FIR B2B

Hosted by Paul Gillin and Allan Schoenberg, FIR B2B will cover the latest news in B2B communications, interview practitioners at innovative companies, and present weekly ideas and tips for making the most of online and in-person conversations. Paul is a veteran B2B journalist and co-author of the 2011 book, "Social Marketing to the Business Customer"; Allan is the London-based Executive Director of Corporate Communications at CME Group.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

FIR B2B #12: Most Branded Content is Terrible – But It’s Getting Better

FIR B2BAllan Schoenberg is still transitioning to his new role at TIAA-CREF, so Paul anchors the podcast solo this week. In this episode:

News & Trends

An overseas trip last week yielded important lessons about how social media is used differently in other countries. In Germany, a company called Transcat devotes a full 50% of its marketing budget to social media and tracks everything with rigid precision. The managing director says social leads convert at two to three times the rate of leads that come in through conventional marketing or search. a French company called Kalista has more than 1,500 Google ad words terms identified. That, combined with their blog, is yielding a gusher of leads.

One of the secrets is that these companies operate in small, local geographies where search engine results can pay big dividends when customers are looking for nearby partners. Paul’s trip made it clear that, when it comes to social media, European firms are no stragglers.

Shel and Neville reported last week on a TechCruch article on the growing momentum of vertical professional social networks, some of which are pulling in eight-figure financing deals. Every hear of Doximity, RallyPoint or GitHub? They’re attracting the kind of deep professional interactions that LinkedIn can’t. Are we on the verge of an explosion of activity and professional social networks? How will LinkedIn compete? One thing is clear: Marketers have to be aware of the places their customers are gathering, even if those sites aren’t household names.

Special Guest: Michael Brenner

Our special guest is Michael Brenner, Head of Strategy for the content marketing platform NewsCred and one of the prime architects of the wildly successful social media strategy at the software giant SAP. Michael tells us why most branded content is so bad and why storytelling must become a core competency of marketers trying to reach customers who just don’t want to listen to pitches any more. Storytelling doesn’t mean focusing just on your own stories. SAP’s Business Innovation blog features issues that matter to its customers, and promotions for SAP are strictly verboten.

“The large majority of branded content is absolutely terrible,” Michael says. But the situation is improving. “Brands are still learning how to become storytellers and it demands a dramatic shift in approach.” That means putting the customers’ best interests first. And yes, curation is a valuable tool. Brands can perform a service by amplifying the best content in the areas customers care about.

Follow Michael on Twitter.

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About Your Hosts

Paul GillinPaul Gillin is a veteran technology journalist and a thought leader in new media. Since 2005, he has advised marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach buyers cost-effectively. He is the author or co-author of five books, including Social Marketing to the Business Customer (2011), the first book devoted entirely to B2B social media marketing. He is also a social media trainer and coach at Profitecture, a training firm for B2B companies and their channel partners.

Allan SchoenbergAllan Schoenberg is based Vice President, Corporate Public Relations and Communications at TIAA-CREF in New York. As part of the firm’s Enterprise Communications team within Marketing, this role helps the team drive firm-wide corporate communications, employee communications, reputation and crises management, social media, CEO positioning and public policy communications. He has more than 20 years of experience in B2B communications, including his work for Accenture, Edelman Worldwide, Fleishman Hillard and CME Group..

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

FIR B2B is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications,serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by Paul Gillin on 07/15 at 04:56 PM
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

FIR B2B #11: Rewarding Marketers for – Gasp! – Sales Results

FIR B2BPaul Gillin and Allan Schoenberg host the FIR B2B podcast. In this episode:

News & Trends

The collaborative economy presents new opportunities for efficiency by leveraging resources across multiple clients so people, equipment and space don’t go unused. It’s a huge trend that’s being brilliantly documented by Jeremiah Owyang and exemplified by such high profile startups as Airbnb and Uber, and it’s coming to B2B. However, outsourcing your brand to people you may never even meet carries some risks. One company we know employs contract writers through a content marketing agency and has never even met some of the people who have been writing under its brand for years. We think there’s an ugly downside to the sharing economy that B2B executives need to consider.

McKinsey just published research about the digital firm of the future and the need for companies to embrace digital media at every level. Digital isn’t something you can bolt onto the company as an afterthought; it’s central to providing the collaboration that makes your internal processes more efficient and to forming closer bonds with your customers. We know that a lot of companies give lip service to digital integration but few have accomplished it. The recent Innovation report from the New York Times highlighted the fact that even companies that are thought of as leaders can be mired in the past.

Special Guest: Debbie Qaqish, Revenue Marketer

Our special guest is Debbie Qaqish, a 30-year veteran of B2B sales and marketing, co-founder of Pedowitz Group and a leader in helping organizations connect marketing to revenue. She’s also the author of the book Rise of the Revenue Marketer: An Executive Playbook.

Revenue marketing is about tying marketing activities to bottom-line revenue. Debbie notes that few marketers actually understand the sales organizations they serve. When incentives and organizational goals are tied to sales, then everybody becomes part of the marketing picture. There are two kinds of CMO’s, she says: those who put their heads in the sand and treat digital as a set of new toys, and those who understand that revenue marketing is a way for CMOs to gain a seat back at the executive table.

Marketing is undergoing a transformation that is no less dramatic than the one that took marketers from index cards to CRM systems. Many marketers are still stuck in the traditional creative role, but analytics has taken center stage and Debbie believes it requires a new set of skills. Bottom line, though: There’s never been a better time to be a marketer.

Follow @DebbieQaqish on Twitter

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About Your Hosts

Paul GillinPaul Gillin is a veteran technology journalist and a thought leader in new media. Since 2005, he has advised marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach buyers cost-effectively. He is the author or co-author of five books, including Social Marketing to the Business Customer (2011), the first book devoted entirely to B2B social media marketing. He is also a social media trainer and coach at Profitecture, a training firm for B2B companies and their channel partners.

Allan SchoenbergAllan Schoenberg is based in London and responsible for managing the international media relations, issues management and brand communications for CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse financial marketplace. He was instrumental in launching the company’s social media activity in 2007 and continues to lead its social strategy and online community engagement. He has more than 20 years of experience in B2B communications, including his work for Accenture, Edelman Worldwide and Fleishman Hillard.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

FIR B2B is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications,serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by Paul Gillin on 06/17 at 01:04 PM
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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

FIR B2B #10: B2B Buyers Are People – Really - Plus MorningStar’s Leslie Marshall

FIR B2BPaul Gillin and Allan Schoenberg host the FIR B2B podcast. In this episode:

News & Trends

It’s people week at FIR B2B. We came across several articles this week that stress the importance of communicating with your audience as people rather than as, in the words of one content marketer, “one-dimensional robots trying to solve a business goal.”

We start with a sponsored post on VentureBeat that makes the case why B2B marketers should stop trying to chase the tactics that work in the B2C world. Shari Johnston of Demandbase says you should talk to personas, not demographics.  Our hosts agree. It’s very different approaching a customer who’s making a multi-million-dollar buying decision compared to one who’s buying a candy bar.

“10 B2B Masters Reveal Their Storytelling Secrets” in a new SlideShare presentation, and there are some gems in there. Tell your story and address the problems your customers are trying to solve. Be yourself.

Marisa Kopec, VP and group director of go-to-market, at SiriusDecisions told her audience at the SiriusDecisions 2014 Summit last month that 60% of B2B content ends up in a “content wasteland.” Our hosts aren’t so sure they agree with that number, but they do agree that most companies do a lousy job of auditing the content their people produce. Those slide presentations by the engineers are content marketing gold.

Special Guest: Leslie Marshall, Morningstar

Our special guest is Leslie Marshall, Director of Events, Magazine and Social Media at Morningstar. Leslie continues on the storytelling theme from earlier in the show by describing some innovative programs MorningStar has run to draw out employee stories and creativity.

One was a Vine video program around the 25th anniversary of the company’s investing conference that had employees and customers creating six-second videos to explain what investing is. “We get caught up in so many ideas and have so much to say that sometimes boiling it down six seconds or 140 characters can make it all that much more valuable,” she says.

This year’s Vine campaign focuses on what it’s like to work at MorningStar. Leslie also addresses the importance of partnerships between the communications and legal teams to minimize compliance issues. And she explains MorningStar’s rationale for continuing to publish a print magazine. “People still want to engage with reading interesting content, and we think we have a lot of that offer.”

Follow @LeslieAMarshall on Twitter

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About Your Hosts

Paul GillinPaul Gillin is a veteran technology journalist and a thought leader in new media. Since 2005, he has advised marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach buyers cost-effectively. He is the author or co-author of five books, including Social Marketing to the Business Customer (2011), the first book devoted entirely to B2B social media marketing. He is also a social media trainer and coach at Profitecture, a training firm for B2B companies and their channel partners.

Allan SchoenbergAllan Schoenberg is based in London and responsible for managing the international media relations, issues management and brand communications for CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse financial marketplace. He was instrumental in launching the company’s social media activity in 2007 and continues to lead its social strategy and online community engagement. He has more than 20 years of experience in B2B communications, including his work for Accenture, Edelman Worldwide and Fleishman Hillard.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

FIR B2B is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications,serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by Paul Gillin on 06/03 at 02:52 PM
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

FIR B2B #9: How Hitachi Data Systems Energizes its Brand Ambassador Network

FIR B2BPaul Gillin and Allan Schoenberg host the FIR B2B podcast. In this episode:

News & Trends

McKinsey Quarterly writes on global flows, pointing out that the flow of data, as well as goods and services, across geographic boundaries, is increasingly being tied to economic performance and business success. One-third of goods now cross borders and digital communications are increasingly essential to staying in business. Digital has also becoming a great leveler in the competition between small and large companies, making small firms into “micromultinationals.”

Is Twitter over? There’s been considerable debate over this topic recently but our hosts just aren’t buying it. Twitter still has great value as a listening tool, Allan says, but all social networks are struggling to find their next big act.

Text100 surveyed technology buyers and found that seven execs are involved in the average technology buying decision. Notably, buyers use the same information sources at every stage of the buying funnel, and vendor websites are among them. This makes a compelling argument for why B2B companies should be using digital channels to drive prospects to their websites.

While B2B publishers may not have made the Text100 list of buying influences, recent data from tech media publisher Folio shows that print remain strong as a revenue source. It appears that B2B media are still performing well in their traditional awareness-raising role, even if consideration and vendor selection have moved online.

Despite weak quarterly earnings, LinkedIn continues to show core strength as a research vehicle and a way to sustain business relationships, according to new research. LinkedIn has become a must-use for sales and recruitment professionals to build relationships and research job prospects. From a B2B sales perspective, LinkedIn is still an essential stop on the journey.

Special Guest: Sharon Crost from Hitachi Data Systems

Sharon Crost joins us for a discussion of what Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is doing to energize its ambassadors, which include employees, partners and fans. HDS created a Social Media Ambassador Club several years ago to help mentor fans in their use of social tools. It’s now creating a steady stream of shareable content that it delivers to its ambassadors in a format that can be easily shared on their social networks of choice. A content, education and nurturing program ensures that ambassadors are comfortable with the tools and the content they share.

HDS wants 80% of the content that’s shared to be industry-related, rather than specific to the company. Everything is tagged by topic and appropriateness to the audience. One of the biggest obstacles the company confronted was fear - fear of saying the wrong thing, of running afoul of policy or of getting the facts wrong. Executive sponsorship, mentoring and an attitude of forgiveness has helped there.

HDS also created five outcome measurements - including buzz, share of voice and leads generated - to measure success. She discusses what the company does to track each critical metric.

Download a PowerPoint presentation that outlines HDS’ ambassador program here.

Follow @SharonHDS on Twitter


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About Your Hosts

Paul GillinPaul Gillin is a veteran technology journalist and a thought leader in new media. Since 2005, he has advised marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach buyers cost-effectively. He is the author or co-author of five books, including Social Marketing to the Business Customer (2011), the first book devoted entirely to B2B social media marketing. He is also a social media trainer and coach at Profitecture, a training firm for B2B companies and their channel partners.

Allan SchoenbergAllan Schoenberg is based in London and responsible for managing the international media relations, issues management and brand communications for CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse financial marketplace. He was instrumental in launching the company’s social media activity in 2007 and continues to lead its social strategy and online community engagement. He has more than 20 years of experience in B2B communications, including his work for Accenture, Edelman Worldwide and Fleishman Hillard.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

FIR B2B is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications,serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by Paul Gillin on 05/14 at 11:27 AM
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Sunday, May 04, 2014

Is Google Plus Walking Dead? Meh…

FIR B2BPaul Gillin and Allan Schoenberg host the FIR B2B podcast. In this episode:

News & Trends

Launching a commodities exchange to serve all of Europe isn’t like doing the same thing in the U.S. Allan explains.

Is Google Plus really walking dead as TechCrunch recently declared? And does it matter? Our moderators agree that Google Plus has value for search visibility but many of its features aren’t really that groundbreaking. Google’s unwillingness to open the platform was an issue. Several of the more successful features will probably survive in other forms, but whether Google Plus itself remains as a product is probably not meaningful to most B2B companies.

Just four days after the TechCrunch story about Google Plus appeared, a research study reported that Google has overtaken Facebook as an authentication method on B2B sites. That’s interesting, but what value does it have? 

Social Media Examiner has a terrific article about how to use the new LinkedIn publishing platform as a container for long-form content. The article removes many concerns about the positioning of the platform vs. a company blog. Bottom line: LinkedIn can be a complementary platform to a company blog for reaching a broader audience. That does raise governance issues, however, since posts to the LinkedIn platform are tied to the author, not to the company.

A discussion in the B2B Marketing Group on LinkedIn asked for suggestions on “the most ridiculous marketing buzzword of 2013.” There were some great responses: “influencers,” “need tunnel,” “partner,” innovation” and “disruption” are among them. One buzzword that irritates Paul the most is “content,” a term that reduces thoughtful insight to a commodity.

B2B media industry revenues grew more strongly in 2013 than in any of the previous five years. This is important because B2B buying is an important leading indicator of economic growth.  A surprising statistic is the continued strength of events, which make up 45% of B2B media industry revenues. Events continue to be critical to the relationship-building that underlies B2B commerce.


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About Your Hosts

Paul GillinPaul Gillin is a veteran technology journalist and a thought leader in new media. Since 2005, he has advised marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach buyers cost-effectively. He is the author or co-author of five books, including Social Marketing to the Business Customer (2011), the first book devoted entirely to B2B social media marketing. He is also a social media trainer and coach at Profitecture, a training firm for B2B companies and their channel partners.

Allan SchoenbergAllan Schoenberg is based in London and responsible for managing the international media relations, issues management and brand communications for CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse financial marketplace. He was instrumental in launching the company’s social media activity in 2007 and continues to lead its social strategy and online community engagement. He has more than 20 years of experience in B2B communications, including his work for Accenture, Edelman Worldwide and Fleishman Hillard.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

FIR B2B is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications,serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by Paul Gillin on 05/04 at 04:24 PM
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

B2B Video Doesn’t Have to Suck, With Guest David Spark

FIR B2BPaul Gillin and Allan Schoenberg host the FIR B2B podcast. In this episode:

News & Trends

B2B companies are making creative use of video in a manner that takes its cues from B2C marketing. Arrow Electronics is using video to depict its business through the eyes of a five-year-old and create a bigger picture context of its business. Philips is rebranding with video that emphasizes innovation. While “innovation” is an overused term, we like the way this video speaks to a higher purpose. In addition to having brand value, this approach is also an excellent way to boost employee morale.

Shel Holtz pointed us to an Ad Age column, that argues that the distinction between business and consumer marketing is irrelevant. We’ve always argued that B2B and B2C marketing play to very different buyer needs and motivations, but we have to admit that we like the point the author makes. In a world of expanding sources of influence, appealing to consumer preferences is increasingly necessary for building brand.

Buyer motivations are also the focus of a slide presentation by the UK-based marketing firm Earnest that explores Behavioral Economics in B2B Marketing. Earnest makes the case that even big B2B decisions are heavily influenced by gut-level instincts. If your marketing speaks only to specs and features, you’re missing out on the bigger picture.

Special Guest: David Spark

David Spark took an unconventional route to content marketing. He spent more than a dozen years working as a touring standup comedian, a San Francisco tour guide and as a comedy writer for The Second City in Chicago before moving into technology journalism and ultimately custom content. His Spark Media Solutions is a brand journalism and media consulting firm that specializes in B2B video. In our interview he talks about how run-of-the-mill video interviews can be enriched with offbeat questions, the most common mistakes B2B marketers make with video and some of the best examples of B2B video he’s seen recently. He also discusses an innovative approach to combining video and still images in a recent project for Riverbed.

David shares some of his most successful techniques on his blog. Entries include 20 Great Ideas for Your Next Corporate Video, 5 Video Strategies that Are Totally Worth the Effort, 5 Interview Questions That Always Return Great Answers and 4 Examples of Corporate Videos Done Right.

He’s also the author of the terrific ebook, Hazardous to Your Social Media Health - 50 Previously Condoned Behaviors We No Longer Recommend. Follow him on Twitter at @dspark.

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About Your Hosts

Paul GillinPaul Gillin is a veteran technology journalist and a thought leader in new media. Since 2005, he has advised marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach buyers cost-effectively. He is the author or co-author of five books, including Social Marketing to the Business Customer (2011), the first book devoted entirely to B2B social media marketing. He is also a social media trainer and coach at Profitecture, a training firm for B2B companies and their channel partners.

Allan SchoenbergAllan Schoenberg is based in London and responsible for managing the international media relations, issues management and brand communications for CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse financial marketplace. He was instrumental in launching the company’s social media activity in 2007 and continues to lead its social strategy and online community engagement. He has more than 20 years of experience in B2B communications, including his work for Accenture, Edelman Worldwide and Fleishman Hillard.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

FIR B2B is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications,serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by Paul Gillin on 04/16 at 01:00 PM
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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

FIR B2B Show #6: Marketers Struggle With Reinvention; Plus Euromoney’s Marissa Pick

FIR B2BPaul Gillin and Allan Schoenberg host the FIR B2B podcast. In this episode:

News & Trends

It’s our “bad news for marketers” show, although the theme was unintentional. It’s just that a lot of recent news we’ve seen has cast B2B marketers in a rather unfavorable light. Highlights:

Even though most B2B companies have a lead-generation process in place, just 9% of B2B marketers say they are highly effective at generating leads, according to a study from research firm Demand Metric. This tends to confirm comments made by Dan McDade in FIR B2B #5 about how marketing often drops the ball on lead quality.

Even though CMOs believe that advanced analytics will play a significant role in helping them reach their goals, most feel their organizations are not in a position to leverage data to its full extent to gain a deeper understanding of the customer, according to a new study from IBM. Here’s a link to the report.

A new Adobe study says marketers see a need to reinvent themselves but don’t know how to do it. Data analytics skills are seen as vital. “A majority of marketers (76 percent) reported they need to be more data-focused to succeed; however, 49 percent said they rely on ‘trusting my gut’ when making budget decisions. Seventy-two percent of marketers said their long-term success is tied to proving marketing return on investment.”

A new research study of 350 business buyers by the CMO Council and Netline finds that third-party sources heavily influence B2B buying decisions. That’s not surprising, but what’s depressing is that only 9% said vendors are trusted sources of content. “Marketing executives unanimously agreed that a solid content strategy is imperative for building awareness it requires them to position themselves as trusted experts in their field,” the report concludes.

LinkedIn has launched new tools to help B2B marketers gauge content performance. They give brands a single score to gauge the effectiveness of multiple pieces of paid and organic content on LinkedIn, including company pages, LinkedIn groups, Influencer posts, employee updates and Sponsored Updates. It’s another useful new service from the B2B social network of choice. BTW, listen to the latest episode of Chuck Hester’s Linked Conversations to learn what LinkedIn’s “retirement” of the Products & Services tab in company profiles means to marketers.

Special Guest: Marissa Pick

Our special guest this week is Marissa Pick, Senior Social Media Marketing Manager at Euromoney Institutional Investor.  Marissa advises more than 100 global businesses internally on best practices to help drive traffic, membership, engagement, and ROI from social media effort across publications, events businesses, and other internal programs. Her internal clients span a huge range of market-specific publications and services. Marissa talks about the many channels Euromoney uses for promotion and the surprising power of Facebook as both a word-of-mouth and paid advertising channel.  Follow Marissa on Twitter.

Closing Rant

In our closing rant Paul Gillin picks up on a post by Danny Sullivan that calls out Google for penalizing a blogger’s entire site because of one allegedly spammy link posted nearly a year ago. Paul supports Google’s focus on quality content but believes the search giant needs to be more transparent about what is and isn’t permissible.


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About Your Hosts

Paul GillinPaul Gillin is a veteran technology journalist and a thought leader in new media. Since 2005, he has advised marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach buyers cost-effectively. He is the author or co-author of five books, including Social Marketing to the Business Customer (2011), the first book devoted entirely to B2B social media marketing. He is also a social media trainer and coach at Profitecture, a training firm for B2B companies and their channel partners.

Allan SchoenbergAllan Schoenberg is based in London and responsible for managing the international media relations, issues management and brand communications for CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse financial marketplace. He was instrumental in launching the company’s social media activity in 2007 and continues to lead its social strategy and online community engagement. He has more than 20 years of experience in B2B communications, including his work for Accenture, Edelman Worldwide and Fleishman Hillard.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

FIR B2B is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications,serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by Paul Gillin on 04/02 at 11:35 AM
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