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    • A White Paper on Social Media Marketing March 15, 2010 3 Lies, 4 Truths, and 1 Surprising Fact About Social Media Marketing PLUS … 5 great resources for further reading By combing Social Media with Word of Mouth Marketing you can build a powerful Marcom Engine to drive B2B lead generation About Keith Bates & Associates, Inc. (KBA). Operating as one of the nation’s leading high tech ad agencies from 1980 to 2000 KBA (www.kbates.com) has recently evolved into a consulting firm with a focus on creative strategy and lead generation to support rapid growth. The Marcom Engine and the 90 Day Blitz, concepts developed by KBA in the ‘90s, are the backbone of the firm’s efforts. Keith is a well known professional in the field of high tech marketing communications, a speaker at many industry conferences, and contributing author to numerous industry publications. He has been a communications consultant to Boeing, Computer Associates, JD Edwards (now Oracle) IBM, KPMG, SPSS, and over 100 others. His career began over 30 years ago with Foote, Cone & Belding, then the world’s leading consumer ad agency. KBA’s competitive advantage stems from creative skills, planning expertise, and an ability to translate complex ideas and technologies into easily understood product attributes. The company recently completed a two year effort to develop and launch a social network for adventurers (www.myadventures.com) and in the process immersing the management in social media. 1
    • We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing Overview Contrary to what some are promoting, Social Media is not completely changing the world for B2B marketers. It is simply modifying and adding to it a bit. And it is important to understand that it is not a standalone discipline. It needs to work hand in hand with tools you’re already familiar with…or it won’t work at all! Problem Confusion is probably the best way to sum up the situation with getting one’s mind around Social Media. Is it just a concept? Is it tangible enough to lay it on a table and touch it like direct mail, print advertising, brochures, and catalogs? Where does one begin? In analyzing social media don’t overlook the meaning of “media”, which is simply the plural of “medium” which is defined as “a middle state, or something intermediate”. For many people medium is perceived as simply the vehicle for the message. Marshall McLuhan however, in his well renowned book, stated that “the medium is the message”. Content So you’ll have to choose…is social media a tool for delivering the message, or is it the message? We believe it’s a tool for delivery. And that the message is everything and that to raise the level of awareness for your products in the market you will need multiple media. But only one message, your brand. However there are infinite ways of couching that message…one of which is social media and it myriad tools. One of the bigger issues, after defining social media, is figuring out how best to use it. We contend that social media complements all the tools in our Marcom Engine Arsenal, and that includes word of mouth, influencer relations, viral marketing, and all the traditional offline tools that support the demand generation process referred to as Accelerated Contagion. Our Arsenal is simply the first of three modules in the Execution stage of our Marcom Engine. The two that follow are Deployment and Measurement. Preceding the Execution stage is our Planning stage consisting of the Audit, Strategy, and the complex Communication modules. In the following pages you will learn 3 Lies, 4 Truths, and 1 Surprising Fact about Social Media. Solution We will describe the elements that make up a social media marketing campaign and then we will describe the process for integrating it with word of mouth marketing. Once you are comfortable with this combined process it won’t be difficult to blend them both with all the other traditional B2B marketing tools you are probably already familiar with. 2
    • We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing Defining Social Media 3 Lies It’s NOT THE HOLY GRAIL, it’s NOT A SILVER BULLET, and it’s NOT A PANACEA for the marketing-inept as many people wish. Don’t believe those who claim that it is any of these. They are lies. It’s tempting to appoint inexperienced people (inexperienced to the complexities of marketing communications) to launch a social network strategy because they are pros at using and managing Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. Bottom line…you need a combination of those that are connected to social media, and those with solid experience in planning and executing across all appropriate media. . Social Media is not a standalone Marcom strategy. MARCOM, shifting to MARCON? On the issue of Marcom, I came across an interesting twist on the word in Joseph Jaffe’s book Join the Conversation. In a discussion of word of mouth marketing he raises the question as to whether we are in the communications business or the conversation business. So perhaps Marcom needs to be reinvented as Marcon? See Jaffe’s www.jointheconversation.us/blog. And on the topic of word of mouth marketing Jaffe contends that conversation is not the same as word of mouth. It is much bigger because it is “all-encompassing, providing the bucket that collects everything from influence to recommendations; from viral referrals to idle banter; from random encounters to planned discussions; from publicity to, yes, marketing communications …” Meanwhile Paul Rand of Zόcalo Group, while agreeing that social media is a powerful tool, puts his emphasis on Word of Mouth stating on his site (www.zocalogroup.com) that “its true definition can be muddied amidst the myriad new terms (including social media)” -- that Word of Mouth is still the most powerful driver and measure of how your brand is recommended by consumers and experts in relation to your competitors. Both Jaffe and Rand can each marshal a slew of data to bolster their respective viewpoints. The purpose of this white paper is not to suggest that you choose one over the other, but that you learn to integrate them. I should note that Word of Mouth, like social media, is not without lies either or least misconceptions. Following are a few common to WOM. Take a look. 1. It spreads like wildfire: WRONG— rarely works well without accelerated contagion. 2. All you need is a good product: WRONG—product needs inherent interest to inspire talk, and activities to accelerate process. 3. With good PR you don’t need marketing: WRONG—traditional marcom tools needed to convert enthusiasts to buyers. Focus should be on sales, not contacts. 4. All you really need are early adopters: WRONG—visionaries only start the process. Think pragmatists…to get rich. 5. Do it online! No do it offline! WRONG—using only one is fatal. Both are needed. 3
    • We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing 4 Truths Social Media can be a powerful B2B marketing tool even though B2C is its primary user. With skillful people managing the process it can be made to offer superb demand generation support. The following truths were edited from Eric Gagnon’s contribution to BMI: Tuesday Marketing Notes #214. (Reach Eric at eric@realmarkets.net.) 1. B2B BUYERS ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR RESEARCH bypassing traditional marcom materials until later in the selling cycle. Easily accessed “content”, defined as factual, reasonably objective, and non-promotional information is preceding sales contact. 2. PRIORITY IS BEING GIVEN TO WHITE PAPERS OVER PRODUCT INFO. In this new environment priority is being given to white papers, case studies, newsletters, product reports, fact sheets, and videos over brochures, mailers, etc. 3. VERTICAL MARKET FORUMS BETTER THAN FACEBOOK. Vertical market and industry- specific discussion forums are often better channels for social media interaction in B2B markets than Facebook and other generic social sites. 4. SOCIAL MEDIA IS AN ENTRY POINT—NOTHING MORE! Learn to think of social media as simply a marketing entry point, the first step leading to an ongoing series of marketing events and deliverables. It’s a chance to assess your company’s knowledge of its market. 1 Surprising Fact THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS CHANGED from companies who market and sell their products to the potential buyers in their market. Any B2B buyer can now use Google, news and vendor Web sites, and social media to freely search and gather all of the information required for making their initial product and vendor selections, largely bypassing your company’s typical marketing program and “story” as the sole source of their information about your product. This shift places greater emphasis on the importance of developing factual, objective content and using these new online channels, along with marketing automation, to deliver the right mix and type of information to potential buyers for the appropriate stage of their buying process. From Adam Needles of Silverpop. Visit www.silverpop.com then search Adam Needles. Read about Content Marketing. And now 5 great resources for further reading: 4
    • We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing 4 Reasons to Use Social Media for Your Business A Guide for Businesses in the Digital Age…a fanscape white paper Courtesy of Fanscape, a Social Media Marketing Agency. For additional information visit www.fanscape.com, their blog at www.digitallyapproved.com, or Twitter@Fanscape BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA: 1. Build receptivity to traditional marketing efforts. Just like with your email list, your social media-based prospects and customers need communication on a regular basis. Daily is best. It’s not a numbers game. 500 passionate fans are better than 5,000 uninvolved followers. 2. Minimizes or eliminates the need for market research. Like giant focus groups, they’ll tell you what you need to know. The opinions you need most are yours for the asking. 3. Reduces or eliminates the need for professional PR. Don’t overlook the hundreds of influential blogs. Self-publish white papers, POV documents, essays, case studies, and research. 4. Offers a variation on customer service. Advantage is that helping one online is highly visible vs. the private solutions delivered via phone calls. 42 Ways to Connect with Customers using the Content Marketing Playbook Courtesy of Junta42 For details see: http://www.junta42.com/content-marketing-playbook.aspx Visit the Playbook. Explore a full page explanation of all 42 ways 1. White Paper 16. Podcast 31. Online Media Site 2. eBook 17. Video blog 32. Content Platform 3. Book 18. e-Learning Series 33. Microblogging 4. Custom Print 19. Mobile Application 34. Video Magazine 20. Online Game 35. Virtual Trade Show 5. Digital Magazine 21. Widget 36. Social Bookmarking 6. Magalog 22. Facebook Application 37. Online News Release 7. Audio Book 23. Branded Content Tool 38. Online Publishing Center 8. Case Study 24. Screencast 39. Webinar/Webcast 9. Article 25. Company-Focused 40. Road Show 10. Comic Book Community Site 41. Executive Roundtable 11. Industry Ranking 26. Customer-Focused 42. Teleseminar System Community Site 12. Testimonials 27. Wiki 13. eNewsletter 28. Facebook Movement 14. Print Newsletter 29. Photo-Sharing 15. Blog 30. Custom Social Network 5
    • We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing Exploring Social Media as a process for driving B2B Demand Generation But first a word of caution. Demand Generation depends as much on the message as it does on the media. Maybe more. Take a look at the PPT link on the home page of www.kbates.com. Click the gold button labeled “Free QuickChek. Download my short PowerPoint”. Listed below are the most common online social media and some of the offline tools needed to support/enhance the process as presented on Keith Bates the PPT listed above developed by Keith Bates. Examples of Online Social Media tools Examples of Offline Social Media support Blogs—your own and compatible entities By-lined articles with contact data Email Consulting practices Facebook pages for fans Customer Visitor Centers LinkedIn Direct mail with personal contact data Mobile—meetings, events Experiential marketing Newsletters online Focused print media with contact data Podcasting Road shows PRWeb Telemarketing Social Networks (multiple) Word of mouth—71% offline Surveys etc. Twitter accounts Unique landing pages Video ads YouTube and/or website Virtual conferences Virtual trade shows Webcasts/Webinars White papers Word of mouth—29% online etc. 6
    • We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing How to do it: The 4 B’s of Social Media Marketing How to Implement a Social Media Marketing Strategy Courtesy of Marcus Tewksbury, Director of Customer Intelligence. www.Alterian.com Blog: www.theMarketingMojo.com. Read New Rules of B2B Demand Generation, or email: tewksbum@alterian.com New Rules of B2B Demand Generation For marketers the last two or three years have been some of the most chaotic ever. Traditional mass media channels have scuffled, shedding jobs and revenue at a staggering pace. Tough economic times have emboldened CFO’s to raise the pressure on accountability. And the emergence of social media and ubiquitous digital interaction has dramatically amplified the power and voice of the customer. Net sum, the rules of the game and the very field itself have changed drastically. Disruption creates opportunity. Firms who can embrace change and visualize a world beyond product brochures and email blasts can capitalize on this. For the past two years Alterian has trumpeted the death of marketing as they know it, and have advocated the emergence of a customer driven marketing organization. Here’s how they did it: 1. BE INTERESTING Effective social media marketing begins and ends with the CONTENT. If you don’t have something interesting to say all the distribution in the world won’t matter. It’s all about the CONTENT. 2. BE ACCESSIBLE In social media distribution is cheap. Deploy and test as many new CHANNELS as you can. Doing so enables your customer to choose the time and place of engagement. 3. BE FINDABLE You can boost your accessibility by making sure your deployed assets are findable by your customers. Ensure your content and deployment strategy are as SEARCH friendly as possible. 4. BE ACCOUNTABLE What makes marketing accountable is the ability to RELATE ACTIVITY TO REVENUE. This makes it possible to optimize channel selection and evaluate asset performance. 7
    • We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing Embedded Word of Mouth Drives B2B Lead Generation. The title above is from a book written by Keith Bates at the beginning of the word of mouth “revolution” a few years ago. The copy that follows was edited and extracted from a PPT presentation made to the ITA (Illinois Technology Association) at the same time. Also introducing the Marcom Engine, the process that brings it all together. Social media simply adds an alternative starting point. The difference between then and now is that social media adds a new, and powerful entry point for B2B marketers which must be understood before blending into traditional word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth already recognizes that marketing has become a two way street. It’s now dialogue, not monologue. Social media simply provides an added dimension to the concept of word of mouth which was introduced about ten years ago and today is pretty well understood. AND NOW, THE WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) PRESENTATION: What are the tools and processes employed by word of mouth designed to accomplish? According to WOMMA there are five major activities: 1. Identifying people most likely to share their opinions. 2. Educating people about your products and services. 3. Providing tools that make it easier to share information. 4. Studying opinions as to how, where, and when they are being shared. 5. Listening and responding to supporters, detractors, and neutrals. A sampling of some influencer relations tactics* INITIATING THE RELATIONSHIP: Personalized correspondence; E-mail correspondence; Direct response re influencer work; Care packages (product trial); Information packages (FAQs); Forward articles of interest; Event interception CONTACT OPPORTUNITIES: Recognition awards; Company conferences; Influencer spotlight; Briefings; Webinars; Road shows; Lunch/Dinners INVOLVEMENT: Influencer brainstorming; Product review board; Speakers bureau; Testimonials; Day at the company; CEO summit *Courtesy of Paul Rand’s IRM program at Ketchum as presented to KPMG WOMM: WHERE TO PUT IT AND HOW TO MEASURE IT Introducing the Marcom Engine as the framework for embracing WOMM. The Marcom Engine is spelled out in greater depth at http://www.kbates.com/marcom.htm. 8
    • THE MARCOM ENGINE EVOLVED FROM THE CONCEPTS of Business Process Reengineering and Integrated Marketing Communications many years ago and consists of three planning modules: Audit, Strategy, Communications; and three execution modules: Arsenal, Deployment, Measurement. It acts as the foundation for the Communications Support Plan which is the overall document that spells out in detail a marketers overall plans for sales and marketing. Where, in the Marcom Engine, do the elements of WOMM get positioned? WOMM IMPACTS FOUR OF THE SIX MODULES WITHIN THE MARCOM ENGINE Communications develops theme/image concepts; Arsenal is the application of these concepts, Deployment then does the heavy lifting, and Measurement is the test of their effectiveness. The Marcom Engine chart becomes the driving force for a Communications Support Plan which typically runs from 25 to 50 pages and becomes the company’s marcom blueprint for action. INTRODUCING INFLUENTIALS AND VIRAL MARKETING Influencer relations, while potent, are slow and reach relatively few, but highly influential, people. Sustaining the needed Network Hubs can be very labor intensive. Quality leads are the result. Ed Keller, in his book The Influentials, says that 10% influence the other 90%. Regular hubs consist of users, colleagues, vendors who become evangelists, and today social media expands the reach. Mega hubs are the press, celebrities, analysts, politicians and industry gurus. Viral marketing, while potent also, is fast, and if done well, reaches many people often overnight. However, virals are typically short lived which then necessitates a need for Accelerated Contagion. Concept of virals is based on Metcalfe’s law: value of a network increases with the square of the number of users. Classic was HotMail. Effective virals will start inquiries and dialogues with vendor. Challenge is to determine whether you have a shock virus or an idea virus. The ideal is both but rarely happens. HOW TO SUSTAIN INFLUENCER RELATIONS & VIRAL MARKETING Accelerated contagion is frequently employed to sustain the needed momentum of WOMM and incorporates many elements of traditional marcom including integrated marketing. Concept began life 15 years ago as the 90 Day Blitz but remains viable today with additional channels available. Accelerated Contagion is a multimedia, lead generation activity based on response compression techniques. It is a fully integrated 3 month program that combines traditional media with electronic media to create a sense of event, which in turn produces a substantial flow of leads. It is designed to expand reach of influencer relations, and extend life of virals. For a more detailed look into Word of Mouth Marketing you might review a white paper I wrote on the topic a few years ago (which means that some elements may have become old news). It’s available on the home page at www.kbates.com. 9
    • We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing The following links offer some recent insights into the world of social media as offered by prominent publications and knowledgeable people. How Real-Time Search is Changing Social Media …introduced by Google Dec. 7, 2009 Social media dominates OMS (Online Marketing Summit) conversation. March 8, 2010 "BtoB' event panelists focus on social media (BtoB’s NetMarketing Breakfast, Feb. 2010 Optimism, accountability, social media (top 10 trends) BtoB Magazine, Jan. 18, 2010 Chris Brogan: co-author of bestselling Trust Agents and author of Social Media 101 Best Practices in Word of Mouth and Social Media: WOMMA by Ed Keller, Promo Magazine Maximize Your Digital-Marketing Mix: 10 Ways to Integrate Social, Mobile, and Email by Dan Forootan, MarketingProfs.com Integrating E-mail and Social Marketing: Do's and Don'ts by Simms Jenkins, ClickZ.com Social Media Not Preferred Recommendation Resource by Laurie Sullivan, MediaPost.com Five Social Media Trends to Watch in Early 2010 by Erik Qualman, ClickZ.com This white paper is purposed to point out directions you might pursue to further your knowledge of both social media and word of mouth marketing while starting your company down the path of enhanced B2B demand generation. Keith Bates Keith Bates & Associates, Inc. 10