Social Media for B2B

3 04 2014

Recently I downloaded the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner. I know I am a little behind but it still makes very interesting reading. A common complaint among B2B marketing professionals is that social media platforms are often very B2C focused.

Here is what I picked up regarding B2B marketing use of social media:

  1. Improved search results are an important benefit of using social media;
  2. B2B companies are more likely to use social media for intelligence gathering;
  3. B2B marketers are more focused on LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging whereas Facebook dominated the B2C space;
  4. B2B marketers are more likely to increase their blogging activity;
  5. As expected, B2B marketers are more likely also to increase their activity on LinkedIn;
  6. Similarly, Google+ and podcasting are more popular with B2B marketers.

Other marketing activities that B2B respondents mentioned were SEO and event marketing.

In general, given the 44% of respondents described themselves as being B2B it is encouraging to see the high level of involvement in social media marketing. I was surprised that Slideshare did not feature but perhaps it is too niche.

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Turning Leinster Rugby into an elite organisation

6 02 2013

Mick Dawson, CEO of Leinster Rugby, addressed the January 2013 Marketing Breakfast. Mick took the audience through the journey that Leinster Rugby has taken from the amateur to the professional to the elite era. To give some perspective, when rugby union turned professional Leinster Rugby had no structures, no fan base, played three matches a season and was seen as a stepping stone to the national side. Today it has:

  1. 145 employees
  2. A turnover of €17 million
  3. 13,000 season ticket holders
  4. State of the Art facilities in UCD
  5. Plays 28 – 33 matches a season

We live in a moment where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when is it already disappearing” RD Laing

From a marketing perspective a key message that I picked up from Mick was the importance of managing people and relationships. Mick and his team have to manage relationships with professional sporting bodies, players, sponsors, supporters, volunteers and the amateur side of rugby in the province. I was very interested in the emphasis Mick put on this. For example, the supports club is a separate entity to Leinster Rugby but they meet regularly to keep in touch with what the supporters are saying.

Leinster Rugby has also invested in trying to understand their audience and their brand. They carried out a brand study to see how they were perceived by a cross-section of stakeholders including season ticket holders, clubs, schools, staff, players and sponsors. Based on the result of this study they made three key decisions:

  1. the brand was Leinster rather than Dublin and they need to expand outside the traditional south Dublin stronghold
  2. a new logo was need to drive the brand forward
  3. the profile of match attendees needed to change from men in their 50’s to families

This clear understanding of the brand has helped position Leinster Rugby as the “12 county army” and a remarkable sporting and commercial success story. Mick’s full talk is available on the Marketing Institute’s YouTube channel or you can view my interview with Mick below.





Content marketing is easy?

12 10 2012

I attended the Digital Thursday event organised by the Marketing Institute of Ireland last night. The speaker was Nick Biggam, Commercial Director of AIB Merchant Services. Nick and his team provide the technology behind electronic payments whether that is using your credit/debit card in-store, purchasing over the phone or buying online.

Nick outlined how they have grown their business through content marketing and SEO using a new website to position themselves as industry experts. I wrote a guest blog post on the event for the Marketing Institute which gives more detail but what struck me most was how much time Nick and his team invest in this content driven approach to marketing. What they do is:

  1. Write 3 to 6 independent, non-biased articles a week to showcase their expertise. This is done using a team of independent journalists as well as articles supplied by other industry players
  2. Serious SEO work involving 141 key words of which they rank first for 90
  3. Backlinks to the AIBMS website for additional information
  4. Sharing content via LinkedIn and Twitter
  5. Monthly email

That’s a lot of ongoing work!





Websites are the top source of online leads

7 10 2011

There is a lot of emphasis at the moment on having a digital marketing strategy. Many people believe that you have to be on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and that you must have PPC campaigns and online advertising. This may be correct when looking at the consumer market but does not apply quite so readily to the B2B market.

A recent survey carried out in the US by Demandbase and Focus throws up some interesting results. The most important sources of B2B leads are:

  • Personal connections and referrals – 41%
  • Websites – 23%
  • Email – 14%
  • Online advertising – 7%
  • Social media – 3%

Perhaps we need to reconsider our fascination with social media.

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2011/6059/websites-top-online-source-of-b2b-leads-but-still-underperforming#ixzz1a5bxl6oR





Winning over B2B buyers is becoming an increasingly difficult task

28 09 2011

The good people at MarketingSherpa have just launched their 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report featuring the results from a survey of 1,745 marketers.

According to the research

“even the most effective B2B marketing tactics – such as website design, SEO and email marketing – saw up to 50% decline in overall effectiveness from the previous year. This alarming statistic, along with a growing list of pertinent challenges, is just more evidence that organizations must adapt to meet new buyer expectations in these tough economic times.”

I look forward to reading more about the contents of the report and if you want to order a copy it is available here: http://www.sherpastore.com/2012B2BMarketingBMR.html