For BtoB companies, marketing is an underperforming cost center. Not that it is the marketing teams fault, rather they are making the best of a tough situation. In consumer marketing, brand awareness and product reputation can go a long way in generating sales. In BtoB, the channels to reach buyers are increasingly becoming choked with noise. We built this chart to explain what we are seeing in the world of BtoB marketing:
Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’
- Buyers are active and participating within on social websites, forums etc., but the social market is noisy, saturated, mature, and cluttered with vendors so buyers are faced with many options to choose from which makes the decision making process more difficult
- Vendors are using technical jargon (educated buyer) and needs to shift towards more “pain” and “generic” social search orientation for a less educated, but more strategic buyer.
How do you develop customer relationships, influence requirements, and drive sales if buyers are doing research and making buying decisions before your organization becomes aware and engaged?
- Understanding how buyers solve business problems, research and weigh solution options, reconciling various organizational motivations, along with assisting the organization to solidify business, functional, & technical requirements
- Identify buyer motivations, triggers for purchase, and research/selection/ buying process, and behavioral market segmentation
- Focus marketing engagement around buyer’s needs, not with solution awareness messaging
- Leverage social networks & online communities to reach buyers in their communities of interest
- Provide decision support, not solution advocacy
- Assist them in building targeted strategic business cases based upon their particular needs before then addressing
tactical functionality and feature requirements.
I have spent the last couple of years evangelizing social media and its various flavors; social business, social marketing, enterprise community, social CRM, etc. I can officially say that the “newness” is over, kaput, finished, and has officially kicked the bucket. If you haven’t “done” social media by now, don’t bother. In some markets, we are seeing so much content being generated, you might as well go back to pumping out press releases and spamming email lists as you will have better odds of getting someone to respond. Having a twitter, facebook, linkedin company, etc account does not buy you anything. Worse, if you spend a ton of money with your agency on these free accounts, you are throwing away good money.
Its amazing how many BtoB marketing communications, direct marketing,and demand generation firms claim that they do social marketing as well as the 50 other things that they drop on their list of “specialities”; “We do SEO, website building, marketing automation, demand generation, telemarketing, lead qualification, marketing analytics, web content development, and SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING.”
Ok, after reading 50 of these websites, I am not even sure what social media marketing is…. I gather that they think it is Linkedin, Twitter, and throw in Facebook for good measure. Oh, throw in videos, blogging, podcasts, and webinars to be safe… Oh, also throw in our standard suite of services and something about ROI. Then let’s connect to everyone like crazy on twitter and make sure that we blog on a regular basis, show up to a bunch of marketing events, and put out a couple of press releases.
In truth, most of them don’t really know how to create inbound lead generation from social marketing. It isn’t easy, actually in many ways much harder than traditional marketing. It is a lot easier to load up a database, create a newsletter, and watch the “opens” rate and the hits to the websites. Oh, and add the ubiquitous, connect to us on (pick your platform) widget at the bottom next to the “do not contact” link.
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Social marketing is not social media adoption. However, you cannot have an effective social marketing if your people do not use social media.
You can’t legislate that your people all of a sudden embrace social media, just as you cannot expect them to all of a sudden love the CRM system. In reality, all new technologies follow the maturity curve; some faster than others, but at the end of the day, many will be slow to embrace.
We have seen it come up in conversations with sales organizations. Many are resistant to social media as they are uncomfortable with the change in relationships. “I don’t connect to anyone who I haven’t done work with personally.” I don’t like my relationship out on LinkedIn for everyone to see.” “Why would they connect to me?”
Continue reading “Social Marketing Adoption” »