Digital Trends for B2B Marketing


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A look at the trends that B2B marketing and sales people need to adopt to survive the blistering pace of change occurring among their customers

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  • While we all know Heraclitus as right, none of us anticipated that the pace of change would reach the blistering rate it is at right now.Blistering change is occurring at at every level;
  • Of the original 1955 Fortune 500 list only 79 companies are still there todayThe 1999 Fortune 500? Only a little more than half remain on the Fortune 500 today Last years Fortune 500? 20% of the companies that made the list didn’t even exist before 2008; Think about that: 20% of the current Fortune 500 did not exist before 2008
  • One industry analyst calls this pace of change, "Digital Darwinism”.  The rapid advance of technology combined with the pace of adoption of that technology is threatening the biggest, most established companies because those companies don't paying attention to change and, once the recognize the need to change, they are organized in silos that prevent the nimble approach they need to pull it off in time, and they languish.It’s one of the big reasons that only 71 companies remain today from the original Fortune 500 list.
  • How rapidly is the pace of technology and the adoption of it accelerating? AT&T had an interesting measure they shared at an IBM technology conference in October:AT&T looks at the speed at which high risk information moves around the world:In 2003 – it took 24 hours for high risk information to move around the world2009 – the same high risk exposure of information was around the globe in 4 hoursThis year (2013) - 4 minutes 
  • Access to information; the speed at which it all moves and the depth of information out there effects everyone and every company differently; but some things are universal, no matter whether you are the Ford Motor Company, a manufacturer with 100 employees or a guy running a marketing agency with 50 people, almost all of us we are feeling sonme level of discomfort:Sales performance has grown increasingly erraticSales Cycle Times are longerConversion rates lowerSales forecasts less reliableMargins compressedHow many people here would agree that their business is experience some or all of these symptoms?
  • The Harvard Business Review just published a major article in November on this very subject; Across every sector and region business leaders are experiencing this The Corporate Executive Board released a report that lays out the facts for why this is happening.Todays customers are better informed than everBy the time you get an invitation to write a proposal or develop a quote, 57% of the decision process is already completedBy the time customers approach suppliers like you and me they generally have a clear idea of the:Problem they need to solveSolutions available to themPrice willing to paySo if the customer has figured out problem, solution and pricing, what is left for “marketing?” actually, a lot. 
  • Every leading business publication that watches business trends, sales and marketing in the B2B world says the adoption of digital marketing is absolutely critical to survivalWall Street Journal: "Industrial companies are starting to catch up to consumer brands in their use of social media marketing, using LinkedIn, Facebook and even YouTube to reach buyers for decidedly unsexy products such as electrical components, industrial lubricants, generators and contract manufacturing."
  • 68% of B2B companies engage in social media (Source: Chief Marketer Magazine)How many of you here are skeptics? You’re sitting here thinking "Yeah, but does it work for a manufacturing company selling to other manufacturers?"
  • Etratech is a really interesting case studyPrivately held, Based in Burlington, OntarioSpecialize in design, development and manufacture of advanced electronic cotrols and ontro systems for major multinationals. They serve OEMs and other manufactuersThe President/board set aggressive sales targets for 2012They are Not a household name, Like most herethey felt adverysing was a wasteSo they reluctantly Embraced LinkedIn Twitter, Facebook Youtube
  • Once they decided to use what IBM now calls “social business” channels,Etratech decided they wanted to show off their biggest strength; their facilityIn the past customers did not see Etratech’s facility until well into sales cycle; but once a prospective customer saw it, the deal typically closed quicklySince then, they’ve gone further and some of their customers now appear in testimonials..(CLICK ON THE LINK and the video will play) Don’t play whole thingThey used the YouTube video channel they created to show off their facilities earlier in the pitch processTruth is: Prospects are constanty researching the firm and using its social sitesAnd by using the right tools, they know exactly who is visiting their site and what they are watching or readingClosing deals, compresed 6-8 months, now 6-8 weeksThere was hesitation:  but growth targets, fast sell times, and customer comments have left this company swearing it is the right decision
  • The other leading factor that might prove social digital are right paths? Look to your customers; are they doing it?We asked P-K Tool to give us the names of their top customers; We promised the data would remain confidential, we wanted to see whether their top customers are deploying social digital media and, if so, how they are using it
  • These are big and mid-sized companies that, as you know count every penny; they’re not doing this on a lark; they’re doing it because it helps differentiate them in the marketplace, build their brands, get closer to their customers, and close deals faster
  • The Corporate Executive Board is the leading member-based advisory board that identifies and builds upon the “proven best practices” of the world’s best companies. They just completed a massive stidy of 2,500 sales executives at 30 of the largest business-to-business marketing organizations. The study covered every business sector and cut across all georgraphies. It revealed that the best companies have moved into a new era in terms of how they approach selling their wares to businss customers.The first era was “Supplier-Centric marketing: Essentially that’s where we all went into a sale talking about ourselves, our companies, our people, our processThe second era has been all about proving “Business Value” to the customer. Business Value marketing and selling is were we focus on highlighting the funtional benefits of our products and services and showing how that will help the customer organization.The CEB reports that we’ve all gotten really good at proving Business Value – In fact we are all so good that it doesn't’ work anymore. 86% of buyers in our markets say they can’t see enough difference between the suppliers they are evaluating to pay more for anything they buy. We’ve been commoditized.The good news there is something that your buyers consider twuce as valuable as Business Vale; The CEB calls it “Personal Value”
  • Personal Value focuses on the benefits to the individual customer stakeholder in areas like their professional goals, social interactions and emotional drivers. This data shows that the value to the customer must go beyond the organization level to the individual stakeholder.If you stop and thinkabout the risks B2B buyers experience when making a complex and expensive B2B purchase, it is less surprising. Your customers must see sufficient personal value to overcome the risks they take on when advocating for your company as the supplier solution (especially if you are a new supplier). As B2B marketers, our path forward is clear.Yes, we still need to demonstrate business value to the customer organization. But, we also need to demonstrate personal value to the individuals within that customer organization who are taking on the risk that their decision to pick you could be wrong. To win, we need to win both the individual and the group.So, how do you start proving Personal Value?
  • One of the best ways to separate your business from the crowd it to embrace the is type of thinking and2) embrace and use social channels to start sharing this kind of informationThoughts on advances in technology and where it is goingPoints of view on process, alert, technology in your sector and what it means to customersContent on your people, technology, processYou need to do it anyway to win your unfair share of business proposals. By publishing your expertise and long term point of views on social channels, customers will watch it, prospects will find it and your business will rise above the rest
  • Each of the schools listed here have digital marketing programs and provide opportunity for your business to explore at very little cost. You will find them eager to help.
  • Digital Trends for B2B Marketing

    1. 1. Marketing Sales TRENDS For MANUFACTURING Quarterly Club January xx, 2014
    2. 2. “The only thing that is constant is change.” -- Heraclitus
    3. 3. The blistering change of pace has reeked havoc on businesses ability to stay on top 1955 GM Exxon Firestone Douglas P&G Republic Steel Citgo ConocoPhillips on U.S. Steel General Electric Esmark Chrysler Armour Gulf Oil Mobil DuPont Amoco Bethlehem Steel CBS AT&T Shell Oil Navistar Rockwell Eastman Kodak Goodrich Continental Group Bendix Atlantic Richfield Fortune Brands Ryerson Tull Armco Honeywell Intl Amax Allis-Chalmers Jones & Laughlin Steel RCA Union Carbide General Foods Uniroyal 79 1999 Borden Chemical Lockheed Martin Alcoa International Paper Wilson Sunoco United Technologies American Can General Dynamics General Mills National Intergroup Curtis-Wright Olin Asarco GM Ford Wal-Mart Exxon GE IBM Citigroup Altria Group Boeing AT&T Bank of America State Farm Mobil HewlettPackard Sears Roebuck DuPont P&G TIAA-CREFF Merrill Lynch Target JC Penney Home Depot Lucent Motorola SBC Kroger Merck ChevronTexaco Met Life Intel Lockheed Martin Allstate United Technologies Bank One GTE UPS Marathon Oil Safeway Costco ConAgra Johnson & Johnson Bellsouth Walt Disney PepsiCo Ingram Micro Wachovia Cigna McKesson Loews Safeway Costco ConAgra Johnson & Johnson Bellsouth 52%
    4. 4. Welcome to the age of “Digital Darwinism” Brian Solis Author of: What’s the Future of Business? The End of Business as Usual Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web Source: Brian Solis, The End of Business as Usual
    5. 5. How fast is information moving? AT&T’s answer The speed of high risk information… 2003 = 24 hrs. 2009 = 4 hrs. 2013 = 4 mins.
    6. 6. Sales performance Sales Model is Broken growing The Traditional increasingly erratic + Longer sales cycle times + Lower conversion rates + Less reliable forecasts + Compressed margins Source: Corporate Executive Board survey of 2,500 sales professionals; 30 B2B companies from every major industry, geography and go-to market model
    7. 7. We must find ways to create value “Today’s customers are better informed than ever before. By the time they approach suppliers, they generally have a clear idea of the problem they need to solve, the solutions that are available, and the price they are willing to pay.” “Dismantling the Sales Machine” Harvard Business Review, November 2013
    8. 8. The adoption of of digital marketing is absolutely critical to survival “Industrial companies are starting to catch up to consumer brands in their use of social media marketing, using LinkedIn, Facebook and even YouTube to reach buyers for decidedly unsexy products such as electrical components, industrial lubricants, generators and contract manufacturing.” -- Wall Street Journal January 5, 2013
    9. 9. The adoption of social/digital by B2B manufacturers 68%
    10. 10. Social channels drive new business conversion Etratech: electronic design and manufacturing firm + President and board set aggressive sales goals for 2012 + Advertising too expensive and rarely worked + Reluctantly embraced social media
    11. 11. Etratech used social channels break through competitive clutter Etratech invites its website visitors to tour their plant. This link is almost always clicked by prospective new customers…
    12. 12. Etratech Social Business Results: Closing deals: Before: 6-8 months Jan Feb Jul Mar Apr Ma y Aug Now: 6-8 weeks Ja n Fe b Jun Growth targets have increased, sell times are faster and customer comments have proven social business channels are an important part of marketing Etratech’s manufacturing business.
    13. 13. Other factors: How about your customers?
    14. 14. Social Business Audit of P-K Tool Customers We audited the 9 biggest customers: 100% actively use LinkedIn + Posting: + • Major concepts • New projects, capabilities • Team/Industry events and participation Looking for talent + 73,323 employees linked to customers + One customer: all 42 buyers bios and contact info listed +
    15. 15. Social Business Audit of P-K Tool Customers We audited the 9 biggest customers: 7 of 9 are on Facebook + Posting: + • News about management • Achievements • Average posting: 2X per week Facebook popular to link employees working multiple sites + Helps establish companies values, personalities with customers +
    16. 16. Social Business Audit of P-K Tool Customers We audited the 9 biggest customers: 4 of 9 are on Twitter + Posting: + • Articles • Industry news (not just about their company) • Financials (for pubic entities) • Trade events they are attendig
    17. 17. Social Business Audit of P-K Tool Customers Your customers are using Social Media because: • Differentiates their company in the marketplace • Builds their brands • Helps them get closer to their customers • Helps close business deals faster
    18. 18. Business Value vs. Personal Value
    19. 19. Study: “Business Value does not lead to purchase” Supplier Centric The Corporate Executive Board is the leading member-based advisory board. They identify and build upon the proven best practices of the world’s best companies. Business Value Personal Value
    20. 20. Study: “Business Value does not lead to purchase” Personal Value focuses on the benefits to the individual customer stakeholder: • Professional goals • Social interactions • Emotional drivers Supplier Centric Business Value Personal Value
    21. 21. How do you separate your business from the crowd? + Start embrace or expanding your use of social channels + Share information that you have that your customer does not + Content: new processes, technology, systems and your talent + Link to your customer buyers on their social channels
    22. 22. How do you get started? + Hire smart kids right out of college + Bring in a couple college interns this summer + Reach out to local college professors, they will connect your challenge to the right student talent 50% of recent college graduates are working in fields that do not require a degree. Steal them away and let them do what they love: digital marketing
    23. 23. Marketing Sales TRENDS For MANUFACTURING Quarterly Club January xx, 2014