The End of Easy Marketing

The End of Easy Marketing
Savvy Guest - Wed Jun 10, 2009 @ 08:09AM
Comments: 31

At Savvy B2B Marketing, we thrive on different perspectives and new ideas, which is why we are thrilled to welcome our first guest blogger, MarkSchaefer. We enjoy Mark's blog, {grow}: A Journal of Marketing Solutions, and his conversational, straightforward style. More fantastic guests are planned for the weeks ahead, sostay tuned.Old Time Salesman

Run an advertisement, get a response. Distribute a coupon, get a response. Run a promotion, get a response. If you provided an effective marketing "cause," you'll get a desired "effect."

Social media is the hottest topic in marketing these days but has been slow to take off in B2B. One reason is that the days of cause and effect marketing are over and it's difficult to overcome that long-held mindset. Worse -- if you try to apply traditional marketing to the new world of social media you'll get toasted. Let me give you an example.

Twitter, the subject of a recent Time magazine cover story, is a digital Post-It note. Users compose 140-character bits of information about themselves and things that interest them. One of the marketers I "followed" used Twitter as a megaphone, incessantly promoting her product. Every post was something like "register now for this promotion, "or" Buy one of these from me now ..." It was annoying. She was trying to use the old model of cause and effect in this new channel and it just didn't work. So I "unfollowed" her, and turned the message off.

To make the transition to social media marketing, you have to realize you are not selling a product. You are building a community. That takes time, patience, and commitment ... characteristics most companies don't have in a "make the numbers NOW" economic environment. However, if you're willing to give it a try (and you SHOULD!), here are a few ideas on how to start building your corporate B2B community:

  1. Be authentic. If a customer senses you are taking advantage of them, they will drop you as fast as I dropped Ms. Megaphone.
  2. Be funny. Nothing attracts and keeps people around like a little humor.
  3. Remember, this is a DIALOGUE. It's not all about you any more. Comment. Encourage others to comment. Comment again. Repeat as needed.
  4. Provide incredibly useful content and ideas.
  5. Be human. That's new and difficult to many companies, but it's essential to building an emotional tie to people who WANT to be tied to you.
  6. Employ the right resources. The person on your staff who has the nicest Facebook page is not necessarily the most adept at being your corporate presence on social media.
  7. Re-align your metrics. The old cause-and-effect metrics probably don't work any more.
  8. Follow others who are successful and be humble enough to learn from them. Link to others, give credit. Realize that you are NOT the source of all wisdom!
  9. Thank people endlessly. Be gracious, realizing that people are sharing precious time with you.
  10. Keep your eyes on the STRATEGY of what you're doing. Otherwise, there are tons of ways to fall into rabbit holes. This is still a business.

How are you doing on your social media efforts? How would you add to this list?

About the author: Mark Schaefer has led B2B marketing initiatives for more than 25 years. He is executive director at Schaefer Marketing Solutions and teaches marketing and management at Tusculum College in Knoxville, TN. He also blogs about practical marketing advice for the small business owner.

Comments: 31


1. Blake Hinckley  |  my website   |   Wed Jun 10, 2009 @ 05:23PM

Good insights Mark,

I think you hit the community aspect of social marketing right on the head, as well as stressing the need for transparency and authenticity (easier said than done). I recently wrote a social marketing dos and don'ts of my own that I thought you and your readers might find interesting: Thanks,

Blake Hinckley

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