Monday, June 16, 2008

B2B and social media marketing: how do they fare in "recession"?

There is a lot of talk these days on how companies (and, particularly, small businesses and individuals) should adjust their marketing and self-salesmanship, in areas like B2B (“business to business”) and in social media marketing.

For example, the blog “Marketto: Modern B2B Marketing” has a position paper from June 14, “7 Strategies for B2B Marketing During a Recession,” here. The paper discusses the hype that we may not be in a technical recession yet, but most “average” consumers behave as if we are in one, and many are severely stressed by the food and gas price increases, the mortgage mess, and job losses. Indeed, the way economic numbers are weighted tends to hide this fact. The paper believes that spending in conventional broadcast or “interruption” or “push” marketing (perhaps best known as expensive network television commercials) could drop (that’s not good news for a lot of media companies), “legitimate” grass roots marketing by email, on the web on blogs, and particularly through social networks may increase. In fact, I’ve noticed an increase in emails about referral lists and leads, common in insurance and financial planning sales, and the level of sophistication in tracking leads has grown. Many of the emails leave the impression that a lot of business is “personal” or “social” in nature, and, while customer service is important, does not seem to depend a lot on originality of content. An example of a company that represents this idea of B2B is “Fierce Markets”, the name of which plays on the idea that “fierce” was one of Winston Churchill’s buzzwords.

There is also a recent article, “What is involved in social media marketing?” on TraffikID, here. It is very difficult to be “The Messenger” with “breaking news” so it seems to be more important to package new material in a branded, catchy way to get the attention of users in online social situations, particularly with effective entry pages.

Along the lines of marketing, I'd like to pass on this source from the insurance business, the "Agent Broker Training Center," Michael Beck, Insurance & Advisor Coach, "Stop Interviewing Potential Agents!", link here. An agent is not an "employee"; he or she is a business owner, but the business often is selling something that someone else developed. I wouldn't want to do just this; I would rather "develop" the concept, product or service and only then sell it. So I would not be his ideal prospect. This makes interesting reading.

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