en
Paul Gillin,Eric Schwartzman

Social Marketing to the Business Customer

The social media craze has, ironically, given birth to one of the biggest booms in recent book publishing. The gaping hole in this market, however, is B2B. Nearly every social media book that's been published either targets the consumer market or treats B2B as an afterthought. If you search for "B2B social media marketing" on Amazon, the results revealed not a single relevant title. In fact, Paul's own two social media books both turn up in the top 10 results, despite the fact that neither of them directly targets this market. This is a stunning gap, given that some of the earliest adopters of social media were B2B companies like IBM, Sun Microsystems and Cisco. There is also plentiful evidence that B2B marketers are hungry for information about this topic. At the recent Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston, a show of hands from the audience of 350 marketers revealed that about 70% identified themselves as B2B. The authors' own consulting and speaking engagements, which were principally to consumer audiences a couple of years ago, are now almost entirely to B2B companies and trade associations. The Business Marketing Association estimates B2B marketing spending at over $80 billion annually. Among the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500, nearly all have significant B2B sales. What's more, the B2B market tends to be less price sensitive than the consumer market, meaning that readers are more likely to pay a premium price for specialized guide and to buy in quantity. How Businesses Reach Businesses will build upon our extensive experience in this space, the authors' two successful social media books, and more than a decade of collective immersion in this topic. This will be a hands-on guide with plentiful examples, case studies and best practices. It will focus on the channels that are proving most effective for B2B marketers as well as on the topics that are unique to this segment, including prospecting for clients, long selling cycles and high-ticket items, using social media for long-term client relationships, corporate transparency and policies, etc.
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