Last week I attended Enterprise Marketing 2.0 (#EM20) in Amsterdam. Speakers from amongst others DSM, Ericsson, Philips, Dassault Systemes, DHL/ Deutsche Post shared their insights into how to leverage social media in new B2B marketing.

ROI as red thread

The red thread at #EM20: the omnipresent ‘ROI in social media marketing’ question. Most speakers either referred to strong management belief in new media and social business or showed a practical approach to showing marketing value by counting progress ‘along the way’. At DSM’s Excellence in Marketing & Sales, marketing is thought of as a cost, not as an investment. DSM therefore has come to view ROI as just one metric and in most cases the wrong one. Although conversion is central in DSM’s commercial paradigm, Rob den Rooijen and Menno Lijkendijk underline this one question: “if you had 1 euro more to spend, where would you spend it?’. Quite valuable is DSM’s (and Philips’ too) pragmatic view on customer engagement. Rather than marketing doing a handover ‘asap’ to sales, why shouldn’t marketing not further nurture the relationship with the prospect in order to drive conversion down the funnel? Customer engagement indeed is what DSM got when taking Dyneema to end customers (sailing boat owners) in a social campaign.

Great content helps to build your story

90% of all (eventual) B2B decisions is based on information found online. Great online content not only helps solutions to be found, but also stories to be built and shared. Hence the emphasis B2B players like Ericsson and Dassault Systems are placing on content. Ericsson’s Technology for Good campaign is one such example. The Swedish company takes a very qualitative approach to measuring returns, one could say Ericsson uses Return on Attention as KPI: newsletter subscriptions, customer feedback and speaker engagements are preferred metrics to more quantitative ones. Dassault Systemes prove that B2B solutions can be sexy too. Not just is their corporate logo almost as visually appealing as French Automaker’s Citroen’s DS type logo, great video cartoons have helped this French company in Product Lifecycle Management to build awareness and an online fan base. Dassault Systemes take an incremental approach to measuring progress: quantitative measurements precede qualitative analyses which in turn lead to measuring ROI. Just how DS comes to measurable ROI remained unanswered. Leads coming in via social media are considered in isolation from other leads showing social media is in some cases still not part of the integral mix or integral analysis.

Focusing on 1% issues or on NPS opportunities in 99%?

Customer loyalty was not as frequently mentioned as one would expect. Deutsche Post/ DHL did refer to loyalty and internal (!) NPS as a key driver of any marketing campaign. Some 95% of colleagues refer positively to the DHL social media programme. ROI remains unknown. DHL has an extensive social media programme including visual dashboards to management to also include tangible complaints and issues. Interestingly enough, the key focus is solely on the 1% of cases where something goes wrong. Or more precisely, the X% of this 1% that actually whines and complains. With an impressive track record of 99% of all mail delivered on the right time, in the right place and intact. No mean feat that this German postal giant could far better leverage by reaching out to the (super)promoters within this population. DHL’s head of social media Christian Maybaum: “it’s hard to find enthusiastic promoters for a low interest product.” Personally I am convinced there are really enthusiastic customers in any market. They may just need a little nudge to post their video, quote online as part of an inspiring platform or competition.

Avoiding the B2B and B2C pigeonholes

One final comment on #EM20: KGS again did a fine job in bringing together a rich blend of Dutch and international companies, speakers and participants in social business. I must admit that I too (way too easily in hindsight) accepted to be part of the B2B stream and therefore went to this lecture room. I’d welcome an event that would try to get the following question answered: “why do we like to pigeonhole ourselves in the B2B or B2C box and – more importantly still – what can B2B marketeers learn from B2C / FMCG cases and marketeers in social media marketing (and vice versa)?!”

See #EM20 Twitter list for your convenience or search Twitter for more using hashtag #EM20.

B2B marketing

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