BMA – B2B Digital Marketing Success

just-mediaDick Reed, CEO – Just Media, Inc., gave interesting insight into the industry and shared a couple of unexpected facts with a very appreciative audience.  The event was so popular that usual meeting area had to be expanded to accommodate more interested marketers.

A few points from the event:

  • Important to involve all stakeholders of the initiative (marketers, internal stakeholders, agencies), and make sure everybody understands the big picture.  In some organizations this approach introduces internal stakeholders to each other first time.
  • “Plan campaign backwards” – the easiest method to discover any gaps in the flow
  • Facebook audience converts for b-to-b initiatives (surprising finding) – though the content needs to be more suitable to the medium, not a typical white paper.

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  • Paid search combines two categories:
    • Searches (people are searching industry terms – looking for an information on the topic)
    • Navigators (using Google to navigate to a destination – ready to convert)
  • Half of cookies are deleted in a week (I find it hard to believe… )
  • Leads coming from the company’s website, 8-10 times better quality than leads coming from content syndication. People who are looking for something on the site, are further down in the sales cycle.
  • Print advertisement – direct mail pieces with interesting features, dimensional, etc. are effective now as very few companies do them.  People are excited to receive something unusual.
  • Avoid RAM (Random Acts of Marketing)  🙂
  • Marketers expectations of what a video can deliver is currently off.  Videos are watched, but direct action is is rarely taken.
  • Mobile devices impressions are growing in b-to-b, but the engagement is significantly lower.  Mobile clicks are 1/3 of desktop clicks – the agency is optimizing campaigns for desktop. 
  • The agency believes that the next stage is for agencies to help customers run marketing systems they purchased, as the systems are becoming more and more complex and require in-depth expertise.  Curious development…

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Interesting slide with depiction of the marketing process.

BMA – Data Insights for Marketers

bookYes, it was a very insightful event, and Theresa Kushner is an incredibly engaging presenter.  Who said that “data” was a “dry” field?  🙂   We even discussed “data lake” – what was a new concept (for me).

I already bought the book B2B Data-Driven Marketing and looking forward to read it when it arrives.

Though I came to the event with the hope to learn how to find a way to the “data nirvana” every marketer craves, the main “aha” moment was the definition of the “data nirvana.”  Theresa emphasized several times during her presentation the need to understand what data company needs before trying to obtain and evaluate the data.  And the most important data will depends on the company and its unique objectives.

Interesting points:

  • Sisco discovered that many people were coming to the web site after they made a decision…  trying to verify that the decision was the right one
  • babyMarketing databases are similar to children…  do not create one unless you are willing to feed, buy clothes, and send to college 😉
  • Transaction data and decision data are very different…
  • Some of the data we can get is not what we need
  • “Job function” data needs to be relevant to your company
  • Before you go to data vendors, or invest into any data-related efforts, know what you want

Fundamental approach:

  • What data do you need?
  • Evaluate what is the most important
  • What environment do you need (databases)
  • How do you extract insights?

Strategic data acquisition:

  • What data do you need?
  • Append elements available from third-party suppliers
  • Fill in gaps with “data discovery”
  • Focus on 20% of accounts that provide 80% of revenue

Data Warehouse vs. Data Lake

lake

Theresa also mentioned Forbs article You’re Doing It Wrong: Demand Generation, which she considered important for marketers to understand.  The article is worth reading  (maybe even a couple of times… I did 🙂 ).

As we, marketers, concentrate on conversion of the individual leads, customers of b-to-b products usually do not act alone.  As the number of people in the “buying center” increases, the probability of a speedy sales “falls off two cliffs…”

groups

Groups get involved into the purchase on a relatively early stage, before the potential buyer speaks with the sales person.

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This should have your attention. The punchline is, if your commercial approach isn’t tuned to group buying dynamics, you’re in trouble.

The suggested solution is “Consensus Marketing.”

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About half of your purchase stakeholders fear losing respect and credibility by speaking up and advocating a point-of-view in front of a buying group.

risk

Interesting…  This approach is probably beneficial for ABM (Account Based Marketing), and it gives specific examples to consider to encourage “consensus” among all participants of the buying center.

MIMA – Facebook for Business

phoneInteresting – this was the first event in my memory where conversation about prevalence of mobile was illustrated not by an image of an iPhone 😉

As Facebook considers itself a publication and a platform at the same time, it concentrates on mobile first.

facebook-studioDuring popular vacation times general advertisement engagement activity decreases, but not on Facebook – it remains the same.

48% of people use Facebook while exercising in a gym 😉

A note was repeated several times during the event: any social marketing initiative needs to start from business objectives and not “social metrics.”  Generating followers or likes is not a business objective 😉

Facebook maintains Facebook Studio, which works as an award-based recognition forum for marketing initiatives.  Though my attempt to find b-to-b examples lead only to one – Jive – a promotion of social business software (what somewhat makes sense for Facebook environment).  Interesting point of the campaign is a superior performance of Facebook comparing to email and even Wall Street Journal on the main objective – download free trial of social business software 😉

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MIMA – Community Management

Though marketers seem to be talking about community management for a few years, there are some changes in these conversations. Interesting – community management is now discussed seriously (good), but there is no dramatic distinction between b-to-c and b-to-b yet in the conversations (can be better 🙂  ).

As a b-to-b marketer, I see a very strong difference: in most cases a communicator who loves the product can be probably trained for b-to-c community management, but in b-to-b, the goal is to find an expert who wants (and can) communicate.

The speaker, Olivier Blanchard, gave a fun presentation on the topic at a wonderful campus of General Mills.  Some of points that I found interesting:

  • There are still companies who perceive social media as “something we need to do” because everybody does… However, the reasonable approach of finding a way to benefit the business with this tactic starting to take hold.
  •  The industry is starting to talk about a “community manager job” – this is very good.
  • The community manager should be a “chief communications officer in training” – if the person does not fit this characteristic, he/she may not be the right person. Though I am questioning this though now for b-to-b… In some areas, the company would want to attract certain niche inhabited by narrow-focused experts. In this case the community manager would have to be the expert, or the community manager would not be perceived as credible…  In this case, would this expert need to be a “chief communications officer in training?”  Probably not…
  • A new tool similar to Radian 6 that should be familiar to community managers is Spiral 16 ( I have not heard about it – what a shame 😉  ).
  • Speaker’s blog with a treasure of resources – The Brand Builder Blog