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Social Media & IT Decision Makers – 8 Relevant Points

imageIn my quest to uncover how we can use social media tools to reach technology purchase decision makers, I came across a series of interesting studies done by ITtoolbox and PJA.In June 2007, ITtoolbox and PJA conducted an inaugural Social Media Index Survey to assess the impact of emerging media and online communities on the technology purchase process. They subsequently executed two additional surveys in November 2007 and August 2008. The goal -- To determine the influence of social media tools through distinct stages of the purchase process and assess the credibility of online communities as an extension of personal networks. Here’s what they found:• IT decision-maker and influencer audiences spend more time consuming or participating in social media than they do consuming editorial media or vendor content.• Executive decision-makers spend nearly 4 hours per week consuming or participating in social media -- the highest usage profile.• IT decision-makers and influencers spend more time with and increasingly consider online communities -- discussion groups, peer-to-peer networks, social networks -- as extensions of their existing network of personal contacts.• More than half of IT decision makers and influencers consider it important/valuable to reach out beyond personal contacts to peers.• When utilizing social media for technology purchasing decisions, search is the most important information source during the early (awareness) stages of the buying cycle.• When utilizing social media for technology purchasing decisions, topic-based networks and personal networks are the most important sources of information in the consideration and evaluation stages.• IT decision-makers rated topic-based communities as the most important social media source of information throughout all stages of the purchase cycle.• There is an unmet need and significant opportunity for online social networks. All categories of IT decision-makers and influencers expressed a need for more online networking communities.Clearly, it is possible to reach IT decision makers in the digital world. Knowing this, I think the discussion now centers around where is your ideal customer footprint online and how can you get in front of them? I’ll be looking into this next. Complete detail from these surveys is available online at:ITtoolbox/PJA November 2007 Survey Results and ITtoolbox/PJA August 2008 Survey Results .

Social Media Marketing : Why Should You Care?

imageThere’s all this buzz about using Web 2.0 technologies and social media marketing. Now more than ever, since these tactics are less expensive than traditional marketing campaigns. I’m sure you’re hearing about it. But in a B2B world there is confusion around the relevance of social media . Should we care? Should we care enough to think about how we can leverage social media in our marketing mix? So I went looking for information that could help make a business case for social media in general. Here’s what I found: Read More »

List Procurement – There’s No Magic Bullet

imageList procurement is top of mind for me. Not only because I’ve recently been working with a few partners on purchasing lists to support their direct marketing campaigns. Mostly because lists are a representation of your target audience. No matter how good your product or service is, if you are marketing to the wrong individuals you will fail. Identifying the correct target audience for your marketing campaigns is the most important thing you can do to make sure your campaign succeeds. Some say that 50-70% of your campaign success is dependent upon your list. The challenge is acquiring a list that will help you meet your demand generation goals. Unfortunately, list procurement is not an exact science. There’s no magic bullet… no database that specifically houses contacts that exactly match your target audience. So what can you do? Here are some practical tips from “The Complete Guide to Direct Marketing” by Chet Meisner.13 Rules for Working with Lists:1. Know whom you want to reach, not just what address. Addresses or companies don’t buy products. People do. Addresses can give you information about the characteristics of your target audience, but you will need to have a good idea of the characteristics of the individual person you are trying to reach. Your marketing will be viewed by a person, not an address or a company.2. The more you know the better. Collect as much information as you can about your targeted individual. There are mountains of information available on both consumers and businesses. Much of it is in different places and you will probably have to look around to collect and compile what you want. Read More »

The Tactics Trap

imageI’ve done it…. I think all of us have done it at one time or another. That’s right. We’ve all fallen into the tactics trap. What is the tactics trap? It’s executing marketing in isolation from your business objectives. Simply executing marketing activities for the sake of doing something (anything!) to generate leads. This is like shooting arrows in the dark. Sure you might hit something every once in a while. And it might even be a good lead. But more often than not, you’re not hitting the mark at all. You’re not even coming close.Effective marketing ties directly to business objectives. Some companies want to grow revenue; some want to reposition themselves; others want to move into new markets or solidify their position in their current target markets. Where does your company want to go?Once you know this, you can determine what marketing can do to help your company get there (aka develop marketing objectives). Read More »

Apples… Oranges… Sales Leads…

image I sit in a lot of meetings-. I’m sure you do too. Being a marketer, most of the meetings I participate involve both marketing and sales. This can be very interesting. One thing I have been struck by recently is how often I hear marketing folks talk about the success of their marketing campaigns and programs while the sales teams are grumbling about how marketing isn’t delivering viable leads. This dynamic occurs frequently in my discussions with partners. What’s the disconnect? Can it be fixed or is marketing destined to speak Greek while sales speak Swahili? If you were to ask a marketer, a sales person, and an executive within your company what a qualified sales lead is (Go ahead. Try this. I dare you), they would have a wide range of definitions. Wouldn’t it make more sense if sales and marketing had the same definition? Read More »