Key Take-Aways from the B to B Online NetMarketing Breakfast

I attended the B to B Online NetMarketing breakfast in Waltham, MA this morning featuring speakers from Novell, Motorola and Cognos.  I have attended previous events and each time I am pleasantly surprised by how candid each panelist is about their company’s marketing endeavors.

Each person spent about ten minutes or so talking about a specific marketing campaign and while there was no direct ‘do this and you will be successful’ tip or idea it was interesting to see and hear what each company is doing.

I had key take-aways from each speaker (which I will get to) but I also had some overall thoughts:

  • The biggest surprise to me had to be how search was a non-topic.  Not in the sense that they didn’t do it but that they did.  Each speaker treated search as an ‘of course we are doing this and it’s commonplace’.  As a search marketing professional this is great to hear but also quite unexpected.
  • Anyone in marketing would not be shocked to hear each company talk about the monetary shift from traditional marketing to online marketing.  What they might be interested in hearing is that the areas most effected were print and events.  Novell even noted that of their total marketing budget, 70% went to online efforts.
  • As search marketers we know that determining the ROI of social media can be difficult but it was good to hear big companies saying this and more importantly understanding it.  The best statement came from Belinda Hudmon of Motorola, who said that while there may be no direct measurement of ROI, you have to look at your objectives to determine success.  I thought that was a great way to put it.  If your objective is to increase traffic and you do, then that should be looked at as an accomplishment.

There were also take-aways from each individual panelist that were worth noting:

Novell – Phil Juliano

  • When doing SEO or SEM it is important to know which phrases people are looking for.  The terminology your company uses may not necessarily be the terminology your target market uses.
  • Online marketing should not be considered a separate entity from marketing.  Marketing now encompasses the web.
  • Find out your strengths.  While this may seem obvious, Phil noted that one of Novell’s strengths they were not aware of was their partnerships with companies like IBM and Microsoft.  Even though these were competitors they were also partners and their brands actually helped improve Novell’s.

Cognos – Drew Clarke

  • Cognos spent a significant amount of time (I think he said 120 days) analyzing each lead that came in.  They looked at everything from what the customer did online to what the sales person did to what happened after the call or visit (and much much more) to determine ‘when is an opportunity created?’ and ‘what are the best steps to take?’.  They now keep a record for every account.
  • They focus their search efforts almost solely on PPC as they found that people clicking on PPC ads were further along in the buying cycle than those clicking into organic results.
  • Adding a prominent ‘Contact Me’ button to their website improved conversions dramatically.

Motorola – Belinda Hudmon

  • 80% of technology users get their information from the web
  • 34% of their website traffic comes from search
  • B2B companies should utilize white papers and case studies as they are typically what people are looking for.
  • Videos (despite being ignored by many b2b companies) can play an important role in online marketing.  She stated that 50% of executives have watched a video online.

While I am sure that I missed some other key points these were what stuck out to me.  Each panelist did a great job and B2B Online put on another good event.

“We have a successful online business, and wanted to take the next step. We approached KoMarketing with the notion of leveraging its expertise in building better search rankings. Both in our defined critical areas and across the board, KoMarketing has helped us grow our presence. They were hired to expand our visibility, but took extra steps to provide many useful recommendations for other areas of our online presence that have had positive impacts. Derek and his staff work hard and take extra steps to ensure you succeed. They are an outstanding partner.”

Scott Stone — Scott Stone, Advertising & E-Business Manager, Cisco Eagle

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