Introducing B2B Lab

  • May 23, 2024
  • Reading time: 5 min

It’s been about 18 months since we started talking about AI in earnest – just enough time to grow a baby elephant. A lot has happened. And we’ve got some big news.

We’ve launched a new AI platform for B2B marketing, built collaboratively with our technology partner, Wooshii.

Meet B2B Lab.

B2B Lab, affectionately known as Otto, is an AI-based application trained exclusively for B2B. It accesses multiple leading Large Language Models (LLMs) and live data feeds to deliver smart results, fast.

And as you might imagine, we’re pretty bloody excited to bring it to market.


We’ve been bouncing this idea around for a while. As B2B tech nerds, we didn’t just want to get good at using the platforms available to everyone – not least because tools built for the mass market are often B2C-centric, and don’t deliver exactly what the good folk in B2B land need.

We’re fortunate to be part of Publicis Groupe, which is leading the way on developing tools to fuel creativity, innovation and ideation. And by leading the way, we mean making a huge €300 million investment into Core AI, which will make trillions of data points from content, media and performance data accessible to everyone in the Groupe.

But we still wanted to create something we could truly own, to ensure it a) actually solves specific B2B challenges and b) delivers maximum value for our clients. So we set about building the killer tool for us, and for that we brought in trusted tech partner Wooshii.    

First things first: Otto isn’t for content creation.

In the hands of a savvy Creative, AI can do some incredible things. But we’ve never yet found it to be true that AI creates better content than humans.

Accordingly, the challenges our clients face won’t be solved by churning out content faster (and there are already heaps of tools available for that, at any rate). In the world of B2B, the real challenge always starts at the strategy stage.

Okay – so what is it?

In simplest terms: Otto makes the complicated world of B2B planning and strategy smarter and easier.

As a B2B agency, our most powerful capability is that we understand businesses to their bones. We know what makes them extraordinary. What makes them tick. What drives change and moves markets.

And because we’ve worked in this field for many years, we’ve got a huge bank of insights into how B2B buyers act, think and feel. Trouble is, that insight doesn’t live in any one place. It’s scattered between decks, documents, and the brains of our people. And while we can gather all of those things together to deliver great work, it’s not a quick process.

B2B Lab is our way of solving that problem. It’s a powerful tool for strategic planning, where we can store knowledge, digest data, connect dots, glean pearls of insight and solve problems, fast. Within the platform, we can develop and train agents specific to B2B requirements and client programs, providing speed and scale.

How does it work for clients?

The B2B Lab approach is designed to allow us to bring clients into the process, with a knowledge base for every client who wants to get involved with Otto, and models trained to specific markets. It’s a place to experiment together with clients on what’s possible. Interested clients will get their own dedicated workspace, where we’ll train the AI together.

When we launched our AI charter, we pledged to be honest and up-front about everything we’re doing – and the same is true now. We’ll be learning together, acknowledging what works and what doesn’t.

Why Otto?

Otto is a nod to our heritage as Octopus. AI naturally feels like it’s all about the future, but it’s our 23 years in the biz – and several hundred years of collective B2B experience – that made us the perfect people to build this tool. (Also – Octopuses are brilliantly smart.)

If this sounds like something you’re interested in: come and have a chat. We love working with businesses, finding their extraordinary stories, and telling the world about them. With Otto in our arsenal, we’re massively scaling our ability to find, build, and share the insights our clients need to ensure the above happens successfully.

Want a quick overview of the main points? Here’s Chief Strategy Officer Billy Hamilton-Stent with the eight key things you need to know about Otto.

Billy, give us the elevator pitch on why Otto matters?

The constant B2B strategy challenge is that you’ve got to become an expert in a lot of things, quickly. We jump between different worlds, from renewable energy to cyber security to HR tools (sometimes in one afternoon). Otto helps the agency wear a lot of hats with greater depth and more effective outcomes for clients.

What’s an agent?

An agent is like having an expert in the room with you, feeding back and inputting into what you’re creating. Imagine creating a marketing plan for an airline and being able to run it past Richard Branson to see it passes the sniff test. Our agent model gives depth and breadth to client briefs – quickly.

What value do clients get out of this?

Clients get answers faster. They get to explore lots of scenarios and validate thoughts and assumptions without it taking months.

Do we still get to work with actual strategists?

Yep, always. We haven’t seen a single instance where the use of AI has superseded the use of people. It’s complementary and will remain so. Think of it like this: AI will always be a textbook, not a teacher. It’s a learning resource, it can’t lead a class.

Does every Publicis Pro client get access to Otto?

There’s three ways a client can benefit from Otto. Everyone will benefit ambiently as part of our general planning needs – an ‘ask Otto’ type of thing. There are structured projects where we are using Otto as a member of the team and clients are actively engaged. And finally, there’s the potential for a dedicated, tailored service. In that final scenario, clients can access and use a version of Otto as we do, and extend it into their own marketing and sales functions. 

Can’t we [clients] just do this ourselves – how is it better than the tools online?

Anyone can use a Large Language Model (LLM), anytime. What separates Otto is the training investment around subject matters and client-specific scenarios. It’s also important to note that Otto is not a single LLM itself. It can swap models like you might swap shoes between the office and the gym.

What’s the deal with data security?

Your data is locked down and compliant with data protection requirements. Client data is never in the public domain, or a shared AI environment. The platform meets ISO and data protection standards and we are wholly compliant at the business process level.

How do we work together on this?

Give us a bell. The key word for anything to do with AI and agencies is collaboration – so let’s have a chat and we can get going.

Look out for more news from us on B2B Lab. But if you’d like to know more or see a live demo of Otto in action, get in touch here:

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