Mitch JoelMitch Joel, digital expert, author of Six Pixels of Separation and president of Twist Image, an award-winning digital marketing and communications agency, gave one of the keynote talks at the Marketing Profs B2B Forum earlier this week. The following is a live-blogged transcript of his presentation called How B2B Connects In A Connected World.

B2B companies need to focus on the present, not the future. How are companies connecting with customers and growing their business? Hernan Cortes arrived in Mexico and burned the ships as a way to say that there is no going back. New media ads are the same tactics with the same objectives as traditional ads, but in a whole new context. Can you burn your ships and really re-invent your marketing approaches? Ctl-Alt-Del to reboot your marketing, rather than burn the ships.

Since 2007 the amount of people clicking on banner ads has dropped by 50%. Maybe these are brand engagements ads, and we're not meant to click on them anyway.

How we got here
81% of online holiday shoppers read online customers reviews. Reviews from individuals, like Sarah from Boston wearing kleenex boxes for shoes, have more relevance than those from the publisher of a book. Many CEOs don't understand the power of social media until they search the web for videos, reviews, Twitter updates about their brand. Engines of efficacy work better for B2B than anything. The iPad can change how your business communicates, as sales people can sit down with customers and more easily show information quicker than ever.

We live in the most branded generation ever and because of digital channels, people become even more loyal due to the expanding relationships. Everyone is getting online. There are more grandparents than high school students on Facebook. It's not longer about passively surfing, but it's about doing, sharing, socializing, collaborating, and most of all, creating. Business people need to understand that everyone has a different experience online, even on the same platforms.

Marketing is getting back to real interactions between real people. Opening up and sharing allows people to find and share your information. Value in digital channels is not how many people you get in front of, but getting in front of the right people. What do you do if no one talks about your brand? This is the opportunity for your company to start the conversation.

The band Journey was one of the biggest bands in the 1980s. And singer, Steve Perry quits for creative difference. How do they replace him? And how does someone get in front of the band to audition as a new singer? The guitarist in the band comes across a video similar to this one of an unknown covering Journey songs. He watches it and leaves a comment that he wants to meet the singer. This unknown singer becomes the new lead singer in the band and they are bigger than ever.

You no longer need permission to go out and find what you need online. The opportunities to build these relationships are more powerful than ever before. What does marketing look like when you expand from one-to-many, or even one-to-one, but in a group expression environment? There may be a loss of control in the online world, but you still control things like products, services, pricing and partners. Customers still control whether they buy from you and they also control what they say about you.

Volume of voice is what has changed. It now goes to 11 and you have more of chance to be heard. Stop marketing and start publishing content, whether it is text, audio, video. Quoting Chris Anderson of Wired, " Your brand is not what you say, but it is what Google says it is." Make sure the experience is real and that it may not take place on your home page. Search results may send prospects to a page 60 levels deep in the site and they never see your home page. Every page on your site must represent your brand.

Mind blowing stats



  • Every day 20% of Google searches are ones that have never been done before.


  • Half of all youtube's audience is over 24.



Provocations
Marketing money is spent the wrong way. As people are searching for solutions that you provide, are you there and are you great? What if you focus all your marketing budget on getting found by people who are looking for you? You haven't evolved just because you are on digital platform. Digital Darwinism, where you win, occurs by being relevant, interesting and open.

Six Points of Separation
1. Accept It
2. Everything is "with" not "instead of"
3. Don't be fleeting. Build, share and grow
4. Move towards openness between customers and employees
5. It's attitudinal not generational
6. Upload a video to Youtube. Do something new now!

When planning for online marketing, look at these three types of conversations


  • Internal Conversation



  • One-to-One Conversations



  • One-to-Many Conversations



What are you doing in your business to change the way you marketing and move into the digital space to make connections?

This post originally published on SocialMediaB2B.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeffrey L. Cohen is a Social Strategist at Radian6, a salesforce.com company. Radian6’s social media monitoring software helps businesses listen, discover, measure and engage in conversations across the social web. Jeff works with B2B and B2C enterprise companies to assess their social media strategy and adoption, and advises them on how social media marketing, communications and engagement can help them meet their business objectives. With more than 20 years of marketing experience, Jeff has provided strategic counsel to B2B and B2C companies on both the client and agency sides. He is co-author of The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and More (Wiley), the definitive guide for B2B marketers who want to master social media and drive leads. Jeff is also the co-founder and Managing Editor of SocialMediaB2B.com, the leading online resource for social media’s impact on B2B marketing. Find out more information at jeffreylcohen.com and follow him on Twitter @jeffreylcohen.