Social Media and B2B – 5 Findings
Over the past 3 months I’ve talked to over 25 companies primarily in the Business-to-Business (B2B) space and mostly technology companies (software and hardware).
Specifically, I was asking questions including:
- What types of traditional marketing activities are you maintaining (webinars, website development, paper-based sales and marketing collateral, seminars, etc.)?
- What types of digital marketing activities are you engaged in (blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn lead generation, Facebook, partner driven digital marketing, SEO/SEM, etc.)?
- Are you combining the two disciplines and in what ways?
The types of responses were a little surprising as I thought there would be more push toward exercising these emerging techniques around digital marketing.
What I found was the following in regards to digital marketing:
- Most companies were taking a wait-and-see strategy. That is they were waiting to see what their partners or competitors were doing before they invested a lot of time and effort.
- They were unclear about the ROI from digital marketing activities. Some said that they didn’t see any early returns from looking at how their market was engaged in these activities.
- They were indeed monitoring digital trends and activities – usually informally – until the time they thought would be appropriate for them to take the plunge.
- In general, they didn’t see the value in Twitter but did see some value in LinkedIn – as this was a professional community – one that they could have meaningful discussions through. However, even with LinkedIn, almost none of them had anything truly formal going on.
- There seemed to be an executive gap. Mid-level managers and rank and file employees were more apt to use informal social media communication than senior management. Security and trust were important issues at the senior level.
There were some clear trends that I plan on illustrating in some follow-up blogs and reports, but this is a quick readout of what I found. Keep in touch or sign up for my future reports.
And please add your comments as I’d appreciate what you’ve found.
Note to above: About 15 of these discussions were formal – that is they followed a prescribed set of questions that lasted approximately one hour. Discussions with the remaining 10 companies were more informal although in general the same types of questions were asked.
And there are always more than a few good articles at B2B Magazine for which I used their logo as an illustration above.