Thursday, October 10, 2013

To Social, or not to Social, that is the question for B to B marketers

A B-to-B company looks back on one of its customers and the history of its last profitable sale. The purpose? Uncover telephone calls, sales visits, dinners, handshakes at trade shows that may have had an impact. An investigator also documents responses to direct marketing, ads, press release programs, and website interactions. A company may even have a social program that has yielded reactions.

What role did each "engagement" play? Which had more sales impact? Most importantly, and the reason we study marketing response, how should we separate marketing activities that are nice-to-haves versus those we need-to-have for next year's budget?

The real questions wrestled by business marketers when building budgets can be boiled down to priority.

It has been said in B-to-B land that Social media is social, more for customer service and not to be judged for lead generating. In that sense it takes on a more foundational role in marketing.

The fact is, for better or worse, Social opens up one more channel from which to support customers.

Instead of asking how to meaningfully count B2B Social interactions or impressions, a company would be advised to carefully study its customer base to determine its current perceptions and likely use of Social before rolling out another communications channel.

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