2B or not 2B … B2B marketers no longer have any choice

2B or not 2B … B2B marketers no longer have any choice

Social marketing has become an inescapable aspect of our daily lives. It’s around us even if we don’t belong to social networks. While business-to-consumer social marketing is well established in the land of retail, business-to-business marketers have been slower to truly harness its potential.

B2B marketers bought into the idea of a Facebook page and a Twitter account, but without a good management plan with allocated resources, it drifted down the to-do list to become a stale and cold place.

The old media talks at people while the new media talks with them.

  • ⅔ of people are on the ‘do not call’ list
  • almost half of direct mail is never opened
  • 99.9% of online banners are never clicked
  • buyers wait until they have 60-80% of their research done before looking for vendors.
    (Michael Brenner, Senior Director of Global Marketing at SAP)

And forget cold-calls. Nobody enjoys being interrupted by a sneak-attack on the phone.

So what do we do?

“We’re living at a time when attention is the new currency. Those who insert themselves into as many channels as possible look to capture the most value.”
Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable

B2B marketers must engage with their target while they are still in the research phase. They need to become knowledge leaders and instill a level of confidence and trust so that when the research is done, they are top-of-mind and possibly even trusted. They need to publish content and pull in customers.

Experts in B2B marketing are suggesting that every marketing campaign needs to involve social. The old ways don’t work by themselves anymore and there are tremendous opportunities for those who do create a solid plan, with resources and with proper follow-through.

A Neilsen survey found that only 1/3 of buyers believe what a brand has to say about itself, while 90% believe what their peers have to say about the brand. This means you must turn your customers into a force of powerful and vocal advocates.

“Social Media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.”

Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group

With help from Marketo.