Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

B2B Social Media: Six Months Later

October 12, 2009

When I first jumped into the deep end of the social media pool in March 2009, one of my early conclusions was that social media is about creating dialogue more than it is about pushing marketing message out to the masses. This conculsion holds true.

And it’s gotten even better in the last six months! As social media has taken hold in our society and in B2B companies of all shapes and sizes I have seen a subtle but hugely important shift take place surrounding the importance of and role of marketing in these same companies.

Marketing is Moving into the Driver’s Seat

I have been involved in marketing for more than 20 years. Call me old. Or call me seasoned. I’ve been around the block a time or two, and I’ve always known that marketing was keenly dependent on sales in trying out new marketing messages, ideas, etc.

Now, with the help and power of social media, marketing is moving into the driver’s seat. When we have a new message or new positioning idea to test we can go directly to customers on Twitter or another social network to give it a whirl. When we want to ask customers for input we can post a poll to our blog or ask a question to a LinkedIn group. If we have two customer testimonial videos and we’re wondering which is more powerful we can post them to YouTube and receive feedback very quickly. Social media has given us a more immediate and direct conduit to our customers.

The Olden Days

How did we do it in the olden days – you know, back in the 90s? We were highly dependent on sales. We would create new messages based on customer input and competitive understanding. Then we would teach the inside sales group how to convey these messages and wait and see how they worked. If we were lucky the inside sales team was disciplined enough to test them and provide feedback to the marketing group. Only then would we consider using them more broadly in the market.

Marketing Now Much More One to One

The dynamics have changed. Marketing can now create dialogue more quickly and more directly with customers. As a result, marketing has become more nimble and can add more value to our companies.

There has been an old adage for years that sales is one to one while marketing is one to many. True. But now, with the help of social media those of us in marketing roles can be one to one as much as we can be one to many. I love this!

Let me know if you have any examples of how this changing dynamic is coming to life in your world.