Having spent a number of years marketing B2B products in the financial services space, the concept of marketing mix modeling has been beaten into me. For those who aren’t familiar, marketing mix modeling or MMM is the process of assigning meaning to changes in incremental sales volume based upon specific tactics used within the marketing mix, and is done by looking at historical data over a period of time. I won’t bore you with linear, non-linear and multivariate regression, but in a nutshell, it’s cause and effect analysis.
If you are a marketer, you’re always testing, and testing yields insight into how the marketing mix performs. The process should tell you how the control acts vs. the test with respect to several KPIs including response rate, conversion rate, cost to acquire, customer lifetime value, return on investment, and perhaps others.
B2B marketers often ask me how to apply traditional marketing mix modeling concepts to their social media efforts. Although the answer I give is not scientific in nature, my goal is to show them how analyzing data can lead to data-driven decisions for the marketing mix, which then can be measured in terms of KPIs. Here they are:
1. Learn to Think (and Speak) Like the Customer
What impact does copy selection have on your social media campaign? This means listening intently to what your customers and prospects are talking about within social, how they’re talking and ways you can meet them on their terms. You can leverage word cloud technology to see common keywords associated with specific social media audiences which can lead to testing calls to action within social media.
2. Correctly Interpret the Data
One of the most frequent problems with analyzing social media data is misinterpretation. A data set yields valuable insights only if it’s read correctly. One piece of criteria I use when looking at B2B audiences online is number of conversations by channel over the course of about 2 years. For instance, if I want to use the data to guide a decision about where to focus my social media marketing efforts, I will build a data set using monitoring software that shows mentions of a B2B brand, industry term or product beginning two years back, then comparing the same query with data from a year back assuming all else being constant. This helps me validate the selection of social media channels to focus the message.
3. Segment Your Target Audience
Part of being successful in B2B social media marketing is to really understand who the target audience is. Who specifically is the decision maker you traditionally market to by use of other marketing channels? Is it a C-level executive or someone else in the organization? In the past, one of the B2B companies I worked for targeted a person with the title of “Fleet Manager” because it was proven that this person had the most leverage in making a purchase decision. When building your social media campaign, make sure to take this into account when you go to market. Focusing on the decision maker can have a profound impact on how the message resonates and ultimately, how the campaign performs.
What other attributes do you look at optimize your B2B social media marketing mix?