I’ve been saying for some time now that B-to-B marketers, and especially those in the industrial section, need to start embracing social media. Recently BtoB magazine hosted a Netmarketing breakfast in New York. Among the panel members were: Paul Dunay – Avaya Inc., Robert DeRobertis – GP DSP division of Analog devices, Rick Short – Indium Corp. and Gary Spangler – Dupont Electronic and Communications Technologies. Here are some nuggets from the meeting for you to ponder on:
- Paul Dunay said, “You must bring valuable content that adds to the discussion. We’re using Twitter as a teaser channel, Facebook as a hub of information, Forums as a type of help desk and Blogs as our corporate voice.”
- Robert DeRobertis said, “You have to link your social marketing to financial results, noting that internal transparency helps guide both strategic and budgetary direction.” DeRobertis’ program is driven by an understanding of his customers’ buying process which means staying up on important influencers and offering “test drives” which are special offers to see how their audience reacts.
- Gary Spangler cautioned the audience to go slow and have a plan for social media. “The social train is coming, but you don’t have to get on all the cars at once.”
- Rick Short uses real employees in his outbound programs, making his company more human and approachable. “Turn your company inside out. Customers want transparency, they want the real deal.”
They all agreed that your strategy should include listening, supporting customers, embracing product ideas and energizing the communities that you serve.