A really powerful learning session at South by Southwest Interactive was Digital A-Z for B2B. The speakers for the event were Maura Ginty and Lauren Vaccarello who are two of the three authors of Complete B2B Online Marketing. The concept of the session was to assign 1 word relevant to the topic for each letter in the alphabet and they were really successful at getting through all of their content and leaving enough time for questions. Here are a few highlights from what we learned:
Assign a value to everything – literally everything. Maybe that value isn’t always monetary for certain businesses but assigning a value that is relatable to how your company measures success is a necessity. It is common for people to know the average spend of their product and the cost of conversion from their website. What is not so common is the value of each website impression or the value of each click-through when it doesn’t directly lead to a conversion. This is important because you can’t measure the failures without knowing what it cost you.
Set aside an innovation budget – possibly for each department if your company is large enough. The speakers recommended taking 10-20% of the existing budget but where it comes from is an executive decision. This is important because when using digital strategies there can be a lot of trial and error and campaigns will fail. If you don’t know what you can afford to lose, you will end up losing your job.
Nurture your leads and employ multi-touch marketing. Digital marketing is all about being where your customers are and saying what they want to hear. Our internet marketing director consistently tells our clients that digital marketing is not about telling people what they should buy, rather finding out what they want to buy and making it as easy as possible for them to do so. Nurture your leads by warming them up to your brand and company vision so they are educated about working with you. Using a multi-touch marketing plan will give your company the exposure it needs to give your leads that warm and fuzzy feeling before you get a chance to sell them.
Experiment with Facebook advertising. Facebook is also experimenting with their advertising options and they release new options frequently so it’s important to keep a close eye on what they are offering. Currently there isn’t a lot of competition with Facebook ads because people don’t have a lot of faith in their effectiveness. For those who are willing to give it a shot, this makes it an economical paid advertising option because there aren’t too many others competing for the same audience.
Digital marketing is social. This of course includes social media but it should be applied holistically. Being social within the digital marketing community will save you a lot of time and money. This also applies to the campaigns you are creating in the aspect of establishing the right feeling about your brand to warm up your leads and get the conversation started about doing business.
By Kristen Gerner