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B2B Social Best Practices in the Marketing Cloud
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Live blogging a great webinar on Social Media, Marketing in the Cloud.  Presented by Marketing Cloud Alliance, speakers included:
  • Laura Ramos - Forrester Research
  • Jon Miller - Marketo
  • David Alston - Radian 6

Laura began by discussing how social media is a hot topic in the B2B arena.  Many B2B companies are getting serious about social media as a tool.  According to Forrester 37% of B2B marketers plan to invest in technology to support social media.  She went on to add that B2B marketers are using a number of different tactics for generating leads. She compared pre-web and Web 1.0 (driven by the seller)  interactions with Web 2.0 and how the interactions in the later are driven by the buyer.  Social media and the cloud are how they interact and try to obtain their information.  There is an engagement with the converation between the buyer and the seller.

She described the POST method used by Forrester:
P - People - assessing your consumers' social activities
O - Objectives - deciding on what you want to accomplish
S - Strategy - plan for how relationships with customers will change
T - Technology, Tactics and Tools - decide which social tools and technologies will work for you

She went on to suggest that technology buyers are a socially active crowd.  You need to understand how buyers participate to help set your social strategy.  There are six different categories that can be used to help you plan out your social strategy.

Courtesy of Forrester

Learn what your customers are saying and tapping into their social activity.  This will help you participate in the cloud and online environment where your audience is frequenting.  Laura touched on "Spreading" which is helping customers implement new business capabilities and adopt then internally or within a community.  MetricStream's Compliance Online was an example shared to illustrate.  Laura did mention that leads can be hard to find in the cloud.  You need to work with your audience and you can no longer use a "push" strategy to acquire their interest.

Laura discussed how to use the POST methodology to set your social media strategy:
  • Learn: Social behaviors of your audience
  • Answer: how will you change your relationship with that audience through the Cloud
  • Create a plan that incorporates social activity into your marketing plans
  • Use the "value chain" to assess which audience, objectives and approach to pursue.
She gave an example of what a value chain is as well as an example value chain for Cloud marketing as seen here:

She offered some great summarized tips on a cloud strategy for B2B marketing:
  • people are willing to engage socially
  • concentrate on objectives; not technology
  • use social media to compliment marketing programs that engage
 Jon Miller was up next.  He started out by describing how social media impact each of the stages of the revenue cycle beginning before prospects are even identified. He broke it down into three areas:
  1. Seed Nurturing - make valuable content freely available, create a reputation that build trust and credibility.  He mention Enquiro's research on the BuyerSphere and the elements of fear and risk for the buyer.  (Download the first 25 pages of the BuyerSphere book from Enquiro for free by going here.)
  2. Lead Nurturing - building and maintaining relationships with prospects as they educate themselves.  This happens through listening, segmenting and targeting as well as interaction.  Communication in channels that are relevany can be key with lead nurturing.
  3. Customer Nurturing - deepening and expanding relationships with existing customers.  Help reaffirm purchases after the decision (i.e. sale) is made.  This is very true with complex purchases, help the buyer avoid buyer's remorse.  Discover new needs and requirement needs of your audience.  Manage customer satisfaction and retention while deepening relationships.
Some great insight from John Miller.  There was a question asked if there are certain B2B businesses are more suited to social media.  While there are some early adopters it can work for any business if leveraged properly.

David Alston from Radian 6 was up next and started by mentioning that it is important for marketers to engage.  Marketers need to shift their paradigm.  He emphasized that social media is not a media.  It's about a two way conversation, a channel.  He used the phone as an analogy.  You need to listen to your customers, whether it is a complaint an idea or a compliment.  He touched on the new framework which he referred to as the 5 C's:
  1. Content - related to the old marketing "P" of promotion.  Rather than try to create marketing speak, create valuable content that people will want to share.  Again make this content free.
  2. Community - the community is alive and listens to itself, it has its own rules.  Avoid telling or "yelling" at the audience.  You need to live in the community and be an active participant.
  3. Conversation - don't talk at, talk with.  You need to be a good listener.  Conversation is where relationships are formed.
  4. Collaboration - what is the community trying to learn or accomplish?  Work together and findthe solution.  Participate and spend time with them.
  5. Connections - while you live in the community, you need to be active and make connections with people in the community and grow these relationships over time.
He presented a social media maturity model as seen here:

He went on to describe some tips when leveraging social media which included:
  • finding and building community on passion
  • propelling campaigns through listening
  • push leads into the funnel - listening for the point of need
  • track and activate advocates 
  • answer questions (in your own field) - share your expertise (do not be salesy)
  • uncover content that the community needs
  • find and resolve complaints
  • track resonance of other issues that come up
Overall a great presentation with some helpful tips for B2B marketers who are either currently using social media as a tool or are considering tapping into social media as a nurturing and marketing tool.


posted by Jody @ Wednesday, January 27, 2010  
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