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.

Monday, September 08, 2014

FIR B2B #15: How Adobe’s CMO.com Uses Curation to Build Thought Leadership

FIR B2BPaul again anchors the podcast solo this week. In this episode:

News & Trends

Google has pulled the plug on authorship, its once highly touted initiative to tie author identities to search results. Considering how heavily Google promoted this initiative a couple years ago, this about-face looks deceptive or, at best, clueless. Is Google taking its users goodwill too much for granted?

The title of Chris Abraham’s recent Biznology post is great - “Google is a lying liar that lies” - but the message is serious. For all of Google’s PR about how smart its search engine is, not that much has really changed

LinkedIn eliminates premium fees for SlideShare in a move we don’t see too often these days: a vendor giving money back to its customers. Meanwhile, the new campaign for LinkedIn’s lead management system points to its aspirations to be a force in the CRM market.

Starwood features customers in a new $30 million ad campaign, showing that at least one hotelier has caught on to the idea that customers make decisions on factors that go beyond amenities and clean floors.

HubSpot has filed for an IPO, further validating its vision of inbound marketing as a powerful lead generation force.

Special Guest: Tim Moran, CMO.com

Our special guest is Tim Moran, editor of CMO.com. A 25-year-veteran of the electronic media and former Editor in Chief of EETimes.com, he brings a journalist’s instincts to a content marketing vehicle. CMO.com started as a curated collection of online content for marketers, but as the site has grown it has added a steady stream of original content as well. While Adobe uses CMO.com to build thought leadership, it maintains a strict church-state separation between ownership and the editorial product. Adobe doesn’t even have access to the 30,000-name newsletter mailing list. The key to CMO.com’s success is a tight focus on the reader, Moran says. That’s second-nature to a journalist, but not something that all marketers understand instinctively. Learn how to use CMO.com and even how to contribute to the site in this interview.

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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 09/08 at 12:32 PM
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Monday, August 25, 2014

FIR B2B #14: Yes, You Can Be Funny Just Like Tim Washer

FIR B2BPaul again anchors the podcast solo this week. In this episode:

News & Trends

Google has taken it upon itself to move “unsubscribe” links to the top of emails, as if it’s encouraging marketers to clean out their email lists. At the risk of being a bit schoolmarmish, Google is actually enforcing some good marketing practices. No one should be proud of 20% open rates. Another Google innovation we like is phone numbers tied to AdWords. Marketers can now match phone numbers to click patterns to see which sequences prompt people to pick up the phone. This could be particularly useful to B2B marketers.

Could LinkedIn be a future competitor to Salesforce.com? It isn’t saying that at the moment, but some of its recent moves around content marketing and lead generation make LinkedIn look an awful lot like a CRM provider. Now we understand why it’s never licensed that user database.

Elisa Gabbert’s interview with Moz’s Erica McGillivray on how to manage online communities is worth a read for any B2B marketer who manages a LinkedIn group or other community. The principles that Moz practices - be responsive, reward contributors and don’t tolerate trolls - are appropriate for any situation in which many people gather online.

Special Guest: Tim Washer

Our special guest is Tim Washer, who may be the funniest person in B2B marketing. Washer’s breakthrough work was Mainframe: Art of the Sale, a hilarious serious of six videos he produced at IBM that spoofed the technology selling process and earned his employer praise for its willingness to laugh at itself. It also drove a 25-fold increase in traffic to the mainframe website.

Washer joined Cisco four years ago, where has continued his gift for absurdity with classics like The Perfect Gift for Valentine’s Day, from Cisco and Engineer Battles the World’s Most Rugged Router. He’s also appeared on popular comedy shows like Last Week Tonight, Conan, SNL and The Onion Sports Network. In this interview we discuss the mechanics of humor, the merits of lightening up and how B2B marketers can learn to be funny, even if they aren’t natural born comedians like Tim Washer.

You can find much of Tim’s best B2B work on his YouTube channel. You an also follow Tim 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 08/25 at 09:39 AM
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

FIR B2B #13: Why Online Influencer Marketing is a Waste of Time

FIR B2BPaul again anchors the podcast solo this week. In this episode:

News & Trends

There’s good news and bad news for marketers in this week show – mostly good news. FierceCMO has an interview with Gartner’s Laura McLellan in which McLellan discusses research that indicates that companies are redirecting budgets from sales to marketing in recognition of the fact that more early-funnel work is being done independently by customers. That’s marketing’s sweet spot. Top executives are clearly coming around to the understanding that marketing matters, particularly as customer referrals become a critical lead generator. But that means marketing needs to own the customer relationship, and they’ll have to fight sales and customer support for that privilege. Nevertheless, we could be entering the golden age of marketing, she suggests.

The news isn’t as good from Forrester Research, which reports that only 14% of respondents to its survey rated their content marketing efforts as very good. Most said they’re doing only a fair to middlin’ job. Forrester lays the blame squarely at the feet of marketers, saying they’re too beholden to their thought leadership comfort zone and don’t give buyers enough of the case studies, technical advice and research that drive decisions.

Special Guest: Nick Hayes of Influencer50

Special guest Nick Hayes agrees that marketers are too reluctant to engage with customers directly. Pressure to prove ROI and use of marketing automation tools has created a culture of statistical accountability in which the only activities worth using are the ones that boil results down to a number, he says. Incredibly, most marketers he has spoken to say they wouldn’t attend a dinner with the top influencers in their market because the results couldn’t be quantified.

Hayes is particularly skeptical of influencer marketing, the hot new trend that tries to convince people with big online presences to promote products to their friends and followers. Hayes and his colleagues at Influencer50 have been on a multi-year campaign to convince people that online influence is overrated in B2B markets. His 2007 book, Influencer Marketing, makes a persuasive case for devoting much more attention to policymakers, consultants, academics and even competitors.

In our interview, Hayes draws a distinction between true influencers and social media “noisemakers” and offers advice on how to find and cultivate the influencers who really matter.

Follow Nick’s blog, The Buyer-side Journey,.


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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 07/30 at 08:46 AM
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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
FIR B2B • (0) CommentsPermalink

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