- The Steve Jobs rule “stay hungry, stay foolish” was directed at college grads but it also applies to startups; although for startups to evolve–thinking outside the box has to be coupled with performing inside the box. Engineering and sales can get you only so far.
- In the startup realm, an entrepreneur knocks on or knocks down doors, while an opportunist answers or gets out the way–and thus, the opportunist always succeeds with the business plan. The opportunist is the one who is market-driven.
- Word-of-mouth is a metaphorical social media phenomenon that works to make certain products and events go viral in the B2C world, but viruses are still viewed with skepticism in the B2B domain, so B2Bs need to “put their money where those word-of-mouths are coming from” as it were.
- For B2Bs, “jillions of active users” is a social media mirage–only a tiny fraction is your Total Addressable Market (TAM) and inbound marketing targets TAM, so some of them might actually start to follow you.
- B2Bs that comply with The Marketing Id’s theory of connectivity, E=MC4, where an Enterprise that has Mobility, Cloud-based Communications, Collaboration & Content are setup to succeed with their marketing and business plan.
- The Marketing Id’s Master Card theory of relationships applies to B2Bs–likes from friends might build the brand, but E=MC4 compliant B2Bs must seek pertinent, probing and persistent comments from followers–words are priceless!
- When a B2B has established awareness with followers, the most efficient way to introduce them into your funnel and keep them fruitfully engaged is through the use of a marketing automation platform to manage those subsequent and ongoing relationships.
- The Marketing Id firmly believes that a penny saved on marketing is a pound lost in sales; and, a pound lost in sales is a ton lost in engineering. So once you are out of startup mode, switch to our rule “stay smart, stay sated.”
- When the going gets tough, B2Bs must recall the Peter Drucker rule “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two-and only two-basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.”
- Nonetheless, social media marketing can become a costly (i.e. wasteful) exercise, if it is done in an ad-hoc fashion and not as part of the annual marketing plan. This is especially true with the way some B2Bs are pursuing social media – without a proper budget and without an integrated strategy – they are bound to be disappointed! So B2Bs make sure as you go about finalizing your 2012 Marketing Plan that social media is baked in there as well!
Posts Tagged ‘Social media marketing’
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged B2B, B2C, Business Plan, demand chain, Drucker, Marketing automation, Marketing Plan, sales funnel, Social media, Social media marketing, Startups, Steve Jobs, Total Addressable Market on November 30, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Social media is to sharing, what Google is to searching and GPS is to driving. It is important that B2B marketers not fall into the 80-20 trap of social media, where 80% of traffic is generated by 20% of users, who tend to talk more than they listen. So B2Bs need to get SMART (Social Media Acquisition & Retention Tools) while implementing inbound marketing techniques and marketing automation platforms. The Marketing Id would like to offer some tips that a B2B marketer might find useful in this regard. Per our guidelines listed below, B2B marketers must:
- Realize they will cause more pain than gain by jumping onto the social media bandwagon without a coherent marketing strategy and adequate resources.
- Ensure that their social media marketing plan conforms to basic marketing communications principles including message, medium, messenger, timing, target, frequency and metrics.
- Grow an inbound footprint, relative to other demand generation activities, as an increasing fraction of the B2B’s total addressable market.
- Recognize a critical persona distinction between B2B and B2C social media segments–in that; consumers generally socialize, whereas business folk typically network.
- Remember that the quality of B2B social media followers is as important, if not more, than the quantity.
- Recognize the real value in a long sales cycle is not only exposing latent demand but actually creating & nurturing it using inbound marketing techniques.
- Develop an ABC (Access Better Content) mindset in order to ensure the success of their inbound marketing efforts.
- Ensure that their social media efforts add value to an inbound visitor’s decision-making process.
- Make each inbound marketing experience a minor variation of Caesar’s “Veni, Vidi, Vici” proclamation for an inbound visitor–“I came, I saw, I was conquered!”
- Adopt a “moneyball” approach to inbound marketing by increasing OBP (on-blog percentage) to boost SLG (sales leads generated).
A B2B should therefore not launch a blog, create a Facebook page, or acquire a Twitter handle, etc., if these activities are not “owned” by a dedicated marketer, who is committed to developing and maintaining pertinent content on a regular basis.
Per the old adage if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail–when a B2B marketer implements social media by creating a casual Facebook page or sending out arbitrary tweets–such random actions invariably lead to “social” chaos.
Success of a B2B’s social media marketing plan can be measured by the increase in the ratio of inbound marketing leads to total leads generated by the B2B over appropriately comparable periods.
A consumer’s likes and comments do not necessarily indicate a propensity to buy, but business prospects are more likely to purchase if their level of social media interaction is pertinent, inquisitive, repetitive and rising.
The corollary to point 4 above is that B2B followers, unlike their B2C counterparts, must be chosen and cultivated in a more circumspect manner–this might result in smaller but more meaningful followers, i.e., ones that are more likely to convert to customers.
B2B marketers need to be persistent with their followers and today’s marketing automation platforms make this possible–casual inbound visitors can be nurtured over an extended period of time until they are ready to convert into willing customers.
Successful B2B sales folks are known to maintain an ABC (Always Be Closing) mindset. In the social media marketing world, the B2B marketer has to develop an ABC attitude as well–albeit, a slightly different ABC–Access Better Content mindset! It is incumbent on B2B marketers to own and manage their inbound marketing content–build it and they will come!
When inbound visitors are drawn into a B2B’s digital “Field of Dreams,” the B2B marketer’s ABC efforts have to assist them in moving forward in their respective decision-making processes.
After a B2B marketer has built a digital “Field of Dreams,” inbound visitors should be so enamored by what the B2B has to offer–they will eventually surrender to the totality of the inbound marketing experience and become a customer!
This is a baseball analogy taken from the recent popular Brad Pitt movie, “Moneyball” to drive home a point to the B2B marketer–get visitors to your blog by adopting that ABC attitude mentioned in point 7 above. The higher a B2B marketer’s OBP, the more likely that they will increase their SLG! After all, generating qualified sales leads is the moneyball of social media and inbound marketing!
In reviewing some of the leading marketing automation web sites, The Marketing Id came across a brilliant whitepaper from Marketo titled, “The Definitive Guide to B2B Social Media.” There is much to gain from reading this 46-page treasure trove, but The Marketing Id was especially intrigued by Part Four, which talks about “Incorporating Social Media at Every Stage of the Revenue Cycle.”
A company’s revenue cycle, according to Marketo, “starts from the day a prospect first hears about a company and continues to a dialog and then to the sale and beyond to the customer relationship.” This revenue cycle is akin to a product marketing (PM) life cycle but goes beyond PM’s traditional “concept to launch” timeline. Thus, The Marketing Id thinks of the revenue cycle as a “customer marketing life cycle,” where “concept” corresponds to when a prospect is born and “launch” relates to when the customer is acquired–but the important distinction from PM is that marketing to the customer does not stop at customer acquisition.
The really interesting part of the Marketo discussion is how social media can play a key role throughout this revenue cycle – “beginning before prospects are even identified (while they research or follow thought leadership on social media sites) to after they become customers (as they remain loyal customers through retention and cross- and up-sell opportunities).”
Accordingly, Marketo defines four key stages in the revenue cycle that can be positively influenced by social media marketing:
• Seed nurturing – involves developing relationships with very early-stage prospects before they even enter a company’s database as a lead
• Lead nurturing – requires building and maintaining relationships with known prospects as they educate themselves about a company
• Opportunity nurturing – entails supporting the sales cycle once a buyer engages in a formal buying process with a company’s sales representative
• Customer nurturing – necessitates deepening and expanding relationships with existing customers
Marketo has done a very good job going into detail on each one of these nurturing processes. So The Marketing Id will not regurgitate what Marketo has done so well and would refer readers to their guide (click on link above). Instead, The Marketing Id will encapsulate these four nurturing processes into a diagram (shown below) that captures the essence of the social media marketing value chain in a company’s revenue cycle.
If there were any doubts about the value-add of social media marketing in a B2B environment, The Marketing Id hopes that at least some of these have been now dispelled.
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