How to reach business professionals online


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Presentation covering how influence works in B2B. How to be WHERE they are, with your message.

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How to reach business professionals online

  1. 1. The new business landscape: How influence works, how to engage and how to measure results.
  2. 2. A Team Obsessed • 20 years in publishing • 20 years in marketing • 20 years in research 2
  3. 3. Lunch and Learn • Profile of today's business users • What fuels influence and decision making • How sites need to address today's influencers • How to market in-line with the user • How to measure impact across funnel Sources: • Marketing Sherpa Technology Benchmark Survey 2006, CNET 2007 Audience Profile Study, Business Trax, Technology Decision Makers: The Players and the Process, CNET Influencer Research 2007, @Plan 2007, Technoraiti, Pew Internet and American Life Project. 3
  4. 4. Business technology purchasing isn’t quick or easy High cost & Complex products + implementation investment + Many vendor choices 4
  5. 5. The stakes are high Solving new problems with technology Making the Keeping up right decision with the for my changing tech company landscape Being more effective and productive at work 5
  6. 6. They're serious about their roles at work 65% 55% 55% 64% 20 hours Often give Like to lead Like to stay Work hard Average 20 advice to others connected to advance hours per others wherever they go career week online Source: 2007 CNET Networks Business Audience Profile Study; top two answers “describes/describes completely” 6
  7. 7. The sales cycle is long • Search and lead generation does not address the short term • Where is the budget against the long term? 7
  8. 8. They need the information Vendor content available online (white papers, webcasts, product/services documentation) Vendor Vendor bids content Advice/recommendations from peers References or recommendations from satisfied customers Peer References or recommendations from personal network content Consultant opinion/advice Value-added reseller/systems integrator opinion/advice Advice/recommendations from industry analysts Industry analyst reports Article from IT industry online publications 3rd party Financial analyst reports content Article from IT industry print publications Advice/recommendations from financial analysts Other 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Source: Technology Decision-Making: The Players and the Process, CNET Networks, Inc., September 2005 8
  9. 9. And they're arming themselves in every way Peers 67% get News Online Podcasts Blogs up 100-fold User Opinions Webcasts White Papers Sources: Technoraiti, Pew Internet and American Life Project 9
  10. 10. Proven by their online behavior 7 x more likely to listen/watch tech news online 6 x more likely to use RSS 6 x more likely to read Internet & tech e-newsletter 4 x more likely to download new software 3 x more likely to download a Podcast 3 x more likely to seek/give advice online 2-7 times more likely to 3 x more likely to seek or post a product review online 3 x more likely to research products for work online 2 x more likely visit a blog (Source: @plan Spring 2007 (Compared to internet users in general; last 30 days) 10
  11. 11. Online is the most influential channel • But there's an imbalance of 19% spending against 18% what influences 13% 15% • Huge opportunity for marketers Influence % Spending % 11
  12. 12. Summary • Business technology complicates us • We need to stay up to date • We use many resources • Online is most important • Marketing does not always span the buying cycle 12
  13. 13. You can measure influence Copyright © 2006 CNET Networks, All Rights Reserved. 13
  14. 14. Influence Is a Hot Topic It matters. It is not well understood. 14
  15. 15. Successful purchases require many influencers 70% IS/IT 60% 62% 56% 60% 50% Non IS/IT 40% 39% 35% 35% 30% 25% 26% 20% C-Level • Not just C-Level 17% 10% • All levels involved • At every stage 0% Need Recognition Info sear ch + eval. Pur chase decision Success 15
  16. 16. Successful decision making can be mapped 16
  17. 17. Typical Personal Network Casual friends 13 Close friends 9 Co-workers 19 Adult family 7 Neighbors 4 Church/Civic groups 9 People you communicate with regularly 17
  18. 18. The trickle down pyramid is a thing of the past Highly Connected Moderately Connected Less Connected 18
  19. 19. The moderately connected now change the game 90% 80% Pyramid Reality 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Less Connected Moder ately Highly Connected Connected 10 or Fewer Connections 11-99 Connections 100+ Connections 19
  20. 20. The new model is more of a diamond than pyramid Old Model New Model Highly Connected Moderately Connected Less Connected 20
  21. 21. So they're on portals and searching right? 21
  22. 22. Emergence of the Sleuth “By no means am I a self- professed expert on anything …but they always want to go to me anyway.” • Not an expert, but savvy at finding credible info • Enabled by the web • Often forwards links Greg, Project Manager, HMO 22
  23. 23. What powers spread of influence “I trust the information I find there more than on a lot of web sites .” CNB Sites Web Por tals 50% “I often find things I can't wait to share with 40% other people. ” 30% CNB Sites Web Por tals 50% 20% 40% 10% 30% 0% Strongl y Mostl y Agree Neither Mostl y Strongl y 20% Agree Agree Nor Disagree Disagree Disagree 10% 0% Strongl y Agree Mostl y Agree Neither Agree Mostl y Disagree Strongl y Nor Disagree Disagree “Builds my confidence in my knowledge of things I am interested in.” CNB Sites Web Por tals 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Strongl y Agree Mostl y Agree Neither Agree Mostl y Disagree Strongl y Nor Disagree Disagree 23
  24. 24. Model of how to fuel influence Unique Content User Confidence Influence Trusted Content 24
  25. 25. Search and Portals don't fuel or activate influence • Trusted, unique content Search/ CNB What powers influence? is the fuel Portals • Activating influencer Find the site content unique 12% 79% over 4x more likely off trust the info on the site 8% 83% portals and search Site builds confidence in knowledge of 4% 88% • Influence networks things I'm interested in almost 40% larger where content is Find things on the site they can’t wait to 13% 60% share with others Avg. user’s network of influence 44 61 people people 25
  26. 26. ProvenAverage at CNET Influencer Communicates with out Number of People Monthly by Each Method Monthly Communications 120 112 245 100 No. Connections 80 72 60 66 44 40 21 25 20 20 15 7 6 8 9 5 3 3 1 1 0 Less connected Moderately connected Highly connected Email Instant message Text message Phone See in person 26
  27. 27. Proven out at CNET Tagging Contributing 250 6 200 5 4 150 3 100 2 50 1 0 0 Less Moderately Highly Less Connected Moderately Highly Connected Connected Connected Connected Connected Number of Tags Number of contributions 27
  28. 28. Summary • All parties have to be engaged • The network is measurable • The pyramid is out. The fat middle is in. • Influence is fueled and activated by trusted and unique content 28
  29. 29. Building the web for the sleuth Copyright © 2006 CNET Networks, All Rights Reserved. 29
  30. 30. Blogs are the straight talk people need to be productive 30
  31. 31. Trusted individuals are sought out for information 31
  32. 32. External experts are core to successful business planning 32
  33. 33. People demand 300 degree coverage 33
  34. 34. Vendors voices are required to make smart choices 34
  35. 35. Vendor content is demanded by business users 35
  36. 36. User voices need to be welcomed 36
  37. 37. Peers need the ability to connect and communicate 37
  38. 38. All voices need to be in the mix to address business technology 38
  39. 39. Summary • 360 degree coverage is imperative • Blogs are important to business users • Vendors and their content need to be in the mix • The user needs a voice and has control • Peers activate the community 39
  40. 40. Marketing in the influencer's path Copyright © 2006 CNET Networks, All Rights Reserved. 40
  41. 41. 9 ways to span the funnel, arm the sleuth and activate influence or deep consideration 41
  42. 42. Marketers should Sponsor areas where experts line up behind content of interest to are found their target. Whether it's theirs or not 42
  43. 43. Syndicate your content Users search for deep information, IT Directory and vendors need to be there or be left out Vendor’s Asset CONTEXTUAL INTEGRATION PROMOTION IN: • Article/News Pages • Blog Pages • Search Results • Discussion Pages • Editorial Newsletters • IT Directory 43
  44. 44. Educate users on trusted sites Vendor and editorial not just vendor sites webcasts need to be wherever the user is 44
  45. 45. Marketers can engage in the Ask questions on your topic to engage, simplest of ways inform others and get the brand out there Quick Poll Unit Poll Results 45
  46. 46. Inform and activate across More power than PR, a marketer can span the funnel the funnel with awareness, content Preview + traffic Engagement + resource center and activation tools driver FRONT DOOR SEARCH PAGES NEWSLETTER NEWS BLOGS 46
  47. 47. Users appreciate Send the experts to the user information they can easily consume and pass along to others 47
  48. 48. The brave The brave should be blogging executive or expert should enter the conversation, be open, educate and learn from users Sponsored Blog Blog headlines drive users 48
  49. 49. Marketers can now Become part of a special define a topic, sponsor it, and feature on a topic engage with users or simply generate awareness Vendor selected topic Web 2.0 Storage Enterprise Solutions Open IT Source Management Security Net Neutrality Promotional space to drive awareness to advertiser’s solution 49
  50. 50. Integration around Be there 24-7 editorial features is a cost effective way to raise awareness CNET/ for a low CPM Vendor agree on topic/focus CNET Editorial content around topic Vendor related Ad or assets Vendor Logo 50
  51. 51. Summary • Users crave useful information • Create informative moments that span the funnel • Build in features that activate the influencer • Plan your share of engagement at each stage of the funnel 51
  52. 52. How to measure impact across the funnel Copyright © 2006 CNET Networks, All Rights Reserved. 52
  53. 53. Tracking vendors, topics, users and engagement at every stage • What is Business Trax? • Proprietary reporting tool allowing near-real time view into topics and vendors that users care about across business sites • Shows how vendor content is performing compared to their competitors at every stage of the marketing funnel • A proxy for the business tech space • How does Trax work? • Proprietary genetic algorithms actual “read” content • Content and behavior categorized and mapped to stages of the marketing funnel based on algorithms 53 Source: CNET Networks, January 2007 53
  54. 54. Categorization rules used to measure impact • Microcosm of tech space • Over half a billion actions • Over 20,000 vendors tracked or deep consideration DEEPER CLICKS & VIEWS BNET & tech directory assets CLICKS & VIEWS Software GATED CONTENT ZDNet News/blogs TR download resources BNET & tech directory: IMPRESSIONS TechRepublic news/blogs Pageviews of News >7 days White papers, Webcasts & Downloads 2 or more Ads BNET news Email alerts / Newsletter clicks audiocasts, Case studies on topic in 30 days: Banners Builder news Discussion thread postings Software White papers Sponsorships TechRepublic articles Blog talkbacks Resource center assets Case studies Power Center/Play Sponsorship driver PC resource center clicks listed in directory Webcasts & audiocasts Spotlights Power Center "preview" White boards/ Video Streams Software downloads TR download resources Hotspots mouse over Podcasts TR download resources Software RSS feeds Quick Polls clicks CNET Image galleries Resource Center pageviews Source: CNET Networks, May 2007 54
  55. 55. Share of interest and engagement 55
  56. 56. Competitive share by category 56
  57. 57. A case study • Engagement leapt from 9% in the three months before campaign to 32% after three months • Vendor integrated its resources where buyers were engaging with related content Source: CNET Networks internal study within the Server category 57
  58. 58. Summary • A site can large enough to be a proxy for the business tech space • Rules can track vendors, users, and technologies • Marketers can plan for and impact each stage of the decision making funnel • Lift in share can be measured 58
  59. 59. Thank You Copyright © 2006 CNET Networks, All Rights Reserved. 59