Omobono, partners of The Marketing Society, set out to establish an authoritative benchmark of B2B digital marketing activity. They wanted to find out how much was invested into digital by B2B marketers, and which digital activities were viewed most positively. In other words, what works where in B2B digital marketing?
I’ve been involved in a lot of conversations over the last couple of years about selling to SMEs in the UK. For many companies this looks like it should be a rich stream of business if only it was accessible. Just the number of SMEs make this an area worthy of consideration; there are well over 3 million by most calculations (paper from ACCA Global) and my working number is 4.5 million.
Size of SME Average Promotional Budget
1 to 10 employees = £2,000
11 to 50 employees = £52,400
51 to 250 employees = £87,200
Overall average = £63,000
With such small budgets, it is hardly surprising that many SMEs can’t afford to engage the help of advertising agencies. It is also evident that a quick filter of prospects by employee count could well be valuable for vendors.
Perhaps the solution is to look towards ways of servicing SMEs online and with SaaS/cloud services? Aggregation and delivery via these methods could unlock better services and cost effective methods.
The current hot stories about B2B marketing and sales eminating from the US are about Facebook and its use in the mix. This may well be valid but I guess these messages are also being propogated by people with a vested tech/social media interest.
Andy Maslen on his blog reports that his successes are primarily all techniques and approaches that could have been executed in the 18th century. In ranking order of business success Andy reports this list:
But in all seriousness, if your business is B2B and you want to develop sustainable relationships I would wholeheartedly recommend referrals/word-of-mouth, attending conferences, running workshops, having coffee/lunch with prospect and speculative meetings as ways to get those conversations started.
So why is it that people can’t read their own data?
I received a piece of DM from a marketing agency recently. It was creatively good. It inspired me to delay its arrival in the bin. I opened it. So far so good; most DM doesn’t get that far. I even spent a couple of minutes reading it.
The call to action invited me to follow a personalised URL, e.g. agencyname.com/myname. I duly did this and arrived at a website where I answered the questions. The last question said words to the effect of ‘can we talk more about this/can we call you?’ I replied no…for more than one good reason.
Since then I’ve received an email from one person and a phone message from another.
I said NO.
For goodness sake; if businesses are going to use this type of B2B marketing please listen to the answers given!
The reason I’ve not named and shamed the agency concerned is that I actually like the director I’ve met from there. But really, as we already know each other, I do wonder why he is sending me DM rather than something a bit more personal.
Charlotte Graham-Cumming, joint managing director at Ice Blue Sky started a debate recently on LinkedIn about B2B marketing.
B2B Marketing Focus – is there an appetite? I have had a couple of discussions with Marketing Society members around increasing the amount of events and information that the Marketing Society provides for B2B marketers. I wanted to see if there is anyone else in this group that would have an interest in B2B specific information?
I’ve been following the debate and comments (in the Marketing Society group area) and it has helped me observe other things going on. And yes; B2B marketing does take second place in many magazine titles and trade organisations. Charlotte debates the point further on the Ice Blue Blog.
Like Charlotte, I’m keen on the idea of trying to raise the profile of B2B marketing. Oddly one of my fears is a bunch of agencies using it as an opportunity to sell to me. But the reality is always going to be that FMCG and consumer marketing disciplines are the sexier and more attractive areas.
How has B2B marketing changed in the last decade? Well in our business physical brochures are becoming less common, PDFs are prolific, websites are the order of the day and there are many other changes as well.
I was pleased to read a nice, succinct article at marketing.co.uk that talks a little more about these changes in B2B marketing.
One of the factors that is changing these days with regard to B2B marketing is the brochure culture. We often relied on brochures to introduce our business. However, it is changing dramatically, these days. Businesses are moving away from printed brochures. So if you are thinking of making thousands of copies of your brochure, hold on for a moment and look around to see what is happening in your industry. Most of the niches have moved on to using online versions of their brochures. You will look outdated if you are going to run around with your printed brochures or send them through the post. You will also be able to reduce your marketing expenses by uploading your brochures online. It is much faster and easier to distribute your brochure to your target audience. Moreover, you can save a lot of money. Today not many people ask for brochures, rather they ask for a website URL. It is also much easier for your customers to review your brochures online as they do not have to carry it along with them, they can access it anytime from anywhere. So why waste your money and efforts on brochures. By going online with your brochures, you can go green.