B2B

Digital in 2016

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Hot off the press comes We Are Social “Digital in 2016”.

I always suck up this report on digital, social and mobile usage around the world which is seeing ever faster growth.

 

 

The key statistics for digital, social, and mobile media in 2016 are:

  • 3.42 billion internet users, equaling 46% global penetration;
  • 2.31 billion social media users, delivering 31% global penetration;
  • 3.79 billion unique mobile users, representing 51% global penetration;
  • 1.97 billion mobile social media users, equating to 27% global penetration.

This means more than half of the world’s adult population now uses the internet, and (something exciting for me) that well over one-third of the adult population uses social media at least once a month.

It is also interesting to see – just like I was telling the audience at this week’s ISPO Communication Day – social media is moving from broadcasting to being social. It is all about connecting, personalization and providing true value. This will mean a big change for us marketeers! We will need to activate our listening skills, understand what our audience truly wants and well yes…become social.

The full report can be found here:

 

 

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No more CMO at Heineken. Is this the start of the demise of the Chief Marketing Officer?

Heineken made quite a few restructuring changes last week, amongst others announcing that the CMO and chief sales officer roles would now be combined under one new Chief Commercial Officer role. While Heineken says this and the other changes will allow them to focus more on growth opportunities and be more agile, it raises the question, is the role of the CMO becoming obsolete?

I have worked with and for a number of organizations where marketing and sales operate as separate entities, with different goals, processes and especially strategies. But what good is a strong marketing plan with no buy in from sales? And what good is a strong sales force with a weak marketing plan behind it? In today’s world it is all about customer engagement and while marketing and sales may not use the same channels, they now need to provide one common experience.  That is why marketing and sales should not think twice about working together under one and the same strategy.

Does that mean the CMO no longer plays a role in the organization? Of course not. Marketers need to understand that just as businesses are moving more and more into the digital age so must our roles. This may just require that marketing and sales  act as one with one strategy.

Inroads in social media marketing for financial services

Consumers have long moved on from just using the internet for information-gathering. Social networks are growing at an incredible pace. We all know that social media lower costs and optimizes marketing spending. Now is the time for financial services companies to move from just “being” on social media and start to truly “engage” with their customers. At the end of the day it is all about using social media tools to build personalized customer relationships.

There are many financial companies, like American Express or UBS, already optimizing their use of social media. Accenture has identified 11 social media tactics that can help achieve a specific outcome and that should ideally not just be used in isolation.

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It is important to keep in mind, that social media marketing always needs to be fully integrated in your company’s digital and corporate strategy to achieve the best impact possible.

Here is a link to the full report.

B2B is P2P

lightThis week, I was wondering why marketers often make a distinction between B2C and B2B. Yes, there may be a difference in purchasing decisions. More logic, less emotion. But even if the name is “B2B” you are still selling to people, not businesses. And these people are also consumers who have daily interactions with the B2C greats like Apple or Amazon and therefore most likely have certain expectations about the sales and marketing process. Across the board they are looking to build relationships, gain insights and knowledge and develop loyalties. So when looking for best practices in B2B marketing, we should definitely take a look and see what we can learn from B2C companies.

Content definitely is a cornerstone for both marketing practices. For B2B it is about showing your expertise and core business values. Good (and plenty!) content can help you stand out among the large flow of information that is out there. So we need to create opportunistic content that revolves around news, visions and trends, finding the right distribution channels and tools. Content that stands out and is consistent over time will be a clear winner. Paired with B2C inspired social media  strategies we can create engagement with our audience. And engagement in turn creates communities.

Our audience should be more than just faceless readers of our content. B2C communities give their audience an opportunity to engage with the brand. In B2B our opportunity exists in creating a real network of customers, influencers and other interested parties where we can share information, developments and comments.I am convinced we can transform businesses and how we market them by taking a closer look at the B2C market and using the inspiration to create a competitive advantage.

Life in the B2B lane

b2bSales decisions in B2B marketing take much longer than in B2C. The customer wants to get to know you, to understand your business. And unlike in B2C, where a bad purchase decision is quickly forgotten, this can have a much more detrimental effect for B2B.

So it is important for marketers to reflect this in their social media and content marketing strategy. What customers want is information  Not only about this product or that service. They want to understand the business, the people behind it, their experience, know how and expertise and how it is relevant to them or even how it can help grow their own business. Or in other words, they want to build up a long term relationship. Something to keep in mind when deciding what to publish and where.