Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Target Marketing HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 
Carolyn Goodman

The Power Punch

By Carolyn Goodman

About Carolyn

A blog that challenges B-to-B marketers to learn, share, question, and focus on getting it right—the first time.

Carolyn Goodman is President/Creative Director of Goodman Marketing Partners. An award-winning creative director, writer and in-demand speaker, Carolyn has spent her 30-year career helping both B-to-B and B-to-C clients cut through business challenges in order to deliver strategically sound, creatively brilliant marketing solutions that deliver on program objectives. To keep her mind sharp, Carolyn can be found most evenings in the boxing ring, practicing various combinations.

You can find her at the Goodman Marketing website, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @CarolynGoodman.

 

Marketing Nuggets

Michael Lowenstein
McKinsey Thinks Bland, Generic Loyalty Programs Are Killing Business – And They May Be Right!
Apr 23, 2014

A recent Forbes article by McKinsey, "Making Loyalty Pay: Six Lessons From the Innovators," showed loyalty program participation has steadily...



Big Data, Small Data, Clean Data, Messy Data

Stephen  H. Yu
Chicken or the Egg? Data or Analytics?
Apr 23, 2014

I just saw an online discussion about the role of a chief data officer, whether it should be more about...



The Integrated Email

Cyndie Shaffstall
The Terms of Your Terms of Service
Apr 21, 2014

Most of us have a terms of service document on our websites, even if they're mostly contained within our privacy...



Reinventing Direct

Gary Hennerberg
Are Autoresponders Killing Email Marketing?
Apr 16, 2014

Two events in the same week have triggered an email unsubscribe flurry on my behalf. First, a change in my...



Making Social Sell

Jeff Molander
LinkedIn Profile Makeover for Sellers
Apr 18, 2014

Are you appealing to emotional and tangible desires of buyers on your LinkedIn profile—in ways they cannot resist acting on?...



Here's What Counts

Chuck McLeester
What Are You Measuring and Why?
Apr 9, 2014

An account manager working on a pharmaceutical brand once asked me, "How should we code the various opt-in vehicles to...



Marketing Sustainably

Chet Dalzell
Beyond Data: Why 'Grit' May Matter More
Apr 14, 2014

This past month, I was reminded how vital it is to have grit to achieve success, that is "true grit."...



Brand Matters

Andrea Syverson
Verbify! Verbify! Verbify!
Apr 9, 2014

What's your brand verb? Yes, you read that right ... verb. Each and every day great brands are energized by...



Ruthless B-to-B Marketing

Ruth P.  Stevens
How Many Leads Do You Need?
Apr 4, 2014

One key to successful B-to-B lead generation programs is to calculate exactly the right number of qualified leads to provide...



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)...



Muscle Marketing

Wendy Montes de Oca
7 Magic Ways to Maximize Otherwise Boring Fulfillment and Collateral Pieces for Profit
Aug 7, 2013

Sure, fulfillment and inserts aren't as sexy as other forms of marketing, but they can be viable ways to bring...



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...



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...



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...



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...



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...



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....



Social Media Is a Waste of Time for B-to-B

22
 

There. I've said it out loud. Now let the crucifixion begin. But before you write a retaliatory remark, hear me through.

While I strongly believe that B-to-B marketing strategies can leverage many different marketing channels, I don't think social media is at the top of my "things-I-must-do-to-help-drive-my-business-forward" list. Why? Because too many brands still need to get their act together in the basics, before spending precious resources chasing their tails on platforms that will yield very little to the bottom line.

So before you write me a nasty post suggesting that I'm old and out of touch with the times, consider these basics about your B-to-B product/service:

  • Website: Yep. This is where first impressions are made, so it better be designed and organized for easy navigation. And, it better be intuitive—allowing visitors to find their way around and get to the information they're seeking without having to fall down a rat hole or two. Is the information arranged in a logical fashion (no, not the way your company wants it, but how your target audience THINKS)? Can information be downloaded and printed without sucking my printer dry of ink? Are there high-end videos to watch that are informative, engaging and helpful? Relevant case studies to my industry? Quotes/endorsements from users? White papers that truly examine an industry issue without making self-serving claims about your company? On a scale of 1 to 10, what score would you give to your website? If it's less than an "8," stop spending time on social media initiatives and get your website in order first.
  • Customer Service: Have you ever called your own toll-free line or emailed your own company as a "mystery shopper?" Who answers and how quickly? How are you treated? Is it easy to get your questions answered without being transferred? What kind of follow up is in place? Many companies separate this step from the rest of their marketing efforts and it often exemplifies everything that is wrong with your organization, which no amount of social media can fix. Remember, it's easier to sell more to an existing customer then it is to find a sell to a new prospect, so if the after-purchase experience is less than stellar, stop chasing your tail and concentrate on getting your customer service house in order.
  • Industry Presence: No matter what product or service you sell, there are probably one or more industry organizations/conferences/events that attract potential prospects. This is where many targets go seeking information and your brand needs to be part of the discussion. Attending trade shows does NOT necessarily mean plunking down cash to have a booth on the trade show floor and handing out useless promo items, although that can be helpful if done right. What it does mean is that you need to get engaged in the event. Find out how to become a speaker, or participate in a roundtable discussion. Build awareness of your brand and your knowledge about issues facing the industry and the role that your product/service plays to help solve that issue. This is the original world of social media—not an online, digital presence that has no real value unless someone "clicks" but true engagement and dialogue between two individuals where one has a pain and the other one can solve it.
  • Relationship Building: Before LinkedIn and webinars, we all attended conferences, listened to speakers, met over cocktails and exchanged business cards. We followed up, stayed in touch and reconnected when we needed help finding useful products or services. I admit that I love LinkedIn as a tool for organizing my contacts, but the Discussion Groups can be quickly taken off topic or slow to take off in any meaningful way. If you have a solid topic that is of value to your industry, hire a researcher/writer and get an article/whitepaper written. Then share it with potential prospects, post it to one of your industry sites, send it to an editor of your trade publication. Every digital outlet is begging for valuable content and you could place yourself at the top of the knowledge chain through this endeavor. And everyone likes doing business with someone who knows what they're talking about.

Speaking of LinkedIn, if you're in sales, you need to have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile posted. And please, use a professional picture of yourself, and not one of you and your dog or the one taken by the camera on top of your computer (which is creepy looking, by the way). When you talk about your current employer, make sure you're using consistent language about your brand. Look to your marketing or PR department for the 25-word description you know exists. Make sure you create a thorough profile and reach out to past customers / clients for endorsements—they do get read, believe it or not.

If you can honestly say that all five of these marketing tools are optimized and working like well-oiled machines, then by all means spend your time, money and resources on Facebook pages, Pinterest sites and Tweets. If you prove their value, write me—show me the money.

22

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments:
Bill Krueger - Posted on November 30, 2012
You won't get crucified by me! We do a lot of work in b-to-b, and honestly don't get the question very often. We've found most b-to-b clients are sorely deficient in basic marketing strategy and initiatives that could seriously move them forward in their markets, but their internal staff, which are often displaced engineers or customer service folks, are all responsible for at least 2 jobs. We try to get them to concentrate on the basics first. However, they also sometimes make things out to be bigger than they have to be- it's not required to do a PR splash for every new product, new training class, or staff and pricing updates. A simple post to their web site, and a Twitter post with link back work just fine for that, and everybody can afford the time for 140 characters. Of course there need to be policies and strategy, but most find it do-able. Small steps!
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Bill Krueger - Posted on November 30, 2012
You won't get crucified by me! We do a lot of work in b-to-b, and honestly don't get the question very often. We've found most b-to-b clients are sorely deficient in basic marketing strategy and initiatives that could seriously move them forward in their markets, but their internal staff, which are often displaced engineers or customer service folks, are all responsible for at least 2 jobs. We try to get them to concentrate on the basics first. However, they also sometimes make things out to be bigger than they have to be- it's not required to do a PR splash for every new product, new training class, or staff and pricing updates. A simple post to their web site, and a Twitter post with link back work just fine for that, and everybody can afford the time for 140 characters. Of course there need to be policies and strategy, but most find it do-able. Small steps!