19 Apr B2B & Enterprise Marketing: What’s Working
Today we’re coming to you live from the second annual Washington, DC Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit (MAM Summit). We sponsored and supported the MAM Summit last year and are excited to be a part of the event again this year. We’ll be bringing you recaps of a few of the different sessions today and you can also keep up with the happenings over on Twitter by following @mamsummit or #MAMSUMMIT.
This morning I’m excited to sit in and bring you a recap of the B2B & Enterprise Marketing: What’s Working panel. The moderator of the panel is Limor Schafman, President, Keystone Tech Group and panelists include:
- Ken Chow, CMO, Logi Analytics
- Tom Kohn, Former EVP Digital, Cygnus Business Media
- Bob London, Founder & President, London Ink.
- Bob Ragsdale, VP of Marketing, MicroPact
This group provided a very lively, engaging and fun session – which ironically was one of the things they wall agreed B2B marketing should be; rather than what it often ends up being, which, according to the panel, is dry, dull and boring.
A few of the highlights/main points from the session include:
- The marketing landscape is different than it was just 10 years ago and we owe this largely to social media. While social media channels serve a purpose, and if used appropriately can be useful, Ken also felt that they often play an integral role in creating disharmony and panic. With the rush to be on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. companies are losing site of their strategy and are just shouting to the masses. One way to combat this chaos is simply to Just. Take. A. Deep. Breath.
- Just because something works for a B2C company doesn’t mean it will work for B2B. Again, Ken pointed out that all you have to do is take a look around Facebook, which is now is replete with long abandoned spots of corporate sites. This could easily be chalked up to the fact that with all the developments in social media and technology it’s easy to get distracted by chasing down the latest and greatest shiny object (SQUIRREL!). It could also be attributed to B2B companies trying to replicate B2C strategies without thinking about the right way to connect with their audience.
- This leads us to probably the greatest piece of information to come from the panel, and I will say this loudly so everyone can hear, KNOW AND TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMER. Not that “spray and pray” was really ever effective but today companies have more information and insight into who their customer is and should be using this information to their advantage. As Bob London and Ken pointed out, every minute you spend focused on social media is a minute you aren’t talking to your customers and we often get so focused on social media that we forget we’re trying to have a conversation with people. Use the data you’ve captured about your audience and create content that will resonate with them. Sure, it might be a lot of work to develop different messages or content for each audience but the results are sure to speak for themselves.
- The group cautioned though that it’s a mistake to think we just need more conversation and to try to cram more through the existing channels and instead we should be focused on making sure the conversation is meaningful. Forget how you are doing on Twitter or Pinterest, it doesn’t matter. To paraphrase from Ken, what you need be doing is focusing on how to differentiate yourself in an ever-rising sea of sameness. Focus on the message and deliver your message and content in the right place at the right time. See above regarding a lot of work but good results.
- Lastly, along those lines, Bob Ragsdale also imparted his wisdom that every marketer needs to not only know, understand and connect with their audience but also be able to boil your message down to a simple 6-8 words. It’s easy these days to get caught up in chasing the shiny objects that companies/marketers can lose track of what their core messaging is. It’s necessary to have the self control to know what your audience is really asking for, know what your core differentiator is and then come hang your hat on it come hell or high water.
There is probably so much more to say and you can catch anything I forgot over on the Twitter stream. All in all it was a great session and I’m glad I was able to sit in and be a part of it. Stay tuned for more recaps from the SpeakerBox team today!