By Carol Casey
A new study evaluating the ROI for companies investing in Social Media and Inbound Marketing campaigns finds that engaging with customers online is over-rated. The study found that B2B customers do not generally search online and dollar-to-dollar, inbound marketing, content marketing, and participation in social media is a waste of time and labor. The study goes on to say that traditional outbound marketing and printed sales collateral are more effective at engaging with clients and potential clients than blogging, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media and web-based platforms.
Two martini lunches make me sleepy. I'd rather just have the blue-cheese stuffed olives.
When you watch an episode of Mad Men it is a blur of boozy 2-hour lunches where business is engaged, maintained, or cemented. Yes, lunches still take place in 2013, booze and cigarettes or not. But in Mad Men days, it was ALL about direct relationships, and pitches were limited to finite staff and time. There was no worldwide web where potential clients could find YOU. Check you out first. See your services. Meet your staff. Check out your portfolio.
Modern marketing tools have actually leveled the playing field in a revolutionary way so that business does not ONLY take place via privilege (earned or otherwise), prior relationship, and literal word of mouth. Modern marketing campaigns create content so that customers who don't have a personal reference find you on their own when they search for what they need on the web. Whether they are in an investigatory stage, assembling potential providers, or ready to make a purchase, companies can stand up their brand and provide helpful content that potential clients find in their search.
So the B2B company with a modest marketing budget can now become a significant player with the new power and reach inbound marketing, social media, and the internet have made available. This is especially true today because traditional marketing tools like trade shows and cold calling are losing effectiveness.
Who is left out in the cold and looking in the window?
The paradigm has shifted. The underprivileged and unconnected are now the companies who cede the whole big worldwide web to their competitors. In Mad Man parlance, they are letting competitors buy all the introductory lunches.
The social landscape for B2B companies is still taking place over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. But often the prospect is alone with his or her beverage of choice and sitting in front of a tablet, laptop, or smart phone.
Not that I would mind going to lunch with Jon Hamm...