Category Archives: Digital Trends

New B2B Buyer… Requires B2B Digital Marketing Strategy

What are the challenges facing the B2B marketers?

2012 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey suggests:

The fact that buyers are increasingly dissatisfied with the engagement process is one of the most eye opening statistics from the survey. Despite all of the tools available –CRM, web analytics and marketing automation – this shows that marketing and sales teams are still struggling to keep pace with the changing expectations of buyers.”

newb2bbuyerWho are the new B2B buyers? 72% Used social media to research their solution purchases 54% Followed online discussions to learn more about topics. 22% Posted questions on social networking sites looking for suggestions and feedback. 14% Connected directly with potential solution providers via social networking channels

  • They are more agile buyers; more than 50% initiated the contact with the business.
  • At the outset of their search process for solution providers, these buyers were greatly influenced by online and social media. (see chart below)

entwine-graph

This new buyer’s research and decision process  is very much involved with social/digital media. Therefore the development of a B2B/ B2G Digital Marketing  Strategy would be a necessary next step.

Digital B2B Marketing Strategy

Here is an nine step outline of the  Digital Marketing  Strategy.

  1. 1. Align Goals and Values
  2. 2. Assess your Reputation
    • -Assess your online company reputation; digital footprint critical for B2B
    • -Assess the strengths and weaknesses of offline reputation
  3. 3. Know your Competitors
    • - Determine the gaps and your competitive positioning
    • - Set yourself apart from the competition
  4. 4. Pinpoint your Targets
    • - It is not quantity of targets but those that need and can see value added
  5. 5. Create a Brand of Value
    • - Listen to your clients, employees and executive team -
      • - – Who are we? and What do we do?
    • - Clarify your value proposition
    • - Develop your brand promises
    • - Articulate how targets will benefit from working with you
  6. 6. Maximize Your Company’s Web Presence
    • - Create content on your website that focuses on your brand promises
    • - Use clear and concise language that speak directly to clients, procurement officers and end users( e.g., clients, government agencies)
    • - Develop valuable downloadable information ( e.g., valuegraphics , PDF’s, whitepapers )
    • - Share client success videos
    • - Provide ROI calculators, assessment tools
  7. 7. Elevate Your Digital Profile in the Community
    • - Bring potential clients into the  B2B sales funnel
      • - – Use LinkedIn and blogs (most highly ranked venues for interaction)
      • - – Use Google + and YouTube videos to support high search positions
    • - Move potential clients down the funnel
      • - – Build Relationships , critical element of winning  contracts
      • - – Provide timely information
      • - – Demonstrate online demo
    • - Maintain regular interactivity
    • - Focus on post sales service, retention and potential upsell
    • - Support  advocacy and product championing
  8. 8. Monitor and Evaluate your Progress
    • - Monitor your company chatter
      • - – Who and what people are saying
    • - Evaluate the reach and conversion of media tools
    • - Evaluate the success in moving potential clients down the sales funnel
  9. 9. Sustainability
    • - Make adjustments in strategy

A Brand Called “Me”

Everyone who has watched TV or read a magazine or a newspaper has experienced many brands. But how do you really get an understanding of the elements that create a brand?

We know that the brand is valuable asset for the success of a business. It creates and delivers value to your target market.

obama's hope-change

We are familiar with products and people that offer a Brand Promise – a pledge of value (e.g., quality, satisfaction and convenience). In one context, President Obama’s 2008 election promised “Change and Hope.” In another MacDonald’s promises clean, fast, convenient food.

Yet another example, the revived Old Spice brand promotes an emotional connection from men and women to the male actors delivering the message. In these cases the positive brand experience translates to election impact, trust, and sales.

mc'donaldsWe realize that behind every brand are the values of the company. The Brand Essence is the core values that serve as the touchstone for the brand. When you buy a Mercedes car, you know that that excellence is a core value of the design and production teams.

But how do you get a manager, salesperson or a student to really connect with brand value, so critical for competitive advantage?

To help an individual really understand how to create and deliver brand value, I designed this personal branding exercise— A Brand Called ME.

What is your personal brand?

Your personal social brand is a reflection of what you have done in life and what you want to be recognized for. You are the qualities or characteristics that distinguish you from your colleagues. Who is Juliet? shares a six step strategy for personal branding.

The Exercise

The exercise presents the participant with an opportunity to create their own personal brand and show its value. Each participant will develop a five minute live presentation including both live speaking and prerecorded two minute video (posted to YouTube). Each will post a blog incorporating the URL of the video. The blog post and live verbal presentation will include:

• What was your goal in branding yourself?

• Define your targets

• What was your brand essence?

• What was your brand promise(s)?

• Did you accomplish your goal(s)?

• What you discovered about yourself.

• Share your experiences in creating the video

Evaluation

• Was the live presentation engaging?

• Did the video capture your attention in the first 10-20 seconds?

• Did it reveal your passion?

• Did the presentation answer all the above questions?

• Did it demonstrate why you are different and how you create value?

• Was the presentation professional?

• Did it have a hook so viewers could remember you easily?

• Did it build trust and confidence in you?

The result and experience

The following is the blog post and the video developed by my student, Michelle. On

A video blog is something I have never created before. Upon receiving this assignment, I was pretty excited to get started. After brainstorming for a day or two, I decided to go with a slightly more unconventional approach. I knew I wanted to work on the white board (like a clean slate to build myself upon) and illuminate some of my traits and background using marker.

I jotted down all of the qualities I felt were best exemplified in me, and other information I wanted to include in the presentation. It is here that I began the formulation. I gave the project a more creative look- which works because that is one of the qualities about myself that I addressed. I found out that it is difficult to define myself. I found it challenging to pick only three or four of my qualities rather than many. I realized that I am far more passionate about getting a job than I had originally thought. It also dawned on me that I have more going for me than I originally thought. My targets included friends, students, faculty, and potential employers.

I used the project as more of a means in which I could discover my abilities and write them down for future reference. The goal of my project was to express myself in a creative way. I hoped to get across that I am loving, genuine, joyful, creative, and passionate. My promise in the branding is that I will provide innovative solutions to marketing problems and create value for a company by being multi-talented. In addition, I hope my passion for my faith can be used as an asset to reveal my personality and work ethic. I believe I did accomplish my goals in this project. I really enjoyed this project. It was different than any one I have completed in past courses. It really got me to think, brainstorm and learn about myself.”

 

 

Prepare yourself for the Digital Marketing Transformation

 11 Steps to Prepare for Digital Transformation  

The digital revolution has evolved to ongoing digital transformation.

What’s changing in the digital environment?

  • CXOs are replacing CMOs 
  • Control has given way to openness
  • Customer service is now a competitive necessity
  • Content is now the game changer
  • Data drives competitive edge

How to best prepare managers for this transformation?

Strategic Marketing Management - 7

Marketing managers must focus on three major drivers of change — digital, global networks and broad data — and adjust their marketing strategies to remain competitive.

It begins with the core marketing concepts of the 4 P’s (product, placement, promotion and pricing) and how these strategic marketing decisions affect the individual’s interactivity with the “digital screen” (e.g., computer, tablet, mobile device or TV). The digital screen and how it is used is transforming the business landscape.

Today’s ongoing digital transformation offers a number of advantages to businesses: it opens up access to global markets and communities of interest; empowers consumers to suggest product innovations; uncovers new pricing models; revolutionizes placement and distribution of products; transforms media, online and promotion options; facilitates collaboration and efficiencies within the organization; and generates vast, broad sources of data.

Strategic Marketing Management integrates the changing roles of the consumer networks, digital technologies and analysis of emerging data into the fabric of management and the entire enterprise.  The interaction of the three drivers of change determine their goals, strategy and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs.

11 Steps to Digital Preparedness

To position their businesses to capitalize on this digital transformation, C-level executives must do the following:

1.  Adopt a Digital Mindset: Executives must understand that the digital revolution is not merely comprised of the next hot social media tool. Rather, it is an all-encompassing paradigm shift, and as such, demands a fundamental shift in thinking. The “digital mindset” is grounded in a foundation of openness, flexibility, collaboration and shared network thinking. Executive teams need to adopt a digital mindset as a core value and integrate this mindset into how they communicate and service their employees, consumers and greater community.

2. Develop an Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy: Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) refers to integrating core marketing concepts with traditional, online and social media to effectively connect with target markets. Integrated Digital Marketing builds on IMC by weaving the drivers of change (digital, global and broad data) into a more comprehensive and responsive strategy.  This strategy (e.g., sustainable goals and responsive tactics) recognizes the changing customer touch points (online, social, mobile) and acknowledges the rapidly-evolving dynamic of a global digital world.

3. Understand Consumer Empowerment:  Managers need to leverage the new power of consumers by gathering research data, gaining input on brand, pricing and distribution, and prioritizing customer service. With the explosion of the Internet, social and mobile, consumers are working into their roles as product reviewers, sources of trusted information, product advocates and brand champions.

4. Build a Powerful, Responsive Brand:  Brands need to respond to consumers and generate value to their social communities. They need to combine insights from social engagement and mentions, focus groups, and consumer/employee feedback to develop the brand promise and value proposition.

5. Generate Relevant Content: Content Drives the Digital Engine.  For success in this changing digital environment, marketers must design content that is easy to access and consume and is “valued by” the consumer.  Content is not about broadcasting ads to sell more widgets, but about engaging and involving the consumer and creatively connecting them to the brand.

6. Deliver Customers from Social Communities and Global Networks: The shared network lies at the core of integrated digital marketing.  Through social network analysis, marketers match common interests and buying patterns with digital behaviors, providing access to new communities of potential consumers.  Emerging markets, with India and Brazil the leaders, have embraced social media, offering brands real-time access to growing markets.

7. Leverage Broad Data: Big Data is the new digital buzz. Managers need to expand their thinking to encompass Broad Data or the collecting and leveraging of appropriate levels of data related to the company’s size and goals. Yes, large corporations can aggregate and analyze social messages and weave the results into a new digital strategy.  But small and mid-size companies and nonprofits have different levels of access to data and the resources to analyze it. There are significant sources of “low hanging data” that can be plucked and readily integrated in marketing strategies. The effective use of data will determine one’s competitive edge.

8. Monitor the Digital Footprint: Listening to feedback and using social tools to monitor company “chatter” and social performance are the basis for responsive strategies. Alerts, analytics and social mentions provide executive teams with real-time insights into their organization’s digital footprint and guide timely adjustments.

9. Evaluate the Digital ROI: Digital ROI helps brands analyze the performance of different marketing tools in achieving company goals. This expanded ROI reflects companywide performance in the digital environment. It considers the impact of digital technologies on brand engagement, customer relationships and advocacy in addition to traditional action metrics of sales and marketing exposure.

10. Design a Strategic Marketing Plan:  Management needs to design a comprehensive strategy that imposes order on the chaos and addresses changes in the marketplace. The plan must continuously gather and incorporate target audience data to build the digital brand presence, integrate traditional and digital tactics, and achieve key performance indicators.

11. Demonstrate the Value of the Social Enterprise: Executive teams need to integrate the transforming power of digital marketing to generate innovation and collaboration throughout the organization (IT, marketing, human relations, operations, finance, customer service) to insure market position and growth.  They need to respond to changes in the social business environment to gain competitive advantage.

6 Benchmarks for Evaluating a Sustainable Digital Marketing Strategy: SERVAS Digital Analysis

Before designing a Digital Strategy, my clients often ask the “million dollar” question — How do I know Digital Media works?”My response is simple –there are no guarantees in this world.  But if I had the answer, I would own the most prolific global digital agency.

SERVAS digital marketing

Rather, I suggest addressing this challenge through a series of questions that are the foundation for a successful Digital Marketing program.

  • Is the content of the social media message effective?
  • Is the target market communicating via social media and will you reach them?
  • Are selected social media tools appropriate and optimized?
  • How do you evaluate this strategy before and after the launch?
  • Does the marketing effort meet the client’s goals?

A simple approach is needed to answer these questions. I searched for a methodology to evaluate current and future online and social media efforts in terms of meeting the basic criteria considered necessary for a successful Social Media Marketing campaign. Read More »

Are You a Digital Alien, Digital Immigrant, or Digital Native? … Marketing to the Digital WHO

Becoming Digitally Competitive

Every executive acknowledges the digital revolution. They passively explore and search, observe and download. But what are they actively doing about planning, strategizing and implementing digital programs to remain competitive?

In fact a Digital Divide is growing between what executives say and what they ”do digitally.”  eMarketer reports that 78% of U.S. executives think that a social business strategy is important to future business success, but only 27% deem it a top priority.

How do we reach these executives (some 50% stuck in this divide)  to guide them to become digitally competitive?

The Digital Who

First question Who are the “Digital Who”?

With regard to the digital space, all executives, managers, and junior professionals have one thing in common; they are all Digital Explorers -using digital tools to navigate their world. On the other hand, they are not monolithic.   Some are challenged to adopt the new mindset and learn new skill sets, and while others struggle to develop engaging and integrated strategies. They differ in the following ways: Read More »

Preparing Future Managers For the Digital World

Preparing Future Managers for the Digital World:Digital Marketing Alive Course

Marketing and Public Relations are being reinvented daily.  Advertising agencies and marketing managers are challenged to learn new skill sets and develop more comprehensive and integrated strategies.

How are we preparing students to become future executives and managers and address these challenges?

University Business Schools at both the MBA and undergraduate levels are just starting to dip their feet into the digital waters. Many of the efforts are adding a course or incorporating social media into an existing course. The critical element is changing the Mindset from old school push marketing to pull marketing. The focus is on engaging the customer, developing relationships and encouraging sharing the message with their social communities. Placing ads or posts on social media without developing conversations is continuing the old school “sales“ focus without leveraging the power of the new media. Read More »

18 Best Practices for Adopting Digital Marketing

Many executives between the ages of 45-65 years are “digital aliens”. They were not brought up in the digital age and feel overwhelmed and sometimes fearful of the new technologies.  Many struggle with the changes necessitated by engaging in Digital Marketing. The result is the New Digital Divide between companies that are fully immersed in digital applications while others are deciding if Facebook is good investment!

18 best digital marketing practicesBelow is a road map of 18 practices* which will facilitate the adoption and successful implementation of a Digital Marketing Program.

1. Assess Current Market Practices- Determine the gaps and opportunities to position your organization in the digital world.
2. Adopt a Digital Mindset – Gain executive understanding and buy-in to the changes required to adopt a digital marketing program. Many executives are not aware of the scope and type of shift needed for successful implementation.
3. Dedicate Resources – Commit staff, provide training; allocate budget.
4. Be Transparent- - Be upfront about your intentions and purposes for your site and interactions.  Many executives fear losing control of their marketing message.  Openness and authenticity generates trust and opportunities. Read More »

The New Digital Divide

Meeting the Digital Challenge: Part 1

There is little argument that social and digital media are profoundly changing how we, as global society,  engage with the media, our colleagues, family and friends, as well as how we do business.  Most executives and managers are aware of the digital revolution; many of them have explored it through mobile and social media; some have implemented it with varied successes; but few have integrated digital media as strategic priority in their marketing mix. This gap between the growth of digital media and the implementation of a Digital Marketing Strategy is exacerbated when comparing the U.S. with other countries.  The hotbeds for competitiveness and innovation related to the digital economy are Sweden and Singapore. The U.S trails at #5. To maintain a competitive edge, U.S executives and managers must embrace these changes and drive transformation in their organizations. This is the Digital Challenge! Read More »

GERVAS: 6 Benchmarks for Digital Marketing Strategy

GERVAS:  Goal – Engage – Relationship –  Value –  Action – Synthesize

GERVAS is the tool to guide the development of your social media campaign. Here are the six elements and the questions to ask?

As a business or organization launches a social media program, they try to anticipate the results and make the necessary refinements.   These are some typical questions:

  • Is the content of your social media message effective?
  • Is your target market communicating via social media and will you reach them?
  • Are you choosing and optimizing your social media tools?
  • How do you evaluate your strategy before launch?

Each marketer/ businessperson can apply six simple benchmarks to evaluate the potential effectiveness of your social media efforts. This can be done as a self-evaluation, discussion with your team or via a focus group. Read More »

Here’s Proof Digital Marketing Works for Auto Dealers

In the past two years the social media revolution has ignited the automotive manufacturers to success.

IT  WORKS  > >

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