Archive for the ‘B-to-B Marketing’ Category
The problem with undertaking a content marketing campaign is that you need content and plenty of it. It’s natural for you, particularly if you’re new to this sort of marketing, to worry about where it’s going to come from.
It could be right under your nose, unrecognized and underused.
Traditionally, it’s been difficult for Halloween haunted houses to distinguish themselves. Haunted Warehouse, Haunted Factory, Haunted Laboratory — they all have costumed ghouls, chainsaws and things that go bump in the night. Their marketing largely is limited to websites and garish ads in the local alternative weeklies. But Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagara Falls, Ontario, got a brilliant idea on how to use something it had plenty of – scared people.
The haunted house rigged a camera to take photos of people at their most frightened and posts them on Flickr and its website. The photos are hilarious, popular enough to trigger remix memes and sell Nightmares better than any ad could. And it took a minimum of effort to create and push it out to the world.
In some cases, content produced for internal use can also be sent out to consumers. Maytag created 3D instructional animation to teach salespeople the differences between regular washing machines and High Efficiency washers. But modern consumers like to do their own research and not rely on salespeople so, after tweaking the videos to make them more consumer-friendly, Maytag posted them on Lowes.com.
Sometimes what a company has to offer is expertise and a venue. Commercial plumbers and pipefitters are the most loyal customers of RIDGID Tools. They like to talk to each other about tools, jobs, customers, problems etc. So RIDGID established a forum where they could talk, comment and ask questions. RIDGID moderates the forum and sometimes weighs in with answers or explanations, but it’s largely self-policing and self-perpetuating.
Forum users provide the content and RIDGID benefits from having a website where its customers go to get answers and swap stories.
While content marketing sometimes does mean starting from scratch, there is often an easier way. Just look at what you are already doing.
It’s no surprise that advertising has gotten more complex in recent years. With the emergence of unique digital opportunities, mobile, and a more competitive, complex marketplace, brands need to do a lot to avoid getting lost in the crowd. One of the simplest, most effective ways to make products and communications efforts stand out is by understanding the target audience. One way we examine and define the target audience at the Adcom Group is via persona development.
Business-to-business marketers always seem to be taking a backseat to consumer marketers. From their lag in adopting the latest marketing technologies, to just lacking that cool and creative element. But why does this have to be the case? Isn’t good marketing, good marketing…as long as it supports the overall corporate strategy (and I guess it probably should get results and be measurable too, right?)
Take mobile marketing for example. Are B2B marketers going to wait years to catch on to what consumer marketers are now just starting to tap into? Or did we forget that B2B targets are consumers too…equipped with the latest smartphones that they use continuously?
A recent article in B toB Magazine, B-to-B marketers cautiously explore mobile marketing, indicated that total mobile marketing spending was up 43% in 2009 from the year before. Further, the research anticipates a 27% compound annual growth rate through 2014. This sounds like a huge opportunity that no marketer – be consumer or business-to-business – can afford to ignore.
Mobile marketing, where do you start?
I suggest starting off small. Setting up a simple, yet effective texting campaign can be a springboard to achieving increased sales. For example, if you sell products to customers who to install them in the field, I’m certain those installers, from time-to-time, have forgotten to bring your product to the job site with them or didn’t order enough product to fulfill the order.
If you want to demonstrate great customer service, while also selling some incremental product, why not allow installers to text you the part number they are looking for and you kick back a message that includes the closest dealer and pricing. In fact, you can take it a step further and deliver the product right to him/her on the job site.
Return on Investment
Quantifying return on investment in mobile marketing can sometimes be unclear, but in the above example, your ROI gets a little closer to measuring purchase decisions. And if you don’t have mobile numbers in your database, use your other marketing tools to promote and drive an opt-in for customers to receive mobile messages from you.
The bottom line is this: just get in the mobile marketing game. Start small, but get started. There are several low risk options to get your mobile marketing off the ground, such as iPhone applications, display advertising, texting, tradeshow tie-ins and conference registrations. Just remember to be relevant to your audience.