Down with B2B, YEAH YOU KNOW ME


I have been doing B2C Digital Marketing for years and originally became intrigued with B2B practices years ago when I took a contractual position with a company. I see a lot of confusion from people online about the two so I figured why not clarify some of this confusion up. So here is where my research started with B2B marketing practices – My first day on the job at this firm, I did a quick scan of their social media presence and realized the company was missing out on some golden opportunities. It’s an oversight that I believe many companies make but after writing up a detailed report and reading “B2B Digital Marketing” by Michael Miller, I wanted to share some of the information I learned.

First, what do you think of when I say the term “B2B” (Business-to-Business)? Chances are you think of the picture below; one business trying to get another company’s business or one business interacting with another business.
Wrong.

In reality, it’s much more like this picture …with humans. We’re all human and we crave interaction. Buildings don’t talk to each other, humans do so build a relationship and watch that foster into increased traffic, new business relationships, etc.

Second, so I just treat business customers like my everyday average customers that buy my products? Wrong.

B2B Digital Marketing is different than B2C because customers make decisions based off emotion whereas business customers make decisions based off logic. It takes different approaches to appeal to a certain kind of customer. Think about your favorite fast food place. Ok, you’re healthy I get it but honestly just think about a quick fast food place you like to go. Now check out their presence on Twitter. Chances are you’ll see them interacting with their customers: retweeting, replying, “favoriting” tweets, and so on.

Now look at a company, like Pfizer Inc. on Twitter. You see the difference? Pfizer uses Twitter to inform their mix of customers about new clients, awards won, company information and Pfizer still does it with a sense of humor – #LetsGetOld. This is just one B2B approach to digital marketing because just as there are many different social media platforms, there should be different techniques for each one.  Unlike B2C where you are trying to sell a product or appeal to a consumer, B2B strives to create a long-lasting, beneficial relationship with other business customers by showcasing what their company can do for you.

Third, where do I begin? You begin by stepping away from traditional media and realize that digital marketing works in a way that traditional media can’t with B2B. Digital marketing allows for a two-way conversation which means when a potential business customer reaches out via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. you, the company, can respond back and create a conversational relationship. Sure, you may still find traditional media works for you but you can’t talk to a newspaper; well you can, but it doesn’t talk back – trust me.

B2B Digital Marketing is not going away so I encourage anyone interested in social media or digital advertising at all, to check out Miller’s book. It’s a great read and one strong statistic I want to throw out before I end this post is that “71% of B2B purchases started with a web search.” (Marketing Sherpa) That’s a strong figure. So if you’re a company and not targeting other companies with relationship-focused methods using digital marketing techniques, you might want to take a look at some of your competition because chances are they’re following this approach.

Three Big Brands Using Social

Social marketing is here to stay and it’s only going to get bigger.

Why?

People use social media for many reasons but in my opinion, the common denominator is a connection. The world is crazy, busy, always going but it feels good to say something or have an opinion that someone else can relate to or add to somewhere out there. The brands I’m going to talk about understand this idea but each one also has its own approach based on its purpose.

1.) Pfizer “Get Old” #LetsGetOld

No one likes to think of getting old. But why? In my opinion, we’re scared to talk about it. Ignoring or shying away from situations doesn’t make things better but instead it makes you anxious for what’s to come.

Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, came along and started the conversation in a non-intrusive manner. Not only did Pfizer get people of all ages talking about getting old but it worked with other leading organizations, like National Alliance for Caregiving Association, Men’s Health Network, Society for Women’s Health Research and more to help add to the conversation.

Pfizer isn’t pushing its products but instead becoming an authoritative voice (or thought leader) in the “aging” space. Sure, there’s AARP and other organizations dedicated to the more mature, but Pfizer included everyone in this campaign, used multiple touch points and lightened the mood around aging. Some examples of what people were saying range from “I want to stay healthy for my two daughters”, “I plan to get old with joy, strength and vigor” or “I want to get old having fun.”

Originally started by SS+K (Shepardson, Stern & Kaminsky) agency with an integrated approach. Current AOR: Edelman continues with its PR efforts.

Platforms: Twitter, Facebook

2.) Lowe’s “Fix in Six” #LowesFixInSix

Who hasn’t been picking up or cleaning when you thought to yourself, “Ugh, there’s got to be a better way to do this!”

Lowe’s, a retail home improvement store, showed us how we can turn every day items into problem solvers through video. BBDO worked with Lowe’s to create Vines (six second videos) and with the promotional hashtag #LowesFixInSix.

Some of my favorite tips include using a hair dryer to get rid of stickers on purchased items, lemon juice to get rust stains off knives or pillow cases to house your sheet sets.

Again, the company isn’t dominantly pushing its product but hopes to come to the top of your mind next time you think of doing some home improvement. And hey, if you need some home improvement materials why not head to Lowe’s? It’s a non-forced entry into our every day lives and it’s helpful information. Win win.

Agency: BBDO and Meagan Cignoli

Platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Vine

3.) Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts is a brand that is just doing it right all around. I remember my senior year in my Social Media in Strategic Communication class, we organized ourselves in groups to work on a final project. Each group chose a brand and created a mock social plan. While our group chose CPG (consumer product goods) and certainly noticed Dunkin’ Donuts in this space, we went with one of its competitors for two reasons: we wanted to show through our research that we acknowledged an area of weakness, had a solution and gave examples of execution. Plus we like a challenge.

I wanted to tell that brief story because Dunkin’ Donuts has the reigns of their social engagement from Facebook, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and counting. What makes them stand out is the fun nature of its engagement.

Dunkin’ Donuts uses campaigns like any other brand would, such as #MyDunkin, but the personal or thoughtful posts of people sharing stories or experiences around Dunkin’ Donuts continues with or without these campaigns. Pictures of products, videos of recipes, and personal stories are just some of the ways the brand draws you in and gets you to take notice.

So there you have some of the top brands I’ve been noticing in social media. Remember to have fun with it!

The Campaign of My Life


Whether or not it has been my intention, nothing I’ve done in life has been subtle. So why should my job-hunt process be any different? From Seattle, New York and even Paris, TV stations and advertising agencies will receive Press Release Kits about the #HireMike campaign tomorrow morning, Monday, April 15.

The idea for the campaign literally came three days ago when I was thinking about my next move for sending out resumes because I graduate next month. I had only sent out three resumes over the course of a month and the wait was killing me. I am looking for a junior-level/asst. director position in social media so why not use…SOCIAL MEDIA.

As a non-traditional student graduating from one of the top Journalism schools in the country, I am used to putting myself out there with my active school involvement at The University of Kansas but this campaign is a little different. I’ve had friends ask me if I think it will be a success or not and frankly, I don’t know. I know that I have planned and done everything I can to execute this campaign so time will tell. One thing is certain, I am confident enough in my skills to at least attempt this #HireMike campaign.

One thing I hate is when people say that you can’t expect to find your dream job right after your graduate. If that’s the case, then what’s the point of going to college, working hard and stacking up your resume? The truth is you can find your dream job. I mentioned that I am a non-traditional student and while there will be more to come this week about that story, I promised myself that once I came back to college I was going to do everything in my power to succeed. The #HireMike campaign isn’t measured by becoming viral or not but whether I catch the eyes of my dream agency and show just how much I know how to use social media to create engagement, tailor a message for a specific platform and employ creative tactics.

So please wish me luck and don’t forget, #HireMike!

Schedule:
Monday – Campaign begins. (Intro YouTube video, Vine resume (about me), Instagram photos, etc.)
Tuesday – Will talk about how the first day of the campaign went.
Wednesday – Vine resume (skills)
Thursday – Update everyone on status of campaign and if I’ve taken any offers.
Friday – Vine resume (recommendations), public Google hangout to talk about campaign.

Disclose Endorsed Tweets or Pay the Price

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created Dot Com guidelines for social media activity and the rules affect all of us.

As a consumer, the FTC has your back to prevent deceptive advertising or business practices. Say for example a celebrity, Kim Kardashian, gets paid for an endorsement from Carl’s Jr. If Carl’s Jr. is paying Kim to tweet about how good their food is, Kim needs to disclose this in her tweet. How? People are now required to put (Ad) at the end of their tweets to distinguish between genuine opinion and paid endorsements. This example is actually true and it might surprise you how much she gets paid per tweet. The answer? $10,000. You can check out more info here: http://www.blackbookmag.com/nightlife/kim-kardashian-paid-10000-per-burger-tweet-1.34880

If a blogger is getting free samples of a product to test and write about, the blogger must disclose this information on their blog. Fines range but can go all the way up to $11,000 per post that is not clearly stated it was an endorsement.

As a marketer, the FTC is taking away your veil of anonymity. I am an advertising guy and that encompasses many things: public relations, design, creative strategy, social media, content strategy, research, etc. and through all of my work I have learned people (consumers) need to feel like they can trust you before they buy from you. The best way to do this is to be transparent and talk to consumers like you would someone in passing.

If you, a company or brand, disguise your advertising behind a celebrity or another high-profile individual, that is a sure way to get consumers to distrust you. I think it’s a great idea that the FTC created these guidelines in 2000. The rules just got updated last month too.

Situation: I had to ask my professor this question because I needed clarification but I want to see what you guys think before I tell you the answer.
I get paid by a few clients in my local city to control their social media content. I am passionate about these brands obviously or I would not have taken them as clients or approached them in the first place. So my question was, when I tweet or post about them do I have to disclose that I am getting paid by the companies to do their social media. What do you think?

Answer: The answer is no because I am not getting paid for that direct tweet or post. I am getting paid to be the “voice” of the brand. If I want to tweet about how good my client’s food is on my own personal account, I have that right. And as I once tweeted, as an individual I will NEVER mention a brand on my social media channels if I am not already using the products or believe in a company. I do not like liars and neither does anyone else.

So I hope this post gave you some more information about social media FTC guidelines and if you have any further questions, please feel free to comment below. Thanks for reading and if you’d like to read more about paid endorsements, here’s an article from Business Insider: FTC Wants Celebrities To Disclose Twitter Endorsements.