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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, , , ,

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, , ,

How to judge a lead-gen provider by its excuses

Being in the lead generation industry myself, I am curious what the competition is doing. Since „classical” sales methods don’t seem to work so effectively in the last few months, it seems that lead-gen activities are the last resort for some companies to stay alive. However, you should be very careful with selecting your lead-gen solutions provider, and keep in mind that not everything they present on paper can become reality.

Their job is to pass as many qualified prospects through the sales funnel, as fast as possible, to bring you more sales and a bigger income. When they cannot make it happen, there are some main reasons they will invoke. Here they are, not necessary in the order of importance, and some ways to figure them out:

  • Hard work in the ultimate thing in sales

They will tell you how many long and tiresome hours they’ve spent  to gather hundreds of contacts, and send them more or less compelling messages on your behalf. You should understand that what really makes a difference is that they only approach the right people in the first place, and try to cultivate a profitable relationship with them.

  • Leads are qualified in the 2.0 era

In the past, lead-gen providers were looking for leads in mailings, trade shows, advertising, networking or newsletters. In the 2.0 era, all these turned into blogs, videos, eBooks, free reports, press releases, RSS feeds or  email lists. Even the names sound more pretentious than in the past, the reality is the same: these are not leads. Most of the times, they are just inquiries from people who want something for free. Digging deeper into these sources, your provider may actually find a prospect. Who is neither a business referral, nor a lead.

  • Everything counts as a lead

Your lead-gen service provider may take pride in the number of e-mails or phine calls you receive. Still, some distinctions must be made. Inquiries are not leads. People who want to get something for free don’t represent leads. Leads are people who:

  1. Have a genuine business need that your product/service can fulfil
  2. Have a budget
  3. Are really interested in talking directly to you about your products and services to see how you can help them
  4. Match the ideal client profile

Leaving philosophy and terminology aside, the best possible leads are the ones you receive through a referral. When this happens, it means thay you already benefit from an amount of credibility and trust, and chances are that you will get a new client – more than 50% of the times, as I’ve noticed.

Filed under: b2b marketing, b2b sales, Business-to-Business, General, how to, Lead Generation, Marketing Results, Marketing vs Sales, objectives, , , , , , ,

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