How B2B marketers should think about social media
We are pleased to bring you the latest episode in our Beyond the Hype podcast series. For this podcast, I sat down with Lois Paul and Ed Brice, SVP of Worldwide Marketing for Lumension Security, an LP&P client, to discuss the impact that social media is having on B2B marketing. Ed is a big believer in social media and blogs regularly about how it is changing the game for marketers.
Our conversation started with a look at short-term vs. long-term thinking in terms of marketing strategy, with Lois and Ed discussing the results of a recent survey of 300 CMO's conducted by Spencer Stewart. The research revealed that a majority of marketing chiefs are focused on short-term planning versus long-term strategy. Lois summarized the survey, which she also blogged about recently, by stating that while most CMO's are in good shape to drive growth when the downturn subsides, it is concerning that they also are measuring success by how much they are cutting expenses. Ed added his perspective that every marketing leader is under pressure to deliver more with greater efficiencies. This is leading to a shift in tactics where he is investing more in online marketing, and optimizing the mix of offline and online as a way to achieve efficiencies now and to be set up for growth in the future.
From there the conversation shifted to how marketers should start thinking about social media as a way to enhance the identity of a company. Ed discussed how B2B marketers are getting frozen by figuring out what tools they should be using. His recommended approach is to first answer the question, "Do I want to have a conversation with my ecosystem -- my partners, my customers, my prospects and even to a certain extent my competitors?" He feels that for most B2B tech companies, customers or prospects will talk about them online, and even if there is a negative or derogatory comment, Ed sees that as an opportunity and not something to avoid. In terms of ROI, he feels like marketers shouldn't get consumed with it, that you don't need to have an ROI for having a conversation. Ed also discussed how the various social media channels his company has established work together to "give their message more lift" and that's what delivers the return.
This is the first part of the discussion. In part 2, which we'll bring to you tomorrow, Ed and Lois talk in more depth about the role of content marketing in this new paradigm.
In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this podcast. We'd love to continue the conversation on this subject with you here, as well as on Ed's blog.