B2B Trending Conversations: Mind the Digital Gap (and more)

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Welcome back to another edition of B2B Trending Conversations, our weekly roundup of what’s getting said and shared about B2B on Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks. We’ve got some out-of-the ordinary topics for you this week, starting with bridging the digital gap between B2B and B2C. We’ll learn how to avoid the most common inbound marketing pitfall, get nine valuable social marketing lessons and listen to a podcast on B2B video marketing. There’s a lot to cover this week, so let’s get going!

 

Bridging the B2B Digital Gap

B2B companies often fall short of their B2B counterparts in key areas, chief among them digital readiness to respond to an ever-changing business landscape. McKinsey & Company mined its database of Digital Quotient (DQ) assessments over the past three years and found a yawning digital chasm between B2B and B2C firms. “This gap is important, since B2B companies (like their B2C counterparts) are in a digital footrace,” says McKinsey & Company. “They face shrinking shelf lives for products, more acute customer demands for price transparency, and better experiences. Getting digital tools into the hands of legacy-minded sales reps is also a must.” As the “consumerization” of B2B accelerates, B2B executives will in turn speed up their digitization efforts. They must, if they want to boost their overall effectiveness.

 

B2B Inbound Marketing

This 41 Orange blog by Gregg Anderson will help you avoid the most common pitfall in B2B inbound marketing — not being prepared to work leads. “Inbound completely changes the game when it comes to lead generation, and requires that sales be able to step up in turn,” Anderson asserts. “With proper preparation, inbound marketing can be a true goldmine for the sales department. However, it often requires some changes and additional structure for this to work, especially if the number of leads increases drastically.” This requires an understanding that inbound sales call for different tactics from the “hard sell” technique often employed for outbound-based leads. It also demands a more formal sales process. Set your expectations for part-time sales staff and don’t be afraid to hire more help. “Embracing inbound lead generation methods may require some overhauls to your company’s procedures, but it’s virtually always worth it,” argues Anderson. “The low cost of inbound marketing combined with the high-quality leads generated makes it a no-brainer for SMBs looking to grow their customer base quickly.”

 

B2B Social Marketing

Leadtail founder and CEO Carter Hostelley shares nine lessons learned about social marketing, and how you can apply them to your B2B business in the year ahead. “The most important thing when developing your social marketing strategy is to understand that it all begins with your target buyers,” writes Hostelley. And while ROI is important, knowing which stage of social media activity your business is in is even more crucial. Listen, curate, publish, engage and report.  Fuel social activity with a thought leadership blog. Don’t fall into the trap of prioritizing lead generation over brand awareness, and incorporate advertising into your social strategy. C-suiters love visual content, and when your employees amplify your brand content cost effectiveness gets a big boost. Finally, be sure to build meaningful relationships with the right influencers. What lessons have you learned, and what B2B social marketing trends do you predict will dominate 2017?

 

B2B Marketing (Podcast)

Wistia co-founder and CEO Chris Savage is the guest on B2B Marketing & Sales’ latest podcast, which discusses video marketing as the core of successful B2B business communication and lead generation. Savage explains differences in how video is utilized in B2B and B2C companies and predicts where B2B video business will be in a decade. He also offers insight into how he and his team launched Wistia to success by mastering video content marketing.

 

B2B Marketing (Infographic)

How do B2B marketers actually generate revenue? Which metrics are they using? What does their channel mix look like? Which channel has the highest impact on revenue generation? What percentage of organizations invest in account-based marketing, and how much? Based on the 2016 State of Pipeline Marketing Report — sponsored by Bizible, Heinz Marketing, Radius, Reachforce, and Uberflip, this infographic answers all of these questions and more. B2B marketers are primarily focused on generating demand and converting demand to revenue, while account-based marketing (ABM) is growing in popularity. Alarmingly, only one in five surveyed marketers said they felt confident in their ability to measure marketing performance.

 

That’s all we’ve got for now. Be sure to check in with us again next week when we will bring you the B2B buzz you need to succeed. Until then, you can check out last week’s column here, and as always you can contact us with tips, pitches or hot links at @B2BNewsNetwork. See you next week!

 

Feature image source: Andrew Forrest

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Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for U.S. news. Based in San Francisco, he is the editor and publisher of Moral Low Ground and is a Yahoo! Featured Political Contributor.