Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Why it's Easy to Differentiate B2B Online Marketing


Being a truly distinctive online business marketer in North America may actually be less difficult than you might imagine. Despite social media marketing's supposed popularity, many business-to-business (B2B) companies are apparently laggards.

Moreover, eMarketer reports that according to a recent market study few marketers have mastered the required skills -- 73 percent of B2B respondents who utilize popular online tools have less than two years of social media marketing experience.

March 2010 research from marketing automation firm Genius.com and BtoB magazine found that about one-half of business-oriented marketers are not using content marketing tools -- such as blogging and microblogging platforms.

The consumer-focused Facebook social network site was more popular, with nearly three-fifths of survey participants -- and business-focused social network LinkedIn was used by three-quarters of B2B marketers.

Researchers say social networks offer B2B companies a variety of opportunities. They can improve communication between customers, prospects and suppliers; aid collaboration between business partners; help with product development; and sometimes identify sales leads.

In fact, Business.com found in a 2009 study that those B2B marketers who do use social media tend to do so more extensively than their business-to-consumer (B2C) counterparts.

Those marketers with at least one profile were more likely to manage a presence on several sites than the general B2B respondents to the Genius.com survey, and were more likely than B2C companies to measure their online marketing success.

"While recent studies have shown that up to 90 percent of consumers are using social media to make their purchasing decisions, B2B marketers seem to be out of step and are using these tools much less frequently," said the Genius.com report author.

Therefore, today's savvy marketers who effectively utilize all available online digital marketing tools can easily differentiate themselves -- and their product offering -- from the majority of their legacy B2B marketing counterparts.