Browsing articles tagged with " Customer"
Oct 31, 2010
Cece Salomon-Lee

#mptech Motorola Case Study to Use Social Media for B2B Event

The session I was most interested in attending was the “B2B Events: Build Audience and Extend the Conversation through Social Media” at MarketingProfs SocialTech conferene. Belinda Hudmon, Sr. Director, Interactive Marketing, Motorola, shared how they leveraged social media for their events and to accelerate the sales cycle.

Start with the Customer

Motorola first started from the customer’s perspective to understand the pain point and sales cycle. The company levereaged in-depth research, customer insights and detailed personas to help develop digital toolkits to help prospects and customers through the sales process, such as microsites, product tours, website, social media and communities.

Events Key Part of B2B Sales

Events are key part of Motorola’s B2B sales but the recession impacted audience attendance (up to 50%+ decline for some key events) , especially since many of Motorola’s events were global.  Interestingly, virtual events weren’t necessarily the answer as Motorola was cognizant of people’s limited time to participate in such an event.

According to Hudmon, they learned that 69% of business buyers use social media to make a purchase decision (Forrester). This, combined with the impact of the recession on event attendance, lead Motorola to develop its “Share the Experience” site. The goal of the site was to expand the experience for the event with video as the core.  They leveraged several social media tactics to seed content and drive engagement:

* Uploaded videos to YouTube
* Had bloggers contributing insights about industry trends and from the industry floor to see what was happening
* Followed Twitter and Facebook to see what was happening via hashtags
* Provided access to initial information on case studies and other content from content sites, social media integration (e.g. flickr), etc.
* Promoted the site via email, twitter, and facebook to give info about the speakers, as well as feed information about the show back to their different social communities
* Recently provided mobile experience as well

Results: Increase Engagement, Thought Leadership and Post-Show Dialog

Overall, the “Share the Experience” site helped Motorola to establish a following with their customers, partners and prospects which extended their dialog with these key audiences. This also helped drive Motorola’s thought leadership platforms with blog postings and real-time updates from Twitter and Facebook. This has become an integral part of other shows and as a way to launch other thought leadership platforms.

Highlighting the value of archival content, Motorola discovered that 60% of the videos were watched after the event had concluded with 3X more demos completed online overall.

Questions from the Audience

Note: I tried to capture the questions and quote as fully as I could and is not meant to be a “transcript” of what was said. Questions are in purple with the response italicized.

Built the virtual conference platform internally for Motorola. Why internal vs external? Looked at virtual events and one of the issues with virtual events is that people’s time is limited. With the “Share the Experience” site, we weren’t trying to replace virtual but have an experience before, during or after the show. Have done some virtual that weren’t live stream and more on-demand scenario. Have tested the virtual event as an augmentation to events to see live and ask questions.

Social media integration – used corporate Motorola or different accounts within the event? Started by an event site but realized the opportunity was a Motorola site or audience-specific site. As set up the site and interface with it and can have a long-term interaction. So leverage the audience site to interface with event sites as they come online.

Conclusion

Motorola recognized that events were an integral part of their sales process, but the recession greatly impacted attendance at their global events. By understanding their customers – especially that these are time-constrained professionals, the company opted for a website-based experience integrated with social media versus a virtual event.  In this way, Motorola discovered an effective way to drive engagement, thought leadership, and I’m assuming, sales forward.

How are you using social media to drive your B2B events? What other strategies are you using?

Oct 25, 2010
Cece Salomon-Lee

Book Review – Digital Body Language by Steven Woods

Digital Body Language by Steven WoodsOver the past 10 years, we have seen the Internet and now Web 2.0 and social media technologies drastically change how marketers and public relations professionals engage with prospects, customers, employees and influencers online. As much of this interaction is being done online, the challenge is how marketers can “read” the digital signals  to determine interest and intent. In a nutshell, how to provide the right information, to the right person, at the right time.

That is the premise of Steven Woods’ book, Digital Body Language. As co-founder of Eloqua, a marketing automation company, Steven  provides insight into how marketers can translate these digital signals to increase the effectiveness of their marketing programs.

While the book is written with the marketer in mind, PR practitioners can benefit by reading this book as well. The step-by-step look into the customer’s digital psyche will help PR professionals understand the challenges that their marketing counterparts face. PR can help marketers understand behavior triggers; thereby recommending strategies, content and programs that drive these objectives forward. PR moves from being a “brand awareness” vehicle to a strategy that can pinpoint why and what will impact a customer’s behavior and interest.

For example, most executives want to business coverage regardless of how this coverage will or will not impact the bottomline. Yet, you strongly recommend a vertical program based on budget, time and objectives. If you can highlight how a vertical outlet program drove X% interest  target prospects which uncovered $X in sales opportunities for a similar client, then not only will C-Level executives pay attention, but PR will also earn a seat at the table.

Isn’t this a strong value proposition?!

Conclusion

Steven provides marketers an understanding of the new digital body language. His approach is straight-forward with case studies to provide real-world implentation stories combined with helpful tips. I recommend this book for all PR practitioners and those entering the marketing field.

Let me know what you think of the book below in the comments or if you have any other must-read books.

I met Steven Woods at the Eloqua Experience 2010 Conference in October 2010.

Aug 23, 2010
csalomonlee

Geolocation Services for B2B

Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla CollageWith the introduction of Facebook Places, geolocation-based services are about to hit the mainstream. Rather than focus on the news or consumer uses, I want to look at the potential of such services for business-to-business customer marketing.

MarketingSherpa recently wrote about an iPhone app developed by Morrison & Foerster LLP (subscription required shortly). This app allows you to browse bios, get directions to a local office, get news and even play a game. I suspect that one of the main objectives for the company’s “MoFo2Go” is to increase customer loyalty and referrals.

Now imagine if you take this type of app to the next level, enabling customers and employees to proactively share their geographic locations with one another. You’ve created a mobile community where customers and prospects can search, find and connect with others located near them.

And if they are able to preview information, such as company title or industry, they can reach out to your subject matter experts to resolve an issue or get feedback on the company and products. Almost anytime, anywhere.

The potential benefits of such services are:

1. Customer retention: Provides an alternative channel for customers to resolve issues, leading to happier customers

2. Customer referrals: With happy customers, they will be open to sharing the app to their colleagues and industry peers

3. Customer engagement: With the potential for real-time feedback and support, you are increasing engagement not only with your company brand but also with evangelists within your company

Conclusions

While the potential for geolocation-based services is just being uncovered, I anticipate that early adopters like Morrison & Foerster will demonstrate that the risk is worth it to increase customer retention, loyalty and ultimately engagement.

What other ways can geolocation be used?

Jan 18, 2009
csalomonlee

Using Social Media: Part 3 – Social Networking Sites

facebook

linkedin

 Update: I’ve edited this post to provide a more objective view of social media and how it can be applied.  

This is the third post in a 6 part series on how to use social media. In this third installment, I highlight how yoru can participate in social networking sites.

Social Networking Sites

Marketers are seeking to break into several social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. From my perspective, there seems to be two popular models right now – create a group or fan page or participate in existing communities (what Jeremiah Owyang calls “fishing where the fish are“). The former requires dedication to manage the community and ensure that there is fresh content. The latter requires participation in a group without the onus of owning that community.

And while I believe social media should be an integral part of B2B marketing, the reality is that this takes a concerted effort and time. As such, I recommend aligning your efforts with the latter strategy until more staff or focus can be given to the former. While there are different communities to join, LinkedIn has some benefits that you should consider.

Why? I hate to say this, but frankly, of all the social networking sites, organizations can be overtly salesy on LinkedIn. I know, I know – that isn’t the point. So let me be clear, I DON’T RECOMMEND THAT YOU SELL FROM THE PLATFORM. Rather, apply the same rules you would apply elsewhere – be transparent of who you are and offer valuable information. So even when others are being blatantly self-promotional, you and your company are seen as contributory. You’ll see what I mean below.

LinkedIn Specifics

LinkedIn AnswersWith that said, here are the aspects of LinkedIn that I recommend:

  • LinkedIn Answers: Monitor questions for topics that are you related to your company. When appropriate, respond to relevant questions to position you and your company as an industry expert. There will be instances when you can recommend your company as a prospective vendor. Again, you have to be careful that you’re not too self-promotional as your answer can be flagged as inappropriate. Overall, LinkedIn Answers is a good way to provide brand awareness for your company. And since LinkedIn Answers are searchable, your responses may appear in Google search results.

  • Groups: There are numerous groups within LinkedIn. It’s important to research specific groups as some may be more self-promotional than others. I recommend seeking groups with audiences that are relevant to your company and have good participation by its members. Once you join a group, monitor the discussions before fully participating.

    • Group Questions: Like LinkedIn Answers, each group incorporates this same functionality. By responding or asking questions in a group, you position your company as an industry expert to a targeted audience relevant to your business.

    • News: You can submit article links, like Facebook Share, that are relevant to the groups. In addition to blog posts, you can submit general news articles that mention your company or are relevant to your industry. You can also consider submitting submit press releases. While this is slightly self-promotional, make sure the article or press release discusses a larger trend of interest to the group.

  • Events: LinkedIn recently introduced a way for members to post events. If you have a webinar, in-person seminar or other gathering that you want to promote, LinkedIn events is a place to promote it. What I liked is that they have an option for “virtual events” as well. You can then share this event with your contacts as well as be searchable by other LinkedIn members. One drawback, in case you have to cancel the event, there doesn’t seem to be a way to delete the event.

Conclusion

Overall, LinkedIn is a great way to position your company or company spokesperson as an industry expert, while increasing brand awareness with key audiences. Your participation can also have competitive advantages as well when potential sales leads are researching and evaluating vendors.

And if you or a colleague is dedicated to moderating an online community, consider setting up your own group. HubSpot has done an excellent job at setting up their own group, moderating the group and finding synergy with their Facebook presence as well. 

Other posts in the series:

Using Social Media: Part 1 – Microblogging

Using Social Media: Part 2 – Search Feeds

 

Jan 14, 2009
csalomonlee

Using Social Media: Part 2 – Search Feeds

twittergoogleUpdate: I’ve edited this post to provide a more objective view of social media and how it can be applied.  

This is the second post in a 6 part series on using social media. In this second installment, I look at search feeds. 

 

Search Feeds

There are several tools that you can use to monitor your company. I previously wrote about Trackur, but I prefer to use search feeds via Google and Twitter Search – at least for now.  

I recommend using a reader to have a single place for reviewing your feeds through the day vs. having mutliple emails in your inbox.  

  • Online Reputation Management: With search feeds, this helps you to track mentions of your company throughout the Web, in blogs and Twitter. Depending on the content of the blog posting or tweet, consider commenting or tweeting back respectively. While the response may be a couple of hours or even a few days later, people appreciate that you have responded. It demonstrates that you’re listening to your audiences.

  • Competitive Intelligence: While you set up feeds for your company, also set up feeds for your competitors’. This way, you can stay on top of any media, blog or tweet mentions regarding your competitor. And when appropriate, participate in the converation with your company’s perspective or introduce your company to the blogger and twitterer.

  • Industry Trends: Set up searches for key terms within your industry. This will help you to stay on top of industry trends that you can share with your colleagues or uncover additional reporter/bloggers/twitterers within the industry.

Conclusion

Setting up RSS feeds with specific search keywords is an easy way to monitor your company’s online reputation while keeping tabs on your competition. The search results can also uncover new reporters and bloggers who may be interested in your company, further expanding your relationships with key influencers.

Other posts in the series:

Using Social Media: Part 1 – Microblogging

Jan 12, 2009
csalomonlee

Using Social Media: Part 1 – Microblogging

twitterUpdate: I’ve edited this post to provide a more objective view of social media and how it can be applied.  

There has been a lot written about how to use social media and what the ROI is from using the various tool. Instead of trying to reach all audiences, I view social media as another communications avenue to expand the reach of your company’s specific audiences and customers. 

 

If I was in an agency, I would list my key objectives and list the tools that would help accomplish these objectives. Since I’m not, I did what was easiest – listing the different tools I use and bullet pointing how each helps me. See how lazy I got going in-house…=)

 

I originally was going to have one post but I realized this would be too long. As such, I will have a multi-part series focusing on one segment of separate tools. In this first installment, a look at microblogging.

 

Twittering a Twhirl

twhirl-logo

I use Twitter as my main microblogging platform, with Twhirl to manage personal and corporate accounts. Check out my previous post on Twhirl for more information. 

 

  • Brand awareness: Twitter is gaining traction as viable avenue for brand awareness. I anticipate seeing more company brands using Twitter as a viable communications vehicle. Similar to a website, they will need to have a Twitter handle; otherwise, we’ll start seeing “Twittersquatting” happening.
  • Customer Engagement: Twitter is another way for your company to connect and engage with customers by following the customer’s brand, a specific department or individual for updates. This is especially true if your customers tend to be early adopters of technology. I recommend responding to appropriate tweets, especially when your company is mentioned or if people are discussing a related topic.
  • Industry Conversations: I recommend following key individuals, such as reporters, analysts and industry luminaries, who are relevant to your company. In this way, you can keep a pulse of topics important to them and provide insight from your company’s perspective.
  • Competitive Intelligence: Consider following individuals from competitive companies. This is one way for monitoring what competitors are doing and who they may be speaking with.
  • Corporate Marketing: And I purposely put this last. The first tendency is to only tweet updates about what your company is doing – new webinars, white papers, etc. While this is important, you need to balance this with tweets about industry topics that would be of interest to your followers or links to interesting articles. Remember, participate in conversations. It’s not a one-way marketing channel.  

Conclusion

While microblogging is still “new” to many marketers and public relationships professionals, it is quickly becoming a de facto need like a website. Since microblogs are bite-sized updates, a more intimate environment is created between the Twitterer and her followers.

 

A company that engages its audiences with microblogging can further increase its brand awareness, while creating a stronger community.

 

Retweet this Link

To make is easy for you to tweet this on Twitter, copy and paste this snippet:

RT – Using social media. Part – microblogging: http://twurl.nl/rorux8

 

technorati tags: Marketing Social Media Twitter Twhirl Online Reputation Management Brand Customer Competitive Intelligence PR Public Relations
del.icio.us tags: Marketing Social Media Twitter Twhirl Online Reputation Management Brand Customer Competitive Intelligence PR Public Relations
icerocket tags: Marketing Social Media Twitter Twhirl Online Reputation Management Brand Customer Competitive Intelligence PR Public Relations

 

All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Nov 25, 2008
csalomonlee

Gift Card Warning Email – Part 2

gift-certificateLast week, my cousin forwarded me an email to warn me about buying gift cards from several retailers this year. Wanting to pass along this friendly consumer warning, I posted the email with my thoughts on my blog.

 

Since then, I believe that I was duped into passing around false information. While this email may not be accurate, it was successful, as I did forward it to others and posted it on my blog. And if it is truly false, I was also intrigued by the response, as well as lack of response, by the retailers named on the list.

 

Why was the email successful

 

The Power of Fear

The email was partially successful because it is playing with our fears about this holiday season. With the current financial markets, layoffs and overall uncertainty of what will happen in a few months, many of us are tightening our belts this season. And since gift cards have become a popular to give gifts, many of us would’ve been concerned about buying something that wouldn’t be valuable after the new year.

 

Good Intentions

I don’t know how many people my cousin forwarded the email to; however, if I assumed that 50% of the people forwarded it on and an additional 50% forwarded it, this email could have been spread to several dozens more. We were all motivated by good intention to provide a friendly warning to friends during the holiday season.

 

Kernel of Truth

Most importantly, the emails had a kernel of truth in it. The news had covered news about prominent retailers going bankrupt this year, such as Sharper Image, Circuit City and Mervyn’s. The email further added to this semblance of truth with additional information about store closings by retailers. And the seemingly detailed information served to enhance the email’s validity.

 

Ease of Technology

More now than ever, it has become easier to spread inaccuracies online – hit forward to spread an email to your contact list or copy, paste and publish it on your blog. Others will record a quick message on their webcam and post it online. Technology has become so ubiquitous that it becomes even tougher to control the spread of misinformation.

 

The Net Net – Monitor Your Online Reputation is Even More Important

Since posting about this email on November 20th, I received two retailer comments.

 

AnnTaylor (November 20, 2008 at 8:09 pm”
I work for Ann Taylor Stores Corporation and wanted to assure you that Ann Taylor is a financially strong Company with a healthy balance sheet.

 

We already communicated early this year that we are closing a number of stores through 2010, but we continue to open new stores and have close to 1,000 stores in our fleet. Ann Taylor and LOFT Gift Cards are a great idea for gifting this holiday, and they can be redeemed at any of our stores or online.

 

Although the source of this viral email is questionable, we felt we should clarify the misleading information because we want our clients to always feel confident in their Ann Taylor purchases.”

 

While I applaud Ann Taylor for being the first to comment within a few hours of my post, I did inquire why no name was included with the comment. I thought this would add a personal element – you know, putting a face to the company. Regardless, I quickly updated my blog posting and this is when I started to question the veracity of the email. (Still waiting on response though from Ann Taylor PR regarding name…)

 

Jennifer, (November 23, 2008 at 7:34 am)

 

Wilsons Leather is NOT closing any stores. Wilsons Leather sold the company in August. All of the Wilsons Leather stores that were closing are already closed. The Outlet locations are still in business.

 

With Wilson Leather, a real person did respond to my post about 3 days after my initial posting. Is this soon enough or has the damage been done?

 

 

Conclusion – Be Careful with What You Post or Email

People are people. We tend to believe our friends and family when they send us emails out of good intentions. I would like to say that I will be better about the information that I get, but I can’t promise this. With the speed of email, blogs and video, corporate brands have to be more diligent about their online reputation.

 

While my blog doesn’t have the reach of others, Ann Taylor and Wilson Leather both recognized the value of posting a comment regardless. You never know what your customer is reading and from whom.

 

The others?  Well, despite my posting, I argue that not responding only further supports that the email may be accurate … at least for them.

 

What do you think? Anything else that helped to propel this email?

 

 

Pages:12»

About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

Favorite Service

FreshBooks

Ads by Google

Favorite Books

Digital Body Language by Steven Woods Twitterville

Marketing Blogs

Favorite Books

Favorite Services

Search Site