A worldwide recession and social media have swept up B2B marketers
in a perfect storm, tossed between tighter budgets and the demand to do
more online without guideposts or established benefits. Opportunities
and challenges abound for marketers targeting other businesses through
a direct sales force or channel partners. Before 2010 planning -- and
the push to pump up the pipeline to make year-end revenue goals -- hit
full stride, now is an excellent time to step outside your daily
routine, tune up B2B marketing strategy, and learn new best practices.
Sound intriguing? If so, have I got a deal for you! (Oh, c'mon, you suspected a pitch was coming, now didn't you?)
In my last post, I steered B2B marketers away from building social
destinations focused on their products and services by suggesting they
participate in open, social networks before jumping on the community
bandwagon. I do think there is a place for B2B communities, but these
sites need to focus truly on the community first, not trying to sell a
firm’s wares. Case in point: ComplianceOnline.
I wrote up how you can can use ComplianceOnline's model to build an online community serving the needs of your firm in a recent report. I found that B2B marketers can learn how to build a successful B2B community by
following three key lessons: Gather the best content, encourage the
community to vet and contribute to it, and give members equal
opportunity to engage with potential buyers who visit.
On June 17, Forrester published my latest research on
how business buyers use social networking sites to inform purchase
decisions, the role these sites will play in future buying processes,
and three key ways for B2B marketers to tap into open, social network
Two key insights coming from this research:
discussion forums and online communities are poised to become the
online supplement for colleague interaction and the decision to join in
community activity depends mostly on the quality of the participants —
the discussion relevance, demonstrated experience, and shared
During the past week I’ve had the privilege of presenting to two
different organizations that I think B2B marketers would benefit from
June 3, 2009 I spoke at the MOCCA quarterly meeting, held at Adobe’s facilities in downtown San Jose. The Marketing Operations Cross-Company Alliance (MOCCA) is a community for sharing practical experience between Marketing Operations professionals in technology companies.