I don’t think business-to-business communications as a discipline was ever as exciting and challenging as it is today. The convergence of available platforms, data and social media effectively provides marketers with endless opportunities to find prospective buyers among both suspects and customers.
At the same time, traditional ways of informing, engaging and transacting with customers are being scrutinized. The overhead of traditional PR, direct marketing, events and retail drives a tremendous shift towards online and mobile engagement models.
We all know this.
The Shortest List
But it’s hard to find the right path in this landscape of endless possibilities, isn’t it? Which mix of vehicles, assets, platforms, programs – owned or sponsored – will generate the optimum stream of inbound contacts? I find that in todays online conversation, a million writers (usually agency reps or consultants) will tell you about the many millions of different things you can do to find and engage your audience; nowhere will you find a discrete list of stuff you can’t do without – a minimal set of things that should get you where you need to be.
So here is the list of things you cannot do without in your 2014 enterprise marketing mix:
For influencers, main objectives: education, value and timely interaction
- Solution-level blogs
- Solution-level webinars
- Relevant customer case studies (PDF, YouTube, SlideShare)
- Landing pages aggregating this content around specific topics
- Online testing, demonstration, comparison and/or ROI calculation capabilities
- Events (3rd party for suspects, owned for customers and prospects) to enable influencers to discover the offering and meet the vendor team.
- Database and telemarketing
For decision makers, main objectives: credibility and buy-in
- Thought leadership blogs and videos
- Branded editorial content integrated into relevant online and offline titles
- Events (3rd party for suspects, owned for customers and prospects, and to facilitate the prospect-customer conversation).
- Account strategy, access and relationship management at the C-level (a C-level program can never be marketing-only. It needs to be a joined effort with the sales leadership).
All of this has to be (a) continuously fuelled with crisp, audience-based content, (b) optimised for search and (c) 100% Social, Local and Mobile.