We’re all consumers, but not all of us are marketers. Those of us with the unique perspective of being both buyer and marketer are far more aware of how consumer marketing tactics and techniques are now finding their way into the B2B environment.
If you’re not up to speed with what this means for your B2B marketing campaigns, these changes can feel disruptive (they are), but the benefits of deploying a sophisticated digital marketing strategy are both meaningful and measurable.
B2C companies have become masters at segmenting and personalizing their offerings to ever more precise groups because they are typically selling to a mass market. They have no choice but to segment and personalize. That’s why they’ve been doing it longer than their B2B cousins.
B2B marketing, on the other hand, is usually more targeted to begin with. You could argue that it’s a natural fit for social media as it’s simply extending real, trusted relationships with customers and prospects across multiple channels, and engaging them in new ways. For this reason, supporting and improving your multi-channel experience should be the cornerstone of your B2B social-media strategy.
When many of us on the B2B marketing side hear the words “social media” we tend to think of Twitter or Facebook. These are popular channels, but it’s important to look more holistically than that. Social media is simply the collection of online technologies and practices you can use to share your opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. It can take many different forms, such as text, images, audio, and video, which you can use to create blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs.
An effective B2B social-media strategy goes far beyond creating a Facebook page
It’s an effective means of sharing your expertise and knowledge, harnessing some of the wisdom and perspectives of your consumers, and engaging your prospects through consumer evangelism. More importantly, it’s a platform for peer level endorsement where customers and prospects can talk and help each other. And as we all know, peer level endorsement is far more powerful than any marketing message.
That’s why if you’re not already deploying a sophisticated digital marketing strategy, then at a minimum you should at least be involved in communities and social networks where customers already are.
With the right tools and marketing platform in place, you can deliver personalized, meaningful content and experiences at every stage of the customer journey through targeted touchpoints. Marketing as a discipline has grabbed the information economy with both hands. By harnessing and using data in the right way, you can gain unprecedented customer insights that you’ve never been able to achieve before and drive customer engagements across all channels, including social and mobile.
Change is never comfortable and we are all creatures of habit at heart. For ‘traditional’ B2B marketing teams that are still getting to grips with their digital marketing strategies and channels, it can feel a bit daunting. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be difficult to be successful. Marketing technology can help you deliver engaging experiences and increase the ROI of your individual campaigns. But tools and technology, however, are nothing without the skills of savvy marketers to leverage them.