I’m due to attend the latest Media140 conference in London on Monday (26 October), hoping to learn more about the rapidly changing world of customer engagement with social media, and being promised “warts and all” stories directly from brands like EasyJet and Innocent drinks.
I think B2B PR and marketing people have learned a lot from B2C communicators. Over the past 20 years or so, I’ve heard more and more marketing professionals from companies in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector talk knowledgeably about brand management and corporate reputation. While “who you know” still counts for something in many relationships, particularly in the professional services sector, there has been a growing awareness of the need for companies to adopt a professional approach to all aspects of their marketing, from corporate identity right through to selling and presentation skills.
The “five Ps” (Product, Price, Place, Promotion and People) are now firmly embedded in the thinking of many AEC and property marketing folk, but the changing media landscape is prompting a reappraisal of some of those “Ps”. Last week, for instance, the CIMCIG/IBP event (post) debated the future of print media and the growth of online media as an alternative channel for advertising and other promotional activities. Clearly, B2B marketeers are looking for guidance on what works online.
- Can we deliver new products or services online?
- Does online open up new international markets?
- How will the promotional mix change to engage more direct with buyers of our goods and services?
- What is the right balance between corporate brand and individual personality when deploying social media? (A new focus on “Who you know” and personal brands, perhaps?)
- How do we generate ‘word of mouse’ from influencers (see post), or influence customer-to-customer dialogue?
- How do we manage negative or hostile feedback?
These are just some of the areas where I think B2B marketeers may be able to learn from B2C, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the pointers I pick up on Monday.
(Coincidentally, Media140 is being held at the Royal Institute of British Architects, where I will also be the following day for #RIBAforum09. Wonder if I will be able to apply anything from Media140 to brand management for architects?)