As a veteran of high tech marketing from B-DC (before Dot-Com) to today, I’ve witnessed the “death” of many a marketing tactic. We’ve all seen numerous proclamations that “email marketing is dead!” Meanwhile, it remains the bread and butter of virtually every B2B marketing toolkit.
Today, there are hundreds – if not thousands – of blogs touting social media and inbound marketing techniques, almost to the exclusion of everything else. Nothing else matters, it seems. Just create great content, seed it where your buyers are, drive them back to your web site to get more super content, and watch the dollars roll in!
“Social Marketing” is certainly a critical piece of the B2B marketing puzzle. It’s one of the best channels to reach potential buyers with your messages, entice them to interact with you, and develop a relationship. However, B2B enterprise solutions are not to be bought via a shopping cart and with a credit card.
Social is a start, but nothing replaces the magic that happens when a compelling, complex product that solves real (and big!) business problems meets face-to-face marketing and sales engagement. Social can start a relationship and help sustain it, but truly sexy enterprises understand that the heavy lifting gets done by a strong sales team armed by a marketing organization that “gets” field marketing.
These organizations lean on another tactic that “died” in 2001. However, unlike Webvan and other Dot-Com busts, event marketing is back and stronger than ever. There are more trade shows, conferences, meetups, seminars, workshops and forums than ever. Strong enterprise marketing organizations are taking those flirty social relationships developed with prospects online and driving face-to-face engagements prior to sales calls. Demoing the solution in person, answering specific individual questions that come up as a result of seeing and hearing what’s possible, and bringing current happy customers to the mix verify what’s said has much more power in person than online.
While tons of information exists online, nothing beats looking someone in the eye and connecting with them on ways to solve a business problem. When marketing helps drive deals by enabling field-based face-to-face engagement, that’s chemistry.
Scott Mersy is a marketing leader with more than fifteen years experience, including the last twelve marketing enterprise SaaS and Cloud solutions. As Senior Director of Marketing at ServiceNow, Scott leads marketing efforts driving lead generation, field marketing, event marketing, and channel marketing. As Vice President of Marketing & Products at Genius.com, Scott helped develop and launch the company in 2004. He subsequently defined and delivered five products to market from 2005 – 2010. Scott led demand generation and marketing operations for web conferencing pioneer WebEx from 1999 – 2003, initiating many of the revenue-focused marketing processes now defining B2B marketing. Scott honed his skills during two years developing online marketing at Oracle and five years at Carlson Marketing Group. Scott holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.