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  • SEVEN STRATEGIES FOR INCREASING PROFITS THROUGH BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS INTERNET MARKETING Susan K. Jones, Professor of Marketing Ferris State University Presenting at the Research Summit Direct Marketing Educational Foundation San Diego, CA October 16-17, 2009
  • Background: Book Development for Class and Certificate at Ferris State University
  • Question: How do you teach B2B?
    • Dedicated Classes?
    • Integration?
    • Guest Speakers?
    • Cases and Case Histories?
    • Class Projects?
    • Other?
  • Challenging Economic Times Bode Well for Growth of Online B2B Marketing
    • E-mail is the most cost-effective medium ever devised – ROI of $40.00 plus per dollar invested per the DMA and a marketing cost per order of $7.00 per Email Labs
    • Online marketing is measurable – leads, orders, long-term value can all be calculated to the penny
    • B2B Social Networking generally costs time rather than money
    • Sponsored search and SEO are
      • Measurable
      • Cost-effective
      • Adjustable on the fly
      • Affordable for small business
  • The recession hastens what’s probably inevitable for many narrow niche B2B trade publications
    • In our field…
      • DM News now publishes biweekly instead of 50x yearly
      • Direct and Promo no longer exist as print publications http://www.penton.com/News/PentonMediatoLaunchChiefMarketerMagazine.aspx
      • They’re now folded into Chief Marketer, which is available
        • Free to those who fit its controlled circulation parameters
        • For $49.95 a year if you want it in print
      • All these publications offer a host of online newsletters and downloadable resources
  • In General…B2B Print Pages are down
  • While B2B marketers are going online…
  • Online Lead Generation is Cost-Effective and Accountable
    • Cost of a B2B sales call “has soared over $500” per B2B expert John Coe
    • Average B2B sale may require 4-5 sales calls
    • If direct/interactive marketing can open the door more efficiently, that cost can be controlled. Examples --
      • Use variable data printing to lead prospects to a customized, value-added web site for their response
      • Gain leads through an offer with “something in it for them” like an online newsletter
  • Trade Shows are Shrinking and/or Going Virtual – again the economy hastens the trend. Example:
    • In our field…
      • Direct Marketing Association Announces second round of cutbacks aimed at decreasing dependence on face-to-face trade shows and increasing online resources
        • http://www.audiencedevelopment.com/2009/dma+makes+second+round+employee+cuts
  • Trade Shows are Shrinking and/or Going Virtual
    • The ultimate is a “Second Life”-type trade show experience such as http://www.6connex.com/
    • "Only about one-third of interested people actually attend a show, so virtual shows [can potentially] reach 66-70% of the people who don't actually attend:
      • -- Dr Allen Konapacki, President, INCOMM Center for Trade Show Research, Chicago, USA
  • Corporate Training Budgets fall…making free or inexpensive Internet Events attractive
    • http://www.accountingnet.com/x63914.xml
    • http://www.astd.org/TD/Special/0808_Steady_Under_Pressure.htm
    • These articles and many more point to coping mechanisms including
      • Looking outside the corporation for training options
      • Online options
  • Marketers see integration of online marketing as a challenge
  • Well-Conceived B2B Internet Marketing is Rooted in the Principles of DM
    • Like Direct Marketing – B2B Internet Marketing…
      • Can be controlled, tested, tracked, analyzed, refined and measured
      • Delivers value by generating leads and orders you can count
    • Yet B2B Internet Marketing does more
      • Now B2B marketers can actually close the loop and complete the marketing and sales cycle at one time, in one place, online.
      • That makes it truly accountable marketing
  • Seven Proven Strategies for B2B Internet Marketing
    • 1. Generating and qualifying leads with the Internet.
    • 2. Using Internet events to promote products and services.
    • 3. Executing e-fulfillment.
    • 4. Building customer relationships with the Internet.
    • 5. Using or establishing business communities and exchanges.
    • 6. Using the Internet to create and manage partner programs.
    • 7. Selling with the Internet
  • Generating and Qualifying Leads with the Internet -- The heart of most B2B marketing programs
      • Integrate the Internet with direct mail and telemarketing
      • Web Response Forms/Landing Pages
        • www.yourwebsite.com/promoidentifier
        • XM Pie web site has examples including responses/ROI
        • The Snackinar example on next slides
  • Snackinar Personalized Landing Page
  • Snackinar Web Response Form
  • Generating and Qualifying Leads with Online Advertising – a couple of tips
      • B2B Marketers should consider testing e-newsletter sponsorships versus traditional banner ads. Why?
        • Newsletter ad looks just like a banner or button
        • Most newsletters limit sponsors to one or a few per issue
        • Tend to pull a higher click-through rate and have higher conversion than traditional banners
        • More likely to be read because it’s with editorial material very relevant to recipient
        • Newsletters in narrow niches strategically and cost-effectively define your audience
      • B2B Marketers should try placing banners for their products, services and events on their own web sites
        • Integrate the look/feel of the banner with current ad campaign to supplement landing pages
        • See Cisco example (next slide)
  • Generating and Qualifying Leads via E-mail -- Examples
      • Typical Uses of B2B E-mail for lead generation and cultivation (cutting down on phone, fax, postal mail)
        • Customer and Prospect Communications
        • Follow-ups
        • Major Announcements and Alerts
        • E-mail and Online Surveys
        • E-mail Discussion Groups
      • A B2B e-newsletter offers value for the recipient and gains leads for the marketer to cultivate
        • If material is newsworthy and relevant (not merely selling products and services) prospects may be willing to receive it as often as 5x a week
        • Newsletters boost credibility and authority for B2B firms
        • Newsletters keep marketers top-of-mind for prospects without being overly pushy
        • See eMarketer example, next slide
  • Using Internet Events to Promote Products and Services
    • Nightmare logistics – travel, hotels and venues, speakers, weather, traffic
    • Substantial investment
    • Quality control challenges
    • No-show rates of 50-60% for free seminars offered at a specific time and place
    • Minimal logistics – everyone “meets” at a URL or attends on demand
    • Much lower investment
    • Much more quality control
    • Attendees invest only an hour or so; may attend as a group; senior execs may attend; on-demand feature
    • Costly and frustrating problems with face-to-face events…
    • … Can often be overcome with Internet-based events
  • Using Internet Events to Promote Products and Services
    • The Internet also can be used to promote and enhance traditional marketing events
      • Snackinar Example on previous slides
      • YouTube Videos – example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nht1tYY6lsw
      • Blogs and Groups on Social Networking Sites
        • Create a group to “follow” your event
        • List those already signed up to attend and provide easy methods for forwarding information about the event
  • Executing e-Fulfillment
    • Use the Internet to qualify prospects and instantly fulfill their requests for information
      • Saves money and time over traditional fulfillment
      • PDFs make e-Fulfillment easy and universal
      • Updating is easy and fast (no more outdated brochures)
      • The Web facilitates individualization of online fulfillment
      • Online demos and trials can offer a taste of an application that times out unless purchased
      • A smaller company that does this well: Advantage Engineering
      • http://www.advantageengineering.com/literature/literature.php
  • Building Customer Relationships with the Internet Example: Dell’s “My Way”
  • Building Customer Relationships With the Internet – Some Pointers
    • Treat Customers Like Prospects (Don’t take them for granted)
    • Ask Customers What They Want – And Give it to Them (Based on their own expressed needs)
    • Explore New and Innovative Ways to Encourage and Reward Customers (Online access to special information or an Extranet)
    • Treat Customer Classes Appropriately/Differently (Appropriate incentives and rewards)
    • Make One-to-One Fun (Dell’s sports/horoscopes, etc.)
  • Offer a Customer Extranet to Best Customers for applications such as…
    • Password-protected access for your customers’ employees at different levels of authority
    • Inventory control and lists of past purchases
    • Real-time collaborative work space online
    • Opportunity to order samples
    • White papers and other materials available only to best customers
    • See Steelcase example on next slide
  • Business Communities and Exchanges -- Examples
    • Vortals (Vertical Portals)
      • PlasticsNet
      • IndustryGate (Greek Industrial Site)
      • Business.com
    • Auctions
      • eBay Business Shop
      • DoveBid
    • Business Communities and Exchanges – just a couple among many
      • LinkedIn (not hard sell – a social network for business)
      • ChemConnect (a 24/7/365 global trading network)
  • Creating and Managing Partner Programs -- Examples
  • Selling on the Internet – Learn from the Best: B2B Magazine’s 10 Great Web Sites
    • Adobe
    • Cisco Systems
    • Formway Furniture
    • InFocus Corp.
    • IT Toolbox
    • Johns Manville
    • Tech Smith Corp.
    • Suni Imaging ThomasNet
    • USPS
  • SEVEN STRATEGIES FOR INCREASING PROFITS THROUGH BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS INTERNET MARKETING Susan K. Jones, Professor of Marketing Ferris State University Questions? Ideas? Great Thoughts? I’m at [email_address] or [email_address] (616) 458-0305 (home office) or (231-591-2468 (Ferris State) Or look for me on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter (@sjones9200)