Top B2B news stories from this week

It’s Friday and the sun is hanging in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't – to paraphrase Douglas Adams. Yes, on this fine day 64 years ago the man who gave us the answer to the Great Question of life, the universe and everything, was born.

So if you’ve been away hitchhiking somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse, or else taking advantage of a slightly relaxed end-of-week lunch hour (after all, ‘time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so’), here are the week’s most significant stories to those ape-descendents inhabiting the little-known planet, Earth.

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5. British Franchise Association launches campaign for young entrepreneurs

The British Franchise Association (bfa) has launched a new campaign to encourage more young people into the franchising industry.

Entitled ‘In business by 30’, the campaign will highlight a number of success stories from young entrepreneurs in order to drive fresh talent into the sector.

According to the bfa, one in five new UK franchisees are now aged under 30, with the industry contributing over £15 billion to the UK economy and employing more than 621,000 people.

As part of the campaign, the bfa are publishing numerous success stories on its website, as well as encouraging engagement through Twitter using the hashtag #InBusinessBy30.

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4. IAB releases tools and tactics to tackle ad blocking

Two big pieces of news from the IAB Tech Lab this week as they released their Publisher Ad Blocking Primer – a guide to tactics publishers can use to persuade users to stop using ad blockers – as well as launching its ad-blocking detection script, available to all IAB and IAB Tech Lab members around the world.

The script provides publishers with the opportunity to see – and ultimately engage with – visitors to their sites who have ad blockers enabled.

The primer recommends the acronym DEAL as the best approach for publishers to connect with ad blockers:

  • Detect ad blocking, in order to initiate a conversation
  • Explain the value exchange that advertising enables
  • Ask for changed behaviour in order to maintain an equitable exchange
  • Lift restrictions or Limit access in response to consumer choices.
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3. Companies with strong reputations have twice as many women in senior management

The results of the Gender Forward Pioneer (GFP) Index released today by Weber Shandwick show companies recognised as 'most admired' by their industry peers have a higher proportion of female leaders, albeit well below gender parity.

However, the index also shows that only 10.9 per cent of the senior executives of the world’s 500 largest companies, by revenue, are women.

Of those companies, not one has an equal representation of men and women on their senior management teams, and nearly four in 10 companies (37.6 per cent) have an all-male senior leadership team.

Although no companies worldwide are at gender parity in their leadership ranks, some industries perform better than others, as do companies in particular markets.

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2. Two-thirds of leading businesses lacking defined tone of voice

Close to two-thirds of leading organisations have no defined tone of voice, and the majority haven’t even considered developing one, according to a new study by Illuma on behalf of The Writer.

Among those without a clear tone of voice, 71 per cent had never considered developing one, while over half (58 per cent) considered it ‘much less important’ than their brand’s visual identity.

However, respondents who said their organisation did have a tone of voice claimed it has a significant impact on their brand.

Ninety per cent said they use it in most or all parts of their business, while 60 per cent value it as much as or more than their visual identity.

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1. Programmatic ads trump traditional media buying

Marketers say programmatic ads provide higher levels of ROI than traditional media buying, according to research from AdRoll.

Sixty-one per cent of UK marketers state programmatic ads generate more ROI than conventional media buying, while 45 per cent plan to invest more in programmatic this year.

While display advertising has initially been where programmatic called home, it has since been overtaken by social media as the number one channel for programmatic buying.

Other burgeoning areas of programmatic investment include mobile, video, and TV.

During 2015, 70 per cent of marketers dedicated 10-50 per cent of their advertising budget to programmatic.

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For the full versions of all the above articles visit our news section.