Social Media for B2B Technology Marketers


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Social media is a critical component in the B2B technology buying process. Buyers are increasingly turning to user-generated content and online recommendations to help make purchasing decisions. B2B technology marketers must leverage the power of social media to better meet the needs of potential buyers and build lasting business relationships.

In this webinar, Larry Weber of W2 Group, Dave Munn of the IT Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) and Pauline Ores of IBM discussed how B2B technology companies can effectively integrate social media into their marketing plans.

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Social Media for B2B Technology Marketers

  1. 1. Social Media: An Integral Tool for B2B Technology Marketers January 29, 2010 - #SMB2B
  2. 2. Today’s Speakers Moderator Panelists Dave Munn CEO ITSMA Larry Weber Pauline Ores Chairman Social Engagement Digital Influence Group and Strategist, IBM Racepoint Group Corp. Marketing, @thelarryweber Communications and Citizenship 2
  3. 3. Agenda • Larry’s Perspective • Dave’s presentation • Pauline’s presentation • Q&A #SMB2B 3
  4. 4. About Us Full service digital agency that is social media at its core A global public relations agency that helps clients harness the power of both traditional and social media to build and protect reputation and drive business 4
  5. 5. Introducing Larry Weber Chairman Digital Influence Group and Racepoint Group @thelarryweber 5
  6. 6. It’s time to close the social media gap between marketers and buyers – get beyond the pilot phase Buyer Marketer 55% use social media to get info Still relying heavily on traditional and communicate with marketing methods – social media far colleagues during buying process down the list (Source: ITSMA-PAC Survey, 2009) (Source: Forrester, April 2009) 6
  7. 7. Beyond pilots: You need a strategic approach • Audience Identification Research • Listening • Prioritize goals Strategy • Roadmap with milestones, resources, risks, budget • Content, distribution and outreach strategy • Define social media programs & platforms Program Creation / Execution • Create a user experience across all channels • Integrate with traditional marketing programs • Pre-launch planning Activation • Launch activities to drive engagement • Post-launch activities to sustain momentum Measurement & Optimization • Measure outcomes, not just outputs • Optimize programs 7
  8. 8. Awareness – Thought CIO/External Promotion LinkedIn Experience Leadership Phase 1 Hub IBM Events Promotion Twitter Presence Facebook Experience 8 Proprietary and Confidential 8
  9. 9. Cisco Router Launch: Lead Generation Fanista Create fun micro-site to Provide 3D game to demonstrate generate buzz & obtain launch product features & encourage event registrations sharing Build a Community & Drive Registration to Second Life Launch Event One component for gathering 7,000+ registrations 40,000+ users played Gain visibility on YouTube Organize TelePresence sessions for sales engagement Create Facebook group Quirky videos to build community showing Cisco’s fun side 1,000+ field reps 1,000+ members Measurement & Analysis 9
  10. 10. CSC Wikonnect – Building Deeper Customer Relationships and Loyalty • Personalized venue where insurance community shares experiences and ideas for enhancing CSC software • 24x7 collaborative environment, access to latest product updates • 7,000+ users from 500 companies • Opens the door for clients to talk to each other and to CSC, share best practices • Gives CSC a true point of differentiation in the insurance industry 10
  11. 11. Introducing Dave Munn CEO ITSMA 11
  12. 12. The Growing Importance of Social Media and Web 2.0 in the Decision Making Process for Technology Solutions Prepared by: David Munn President & CEO ITSMA 12
  13. 13. Three-quarters of buyers are using social media in the purchase process—that’s huge! Which of these Web-based tools do you use to gather information and communicate with colleagues during the purchase process? % of Respondents (N=350) Which of these Web-based tools do you use to gather information and communicate with colleagues during the purchase process? % of Respondents (N=264) None LinkedIn 58 (25%) (75%) Blogs 50 Facebook 47 Twitter 41 Plaxo 39 Note: Multiple responses allowed. Source: ITSMA and PAC, How Customers Choose Study, 2009 13
  14. 14. Now, more than ever, marketers need to base their activities on customers’ buying processes and integrate social media more into the marketing mix ITSMA’s Relationship Model/Buying Process Relationship Stage 1. Stage 2. Stage 3. Stage 4. Stage 5. Stages EPIPHANY AWARENESS INTEREST CONFIDENCE LOYALTY Buying Need Search Alternative Selection and Post-Purchase Post- Processes Recognition Evaluation Purchase Evaluation Explore the Clarify objectives Finalize the short Select the provider Evaluate possibilities and solution list satisfaction Negotiate the specifications Identify a need Solicit proposals contract Measure value or opportunity Identify delivered alternatives Evaluate Ultimate sign-off sign- (short list) alternatives Source: ITSMA, 2009 14
  15. 15. When companies identify a need, they proactively seek out alternative solutions and use web and social media tools more and more The solution provider I do the research and contacts me first (37%) find the appropriate solution providers (63%) Mean % of Time (N=355) Source: ITSMA and PAC, How Customers Choose Study, 2009 15
  16. 16. Two of the top five sources of information are digital/web 2.0/social media channels Total Speak to colleagues for referrals 33 17 19 68 What are the first three steps Do an online search including, company websites, 11 14 14 39 whitepapers, podcasts, Webcasts, etc. you take to identify Speak to your existing solution providers and 9 13 11 32 hardware and software vendors alternative solutions? Get advice from consultants 9 8 12 28 % of Check the blogosphere, social networks, or online 8 10 11 27 Respondents chat boards (N=355) Speak to or check publications of industry 8 11 5 23 analysts such as Gartner, PAC, IDC Speak to or check publications of financial 6 8 6 19 analysts such as Merrill Lynch or Goldman Sachs Read business and trade publications 5 6 9 19 Pay closer attention to advertisements 6 5 5 15 Respond to emails and cold calls from consultants 14 or solution providers 4 5 6 Other 1 1 Note: Numbers may not add up due to rounding. Step One Step Two Step Three Source: ITSMA and PAC, How Customers Choose Study, 2009 16
  17. 17. Buyers rank numerous digital/web 2.0/social media channels among the top ten in getting their attention Which types of marketing vehicles do you believe are most effective in getting your attention and encouraging you to learn more about solutions and providers? % of Respondents (N=355) Electronic newsletter from the solution provider 25 32 29 14 Webinar 24 29 32 15 Invitation to a dinner discussion or evening roundtable with peers 23 33 25 20 Invitation to an in person seminar or workshop 23 39 26 12 Case studies describing successful customer solution implementations 20 22 39 19 Speech or presentation at a conference or trade show 19 22 38 21 Solution provider’s blog or online community 17 30 35 18 Search engine hits when doing research or surfing the Web 16 41 27 17 Article in the business or industry trade press 15 33 30 21 Online advertisement 15 30 33 22 Direct mail brochure 13 32 31 24 Phone call or email from a sales representative from the solution provider 12 23 34 31 TV or print advertisement 11 30 40 20 Hospitality programs such as sporting event or golf outings 10 20 35 36 Very effective Somewhat effective Somewhat ineffective Not at all effective Source: ITSMA and PAC, How Customers Choose Study, 2009 17
  18. 18. Online communities and microsites are growing in value to executives who participate in provider relationship programs Of the programs Executive-level business events (e.g., seminars, meetings) 39 you participate in, Private briefings 33 which three do Customer advisory councils or boards 30 you think provide the greatest value Social or recreational activities (e.g., golf outings, dinners) 27 to you? Client reference programs 25 % of Online communities/social networking that the solution 23 provider facilitates Respondents Dedicated “microsite” or portal for your company with 22 (N=355) information about their project work and thought leadership Account-based or one-to-one marketing programs 22 Joint PR/advertising/co-branding 20 One-on-one, executive-to-executive relationships 20 Small, intimate, local peer networking events 18 Other 1 Note: Up to three responses allowed. Source: ITSMA and PAC, How Customers Choose Study, 2009 18
  19. 19. Marketing Tactics Becoming More Important in 2010 – Social Media and Web 2.0 on the Rise • Thought leadership • Invitation-only online development communities hosted or • References and testimonials sponsored by your company • Senior level relationship • Corporate Website management programs, • Internal collaboration through customer advisory boards, social media and/or Intranet councils • Blogs • Online video • Public online social networks (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook) • ROI tools/Price justification tools Source: ITSMA, Budget Allocations and Trends: Key Metrics Survey, 2010 19
  20. 20. Marketing needs to become more of a content creation engine Sales Integrated Marketing Campaigns Relationship Marketing Thought programs Business planning/ Content Digital/social leadership strategy strategy/ platform Engine media intelligence Events Influencer relations PR Business Partners Measure, Analyze, and Report 20
  21. 21. Top Challenges Marketers Face with Social Media and Web 2.0 Effectiveness Rate the level of challenge your company faces in using Web 2.0 channels in the following areas: Mean Rating (N~33) Getting the time commitment to participate 4.0 Keeping our bloggers interested and posting regularly 3.9 Maintaining the pace/volume of content creation demands 3.8 Effort required to manage channels 3.6 Finding the right employees to engage with the channels 3.4 Getting employees and customers to feel comfortable engaging 3.3 Measuring results 3.3 Gaining/keeping customer interest 3.1 Maintaining a consistent representation of the organization’s brand 2.9 Communicating in the right voice 2.7 Note: Mean rating based on a 5-point scale where 1=not at all a challenge and 5=extremely challenging. Source: ITSMA, B2B Marketing Online Survey: Web 2.0, April 2009 21
  22. 22. Introducing Pauline Ores Market Insights, Principal Consultant Social Insights Practice IBM 22
  23. 23. Consumers Are Becoming Citizens client ads media agency receptive consumer ads & media SM UGC search active citizen 23
  24. 24. What Makes Up Social Media Applications and Sites Blogs, wikis, Facebook, etc. Social Drivers How to build a network/community Business Processes Integrating social contributions Business Transformation Corporate culture 24
  25. 25. Current picture of IBM & Social media • Blogs - 17,000 blogs 3,000+ • Beehive – 60K members 75,000+ • WikiCentral –1 million daily page views 52,000+ • InnovationJam – 4 Jams, 500,000 participants 40,000+ • Media Library – 10 million downloads 198,000+ 25
  26. 26. Enterprise Community-Based Model • Coordinating Activity – Enterprise approach is key if 2+2 is to = 5 – Social is suited at managing social rather than falling back on command and control processes – Continually integrate digital marketing efforts • Growing Participation – Community managers - a critical and unique skill if we’re to move past SMM checklists – Enterprise systems need to support ‘virtuous circle’ – acknowledging and driving participation 26
  27. 27. Key Issues and Recommendations • Demonstrate business value - Why should I fund this? – Go narrow and deep and ‘fail quickly’ • Select specific areas/ecosystems, apply the resources truly required, iterate, measure results • Metrics – How do I know it’s making a difference? – Take full advantage of social media research – IBM CORE enterprise program – Not only for ‘listening’ can support execution, metrics – Engage your MI teams • Internal Adoption – How do I get them to participate? – Seek out community building talent • Building a community w/active participation who can drive and nurture internal participation 27
  28. 28. Questions from the Audience Feel free to type in your questions for Larry, Dave and Pauline 28
  29. 29. Additional Resources 1. To get a copy of our white paper on “Social Media for B2B Technology Marketers” Email: 2. To share the recording of this webinar 3. Other questions, contact: Jackie Lustig at 29