The Importance of Social Marketing In B2B Transactions
As we all know there has been a big shift in marketing strategy from the tired old strategies to fresh and living… online forums. A place once used and understood as a communication tool from peer-to-peer has transformed into the worldwide marketplace.
The long and detailed ads or marketing strategies are not exactly obsolete…(yet)… but the new wave has definitely come in.
Social media has become a critical foundation for emerging into a new market, and not accepting this may set you back more than you think. In Jeff Ernst’s recent Forrester report he stated that 39% of businesses go to the main networks of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and 64% go to other forums and online discussion groups. The trend has been set.
Business To Business Marketing Strategy
The concern that comes with this is actually tackling what lies ahead. Many businesses are hesitant and slow to react to this change, and don’t really understand how to go about working these systems into their current atmosphere. Luckily, the business-to-consumer platforms have already made the leap.
This can benefit the business-to-business market by helping them to understand the ups and downs the other side has faced. Using their successes, mistakes and even their businesses models can ease the transition. The truth of the matter is that it is a useful system, and needs to be taken advantage of as quickly as possible.
All Leads Are Not Created Equal
The short-form content of the online blogger is stepping into the spotlight. They have identified the audience and they’ve begun to form their strategy around it. A common mistake B2B pioneers have faced is believing all lead generations are the same. All leads are not created equal, and this has left newcomers frustrated with lack of interest.
Things are very different from the outdated white paper, and also using the business-to-consumer platform for business-to-business work has brought on confusion with their differing styles. In the B2C buying cycle things go from consumer to product to purchase. Things get a little more complicated with B2B.
The B2B Buying Cycle
The B2B buying cycle is a much more complex issue to understand and work through. First comes the marketing. A demo and even a how-to-buy guide are usually a requirement. Next comes the speculation introduced with an IT group of the customer and a lot more product comparison that anything in B2C would really face. Finally things transition into the purchasing phase.
Obviously, a purchase of a video game advertised for a lower price has a very different effect than a new business model for a corporation. In B2B, there is a series of micro-conversions from product info views to case study downloads all the way to online chats to better understand each process.
There is hope however. Over the past few years, many tools have been created to help you better understand the success of your company in their online B2B work. A simpler way to track the cost of each effort put forth and increase productivity makes this transition into the online world a much more realistic mission.
The time of reckoning is now, and B2B has stepped into the online race. The time to get off the sidelines is now.