There are two major developments for B2B marketers I’m thankful for. One, B2B marketers are moving away from subliminal, artificial messages crafted by ad agencies to the more transparent “citizen marketing” of social media; and two, online marketing is much more measurable than offline.
1. Citizen Marketing and Social Media
In 2007 Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba wrote the book, Citizen Marketing. The book was about how social media was emerging as a marketing channel that sellers needed to pay attention to. Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus have indeed grown and allowed the average citizen platforms from which to voice their preferences.
Social media marketing has led to the demise of traditional madmen (read my previous posts about this, From Subliminal Madmen to Lead Nurturers and Bye, Bye, Madmen; Hello, Lead Nurturers!)- we no longer need so many crafty creatives designing messages in their ivory towers and charging companies big bucks for their work. Marketing content has been democratized, and transparency is prized over the subliminal or sneaky (see my previous post, Transparency is the Best Policy for B2B Marketers). The cost of marketing has come down, providing more of an opportunity for small businesses to prevail over larger ones and reducing barriers for start-ups.
The time required to create marketing content has increased, but smart agencies are finding a way to fill this need (read my posts Fuel Your Online Marketing Machine with Dynamic Content and B2B Marketers – Repurpose Your Content with a Purpose). They will have to understand the voice of their clients’ customers and use marketing personas as they build content for them.
And B2B marketers who focus on a niche will have an easier time of cutting through the noise of online content. They will take advantage of the long-tail of demand, which allows them to get found online for even the most obscure products and services very cost-effectively.
2. Measuring Marketing Results is More Accurate
Because we can capture activity and behavior online, B2B marketers can better measure the results of online marketing. Website traffic, click-throughs, commenting, sharing, purchases are all captured for the marketer to analyze. Testing is faster as marketers can quickly set up landing pages to see which ones get the best results for a certain audience. Fact- and data-driven marketing helps provide a solution to merchant John Wanamaker’s comment, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
What say you? Agree, disagree? What trends would you add?