Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Target Marketing HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 
Ruth P. Stevens

Ruthless B-to-B Marketing

By Ruth P. Stevens

About Ruth

Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, and teaches marketing at companies and business schools around the world. She is past chair of the DMA Business-to-Business Council, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York. Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain's BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She is the author of Maximizing Lead Generation: The Complete Guide for B2B Marketers, and Trade Show and Event Marketing. Ruth serves as a director of Edmund Optics, Inc. She has held senior marketing positions at Time Warner, Ziff-Davis, and IBM and holds an MBA from Columbia University.

Ruth is a guest blogger at Biznology, the digital marketing blog. Email Ruth at ruth@ruthstevens.com, follow her on Twitter at @RuthPStevens, or visit her website, www.ruthstevens.com.

 

The Power Punch

Carolyn Goodman
Death of the Salesman
Nov 21, 2014

There's no question that the Willy Lomans of this world have been dying a slow, agonizing death—only instead of losing...



Here's What Counts

Chuck McLeester
How Do You Spell ROI?
Nov 20, 2014

Return on Investment: Everybody's talking about ROI, but not everyone agrees on what it is. Given the various ways that...



Mobile-First Marketing

Greg Hoy
Tracking Mobile Ad Effectiveness With Real-Time Data
Nov 19, 2014

The volume of mobile data and the speed at which it is created continues to increase as the global population...



Muscle Marketing

Wendy Montes de Oca
The Power of Interstitials … Are You Using Them?
Nov 18, 2014

Whether your goal is cross-selling or lead generation, interstitials are a great way to get your website visitors' attention and...



The Integrated Email

Cyndie Shaffstall
Moving Upstream on Cart Abandonment
Nov 17, 2014

After speaking at a conference on the topic of email automation for your online store, I was approached by more...



Making Social Sell

Jeff Molander
Social Selling on LinkedIn Doesn’t Require Thought Leadership (Part 2 of 3)
Nov 14, 2014

This social selling best practice is actually the worst—causing frustration and failure. I'm talking about "becoming a thought leader in...



Brand Matters

Andrea Syverson
Take Along, Share and Simplify: Essential Verbs to Enhance Your Brand Strategy in 2015, Part 2
Dec 9, 2014

Back in November, I shared with you two essential verbs to enhance your brand strategy: amaze and respect. Now I...



Direct Mail for the Modern Marketer

Summer Gould
What Can Variable Data Do for Your Direct Mail?
Nov 13, 2014

A direct mail piece is an effective way to reach out to your customers, putting your brand directly in their...



Reinventing Direct

Gary Hennerberg
How to Neutralize the Risk of Backfire
Nov 12, 2014

The mid-term elections are over, where widely divergent points-of-view are on display. The political campaign season (which one could argue...



Marketing Sustainably

Chet Dalzell
The 'Sustainability' of Giving Back: How Marketers Look After Their Own
Nov 10, 2014

Sustainability in business is often referred to as "the triple bottom line"—financial, environmental and social. This past week, I had...



Big Data, Small Data, Clean Data, Messy Data

Stephen  H. Yu
Not All Databases Are Created Equal
Nov 6, 2014

Not all databases are created equal. No kidding. That is like saying that not all cars are the same, or...



Keeping Search Profitable

Amanda G. Watlington, Ph.D.
Giving Organic Search Credit
Oct 28, 2014

For many marketers, the end of the year marks the end of their budget cycle. It is certainly not revealed...



Marketing Nuggets

Michael Lowenstein
Marketing Success Is (Almost) All About the Data: Optimizing Customer Loyalty Behavior Initiatives
Oct 7, 2014

Much of what I've learned over the years about sales, marketing and customer service has to do with the critical...



Triple Venti Dolce Data...

Vince Pickett
Clue Me In, Please
Aug 21, 2013

So here we are, halfway through 2013. You, along with everyone, are still trying to find that magic formula to...



Who's Your Data?

Rio Longacre
Instagram: Does It Matter That It Will Make Money on Your Pics?
Dec 19, 2012

Instagram announced the company will soon begin using your content to sell targeted advertising products to the highest bidder. Does...



SEO & Content Marketing Revue

Heather Lloyd-Martin
5 Tips for Top Positioning (And Converting) Page Titles
Aug 11, 2010

Wondering about a SEO content strategy that offers the biggest impact in the shortest time? Try tweaking your page titles....



Yblog

Yory Wurmser
Privacy in the Age of Big Data
Jul 10, 2013

Consumers reveal more than ever before consciously through social media and, just as importantly, unconsciously through their behaviors. This data...



The Whole Magilla

Ken Magill
What Marketers Can Learn From Maine's Political Email Idiocy
Feb 24, 2012

It finally happened. Politicians' idiotic email practices had a measurable negative effect. "Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster has admitted...



Online Video Marketing Deep Dive

Eve Grey
Are Your Videos Champions of Your Brand?
Feb 3, 2014

If you advertise in an ordinary way, it's safe to expect ordinary results. However, when you take the extreme and...



Think Mobility

Greg Hickman
‘I Can't Because, I Need ... ’
Oct 7, 2013

Does this sound like you? Have you ever set up a goal, but then realized (either quickly or too late)...



Denny Hatch's Blog

Denny Hatch
The Internet Can Make You a Chump—Forever!
Sep 25, 2010

Trouble is, the Internet is rife with misinformation and if you get caught advertently or inadvertently propagating this nonsense in...



B-to-B: Where Social Media Meets Direct Marketing

1
 
Business marketers have embraced social media with enthusiasm. One of the reasons social media is working so well in B-to-B, in my opinion, is that business marketers tend to wear their direct marketing hats when they strategize and plan how to apply social media to their marketing objectives. So they get a lot of measurable value from social media, and they pull it into their programs as a full-fledged member of the integrated marketing mix. In B-to-B, social media and direct marketing have-in other words-met, hit it off, and developed a long-term relationship.

To back up and support my argument, let me offer a working definition for direct marketing: Direct marketing describes communications that are structured to motivate a response. Direct marketing communications are characterized by:

  1. Being delivered to a carefully targeted audience;
  2. Containing a motivational offer, a call to action and a response vehicle;
  3. Collecting the responses in a database;
  4. Expecting the results to deliver a measurable ROI.

By this definition, a direct marketing message can be delivered anywhere. It is truly "media neutral." It can work in direct mail and email, but also in print, on billboards, on television and radio. And in social media. 

In fact, social media represent an ideal direct marketing medium. When social media first arrived on the scene, they were widely viewed by marketers as a way to "get the word out" (which means awareness) and bring traffic to a website. 

But increasingly, marketers are getting much more "DM-y" about social media. In this year's Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 58 percent of marketers said they were using it to generate leads. Last year, in 2011, only 7 percent said that. A big change. Small businesses were even more likely, at 65 percent, to focus on lead generation in social media.

As marketers increasingly view social media as direct marketing media, the media owners themselves are responding, fast. Just last August, Facebook announced that it would improve the targeting options available to advertisers, including for the first time targeting variables like email address and phone number, which direct marketers have used for years. Before this, advertisers were limited to demographic selects like company size. 

Also in August, Twitter announced that it will offer ad targeting by user interests or @username follower groups. This kind of targeting has been a staple of direct marketing media for decades. So I am concluding that these social media are moving in a direct marketing direction, recognizing that this way they can attract advertisers who are looking for measurable results, like a specific number of leads and a certain allowable cost per lead.

One other piece of evidence to support my case that B-to-B social media are intersecting with direct marketing, albeit a semi-humorous point: I was doing a seminar out at Facebook in Palo Alto a while back, training their ad sales marketing team on B-to-B direct marketing. While there, I learned that Facebook itself is a sizable user of direct mail, the long-time workhorse medium of direct marketing. The Facebook ad sales group uses direct mail to sell advertising to small and medium businesses. So here's a social medium using a traditional direct marketing medium to reach their B-to-B goals. The intersection comes full circle. 

What ways are you seeing social media intersect with direct marketing?

A version of this post appeared in Biznology, the digital marketing blog.

1

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: