During the past week I’ve had the privilege of presenting to two different organizations that I think B2B marketers would benefit from exploring further.
MOCCA Quarterly Meeting
June 3, 2009 I spoke at the MOCCA quarterly meeting, held at Adobe’s facilities in downtown San Jose. The Marketing Operations Cross-Company Alliance (MOCCA) is a community for sharing practical experience between Marketing Operations professionals in technology companies. Attendees worry about customer data quality, measuring marketing results against sales pipeline, and demonstrating that marketing investment pays dividends. What we call “Left Brain” marketers here at Forrester.
I talked about the impact of social media on the marketing mix and how social activity requires marketers to focus more on outcomes – how marketing activity engages prospects and customers in building relationship – than on marketing activity that we have become comfortable and accustomed to measuring (view, clicks, impressions, market share, cost per lead, etc.). The presentation was well received judging by the thoughtful questions. Feel free to visit MOCCA’s site and access a copy of it.
MarketingProfs Business-to-Business Forum 2009
June 9, 2009 I joined Roy Young, President of MarketingProfs, LLC, and Sandy Carter, IBM’s Vice President, SOA & WebSphere Marketing, Strategy and Channels, at MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston, MA, to discuss the impact of the current economy on marketing mix and budget trends. MarketingProfs recently published their report about the joint research we conducted in Dec 2008/Jan 2009. While MarketingProfs included responses from companies under 100 employees (and Forrester did not), the results were strikingly similar. Broad dependence on traditional tactics will shift more toward digital and social “tactics” in 2009 and beyond, driven mainly by the economy (which has forced marketing budget cuts) and the interest/hype around social media.
Sandy brings fantastic, credible perspective about the challenge, and rewards, of integrating social media into the marketing mix. Three key points we firmly agree upon:
1) Social strategy and execution should not reside solely in marketing. A cross-functional team that includes sales, development, support, and marketing – among others as your firm’s needs dictate – is essential to setting strategy, managing community, helping all your social participants communicate consistently, and keeping out of “social trouble”.
2) Social is part of an integrated approach that combines traditional and digital tactics. Social media helps to turn the brand, lead generation, and loyalty (measured by cross sell, upsell and retention) dials when combined and managed as part of a larger marketing dashboard of options.
3) Social media’s biggest impact in B2B will be in creating and sustaining gated, invited communities. Tech is already leading the way since developers have used forums and discussion threads for years – social tools just makes this self-support more appealing. Sandy and the audience offered interesting examples of private communities from the medical field that show “gated” community potential outside of high tech.
Check out Forrester’s report on B2B marketing trends from the joint research with MarketingProfs. I look forward to hearing your questions and observations; how is the current economy impacting your marketing mix and tactic choices?