To wrap up our blog posts about global B2B marketing, I thought it would be helpful and informative to post the following video titled, “B2B Marketing in a Digital World.” The main takeaways are as follows:
B2B Marketing in a Digital World
- 73% of work-related media consumption time is spent online
- ¾ of c-level executives use the internet every day at work
- 83% of B2B buyers research online Buying process for businesses is more complex than for consumers
- Digital marketing has dramatically increased the complexities of the marketing challenge in b2b making the questions of who, what, and how harder to answer
- There are 3 new digital imperatives for marketing
- Shift from research to real time insight – we now have immediate access to user behavior so that we can react to change quicker
- Shift from creative to content; B2B buyers consumer content in many forms
- Shift from one way push marketing to two wall pull marketing; marketers need to master the art of pulling customers
We hope that after watching this video and after reading all of our posts about B2B marketing, that you have a better understanding of how global B2B marketing has improved worldwide and how marketers can take advantage of the benefits it can offer.
Social media makes it possible for any local company to operate on a global scale. For B2B companies specifically, an effective way to market your company internationally is by building an international business network. LinkedIn can be especially helpful for companies and business professionals, as members can join groups that may be of particular interest to the services your company provides. You can also request recommendations from professional connections you or your company has previously worked with with, and even build new relationships via existing connections already in your professional network. In addition to LinkedIn, I came across another article that discusses other ways to build your company’s international business network:
- Viadeo: Like LinkedIn, but oriented for European business
- Ushi.cn: An invite-only business networking platform for China
- A Small World: Another invite-only networking site that links members with other members, discussions, and events related to their interests
- Internations: Connect with expats living around the world. Membership is invitation-based, but you can request an invitation, so you don’t actually need to know a member.
- Xing: Like LinkedIn, but has a stronger presence in Europe
- Sandbox Network : Designed for the most influential people under age 30, this by-application-only social network has “ambassadors” in more than 20 cities.
- MeetingWave: This site allows you to search for networking events and meetings by interest and location. Look for international networking events near you.
- GeeksOnaPlane: Promotes cultural exchange through technology and entrepreneurship. You can request an invite to join the group on their international travels.
- Orkut: This is Google’s social networking site, which is quite popular in Brazil and India. You can target your posts by groups of friends, such as “Work Buddies” or “International Contacts.” All you have to do is create and name a category of contacts and add people. This feature allows you to keep your work and personal lives separate.
As difficult as it is to believe, a critical point to remember is that LinkedIn and Facebook are not the primary social networks in all countries around the world. Thus, it is important for B2B companies to do their research first before implementing a social media marketing campaign based on a single social network (basically, don’t put all your eggs in one basket!). For more information on building your international business networks, read the full article here
Similar to Catherine’s previous post about effective B2B Facebook pages, I recently came across an article that also discusses the importance of social media- but this time for smaller, regional B2B companies.
The majority of today’s B2B companies still believe that social media is a tool mostly useful for B2C companies and for larger, well-established B2B companies. However, it is becoming more apparent that social media is a necessary tool for B2B companies of ALL sizes. The article (5 Surprising Social Media Business Success Stories) discusses how utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and having a company blog can turn any regional business into an international destination. The article I found discusses five examples of social media business successes.
- Equine Dentist (Palm City, Florida): “People do business with people who they’re friends with. Period,” says dentist Geoff Tucker. “And Facebook is a great way to get to know people. It allows people to see that I’m a person.”
- Steelmaster (Norfolk, Virginia): The company discovered two important applications for their business. First, they found that Facebook is an excellent way to post pictures of customers’ steel buildings. Not only do the pictures engage existing customers — they also demonstrate to prospective customers the range of uses for SteelMaster buildings. “Photography for us is the hook,” explains Michelle Wickum, Director of Marketing.
- Idea Paint (Boston, Massachusetts): Employees publish videos, images, and stories of product installations to the company blog. The company also utilizes Twitter and Facebook to share content published on the blog — then to listen to, respond to, and interact with the community that content engages.
- Neenah Paper (Alpharetta, GA): Jamie Saunders, Neenah’s marketing communications manager, noted that most of the company’s potential customers — designers, graphic artists and printers — were spending their time in front of their computers, and that social media could be a way to better engage them.
- Duncan Aviation (Lincoln, Nebraska): “There are a lot of industry people that we network with that are on Twitter: Journalists, other aviation bloggers, and industry and media outlets,” explains Beth Humble, Duncan’s social media lead. “If you connect with the right few people, you can really get in there and connect with thousands of people.”
While I was researching a few different B2B Facebook fan pages, I came across an interesting article. The article asks, “Are you a B2B business that remains unsure as to whether or not Facebook has value for your company?” and I became intrigued. It goes on to state that Facebook is primarily regarded as a B2C platform and isn’t considered as effective for many B2B business and then attempts to explain why B2B businesses across the globe can benefit from creating and managing Facebook pages. The article gives 20 examples of B2B companies that have effective B2B pages:
- American Express
- Social Media Examiner
- Gilchrist & Co.
- Buddy Media
- Neenah Paper
- Ernst & Young
I decided to look into one of these company’s Facebook pages just to see why the author of the article felt it was an effective B2B platform, so I looked at the first example: Intel.
One of the first things I noticed is the “Intel Around the World” map on their “Welcome” tab where it allows the user to explore the map to connect with a specific Intel community anywhere on the globe. In the “Museum of Me” tab, it allows users to create and explore a visual archive of your social life displaying information from each user’s Facebook account as viewable “exhibits” in a virtual museum for each user. Check their Facebook page out at http://www.facebook.com/Intel?sk=app_151472421569461 and try it for yourself!
Here is the link to the article if you want to learn more about how the B2B companies have utilized Facebook to interact with users around the globe: http://bloggertone.com/global/2011/10/14/20-examples-of-effective-b2b-facebook-pages/
One example of social media utilization by a B2B company is UPS. In September of 2010, UPS launched a new ad campaign called “We Love Logistics” to enhance its credentials with small business by leveraging social media networking power. UPS used a multimedia ad campaign emphasizing its digital and social channels, as well as direct mail, TV, and print. They also revamped their website and launched a company blog. From these channels, potential customers will be led to their new official Facebook and Twitter pages, where there will be an assortment of media and case studies that will compliment the B2B discussions. This differs radically from UPS’s previous unofficial UPS Facebook page, which was meant as a forum for unhappy customers to complain, many of which went unanswered by the company. Maureen Healy, VP of customer communications at UPS states that “We want to emphasize that UPS has a way to partner with clients and bring value to your business through our integrated network. What makes this campaign so interesting is its focus on B2B communications since UPS wants to connect with a grassroots community of small business owners.
Here is a link to the article: http://johnromant.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/ups-includes-social-media-in-its-first-global-b2b-campaign/