Sunday, January 24, 2010

B2B Content Marketing for SMB Businesses

A wonderful blog on B2B marketing using online medium especially through social media. This is very timely as many sceptics believe that social media marketing can be used only for B2C.The essence of this article is that B2B marketers need to focus on strong content strategy and innovative ways of building relationships. Sounds so simple... but with some dedicated efforts. Thanks Bernie for this post

B2B Content Marketing for SMB Businesses

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Know your Customer(KYC) - B2I2C?

I had a chance to see this commercial on advertiser vs consumer.The clip was part of a presentation shown at Idea Forum 2007. Although this commercial is dated, I still find it relevant in today's marketing world.The best part is that some marketers are still ignorant about some colossal mistakes. To name a few:

1. Marketers seek confirmation to their assumptions/theories than seek information when they go to a market or talk to a customer - When you see this ad, you will find couple of instances that justifies this statement

2.Outbound Marketing or interruption marketing is still preferred over inbound marketing - Organizations may get some leads from Outbound telemarketing but end up irritating the customer. This has an impact on brand.

3. Know your customer(KYC) doesn't necessarily mean just demographics. Today, we have too many tools to understand usage, behavior etc and present relevant offer to customers.But the last mile is certainly about humanizing such interactions to make it meaningful.I remember an anecdote mentioned by my client when he visited India. He stayed in a 5 star hotel. During his first visit, he mentioned to the hotel staff that he had mosquitoes in his room. The hotel staff were apologetic and made necessary arrangements to satisfy him. The next time he came to India after 2 years, he stayed in the same hotel and to his surprise he saw a liquid mosquito repellent in his room even before he checked in. I guess the surprise part was this effort by the hotel staff and he is now a loyal customer of Taj.

4. Irrelevant retention or promotional offers despite proper tracking for personalization. Especially in website interactions, I am not a big fan of tracking every move of the customer and achieve implicit personalization.This is truly a privacy issue.Lets set it aside. Despite tracking the customer, most often customers get irrelevant offers because these are product mappings done by marketers in the cross sell/up-sell tool(CRM/ecommerce) without understanding customer expectations.

All this leads to one big revelation in my mind. In the Marketing 1.0 school, marketers did agree that KYC is the most important aspect of marketing but some how fell into the trap of using more tools and technologies without much of effort to interact with customers for better understanding.

In the Marketing 2.0 ( social Media Marketing)paradigm, the wow in the beginning was on the various social media tools, technologies and platforms( Facebook, twitter).But customer anonymity,change of market/customer dynamics has forced marketers to understand forces which influences a customer to buy and sell.This is being achieved through meaningful interactions/collaboration with customers.Guess the paradigm has changed from just B2B/B2C to B2I2C ( Business to Influencer to Customers)

KYC is a continuous process and is constantly evolving. As sensible marketers, we need to let go of some archaic approaches to survive in this new paradigm.