B2B Merchants to Use More Earned Media, Inbound Marketing

B2B operators are intent on reaching prospects through a number of marketing channels and then measuring the results of their attempts. This strategy has long been called direct marketing. But B2B direct marketing is about to undergo some changes as the following factors are capturing the attention of chief decision-makers:

  • Social analytics: The additional information streaming from social media channels is being analyzed and leveraged to help B2B marketers understand client behavior and then adjust promotional campaigns.
  • Globalization and privacy: More B2B operators are now entering global markets. As they do so, they must remember the strict privacy laws some local marketers have put in place and adjust direct marketing tactics to be sure they are getting permission or opt-​in consents to track activity online.
  • Crowd-​based data collection: Marketers can tap into the wisdom and expertise of professionals who bid to offer services such as developing collateral.
  • Direct Mail: Despite the looming troubles for the U.S. Post Service, direct mail is becoming more sophisticated with tools such as segmentation, personalization and list-​building. As a result, direct marketers can make direct mail more of a ‘niche-​oriented channel’ instead of using this traditional tool for mass marketing.
  • Email: Conversion rates continue to fall so marketers will be looking for ways to make this tool less about batch mailing and more about selectivity.

Kevin Kerner, managing director‑U.S. at direct marketing agency Mason Zimbler, Austin, Texas, a division of Harte-​Hanks Inc. may have it right when he notes that the direct marketing tactics for B2B are changing and says ”Earned media and inbound marketing will become the primary vehicles for b2b marketers.”

[Source: Hosford, Christopher. Shifting direct landscape requires quick response. Btobonline. 3 Oct. 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.