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fresh experiences on marketing topics for the B2B enterprises and more

How can B2B companies approach viral marketing?

Can B2B marketing be fun and creative? The idea came to me to write about it because at newAD we are now talking to one of our clients, an IT company, to use viral campaigns as part of their marketing plan. With viral marketing, online campaigns get a life of their own, because, if the spot is both funny and witty,  everyone wants to see it and share it. The rules for success in B2B viral campaigns could be summarized in:

  • Make sure the specialized agency delivers good content, which is both interesting and funny, and conveyes the benefits of your products or services. Research several social media sites, such as YouTube and StumbleUpon, to discover what the big success stories were for industries related to yours and try to replicate that success.
  • Build a fan base. Put the video on your company website and integrate other social media tools to build a user base and communicate with them.
  • Use Search Engine Optimization, as your video has to be easily discovered through YouTube search. That’s why videos should have clear titles, an accurate description and appropriate keyword tags so that they can appears correctly in a YouTube search.

How can viral marketing benefit B2B marketers? The way that people find answers to their problems and research problems is to turn first to Google. In this respect, viral marketing spreads your ideas so that people find you. Any company with irelevant  ideas to share—and intelligent methods to gain interest in them—can, after a while, get fame and success on the Web. A successful viral marketing campaign can increase exposure for your company and product while increasing the number of links to your website.

An interesting thing that our client wanted to know was how can the effectiveness of their viral campaign be measured. The truth is you cannot measure it in the number of sales leads if gets you. It’s all about spreading your ideas, without spamming people.

There are, though, things you can measure:

  • How many potential clients are exposed to your ideas?
  • How often bloggers talk about you and your ideas? And what are those bloggers saying?
  • Where are you appearing in search results for important phrases?

If your viral campaign is successful you need to follow it up with something that holds the audience’s attention. This can be a sequel, or some behind the scenes videos, but the idea is to exploit the buzz you’ve originally created for as long as you can.

Filed under: b2b marketing, Best Practices, General, Guerilla Marketing, how to, Marketing Tactics, , , ,

The importance of being proactive in marketing

Numerous clients and colleagues ask me what they should do about marketing these days, because they find it a very hard job to market and sell even the best imaginable product or service, in this bad economy. As far as sales are concerned, cycles are much longer and actually closing a contract lasts twice as longer than one year ago, let’s say. And even if you do close a contract, the profit will be smaller.

In terms of marketing, there is a tremendous pressure to achieve better results by investing less money. Many marketers may think that quickness is the fastest way to success, but this can actually harm the business, instead of helping it. Maybe the best thing to ask yourselves is not: “What brilliant marketing techniques should I use next?”, but rather “What is the perfect balance between reactivity and pro-activity?”

This is the difference between the two opposed attitudes:

  • Proactive marketers plan very carefully, spend the marketing budget wisely and control their message veery step of the way. That understand what works and what doesn’t work in their industry, and they are not afraid to come up with a bold strategy. They proactively spend valuable the marketing budget in areas most likely to create positive results. Proactive marketers participate actively in social media, and take control over what is being said about their companies, products and services, thus being able to limit potential damage. They always monitor and measure results along the way, knowing that these efforts will return value for the company in the end.
  • Reactive marketers rush in and respond to trends, without taking their time to analize the market situation. These marketers do whatever they’re told or just follow therules they’ve read in books. In most cases, this approach ends up being more wasteful than successful, requiring multiple cycles to determine that something doesn’t work. With a “damage control” attitude toward their online reputation, these folks are vulnerable from a PR standpoint. Most often, they wait until the annual budgeting process to assess what happened to their money and efforts.

The point is: we all feel the pressure to deliver much better and convincing results than ever. Even though you need to act as quickly as possible, you should take a second and consider your attitude. Establish some measurable and sustainable goals and then execute your plan.

Filed under: b2b marketing, Best Practices, General, Marketing Planning, Marketing Tactics, objectives, Strategy,

Persuading your CFO to invest in marketing

B2B budgets are going down, and still CFOs wonder what is the next process for which they should cut down on their expenses. Now more than ever, they want to see those results that justify the expense. If you are a CMO who wants to keep the CFO happy, what can you do? You must provide the hard fact “evidence” that the marketing pragrams you want to start these days will prove to be profitable for the company in the end.

Some random ideas on how to produce those cold facts that CFOs want to see from the CMOs these days:

  • Define KPIs better. Before you even launch a B2B marketing campaign, make sure to thoroughly define the key performance indicators that will measure the results. Let me give you an example: if your goal is to build additional access points into a prospect company that you target, then first of all you should be able to see how deep results your cappaign produces on the short term. Afterwards, you can design a plan to produce results on the long term.
  • Create a strong tie between marketing processes and business priorities. Study the sales goal your company has, and then demonstrate the CFO how the marketing programmes you design can support these objectives. For example, if you hava managed to create more contacts at prospect companies, show how the sales team is setting more and more meetings and how demo requests increase.
  • Show how the results you achieve link to business goals. If you have a new online marketing campaign, and it generates, let’s say, 75% more clicks than the previous one, this number alone is not sufficient to explain success. You have to explain the financial and the sales team how this increase affects the company, to prove a whole cause-and-effect chain that helps your business achieved the defined objectives.

In the end, what really matters is to discover what’s working for your company and why, and not just think in terms of B2B ROI.

Filed under: b2b marketing, Best Practices, Business-to-Business, General, how to, Internal Marketing, Marketing Planning, objectives, , ,

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  • How can B2B companies approach viral marketing? June 4, 2009
    Can B2B marketing be fun and creative? The idea came to me to write about it because at newAD we are now talking to one of our clients, an IT company, to use viral campaigns as part of their marketing plan. With viral marketing, online campaigns get a life of their own, because, if the […]
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