This article was first published January 16, 2008 on the Tatum Marketing blog
Earlier this week I sat in on a presentation by Laura Ramos of Forrester Research.
Her topic: Social Media: Where Should B2B Marketers Begin? Her answer: Get your online basics right first.
According to Ramos, B2B marketers – including technology firms – are falling behind in three areas. Our experience supports her findings.
Forrester studies show that B2B companies – high tech companies in particular – continue to use their websites as a “megaphone for the company focusing on our products, our company, our successes.” Company websites really should focus on becoming a resource and a good experience for your customer.
According to Ramos, B2B companies make it too hard to subscribe to receive email. I’m guessing here, but I think she’s talking about the tendency of B2B companies to ask for far too much information from a prospect. After all, the only thing you really need is their email address. Tons of research shows us that sign-ups diminish with every additional piece of information required. So, why do it?Forrester also found that B2B email communications are not focused enough on customer needs. Apparently, most B2B marketers view email as just another way to sell. This is not how it works.
Per Forrester, only 26% of B2B search marketers are using campaign-specific landing pages or micro-sites. This is a huge potential competitive advantage. We already know that directing search traffic to landing sites instead of to a home page increases conversion rates significantly. Yet 74% of B2B marketers aren’t doing it!So do it.
All three of the above are easily fixed. No intimate knowledge of “social media” required. And it sure makes sense to get these tactics under control before you move on to new challenges such as blogs, podcasts, communities, forums and the rest.