The Change in B2B Marketing
As expected, employing social media as a critical marketing technique is growing among B2B companies, but half of respondents in a newly released survey did not have a basic understanding of what their target markets were and who they could sell to.
This is alarming in view of the large numbers who identified a vertical strategy and are focusing on a particular prospect as the best approach.
The study by Demandbase, a targeting platform, and Ziff Davis, a technology media company, reported in “emarketer,” on Jan. 2, 2013 showed that social media was employed by 60% of B2B marketers, just 3% behind search engine optimization. Fifty-three percent are using content marketing, “putting the focus on identifying the industries a B2B company can best support and demonstrating how a particular service can help.”
In that respect content marketing is critical.
The conclusion? We, as B2B communications professionals, have a mandate — and an opportunity: we need to educate our prospects and clients about how to target and how to channel the message to reach the target. Cultivation and building individual and vertical group relationships is the name of the game. Understanding the needs of these businesses is fundamental to building a campaign around them.
What is stimulating the growth of social media on the B2B front? It does not appear to be the growth in customer demand, although increased engagement is certainly the consequence. Rather, the study implies, it relates to the economy: lack of budget and a need to get more out of every investment. Social media and search are a lot more economical.
Public relations via social and traditional media—owned, earned, shared and tradigital — can play a key role in creating the content and promoting it through thought leadership, awareness building, websites and brochures, among other techniques. We particularly need to capitalize on this social trend in the B2B space by making sure we have the tools at our fingertips to do the job that needs to be done.