Using Twitter for Marketing and PR: Do the Pros Practice What They Preach?

It seems that everyone claims to be a Twitter expert these days. Of course, most are not. But several of the real Twitter pros I know—including those who have written books about using Twitter as an effective marketing and public relations instrument—have figured out how to best leverage the 140-character microblogging tool to promote themselves, their books, their firms, and their clients. And some of them actually follow their own advice!

How Smart Marketing Book Authors Use Twitter

For example, Mark Schaefer of Schaefer Marketing Solutions is the author of the book The Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time. He and his firm provide affordable outsourced marketing support to address both short-term sales opportunities and long-term strategic renewal.

Mark uses Twitter to help deliver on that promise for a number of his blue-chip clients, including Nestle, AARP, Anheuser-Busch, Coldwell Banker, Scripps Networks, Keystone Foods, and the U.K. government. He also very effectively promotes himself and his book on Twitter as part of his own marketing, branding, and relationship-development strategy. … Read more

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Do CMOs Really Understand the Value of Twitter?

In a recent blog post on Forbes.com, CMO Club CEO Pete Krainik noted, “Most Chief Marketing Officers see the value of engaging with customers—and the value of engaging them where they hang out, talk, and spend their time.” Pete is surely right about that. But then why are only a very small percentage of CMOs active in the social media world themselves, particularly on Twitter?

I attended the CMO Club’s semiannual CMO Summit in San Francisco last week. Again this year, it was an excellent event and was well attended by a nice cross-section of B2C and B2B Chief Marketing Officers from around the country, representing all different types and sizes of companies and organizations. On the last day of the Summit, I was part of a panel who discussed the business impact of social media and community building, including the most effective social media marketing tools. But surprisingly, I discovered that out of the 80-plus heads of marketing in attendance at the Summit, only 16 who carry the official title of CMO for their organizations are currently active on Twitter:

B2C Chief Marketing Officers:

B2B Chief Marketing Officers:

B2C/B2B Chief Marketing Officers:

This is obviously not a scientific study, but two things struck me when reviewing this list: 1) even though there were more B2C CMOs at the Summit than B2B, more B2B CMOs are active on Twitter than their B2C counterparts, and 2) very few “big brands” in either the B2C or B2B world are represented by their CMOs on Twitter. It’s also interesting to note that you can make the same basic observations when reviewing the list of the top CMOs on Twitter that I curate as Co-Publisher for Social Media Marketing Magazine.

So why is that the case? Do most CMOs not understand the value of Twitter and other social media tools? Or do they just not consider them a priority for their careers or their companies?

“Most CMOs barely understand the value of building relationships with customers and giving them a voice, let alone how to navigate and make use of the world of Twitter. Social media marketing to most in the C-suite is still something campaign based, but social media marketing needs to be woven into fabric of all marketing channels, strategically managed from a 360-degree perspective,” said Ted Rubin, Chief Social Marketing Officer at OpenSky and the most-followed CMO on Twitter. “The key here is to convince CMOs to get personally involved in social media by having someone with hands-on knowledge mentor them, so they get first-hand knowledge, build their own personal following, and learn from the ground up. That way, they can properly guide and manage the integration process,” Ted added.

John Dragoon, the Chief Marketing Officer at Novell, noted, “All markets are conversations, and good marketers are embracing new tools to have these conversations. The beauty of social media tools is they allow you to experiment quickly and learn even faster. Active participation is the key to success. And make no mistake—your customers are listening.”

Kent Huffman

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B2C vs B2B Marketing: Do the Differences Really Matter?

As a professional marketer, you have to know your customers and what motivates them to make a purchasing decision. But are the buyers of products and services in the B2C world really that much different from their counterparts in the B2B world?

The primary differences between B2C and B2B marketing are derived from the emotional perspectives of the buyers. Often, the consumer is focused on quality, comfort, and price, while the business buyer is concerned with increasing profits for his/her company.

“As a general rule, B2B marketing relies more heavily on rational–rather than emotional–product or service benefits,” said Kim Hennig, a B2C marketing veteran and principal of Kim Hennig Marketing, who has delivered record sales, award-winning advertising, and profitable marketing plans for some of the nation’s best-known brands, including McDonald’s, 1-800-Flowers, and Subway. “This is certainly not to say that the business buyer doesn’t have emotional connections to the brands he or she purchases, but there is a far greater need to justify how the features or benefits of a product will have a demonstrable impact on the company’s bottom line.” … Read more

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Sales and Marketing Alignment: What the Experts Have to Say

The CMO Council recently published a report entitled “Closing the Gap: The Sales and Marketing Alignment Imperative.” Among other key findings, the study revealed that “…there is an urgent need for marketing, sales, and channel management to align and embrace technologies, processes, and programs that enable wider and deeper customer conversations, as well as leverage the knowledge, influence, and access of the channel and continuously refine the delivery of products and services in the most painless, seamless, and satisfying way.” Although that’s definitely more than a mouthful, the points made are important ones and likely resonate with most marketers.

I’ve been in the marketing game for a long time, and the whole sales and marketing alignment thing is near and dear to my heart. Without exception, the issue of alignment has reared its head in one form or another at every company for which I have worked. As a marketing generalist, I don’t claim to be an alignment expert, but I can tell you that the effort you put forth in that area can pay huge dividends.
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