An Agency Transformation – Why we became a BBN agency partner

A tale of how ants transformed into bees and took flight:

“Once upon a time, there was a young agency in Hungary who worked diligently on its market as ants do. One day they met online with a hive of bees whose name was BBN. The ants were delighted when BBN showed them their hive and promised they could also become bees. In return, the ants (otherwise known as ContentPlus), promised they would collect honey in Hungary for the colony, which they couldn’t reach before. While helping BBN the ants realised they really could become bees: they spread their wings and grew. This is how the ants transformed into bees and assisted the BBN hive to become the world’s B2B agency in Hungary. And they all lived happily ever after…”

If you are not a BBN partner agency, you probably won’t understand this story, but you will if you connect with BBN. With our story below I hope you feel it’s a partnership worth exploring.

Once upon a time…

In Hungary, there are very few agencies focusing on B2B. At ContentPlus we always focused on this sector, but we did not position and communicate ourselves as a B2B marketing agency, as we thought we would lose the opportunity of accessing the B2C potential clients.  Our two main lead generation channels are SEO and LinkedIn, and with our LinkedIn communication, we built a B2B expertise in the Hungarian market. Our strong LinkedIn presence helped us in this positioning:  we now have 4 LinkedIn groups with over 2500 members, and two management members have 13000 contacts in Hungary (27% of the Hungarian LinkedIn marketing population), which shows they are strong influencers here in the marketing industry.

In 2021 we started to look for agencies we could cooperate with internationally as we always had leads who were looking for marketing support in other geographies, and we couldn’t serve them as we had limited market knowledge outside Hungary. We prepared a shortlist and found two interesting agency alliances.

After our first meeting with BBN, we admittedly had a few doubts.

  • The BBN brand name is unknown in Hungary, the partnership wouldn’t necessarily add value when the clients in Hungary are deciding on their marketing agency partners.
  • The partnership requires investment and the return is not guaranteed.
  • ContentPlus is a small agency with seven people, so being a partner and committing to our role could mean significant resource shifts from our clients.

So, what convinced us to finally partner with BBN?

Their support and the trust they showed us from the beginning got our attention. They promptly followed up our first meeting and offered us a new business opportunity. They then offered us the opportunity to take part in their annual academy event, even before we had signed a partnership agreement. This initial experience convinced us that BBN is a professional organisation. Throughout the BBN academy, we could see the vast amounts of knowledge and know-how they have, which we knew we could also benefit from.

One year on, how’s it going?

It’s still early days to make a complete evaluation, but we feel very positive and are convinced we made the right decision, for these reasons:

  • After joining BBN and communicating our partnership within the market our international clients were interested in what happened with ContentPlus: we had to explain to them what it meant. Even some of our local clients were curious…
  • We have gained one new international client during this time, and we believe our BBN partnership influenced the decision.
  • We have participated in one BBN project, we have provided blog posts and an ebook for BBN and shared our knowledge in the field of social advocacy – social selling to the organisation. All this was delivered effortlessly with our limited resources.
  • We consider our partnership as an added value for HR purposes too. Our employees can access The Hive, BBN’s intranet platform, where they can benefit from e-learning courses, webinars and knowledge sharing and even participate in international working groups. We believe our partnership will help us retain our key employees, which a lot of our Hungarian competitors can’t offer.
  • Now with BBN, we are confident we can position ourselves on the Hungarian market as a B2B marketing agency. We are no longer afraid of losing B2C clients.

By joining BBN we believe that we can acquire more mandates from international companies. Our main goal always was to have at least 50% of our turnover coming from international companies.  Previously that weighting was around 25%. And now we forecast we will reach this 50% goal by the second year of our partnership.

If you’re an agency working predominately in the B2B sector and believe in the power of the bee colony,  then it is definitely worthwhile connecting with BBN to have an informal discussion on how you could benefit from a BBN partnership.

 

About the author

Attila Rasko is the co-founder and Managing Director of BBN Hungary (ContentPlus). Attila is a customer-oriented digital marketer and a content marketing consultant. He also has professional certifications in Google Squared digital marketing, Hubspot inbound and Salesmanago marketing automation.

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