your marketing results

If you’re interested in adding emotion to your B2B marketing, or bringing B2B techniques to a retail or consumer challenge, call Monique for an initial chat.

Get in touch

+31 (0)85 07 06 936

Listen to the BBN podcast about how creativity leads to Better Marketing Results

In the world of B2B marketing, content has typically and historically been dry and unengaging. Join us in this episode of riveting conversation with Ed Davis and Managing Director Stuart Jaffray from BBN partner GreenHat in Australia to explore the power of inspired visuals and compelling messaging. Discover how the right blend of education, entertainment, engagement, and inspiration can supercharge your strategy, captivate your audience, and drive business growth. For marketers, by marketers, tune in to BBN Mixtape, be bold and ignite your brand’s creative spark!

Listen to the BBN podcast about how the B2B marketing industry needs to reimagine itself

Our guest for this episode is David Jordan, President of Bader Rutter, and we discussed with him how the B2B marketing industry needs to reimagine itself.

 As B2B marketers, we’ve grown over-reliant on some old habits, fallen behind on new sea changes in technology and audience behaviour, and have digressed in our belief to make an impact on the businesses we help lead. Our business is due for a rebrand. By following the data and honouring the humanity of our audiences, we can drive a renaissance for B2B.

Watch the presentation at Ignite USA HERE


Listen to the BBN podcast about what makes a courageous marketer

BBN recently released an adaptation of our Norwegian Partner Iteo’s whitepaper, The Courageous Marketing Leader.  In this episode of our podcast, we sit down with Andreas Thue, Owner and Founder of iteo, and discuss his views on what makes a courageous marketer.


Families and individuals from around the world can join The World Bee Community via a small monthly donation. Membership is open to anyone who cares about protecting bees and other pollinators to ensure that biodiversity on earth continues to flourish for future generations.

“The World Bee Project is a fantastic and important initiative,” said Annette Fernandes-Poyser, BBN Executive Director. “We pride ourselves on interconnection and understand that even the slightest imbalance in ecosystems—whether natural or business—can have a detrimental impact elsewhere. As a global partnership of B2B marketers, we understand better than most that what you do in one part of the world has an impact in other parts, which is why we are determined to support the launch of the World Bee Community.”

The World Bee Project’s initiatives to protect bees and other pollinators, while improving people’s livelihoods and communities, provide inspiration and much needed support around the globe. So much so that BBN and its team have pledged long-term support to this important social purpose and the environment.

“We are delighted to have BBN supporting us around the world,” said Sabiha Rumani Malik, Founder and Executive President of The World Bee Project. “Their geographical footprint and communications capabilities align well with our efforts to generate a unified global voice that can truly influence government activities when it comes to protecting our environment and biodiversity. Bees connect people and the planet. People want to be heard, need to be heard, and should be heard.”

At BBN, we take Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)-related matters seriously. Our CSR policies draw inspiration from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). The World Bee Project is the first private initiative in the world that remotely monitors bees to research the pollinator and pollination crisis from a global perspective. The World Bee Project creates programmes that merge environmental, social and economic benefits to positively impact the future of ‘’Pollinators, People, and the Planet’’.