Integration, Content and Analytics Drive B2B Digital Marketing Success

In a recent study, CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council and Google found that 57% of the buying process is complete before a B2B buyer ever contacts a salesperson. And their results showed an even higher number, 70%, in some instances. The researchers used their interviews with more than 1500 decision makers and influencers in a recent major business purchase at 22 large B2B organizations (spanning all major NAICS categories and 10 industries) as the basis for their Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing whitepaper. The authors contend that mastering the following three topics are required for succeeding in the world of digital B2B marketing:

The project itself is a great example of content marketing. It is featured on the Google Think site, with a narrative written in an informal, friendly style. The research also has its own landing page, complete with an overview video. There are links to download the complete whitepaper or a presentation version (both as PDFs), with no registration required.

Each of the three subject areas (Digital Integration, Content Marketing and Analytics) has its own page including a short video, links to download just that chapter of the whitepaper or the whole whitepaper. There is also a link to take an assessment survey on each topic.

Rather than summarize each section, I have included the key findings below.

Digital Integration Key Findings:

■ Companies still struggle to integrate digital tactics deep into broader marketing campaigns, but there are a few key points of leverage (such as pushing to mandate an objective “Channel Consideration Review” early in the process) that can help weed out reflexive channel bias, opening the door for digital influence.
■ Armed with past performance data and evidence from external best practices, a growing number of marketers are pushing to develop standardized campaign architectures, which offer a strong platform for promoting the best applications and integration points for digital tactics.
■ Increased digital marketing efforts demand continuous and collective management, something few companies are designed to support. The value destroyed by this misfit approach—although hard to quantify—is potentially very large. Several companies are taking steps to restructure as a result.

Content Marketing Key Findings:

■ Many companies are attempting to overlay a coverage model on their existing campaign-oriented content production efforts; this helps to orchestrate a continuous flow of content aligned to the topics and issues customers care about but introduces a hidden danger.
■ Many companies display a troubling overemphasis on tools, shallow consumption metrics, and process—placing a greater emphasis on producing a steady flow of content than the quality of the content.
■ More progressive companies have consolidated strategic and creative guidance for content, to help business units get more impact from their content and to stitch together cross-BU points of view that have broader impact in the marketplace.
■ In selecting what content to create, marketers should place greater emphasis on the power of communication channels versus the competitive noise they have to contend with; many organizations seem to pursue content strategy with little regard for the clutter they are competing with.
■ B2B marketers have been slow to push into more visually engaging content (typically relying largely on text-based content) due to concerns about skill and cost but most directly due to perceiving it as a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have.

Analytics Key Findings:

■ The smartest companies dedicate a greater portion of their marketing budgets to improving their fundamental understanding of effectiveness, interactivity, and causality across marketing programs.
■ A central hub for marketing data is becoming more common but is still a long-term aspiration for many companies. Regardless of the data environment, marketers should be focused primarily on extracting insight and decision-support value from the data they do have (which is a lot of data). The single most important factor for success is getting the smartest people you can find to tackle your most important analytical challenges. Ninety percent of your analytics spend should be on people.
■ Pipeline analyses often overemphasize contact-level web analytics data, neglecting important off-site and social behaviors and collective account-level behavior.
■ Conversion attribution modeling efforts typically ignore key aspects of a supplier’s engagement with potential customers (especially nondigital touchpoints). Marketers should make a greater effort to place estimates of digital impact in proper proportion and context of broader marketing strategy and the market environment.
■ Experiments are difficult to design are often executed poorly, rendering results unreliable and wasting time and money. It is a worthwhile effort to create very strict process guidelines to validate experiment design in advance of execution, so results can be confidently applied to decision making.

If any of these findings reflect situations at your company, download this study for details about these findings, recommendations how to overcome them and examples from companies like EMC, CSC and Level 3.

8 B2B Facebook Landing Pages

B2B marketers see the growing numbers of Facebook users and join the ranks of businesses who set up outposts on the world’s largest social network. As Facebook is a tightly controlled environment, there are few opportunities for branding and creating a branded experience for your customers and prospects. The prime one is the creation of custom tabs, and especially landing pages that people see when they first arrive at your Facebook Page.

These Pages are now fully functional web pages hosted within the Facebook environment. This gives B2B companies more flexibility in design and functionality for these landing pages. One of the things marketers need to consider in creating a landing page is what action the visitor needs to take. The first should be to Like the Page, and many landing pages remind viewers to do that. After that, anything is possible, but there should be actions that keep them on the Facebook Page, rather than immediately driving them somewhere else.

Below are 8 examples of B2B company Facebook landing page tabs with a short list of features of each.

Buddy Media


Buddy Media
Like Call to Action: No
Other Facebook Call to Action: No
Off Site Call to Action: 2 download white paper buttons
Video: No
Social Profile Links: No
Other Notable: Embedded Facebook comments and poll

Dell Enterprise


Dell Enterprise
Like Call to Action: No
Other Facebook Call to Action: Event Calendar
Off Site Call to Action: 8 solution links and 1 download white paper button
Video: No
Social Profile Links: Yes
Other Notable: n/a

eMarketer


eMarketer
Like Call to Action: Yes
Other Facebook Call to Action: No
Off Site Call to Action: 1 product link
Video: No
Social Profile Links: No
Other Notable: Customer testimonials. Note this is an About tab, and is not set to load as a landing page.

EMC


EMC
Like Call to Action: No
Other Facebook Call to Action: No
Off Site Call to Action: 1 award submission button
Video: No
Social Profile Links: No
Other Notable: Temporary landing page for award submission

Google AdSense


Google AdSense
Like Call to Action: No
Other Facebook Call to Action: No
Off Site Call to Action: 1 sign-up button
Video: Yes
Social Profile Links: No
Other Notable: Sparse look, like Google brand.

Intel


Intel
Like Call to Action: Yes
Other Facebook Call to Action: Interactive map, products, jobs and deals drive to other Facebook Pages or apps within this Page
Off Site Call to Action: No
Video: Yes
Social Profile Links: Yes
Other Notable: Embedded Twitter feed

SAP


SAP
Like Call to Action: Yes
Other Facebook Call to Action: No
Off Site Call to Action: Conference registration, product page and YouTube channel buttons
Video: Yes
Social Profile Links: No
Other Notable: n/a

SAS Publishing


SAS Publishing
Like Call to Action: Yes
Other Facebook Call to Action: No
Off Site Call to Action: Links to store, blog, podcast, community, forum and Twitter
Video: No
Social Profile Links: Yes
Other Notable: Sets expectations for Page, shows people who manage social profiles

Are there other B2B Facebook landing pages you have seen that are effective at generating engagement and driving traffic? Let us know in the comments below.

BtoB Magazine Selects 2011 B2B Social Media Winners

BtoB Magazine announced their 2011 Social Media Marketing Winners and they missed a huge opportunity to show off these examples of B2B social media. B2B marketers are looking for good examples of social media, as our search traffic has shown us, and while these selections from submitted entries include detailed explanations of why they were chosen, as well as results of the campaigns, they don’t include links, screen shots or embedded videos. Examples of online successes really should include images and links so marketers can see what was done and learn from the campaigns. Those details of each category winner are listed below. Click the read more link to read about the runner up in each category.

Integrated (Tech): EMC

EMC Corporation is the world’s leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information.
BtoB Magazine Summary: From influencer relations to promotional mailings to live events to YouTube, the EMC campaign used almost every channel at its disposal. Read more.
BtoB Magazine Results: More than 700,000 views on YouTube, more than 40 posts by influential bloggers, 2,500 participants in the community event and more than 1,500 tweets, which helped the #EMCBreaksRecords hashtag briefly break into the top trending topics on Twitter. The total Facebook fan base more than doubled in two weeks. An impressive 28% of all traffic to the event registration page originated from social media sites and/or social media engagement.

Integrated (NonTech): Omni Hotels & Resorts

Omni Hotels and Resorts wanted to promote its meetings and event services to meeting planners and used social media to communicate with online influencers in the space.
BtoB Magazine Summary: Its blogger outreach campaign to promote its meetings and events business hit a home run with the kind of influencers that competitors ignored. Read more.
BtoB Magazine Results: The program resulted in more than 290 conversations with meeting planners and their influencers, with 14% of the conversations relating to Omni services. An estimated 70% of the key influencers were contacted, and six large sales leads have resulted.

Twitter: Mongoose Metrics

BtoB Magazine Summary: Mongoose Metrics‘s objectives in using Twitter were to raise awareness about the value of its [call tracking] service to the sales process and to position itself ahead of competitors that were less active in social media. Read more.
BtoB Magazine Results: Over an eight-month period, it grew its follower base from 211 to almost 8,500 and counted more than 3,200 mentions in social channels.

LinkedIn: Accenture

BtoB Magazine Summary: Accenture Management Consulting is an outstanding example of how to use relationship marketing in social networks. Its careers group on LinkedIn has more than 5,000 members, but what impressed us most are the subgroups, each of which is managed by a different Accenture consultant. Read more.
BtoB Magazine Results: The LinkedIn campaign has resulted in a few new hires already, and those numbers are likely to grow significantly as word-of-mouth spreads.

Facebook: Firehouse.com

BtoB Magazine Summary: Firehouse.com is keenly focused on the needs of this dedicated group of professionals. Its 75,000-circulation magazine, website and events business are leaders in the fire and EMS industry, but until last year its community-building efforts had lagged. Firehouse.com turned to Facebook to invigorate the conversation. Read more.
BtoB Magazine Results: The number of “likes” for Firehouse.com’s Facebook page more than doubled in six months and today approaches 120,000.

Viral Video: Cisco Systems

BtoB Magazine Summary: While watching a live, streaming video, a viewer can operate a robot arm to yank the route switch processor card out of a network router. The action should cause at least a temporary hiccup in the video stream; but Cisco Systems is betting it won’t, and it goes out on a limb to let customers see for themselves. The 100-second invitational video was posted on YouTube in October and promoted through banner ads, blogs, social networks and email blasts. Viewers were invited to contact a Cisco representative to set up the demo. Read more.
BtoB Magazine Results: In the first four months, the promotion drove nearly 6,000 video impressions and 500 contacts from interested users. That resulted in 216 demos and 60 qualified leads. Cisco estimates that the live demo program has driven more than $80 million in revenue and led to 11 customer testimonials.

Blog: Sybase Inc.

BtoB Magazine Summary: Sybase defined UberMobile’s mission as “to shed the traditional corporate mantra of being a marketing page by providing compelling, journalistic pieces that encouraged visitors to be a part of the discussions.” Read more.
BtoB Magazine Results: Monthly traffic to the blog and its syndication channels leapt from 1,000 page views in May 2010 to almost 140,000 in January 2011.

Closed Community: LexisNexis Risk Solutions

BtoB Magazine Summary: The network was conceived as a way to raise awareness of Accurint for Law Enforcement, a LexisNexis suite of investigative tools. Read more.
BtoB Magazine Results: The LexisNexis Investigators Network has already signed up members from 1,700 agencies in all 50 states.

Do you have thoughts about these as the best B2B social media examples, or are there others you would select in their places?

9 B2B Social Media SlideShare Presentations Worth Watching

In the world of business-to-business companies presentations with slides have become a staple for internal and external meetings. Because many of us rely on slides, we often need inspiration and help putting together the perfect deck. Recently I have become a fan of SlideShare.net, a site that allows users to upload and share their slide presentations with others. I have found it a great source for presentations on a wide variety of topics.

Today, I wanted to share with you some of the best B2B social media slide decks on SlideShare in hopes that they can be educational, and perhaps helpful, when you have to put together your own social media related presentations for management and other internal groups.

1. Dell B2B Social Media Huddle By Neville Hobson – This presentation mixes solid usage facts with larger strategic concepts that could be useful in selling social media internally, but also for creating a sound strategic framework.

2. B2B Social Media Marketing Techniques: Measuring the Impact from Creation to Closed Deal By Kyle Flaherty – Kyle outlines clear points for developing content that creates engagement that can lead to measurable results.

3. IBM Case B2B Social Media By Tim Washer – These slide walk through the IBM Mainframe case study and showcase the results created when B2B Social media is executed well.

4. LaPointe: B2B & Social Media: Performance, Measurements, and SEO Benefits By LIFT Summit 09 – Social media, tied to SEO and examples of good content, make this a useful presentation for helping to understand the bigger role of social media for inbound marketing.

5. B2B Social Media and Twitter – an Interview with Ann Handley of MarketingProfs By Andrew Spoeth – This presentation includes an audio interview that provides valuable insight from Ann Handley of Marketing Profs. Worth listening to to understand how Ann balances her time and uses social media for her business.

6. Community with Social Media and Web 2.0 – A Cisco Product Launch Case Study by LaSandra Brill – Cisco provides a great walk through of how they marketed a specific hardware product using social media. Often you see many examples of social media at the corporate level, it is helpful to see one that is product specific.

7. Building the B2B Business Case for Social Media By Christina Kerley – From influencer engagement to connecting social media to CRM, this presentations highlights the high-level B2B social media issues that companies will be dealing with in the coming years.

8. B2B Social Communications Case Studies – Intuit By Business Development Institute – I saw this case study presented live this past fall. It serves as a great example of leveraging social media to reach small business owners and the business results that can be translated from this type of program.

9. Social Media Strategy and Execution for Branding, Engagement and Recruiting By Polly Pearson of EMC – We can often forget that current and perspective employees are an important audience for social media. This presentation from EMC focuses on the employee relations aspects of social media.

Did you find these presentations helpful? Are there others that you have found helpful or provided inspiration?