Why B2B digital marketing requires a new approach

There has been a very good reason why this blog has been left unloved for much of 2012. I started the year musing on the lack of credible B2B digital marketing texts available to modern marketers – so decided to write one.

In this blog post I lay out why it’s needed and what you can hope to get from it. Much more on B2B digital marketing to come over the weeks and months.

Marketing in complexity

Understanding, interpreting and delivering on customer needs has been the foundation of marketing for over one hundred years. Many business­-to-business (B2B) organisations are already successfully using digital marketing in specialist sectors like financial and professional services, IT and software, manufacturing, engineering or science.

Businesses have been buying and selling products to one another for hundreds of years. But, don’t let anyone tell you that B2B marketing isn’t different from marketing products to consumers. It is. B2B marketing often involves communicating challenging and niche product benefits to hard to reach and hard to engage B2B decision makers, through a complex purchase cycle taking them from unaware to purchase.

B2B requires a specialised skill-set and understanding of the psychology, the gestation period, differing information needs and complex operating environment in which specifers, influencers and decision makers work together to procure products and services on behalf of their companies.

Scarcity of advice

Yet, for business marketers, there is a limited amount of good quality, specific advice and best practice available to draw upon for the unique challenges and opportunities available from digital media.

Visibility in Internet search for B2B marketers is key. Companies that follow a stepped approach that creates touch-points, positive first impressions and a tangible interest to customers will see a return on digital marketing investment.

Up until now, there have been surprisingly few books or guides which address the unique challenges of promoting business products and services online, whether these are for companies which don’t sell online who are focused on lead generation and customer communications or online B2B retailers.

B2B marketers can still learn something from the many texts that focus on how global super brands like Apple, Starbucks, Coca Cola and Unilever build and promote their portfolios. Yet, it is often hard to relate what they do with their multi­million dollar budgets and unrivalled resource relevant to B2B campaigns.

Until now.

In my new (and first) full colour, 400+ page case-study and best practice packed Brilliant B2B Digital Marketing (published in association with Dr Dave Chaffey and Smart Insights), you’ll learn how to create a plan or simply work through all the issues you need to think about to make online B2B marketing more effective.

Available now from Amazon for Kindle and for all Kindle apps across a wide variety of PC, Mac and smartphone devices (check your app store, it will be free) it covers all the areas you need to review to take your online marketing to the next level if you market to other businesses.

These include:-

– creating a strategy and setting measurable goals

– building effective, high impact relevant websites

– optimising digital marketing for search

– using content and inbound marketing

– harnessing the most appropriate social media tools to engage target audiences

– developing deeper calls to action and eCRM

– using analytics to improve digital marketing

I hope it helps you to determine a clear pathway to improved digital marketing for your business and one that gives you the success you demand. Do please feedback, either here, on Twitter copying me @renepower using the hashtag #BrilliantB2B, via Linkedin.

And if you want to leave a review on Amazon, please feel free – nice ones may qualify for a kickback of some kind in 2013.

Solving the B2B social media conundrum

Most business-to-business (B2B) companies are already employing some form of social media as part of their marketing mix. But how many B2B marketers really think about their customers, who they are, what they look like, what they like and where they congregate, before selecting and using social media tools? And which are the right tools to use?

Read my inaugural post b2b marketing on Dave Chaffey’s excellent SmartInsights  website.

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The IDM/DMA 2010 conference: Reviewed

Just before I ‘went dark’ I attended the DMA/IDM conference in Manchester on 13th October. I’d not been involved with either body before, but the pull of meeting the venerable Dave Chaffey in person, and, as an integrated marketer, getting a greater appreciation for the digital challenges affecting the direct marketing fraternity, both proved too much to resist.

I wrote a summary of the main presentations and provided links to the published content on The BDB blog and encourage you to stop by if you too are interested in getting the best from digital in your marketing. Dave’s opening address, which summarised the latest trends in digital marketing, are worth a couple of clicks alone.

Top Tweets of the Week (24 Sept 2010)

Week two of my Top Tweets of the Week. Hope they inspire your thinking as they have me. Enjoy.

Monday: 6 great ways to enliven your presentation Sourced from @PaulSloane

Monday: 10 B2B Social Media Case Studies and Examples Sourced from @smb2b

Tuesday: Brian Solis The implications of socialisation of business Sourced from www.briansolis.com

Tuesday:  Seths blog The Forever Recession Sourced from @ThisIsSethsBlog

Wednesday: Slideshare presentation : Social Media for Branding

Thursday: Interesting YouTube video: B2b marketing is changing

Friday: 7 Steps to Increasing The Impact Of Your Business or Corporate Blog Sourced from @DaveChaffey, @smartinsights