By Asli Hamamci, Managing Director, Mindshare North America
BtoB is a very exciting category to be in right now. BtoB marketers are leading with digital and using content as the currency to differentiate from their competitors. Partnerships and live events are traditional platforms that are amplified through social media and mobile in real-time.
Content as the game changer
The role of content in BtoB marketing has grown exponentially over the last decade. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 46% of the technology marketers have already documented a content strategy and 78% of these marketers are producing more content than they did one year ago. We will only see this trend grow over time. But the big challenge for BtoB marketers is how to build content that will attract the right audience.
I think that marketers winning in the content race have three things in common. They:
- Help their customers win today and lead the way to the future of business
- Provide their true and brave point of view
- Continue to test and learn
Events and live tweeting in action
Face to face events have been key lead generators for BtoB marketers for decades. But the emergence of social media really amplified the impact of these events. Business executives and influencers want to be in the know even if they are not attending the event; furthermore, they want to be the first to share what’s new with their networks of peers. So it is fair to say that a BtoB event without a strong real-time social activation plan is a missed opportunity!
At Mindshare, we leverage our adaptive marketing tool, the Loop successfully to amplify the BtoB event content in real time for our clients. We have seen superior results when we had media, creative and social media teams in the same room working towards the same goal- maximizing exposure and engagement with the live event.
Sponsorships evolving into partnerships
A growing number of BtoB companies are evolving their sponsorships into partnerships via deeper product integrations. Through these partnerships, companies like SAP and IBM Corp. are implementing technologies that would improve business operations for these organizations. SAP, for example, has done an amazing job in powering statistics for NBA by leveraging its analytics solutions. This partnership has been activated through an integrated media program globally. Similarly, IBM’s high-end servers have powered US Open for years.
The result…“consumerization of BtoB” solutions which leads to deeper connection with consumers and fans.
One last thing to mention…The leading category for BtoB partnerships is sports for multiple reasons: high levels of interest from business executives, scalable activation opportunities and possibility for technology integration. Even though sports partnerships are a good strategic decision, let’s not forget that the space is becoming cluttered and thus costly. BtoB companies must look for areas to differentiate. Entertainment? Arts and Culture? Music?