I recently wrote an article on B2B Marketing in 2006. In the column I mentioned that B2B online marketing in 2006 means:
- Dealing with an increasing amount of competition
- Establishing proper metrics to track
- Studying analytics as part of the lead generation process
- Paradigm shifts in the planning of marketing strategies and budgets (search engine marketing anyone?)
- Leveraging technology to streamline and improve marketing effectiveness and efficiencies
- Re-shaping traditional business processes
- Establishing an effective online presence
- Understanding your target market now more than ever
The fourth point brings up an interesting point about search engine marketing and how B2B marketers in 2006 need to take advantage of search engine marketing campaigns. Before they can do this they have to allocate a portion of their marketing budget to search. This means deciding on how much of the budget to put towards a sponsored campaign as well as funding an organic campaign. The hitch here is that many companies still do not set aside a portion of their marketing budgets. Why is that? It continues to be proven that returns on search engine marketing are better than traditional more expensive mediums. Think about this, the amount some companies spend on a 30 second spot during the Superbowl could actually translate into a pretty decent search engine marketing campaign for the entire year. While this may be more of an example for the B2C market, some B2B companies have also been slow to adopt SEO as part of their marketing efforts.
Given the fact that search is still new and many companies have been hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. SEO is something that all B2B organizations need to look at very seriously. Search is not going away, it's just starting to become mainstream. It's going to be around for a while. For all of those B2B companies out there that have not taken the time to undertake a search engine marketing campaign what are you waiting for? I can guarantee you that some of your competitors have welcomed SEO and may be winning the war online. Check some of your rankings for some of your key phrases are you apperaing near the top or is your competition?