Yesterday I attended the B2B Netmarketing breakfast here in San Francisco. I love these events because it’s a giant room full of B2B marketers who are there to learn and network. Striking up a conversation is as easy as walking around the room, zeroing in on someone’s nametag and saying hello.
B2B magazine publisher Bob Felsenthal kicked off the event with some interesting stats from a recent survey; 76 percent of marketers plan to increase their online spending and how the top areas of spending are website development, email marketing, and social. This set the stage for the expert panel of interactive marketers which featured speakers from B2B heavy hitters HP, Intel, and SAP; three companies known for being forward thinking utilizing their thought leadership to set the standard for other marketers.
First up was Scott Anderson, Vice President of Customer Communications at HP. Scott is responsible for digitally driven demand generation and he discussed how he is taking the wealth of online information available to marketers and turning it into actionable insights. By setting up listening posts around topics that are important to HP, he listens in on the conversations customers are having with their suppliers, their customers, vendors, analysts, and each other. He can then determine the pain points of customers, their needs, and how they perceive HP as a company. Utilizing these insights he can identify hot topics and trends, and plan his editorial strategy. This data then helps to create the messaging that HP delivers in their marketing.
Scott also talked about how HP is using marketing automation to set up triggers based on prospect behaviors such as attending a webinar or downloading a whitepaper. Using the marketing automation paths they set up, they understand more about their customers and their offers and content are becoming increasingly more relevant. As HP gets smarter about what their customers are actually clicking on, downloading, and engaging with, that insight is letting the customers drive the conversation based on activities and behaviors through analytics.
Key takeaway: B2B marketers who are not utilizing analytics for insight and better decision making need to rethink their strategy.
Next up Pam Didner, Global Integrated Marketing Manager at Intel took the stage. She discussed how Intel globalizes their marketing and editorial planning. This is an incredbily timely topic as we know that it’s a constant struggle for B2Bs’ to create content, and it’s even more challenging to scale that content globally. Intel does a great job of this by generating compelling content that is scalable and relevant to their target audience. Using an editorial calendar they match their content to the industry buying cycle and enable localized versions of their main editorial calendar. Each localized calendar includes variations of the key messaging framework from headquarters keeping. By localizing their caledars, Intel can customize their content based on the specific needs of that region or country. Intel also encourages their engineers to blog around releases and events by offering incentives. Since their audience is primarily IT folks, this is a very smart way of focusing their content. Although this is not the exact slide deck she used, here is her deck on How to Globalize Editorial Planning that includes many of the slides she presented yesterday. Great stuff!
Key takeaway: A crisp editorial calendar/roadmap that is scalable and geo-targetet is essential for a successful content strategy.
And finally Kevin Cox, Senior Director of SAP global marketing took the stage to discuss editorial strategy and social conversations. Kevin made a very good point about how the principles of marketing are broadening from product, place, price, and promotion to experience, everywhere, exchange, and evangelism. Selling is changing as a result of buying changing and marketers need to adapt their messaging. “The barriers between B2B and B2C are going away. It’s about people selling to people,” he says. I agree completely. B2B marketers need to find their own strategy to make social work for them and making their solutions and people accessible to everyone in their target market is a good way to start. Kevin tweeted out his presentation the morning of the event; smart thinking.
Key takeaway: Selling is changing because buying is changing. The barriers between B2B and B2C are becoming less defined.
In conclusion, if you have one of these events coming up in your area, this is a must attend event. Insightful thinking and a great group of B2B marketers make for a fine event.
Did you attend this event or one in another city? We would love to hear your feedback in the comments section below.