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2B or not 2B … B2B marketers no longer have any choice

2B or not 2B … B2B marketers no longer have any choice



Social marketing has become an inescapable aspect of our daily lives. It’s around us even if we don’t belong to social networks. While business-to-consumer social marketing is well established in the land of retail, business-to-business marketers have been slower to truly harness its potential.



B2B marketers bought into the idea of a Facebook page and a Twitter account, but without a good management plan with allocated resources, it drifted down the to-do list to become a stale and cold place.



The old media talks at people while the new media talks with them.



  • ⅔ of people are on the ‘do not call’ list

  • almost half of direct mail is never opened

  • 99.9% of online banners are never clicked

  • buyers wait until they have 60-80% of their research done before looking for vendors. 

    (Michael Brenner, Senior Director of Global Marketing at SAP)



And forget cold-calls. Nobody enjoys being interrupted by a sneak-attack on the phone.

So what do we do?


“We’re living at a time when attention is the new currency. Those who insert themselves into as many channels as possible look to capture the most value.”
Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable


B2B marketers must engage with their target while they are still in the research phase. They need to become knowledge leaders and instill a level of confidence and trust so that when the research is done, they are top-of-mind and possibly even trusted. They need to publish content and pull in customers.



Experts in B2B marketing are suggesting that every marketing campaign needs to involve social. The old ways don’t work by themselves anymore and there are tremendous opportunities for those who do create a solid plan, with resources and with proper follow-through.



A Neilsen survey found that only 1/3 of buyers believe what a brand has to say about itself, while 90% believe what their peers have to say about the brand. This means you must turn your customers into a force of powerful and vocal advocates.



“Social Media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.”

Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group



With help from Marketo.

What others had to say:

CORRECTION: The first email of this story mentioned that almost 90% of TV viewers skipped commercials. This comes from a Guardian Newspaper research project, but has been misquoted all over the web. I found it first at Marketo and then at another site. The 2010 research actually states "Nearly 90% of television viewers always skip through the adverts on their digital video recorder but TV still remains the most memorable form of advertising, according to new research published today." So, I stand corrected. People who record - skip. But the bulk of people still watch a lot of live TV and don't skip. I apologize to my TV colleagues and for quoting a source that was misquoting the source itself.

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Does your business do social media – or are you a social business?

Does your business do social media – or are you a social business?

Learn the difference and how it could actually determine your future in a fun, fast-paced session with Fusion’s Barrett Peitsch.

As part of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber U, this Tuesday, October 15th lunchtime learning opportunity takes the focus beyond ‘just’ social media to the underlying consumer dynamics and resulting strategies that translate into critical competitive advantage and new opportunities.

Barrett will demonstrate what it means to be a social brand, with numerous examples including a case study from Fusion’s catalogue of brand-building success. He’ll share what he’s learned in a way that translates into practical advice, tips and approaches you can use to create success for your business.

All this for only $20 - an amazing opportunity to look into your future (and lunch is included)!

Click here to register today or contact Wendy Stephenson at 204-944-3317 or email.
 

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Why your Social Media Return is Negative

Why your Social Media Return is Negative

A couple of years ago, a study revealed that 74% of CEOs think that marketers lack serious credibility due to our talk of “trends” like social media (Fournaise Report).

Marketers are often measuring social media by taking existing measurement protocols and twisting them to try to provide some value to CEOs and CFOs. When the data measured isn’t tied to a company’s bottom line, we look like we don’t get it.

How do we measure word-of-mouth? How do we measure brand-building? Not by awareness.

We are all aware of BP (British Petroleum), but how strong is their brand after the oil pipeline catastrophe? How do we measure our exterior advertising? How do we measure our company president in a room full of prospects? Certainly not by number of business cards collected. We want to know how far he or she has moved a prospect down the sales funnel.

Social media needs to be viewed in the same light. We shouldn't measure social media within the social media channels with Likes and Retweets. Those need to be connected to what the effort cost and what it brought in. Profits.

How well does it engage the prospect? How much value does it provide? Ultimately, how well does it bring in leads? If money is to be spent on social media as part of the marketing plan, it needs to be measured or it will certainly die a slow and misinformed death.

If you are trying to get leads through social media, then you can measure cost per lead, and then maybe, cost per acquisition. As the business value happens on the website and through the email list, measurement should take place there.

Social media posts can be tagged and tracked and followed with Google Analytics. This data can be used to help us measure content, target, channel and process effectiveness.

Nichole Kelly, author of "How to Measure Social Media", says that if you aren’t measuring your social media, your ROI is almost certainly negative. Measure it on balance of profits and expenses and you can turn that around.

 

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Let’s Get Really Social!

Let’s Get Really Social!

Image source: unknown

Near Field Communications, or NFC, is the real-life version of a Minority Report-like future where ad panels recognized the character played by Tom Cruise, offering tailored products as he walked past.

NFC works via a close-range radio signal, providing contactless communication between devices like smart phones and tablets, or between a device and an NFC chip, or tag. These tags can both deliver AND receive information from your phone.

Uses are endless, from paying for your coffee at Starbucks to getting more information about a product on a shelf.

By taking advantage of the cool new things NFC can bring us, we also open the door to everything from text messages from brands we walk by, to apps triggered on our phones urging us to look at them, to a cereal box calling us by name because we Liked the brand on Facebook.

Information can now be perfectly tailored to you. That means you might get all the nutrient and health benefits from a fruit drink while your spouse may get messaging about getting nutrients quickly on the go; the former because he has searched Google for dieting, and the latter because she is a senior executive with a full schedule.

You could tap your phone to a pair of jeans that you are considering buying and your friends will all get the message. You could instantly Like the brand by swiping a tag behind a Facebook icon. You could swipe an NFC tag to let your friends know that you have arrived somewhere.

Car manufacturers are looking at using NFC to unlock your door and start your car. You could pull up to an NFC tag on a pole and get directions to the nearest gas station or Subway. Other cool uses include linking your headset or printer to your phone with just a touch, or getting premium tour information at a museum with a wave of your phone.

Some hospitals use NFC to tag patients, allowing doctors and nurses to access patient specifics. Another very cool use is called SleepTrak. You strap a small device to your arm to monitor your sleep and then tap the device to your phone to upload to the app for analysis.

Near Field Communications are coming our way quickly, but the fact that it wasn’t offered on the iPhone 5 means many will have to wait. All of Apple’s larger competitors already have NFC technology in a number of their smart phones and many card-swiping devices are set to take advantage of it.

But remember…

What others had to say:

Yes, I can see this working the other way. Stores and companies using people's devices to count number the number of customers coming and going, using which exits and entrances are being used most often, track that suspicious individual that might be shoplifting, watching the queues form at cashiers, etc... and those ideas are nominally *benign*. What happens when they start collecting and sharing *personal* data?

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Audience? What Audience?

We marketers often ask our clients about their audience. Who is your target audience? What are their demographics? Where do you find them? But that term can be misleading, not only to your customers, but, most importantly, to you.

It is a bit of a stretch to call your customers an audience. Nobody seeks out marketing messages. The term audience may have made more sense in the early days of television and radio, and then progressed to most forms of media, but today, few would attest to being a part of your audience. Audience implies that they have assembled for the purpose of hearing what you have to say.

John Jantsch, author of “The Commitment Engine”, says, “Building a business today means building a community. Now more than ever, we have the technical means to easily build community around shared ideas and shared beliefs, and businesses that, either locally or globally, tap that mindset… are the ones that are truly thriving.”

But most businesses still engage in marketing efforts designed to appeal to audiences. There are systemic benefits to thinking in terms of your community rather than your audience.

Becky McCray, author of “Small Town Rules: How Small Business and Big Brands Can Prosper in a Connected Community”, says, “A lot of what gets labeled as community building online is a lot more like audience building. If you are thinking of it in terms of getting more people to listen to you, rounding up more followers, getting more `likes’, you’re thinking `audience’.”

She goes on, “If you are thinking about connecting them, learning about them, hearing from them individually, and you’re thinking of people, then you are getting a lot closer to community building.”

Matthew Grant of MarketingProfs summed the concept up nicely, “Building community isn’t about you and your product, it’s about connecting the members of the community. Furthermore, building community means upending the audience metaphor and listening to the community. Putting it another way, you need to become the audience of your community.”

An audience is a group of people and we often treat them as just that, a large amorphous group — success is the number of followers on Facebook. We are all individuals and we buy only from companies or sales people that we trust and like. Thinking in terms of individuals in a community is a good step to earning trust and rapport.

A community comes to stay while an audience comes, then leaves. As a business person with clients and targets, I’d much rather become engaged with a community than preach to an audience. A good definition of ‘community’ is a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. These are your customers and you should be absorbed in what they are saying and doing.

When you benefit the community, the community returns in kind. Even if not interested in your product or service they pass your name along. And you benefit the community by listening and sharing your knowledge, expertise and opinion. You give first. A community is the greatest asset that you can build as that is where your customers will come from. Give and you shall receive.

Embrace community and embrace the individual. They are there whether you engage with them or not.

We work closely with our clients to build community. Check out our St. Vital Centre Facebook page here and The Forks here. For 15 awesome Facebook experiences, check out this list.

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