Is Your B2B Social Media Program Based on Buyer Research? It Should Be

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Last month I had the opportunity present at Frost and Sullivan GIL 2015: Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, Calif. “GIL” stands for “Growth, Innovation and Leadership,” and the event was marked by dynamic speakers and C-levels attendees bridging a wide range of industries and company sizes.

Most of those at the event had a B2B focus, and I was asked to lead an interactive session on helping CMOs and other executives get a better grasp on social media and its relationship to lead generation. Understanding and leveraging social media in a measurable way has been a longstanding challenge for many B2B marketers.

I built the session around the importance of research to gain a better understanding of how to find your buyers, learn what’s important to them, and then to connect these insights with your brand’s strengths and competitive differentiation. I divided the audience into groups, and identified one individual within each group whose company had recently made a B2B purchase. The purchases ranged from CRM systems to web design vendors.

Then, I asked the rest of the group to pretend they were the marketing departments for the CRM system, web design service or other B2B vendor, and to interview the buyer they had the good fortune to have in their presence. Did they know what to ask? What questions and answers could help them do a better job as marketers? What could help them to build a social media program to connect with this buyer and other potential buyers?

We established a framework for asking questions and categorizing the answers to build a detailed persona for each group’s buyer. The next step was to then map these insights to a social media program that would connect with this buyer.

Are you doing buyer research to inform your B2B marketing programs? If you’re not, you should be. Contact the team at Idea Grove to learn more about buyer-driven PR and marketing programs.

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Don’t Be Boring, and Other Advice for B2B Marketers

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I was featured this week in Media Shower’s “10,000 Hours in 10 Minutes” interview series.  Read an excerpt below, or the full interview here.

We asked Scott Baradell, president and founder of tech PR firm Idea Grove, what piece of advice he finds himself repeating over and over again to clients.

His response? “Don’t be boring; come up with truly interesting stories to tell,” he says. “And don’t waste effort; repurpose those great ideas across every channel your ideal customer sees and experiences” …

What do you think are the biggest changes and/or challenges facing those in PR today?

The biggest opportunity is that inbound marketing is the fastest-growing segment of corporate marketing budgets, and inbound marketing programs are best led by PR strategy – in particular, thought leadership strategy.

The biggest challenge is that most PR practitioners don’t have a background or even an interest in the data and analytics required to transform a thought leadership strategy into an ROI-generating marketing campaign. Many PR people shudder at the very thought of being held accountable by the increased transparency of the online channel. Increasingly, PR professionals need to be both right-brain and left-brain thinkers to be successful …

What questions should companies ask themselves to figure out a compelling story for their brand?

You’ve really got to stop drinking the company Kool-Aid and start looking at story ideas from the perspective of the outside world. That’s why agencies can be such valuable partners to in-house marketing and PR teams. A company can hire all the writers in the world; but too often, once they are absorbed into a company’s culture, their ability to look at things from an outside perspective can be lost, and the value diminishes greatly.

Read the interview.

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Watch My Session at the Digital All Stars Virtual Summit

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Earlier this week, Online Marketing Institute (OMI), together with Startup Marketing Conference, staged an educational event called the Digital All Stars Virtual Summit.  I contributed a session on the topic of the integration of public relations and SEO processes.

The event description:

OMI has assembled the absolute all stars of digital, social and mobile to share their growth hacking secrets. Learn the tactics that have taken companies from zero to hero, from thousands to millions and from millions to billions.

Attendees  will get deep insights on:

  • Growing big market share from all digital channels
  • Exponential traffic increases using the Trifecta: search, content & social
  • Easy & simple strategies to make digital & social work for your business

This virtual event is jam-packed with great learnings from over 20 courses, and the world’s top digital experts sharing their growth hacking tips.

Register to access the sessions here. It’s free.

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Interview with Gini Dietrich at Spin Sucks

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Gini Dietrich, head poobah for Arment Dietrich and the very popular Spin Sucks blog, was kind enough to interview me recently in her Spin Sucks Inquisition series. Here’s an excerpt:

Gini: What Industry Advice or Practice Would You Most Like to Cry Foul On?

Scott: I’m tired of hearing about “content.” I truly, truly am. And I say that as the head of a PR agency that has distinguished itself through our focus on content marketing. The term “content” itself is a very commoditizing way to describe the result of what should be a highly strategic, creative process. The term “content” suggests our job is to make widgets when we should be making, if not art, at least something closer to art than widgets. The whole reason Idea Grove entered the content marketing space is to leverage the creative thinking that drives our PR programs to help our clients in other ways.

Full interview here. Thanks Gini!

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Interview with Digital Marketing Radio

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I recently had the honor of being interviewed by David Bain for his well-produced podcast, Digital Marketing Radio.  Among other topics, we talked about the integration of PR with digital marketing strategy.

Listen here.

 

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