Will Facebook Be Effective For B2B Marketing?

One of the most common questions about B2B social media is whether or not (and how) Facebook fits into the mix. There really isn’t a simple answer and it’s best to think of it in macro vs. micro terms. There are hundreds of variables to consider, but starting with these three important b2b social media questions should help.

That said, some of the best expertise on the subject of Facebook for B2B comes from SocialMediaB2B.com’s co-founders Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey L. Cohen. At MarketingProfs B2B Forum , Jeffrey, along with Deirdre Walsh, and Susan Solomon, presented on the topic: Facebook for Effective B2B Marketing.

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Three Views On The Future Of The CMO

The world of marketing is undergoing a massive evolution, consider these three ideas shaping the future of the CMO.

1. Technology Transcendence

For kids today, technology is omnipresent. It’s just there, in everything they do. They are born digital natives. Technology is just a part of life (kinda like sliced bread is for us).

If you hold the highest marketing position in your company, it’s time you become a digital native too. Replace any fear of technology with the acceptance of it. It is no longer a separate “thing” to think about. It must be a part of your subconscious. You need to look through the technology lens and find all the ways it can help you.

2. The Collaborative Strategist

Did we really need the marketing automation software industry to be born to realize how important it is for marketing to be in lock step alignment with sales? One wouldn’t think so, yet it seems that it is the catalyst sparking more and more alignment conversations.

The CMO’s role is to open the door to collaboration and work together with your sales counterpart to determine the next best moves to optimize revenue growth.

3. An Open Point Of View

Working to control your marketing messages today is futile. It is no longer a battle that can be won. It’s time for the brand police to retire.

Changes to the way marketing messages are perceived and consumed have forced the need for a deeper understanding of consumption habits and an open approach to interacting and communicating with your customers. Consider the ease at which your message can be hijacked by consumers (think: BP Oilspill or Nestle), and you quickly realize why CMOs must relinquish control and be open.

How are you changing your view?

Jeremy Victor

Peeling Away The Layers

By nature, I am an analytical person. Growing up, I was that kid in class that was constantly raising his hand, asking more questions and wanting to understand why. I haven’t changed.

Lee Odden of TopRank (a personal favorite blog), wrote a great article this week titled, Why Do So Many Companies Suck at Social Media?

It really got me thinking. It brought back to mind a wonderful metaphor I learned over 10 years ago during Franklin Covey’s Helping Clients Succeed™ Consultative Sales Training program. It goes something like this.

In helping clients, before providing a solution, you need to discover the core of the problem. It’s typically something that is most shielded from view or not yet revealed (the core). As you peeling away each layer (by continually asking, “Why?”), you learn each of the surface issues until ultimately you are led to the deeper truth revealed at the core. The root cause of the problem.

In Lee’s article, Why Do So Many Companies Suck at Social Media?, he identified a number of the issues (layers of the onion):

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A Problem Affecting Twitter’s B2B Marketing Adoption (It Ain’t Easy)

Over the past couple of months as we’ve been working with clients at Make Good Media, we noticed a social media trend I thought I would share. It has to do with Twitter. As an active, daily user of Twitter, it is fairly easy to overlook this trend. But repeatedly, we’ve heard the following, “At first, Twitter is really hard to understand, quite confusing, and frankly I don’t get it.” Some have even gone so far as to say, “I’m ready to give up.”

Now as someone who is very active on Twitter, and knows all the ins and outs, this can come as a quite a surprise. It’s not until you sit down with someone, begin going through it, and say statements like, “That’s a DM.” Or “You see this, that is a ‘mention.’ To reply to that, you just type in the at symbol followed by their username.” Pretty quickly you realize you are almost speaking a foreign language, and there are several things that need to be learned for someone to really grasp the basics of Twitter.

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Three B2B Marketing Trends (To Avoid)

Three B2B Marketing trends have surfaced during my travels in the past few months that are worth sharing with you as we move deeper into 2010.


The first is that the overwhelming majority of marketers I am speaking with are thinking of social media marketing as something separate and distinct from the rest of their corporate marketing plans. I don’t believe this is being done intentionally, it’s just happening. We saw this same thing (and still do to some extent) happen when companies were first considering how to begin marketing on the internet.

While this approach may work on a small scale for a limited time, to realize the full benefits the social web has to offer your B2B marketing, your social media marketing needs to be integrated with your overall marketing plan and targeted to specific buyer personas. It needs to share the same overarching goals, share the same voice, and most importantly, share the same performance metrics. Thinking of it separately will not be giving it the attention it deserves (and the resources it needs) to truly help you realize its benefits.

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Humanize Your Marketing With Buyer Personas

Buyer Persona development may just be the most important element in a content marketing strategy. Having a deeper, more personal understanding of your customers leads to content creation that not only builds trust, but also demonstrates your willingness to spend the necessary time to learn the actual circumstances that affect your customers.

With well-defined buyer personas, your content suddenly becomes for *someone* versus *everyone*. And that makes all the difference when trying to build a relationship with your customers through your content marketing strategy.

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The B2B Marketers Dilemma

A couple of weeks ago, I identified three recurring b2b marketing trends and I shared them with you in this post, Three B2B Marketing Trends (To Avoid). Today, I introduce you to something you are more than likely already intimately familiar with, I am calling it, The B2B Marketers Dilemma. Here it is.
Am I right? Pretty close I bet. Quite frankly, if you are a B2B marketer, I think you have the most difficult job in the organization right now. You are likely championing your company’s B2B social marketing media efforts, while at the same time thinking the best approach would be for the entire organization to be asking itself, “how do we become a social business?” Not just, “how do we set up a Facebook Fan page?” If the former were the case, you could spend your time in a more meaningful way than convincing everyone a negative comment on a blog won’t kill you.

The reality is though, you are having to fight that fight, and to me that is just one of the reasons why your job as a B2B marketer is so challenging. But moving beyond those discussions, your most important work is in solving this dilemma for your organization. It’s vital to your success not only as a company, but also as a B2B social media and content marketing professional.

So how do you do it? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

  • Reassess all your spending from a buyer persona perspective versus “target audience” – When you have well developed buyer personas for the people involved in your buying process (notice I am not saying sales cycle), you know them intimately. You know their online habits, their daily struggles, their education level and much more. Once you get this close to your buyers, you find an entirely different point of view to assess where and how you are spending your marketing and advertising budgets to reach them.
  • Evaluate the structure and roles of your marketing department – When marketing is changing as rapidly and radically as it is today, new thinking in required. Now, I’m not talking about “new thinking” in the sense that you need to come up with some new breakthrough, magical formula. I simply mean looking at the old way of doing things with a 2010 mindset. Apply critical thinking and develop better methods to serve your needs now and in the future. This covers not only evaluating the skill sets of the people working for you, but also their job descriptions and operational responsibilities. Build your department to support ongoing content creation.
  • Talent matters, it’s time to evaluate yours – Gone are the days when you leave someone on your team, “because they have been with the company for so long,” or whatever other reason you may be making for an under performer. In the new world of B2B social media and content marketing, each and every person on your team needs to contribute, every day. If they have the talent, but not the skills, invest in training and help them grow professionally.
  • Outsource – I’ve long been a proponent of outsourcing because of its ability to allow an organization to stay focused on it core competency. The same benefits hold true for b2b social media and content marketing. So whether it be outsourcing the creation of a video, white paper, or hiring a writer or editor for your blog, these are sound business decisions and one you should consider if you are understaffed.

There you have it, a few suggestions to get you started solving the B2B marketers dilemma. Ultimately though, what lies ahead in solving this dilemma is transformation, renewal, and hard work (lots of it). But don’t let that prevent you from pressing on. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will your b2b social media and content marketing strategy and execution.

Kindly share some of your ideas in the comments on how we can help each other solve The B2B Marketers Dilemma.

Jeremy Victor

Four Must Have Skills For Tomorrow’s Leaders

Every now and then it is important to take a personal inventory of your skills and abilities. I don’t mean an end of the year surface-level, quick, “hey, I’m great” type of thing. I’m talking about an honest, candid evaluation of yourself as a leader. A deep look inside.

Every time I have done this over the years, I also ask myself, “What skills do I need to develop to be more successful in the future?” There are four must have leadership skills on my list this year. They are:

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