Marketing Pilgrim's "B2B Marketing Channel"

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B2B Marketing: What It’s Like in the Real World

There is plenty of information for marketers to consume on a daily basis and, quite honestly, it all starts to sound the same after a while. That’s a shame since many of the SEO fueled articles and posts of “How To’s” and “Here’s the Latest Theory Regarding (blank)” cover up real world lessons given by people who live this online marketing life every day and in very real situations. In fact, there are a lot of really good “How To” and “Top 5 This” content offerings that get lost in this noisy shuffle.

As part of our effort to bring our readers something a bit different we offer insight from someone who can talk about the real world delivery of marketing in the new media setting.

LinkedIn Adds Follow Button for Companies

If you’re in the Business to Business business, then you need a new LinkedIn Follow Button on your company website.

The new button makes it simple for people to follow your company updates and news through their LinkedIn feed.

To add it to your website or blog, visit the LinkedIn developer page and get the code in two clicks. You can get an “In Follow” button with or without a follower count.

LinkedIn has also made the company follow button accessible throughout the social media site. You’ll find it on any company profile page, in a pop-up from any company employee, or straight from the search results page.

Remember, the follow button works both ways. Click it to stay in touch with companies you do business with (or would like to do business with) or use it to keep tabs on your competitors.

Report Shows Marketers Less Confident in Measurement of Efforts

eConsultancy along with Experian Marketing Services has released their Marketing Budgets 2012 report and as we have seen in the recent past, most companies continue to or intend to continue to increase spending on the digital channel. That’s good news in that there is recognition that the digital channel is an effective use of marketing dollars which can often be harder to find in the current economic climate. Here are some quick data points from the study.

  • Of those companies increasing their digital marketing budgets, 79% will increase them by more than 10%.
  • Three-quarters (74%) of companies are increasing their investment in digital marketing technology this year, up from 67% in 2011.
  • More than half (56%) of companies are planning to recruit more people into their digital marketing teams in 2012, up from 52% in 2011.

There is more evidence given in the report that companies are turning more to the digital space as we move forward and we get that. It’s good news for those of us in the space but growth hasn’t been the problem.

Despite this rise in investment in the digital world the real problem comes in the analysis of this data. Whether it is in the online or offline space, marketers appear to be a getting a little less cocky about their ability to measure what is actually happening in the space. Take a look at this.

Nothing Like a Phishing Trip to Bring Enemies Closer

If you were asked what it would take to get Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Aol and other to come together, agree on something and work together to accomplish something that would benefit most of the online world, what would it be? That is a pretty short list of option for sure but one thing has worked: a push to eliminate phishing scams in the e-mail space.

According to Wired

On Monday, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and eleven others outfits announced they had formed a new alliance to combat phishing — a way of fooling email and web users into providing sensitive information, including credit card numbers. The alliance is known as Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance, DMARC for short, and the aim of this sprawling alliance is to lay down new email standards that help stop the nefarious practice.

Blogging Declines in Inc. 500 Survey

The past few years have been one of severe upheaval in the marketing world. As we continue to shift from the traditional world of marketing to a mix between the ways of marketing from the past 20 or so years and the digital / social media environment the landscape shifts regularly.

One area of social media that carries a wide array of opinions regarding its use is blogging. I am tempted to put quotes around social media in reference to blogging because social media as it is defined by most today makes many blogs look like the long form journalism of the past. Maybe that point of view is a reason why a recent study by the University of Massachusetts / Dartmouth shows that within the Inc. 500, which tends to be smaller, more nimble and less social media averse organizations, the use of blogging declined quite significantly in 2011. See the chart below for the comparison to blogging’s use by the Fortune 500.

B2B Marketers Using Social Media More and More

We have watched the B2B space lag behind in the Internet and social media marketing space for most of the existence of the industry. That’s not a knock on the B2B space really because the nature of Internet marketing lends itself much more readily to B2C plays.

Of course that doesn’t mean that social media doesn’t work for the B2B space. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth and as B2B marketers continue to see just how these options can fit into their business and marketing plans this area of the Internet is just starting to truly see the light. This epiphany of sorts could make 2012 a very interesting year in the B2B space for social media marketing.

As shown by some statistics from a study conducted by eMarketer, social media is being used. It’s the continual evolution of exactly HOW it is being used that will mark the arrival of the marketing tool to the space.

Content Marketing Hurdles Are Significant But Not Insurmountable

As I was doing my daily early morning scan of way too much information for anyone to actually ingest, I came across a study that was done by IDG and looked at by the Center for Media Research. The study looked at technology marketers, the classic B2B marketers who are trying to sell their wares to other businesses in most cases.

The study was interesting and talked about all the great plans for spending for 2012 but the most important piece of data in my opinion is the one that marketers often overlook which are the barriers to getting the work done. In particular, this related to an area deemed very important by these surveyed marketers: content marketing. Take a look.

Whether it’s lead generation or whatever else as the end game of online marketing, content is the crux of it all. People don’t just come to a site because they are told they should. They don’t fill in forms on sites because it’s fun. They don’t open themselves up to the sales process because they feel lonely and are looking to talk to someone.