B-to-b on the go

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Adapting to more fluid work environments, b-to-b marketers adopt b-to-c strategies
Adapting to more fluid work environments, b-to-b marketers adopt b-to-c strategies

Segal offers the example of a client who told him he has little interest in reading a 60-page white paper or watching a lengthy Powerpoint, but would be open to “snack-sized” information.

“He said, ‘If you serve up content to me in that rich snack form, I'll eat a whole bowlful before I go to bed,'” Segal says.

The Right medium

With so many channels available to marketers, a marketing service like Silverpop has had to evolve from a strict focus on email marketing into a broader player to attract enterprise clients. One of the company's marketing team's major shifts in its approach has been to focus on the convergence of a single person interacting with the brand across multiple mediums, each offering an opportunity to learn more about who they are and what services and messages might appeal to them.

For example, Silverpop has begun embedding social triggers into its content. Whether a prospect accesses a white paper, visits one of Silverpop's social media sites or views a webinar, each request gathers additional information, building a profile of the individual the more they access the company's various offerings.

“If a vendor comes to our Facebook page, we're not looking to just get another fan or follower, but to find out who that person is,” says Bryan Brown, director of product strategy for Silverpop. “Being able to generate that relationship is important, but knowing where they're coming from and how you're going to progress them is even more important.”

By having b-to-b prospects log in using their Facebook or Twitter handle — an increasingly popular practice among marketers — the process is sped up. A wealth of information that would otherwise have to be explicitly requested, such as birth date or interests, can be gathered automatically.

The way that marketers are harnessing the range of channels available to them is exemplified by an anecdote Brown relayed from one of his colleagues. After giving a presentation at an event in New York for about 100 people, the executive decided it could be viewed by a wider audience. He uploaded it to Slideshare and tweeted it out to his network, where it quickly racked up 1,500 downloads.

“To go from 100 to 1,500 [viewers] with 10 minutes of effort, that is the power of social and these new mediums of content,” Brown says.

He contends that marketers can turn one significant effort or presentation into several blog posts, or a video introduction can be added to make the same content more relevant to a different audience, or using a different mobile device.

In such a varied media environment that requires streamlined messaging that easily crosses various channels, the b-to-b marketing team itself must be aligned in such a way that they are able to work various parts seamlessly as well.

“You can't have a social marketing group on one side of the room and the website marketers on the other side,” Brown says. “They have to be connected and so does the technology.”

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