B2B Marketers: Gearing Up For Podcasts?

Hey B2B marketers, sorry about the hiatus in blog postings of late. My new year’s resolution is to post more often. The other thing I’m going to try in the New Year is to take a closer look at the impact of emerging technologies on business marketing.


In keeping with the theme of the previous post, I plan to team up with my Forrester colleague, Brian Haven, and look at when podcasting may be better suited for B2B marketing. For a preview, watch for Brian’s soon-to-be-published research called “Making Podcasts Work For Your Brand” where he highlights 9 techniques for creating successful podcasts.


As I look down the list, the vast majority of his advice applies equally to B2B marketers even though his examples are oriented toward companies that sell to consumers. I would expand on his advice to start by immersing yourself in existing podcast content with the modifier “industry content” – and actively follow who and what your target audiences may be listening to or watching. Instead of iTunes, Odeo, or Yahoo!, B2B marketers should look to partners like TechTarget or KnowledgeStorm to build broader reach. Again, your choice will depend on your industry and audience.


While B2B marketers may be eager to hone their podcasting skills, I think the real challenge lies in understanding which of podcasting’s many forms will boost business marketers’ ability to reach and engage their prospective buyers. B2B marketers sometimes overlook how people – not companies – make buying decisions and fail to establish emotional connections with their buyers. They push features and capabilities in their marketing communications, not stories about how their buyers succeed and feel like heroes by using their products.


This is where podcasting – the use of rich, interesting, but easy-to-digest audio and video content delivered over the Web – can help build or reinforce those connections with customers. But only if the B2B marketer understands where to apply podcasting in their buyer’s typically long and complex buying processes.


Besides internal communications, training, and product demonstrations, what innovative uses of audio or video have you seen business marketers use successfully? What makes for a truly compelling customer testimonial when it’s produced in a podcast versus carried live in a Web seminar or teleconference? Let us know what you think because Brian and I will be back later with some interesting research findings and advice.

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Comments

re: B2B Marketers: Gearing Up For Podcasts?

Laura -- just thought I'd pipe in on this one to say that I think podcasts are a great fit for B2B marketers. Maybe even more so that B2Cers because they help continue the conversation during a (sometimes lengthy) B2B sales process. I suppose the biggest question here is still around metrics (isn't that *always* the question for marketers) but I actually see podcasts as one of the few social computing channels I totally buy in a B2B context.

re: B2B Marketers: Gearing Up For Podcasts?

I think podcasts are a natural for this area for one good reason. It is sometimes unlikely to get everyone in a B to B environment together in one spot long enough to hear something important. I have been in many meetings where key people are missing. A podcast is a great way to bring everyone up to speed. This information can be delivered or posted on a server.

re: B2B Marketers: Gearing Up For Podcasts?

Laura - Thanks for the mention of KnowledgeStorm. I wanted to point out that we have recently conducted a series of survey work amongst the B2B IT audience to gauge their usage and the influence of a variety of emerging media including podcasts. The reports are available for free at KnowledgeStorm.com. Just search on emerging media (note: registration is required).I look forward to seeing Brian's report.Best,Matt Lohman

re: B2B Marketers: Gearing Up For Podcasts?

My teammate James just posted some New Year's resolutions for a B2B technology marketer (link below) and I thought of your resolution posted at the tail end of last year.http://www.mcbrublog.com/pages/search_post.php?id=56fd3ae1ed02857adb6432c422f50153

re: B2B Marketers: Gearing Up For Podcasts?

Jeff, thanks for the link to Jame's M's new year resolutions. For the B2B marketer, I would add:- I will spend time with Sales working on a joint defintion of what makes a good customer lead.- I will present marketing results in financial terms like contribution to sales/revenue and ROI per market dollar spent at the next executive team meeting.- I will work to increase the visibility and velocity of our end-to-end pipeline.

re: B2B Marketers: Gearing Up For Podcasts?

It's a long overdue comment (but then, my new year's message was pretty late in coming, too), but these are great resolutions for the B2B marketer. Any of these three will make an eyebrow-raising impact for the marketer who applies them for the first time; all three together will start a minor revolution!