Social media bringing B2B and B2C marketers closer together ~ Brand Mix

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Social media bringing B2B and B2C marketers closer together

Social media has changed what's possible for marketers. It's shifted the curve towards the individual and away from the mass customer and opened up opportunities for communication to be more interactive. From one-way broadcast towards two-way conversation. Ways to interact with consumers that were prohibitively expensive and would never make it past the first cut of an annual marketing plan are now viable, even preferred options.

Is it also leading to a convergence of B2C and B2B marketing? Business marketing has always been further along the path in terms of focusing on the individual customer vs. the mass market. At the Enterprise end of the spectrum, the primary customer contact is one-on-one and personal. Client-facing sales people are a primary driver of brand value, responding to their customer's needs and keeping them well informed. Maybe there are lessons here for consumer marketers now looking for a more personal touch?

Cisco Social Media Measurement by Stephanie Marx
Cisco's Stephanie Marx included this chart as part of a presentation on how to measure the effectiveness of social media. Cisco's approach to the evaluation of social media programs is interesting in of itself but what also caught my eye were the categories used to organize the various measurement approaches: "Community Health," and "Market Perception." These look relevant to all marketing, consumer or business.

Some of the sub-categories actually reflect new areas of interest in consumer marketing. "Thought leadership" mirrors the developing interest in and recognition of the importance of content and "customer satisfaction" mirrors the interest in companies like Zappos that have made customer service a point of competitive advantage vs. a source of costs that need to be reduced via automation and/or outsourcing.

Perhaps, as consumer marketers try and figure out their social media strategy, it would be worth talking to/recruiting a few B2B marketers to get their perspective.


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