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B2B Marketing Awards 2012 – the crème de la crème of B2B Marketing

The greatest B2B Marketing event any B2B marketer should find time to attend; that is the B2B Marketing Awards. I was really proud to be part of this fantastic event not only from a marketer’s point view, but as a Judge and also handing out an award during the evening.

At this year’s awards it was nice to see the crème de la crème of B2B marketing on offer, amongst the winners on the night were some huge brands along with lesser known SMB brands, which just goes to show that the awards is all encompassing. You don’t have to spend mega bucks on a campaign or programme to enter in order to win at the B2B Marketing awards, it is more about getting that creative, objectives, strategy and results right. This was my second year as a judge on the awards, my first tenure was back in 2009 and I can categorically say that the submissions for this year’s awards have come on leaps and bounds in terms of the quality of submissions. The professionalism and creatives produced were amazing, who said B2B marketing can’t be as creative as B2C, if not better!

As a digital marketer my favourite categories on the night were;

  • Best Use of Digital Techniques or Technologies – WINNER
    ‘King’s Cross – Alive like never before’ for King’s Cross (Argent) by Billington Cartmell,
  • Best Use of Social Media – WINNER ‘Luv the nug’ for Scotsman Ice by Gyro Cincinatti
  • Best Use of Content Marketing – WINNER ‘Banking 20|20’ for Cable & Wireless Worldwide by The Channel Partnership
  • Best Website – WINNER ‘British Gas – Energy made simple’ for British Gas Business by Rufus Leonard

The full list of winners can be viewed here.

As always Joel Harrison and his team put on a fantastic event, this is most definitely the one night of the year you can’t miss for catching up with old friends and past colleagues along with making new acquiesces within B2B Marketing. My highlights from this year’s awards has to be meeting up with people I know, going on the dodgems, the photo booth – see B2B Marketing Facebook page for the hilarious shots and of course the after show party at Proud Cabaret.

If you fancy picking up an award a next year’s ceremony, then start thinking about the fantastic campaigns and programmes you been running from May 2012 and planned campaigns up until April 2013 you can enter for the 2013 awards. To help you get your 2013 submission right, why not register to attend the 2012 Awards Showcase on 5 March 2013? Good luck!

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IDM Content Marketing Experiment: B2B Social Media Opportunities and Threats

The IDM is currently running a content marketing experiment today, there’s quite a few articles written by thought leading B2B marketers on a range of subjects. Check out John Bottom’s article on B2B social media opportunbities and threats. Here’s my thoughts on the B2B social media research conducted:

“Great synopsis regarding the future of social media from some senior B2B marketers. For me the main opportunity is social media opens up a new two way communication channel with customers, prospects, brand enthusiasts and influencers that transcend all parts of the business from marketing to sales to customer service. Although, I do think the main threat to social media is where it should live within an organisation, what function should take charge of social media? PR, Marketing, Customer Service, Legal etc? Whilst this is still undecided organisations are often running many diverse social media strategies or should I say social media tactics, which aren’t in sync with the brand messaging and goals and are often fragmented diluting the effort put into social media to create engagement.”

What do you think the B2B social media opportubities and threats are? Post your comments on my blog or on the main IDM page.

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Top 10 B2B Social Media Tips

I recently presented a B2B Social Media case study at a recent B2B Marketing training workshop on “Create the best social media strategy for your business” during the session I shared my top 10 B2B social media tips with the delegates. So, here’s a summary taken from my own experience of running integrated B2B social media campaigns:

  1. Understand – in order to truly understand social media you need to be actively participating in the medium. As digital marketers you should be able to market and create your own personal brand presence within the major social networking sites. Being active in social media will help you understand the opportunities and limitations of social media.
  2. Purpose – before rushing full steam ahead with a social media strategy, stop and think about your purpose. Are you using social media for awareness, brand engagement, research, crowd sourcing ideas, listening to customers or watching your competitors? You need to be clear on your objective before starting out.
  3. Research – so you now understand social media and have your purpose identified, you now need to identify your audience and where they are. Please don’t start with technology first, as you will fail. Your audience may not be active in Facebook or Twitter, your top influencers may be in a niche social network or discussion forum. Hence you need research to identify this. I would recommend that you spend at least 4 weeks in this stage of your social media planning.
  4. Resource – social media campaigns won’t succeed unless you invest in resource, to be successful you need to allocate resource to execute the campaign either by allocating someone internally to manage your social media or commissioning an agency to develop and create your campaigns.
  5. Sponsor – for social media to succeed within an organisation there needs to be an executive sponsor who really understands the benefits of social media and drives through social media organisational change without this you won’t get the organisation to commit to social media.
  6. Plan – make sure you create a social media plan before starting your social media campaign, including how your are going to measure and monitoring the campaign. Your measurement goal and social media monitoring software should be in place and tested before the inital pilot project is launched.
  7. Pilot – start off with a social media pilot; initiate a small project once successful then plan out a more advanced social media strategy. Always allocate about 20% of your project time to pilot new techniques as you find them so that your social media presence evolves over time.
  8. Test, test and more testing – it is so important to test and refine your social media campaigns, don’t just let your campaign run on its own, continue to test and make adjustments to obtain the best results.
  9. Integrated – don’t run your social media as separate campaigns, to get the best out of your campaign integrate with your other digital outputs.
  10. Investment – contrary to what most people believe social media is not FREE. Yes, it is free to open an account on most social networks, but in order to create engagement you need to invest in appropriate content creation for your target audience, for example, video, premium content, competitions, games etc.

If you found these tips really useful and wnat to hear more I’ll be presenting some of my B2B social media case studies and offering advice at the forthingc B2B Marketing Magazine’s seminar: Create the best social media strategy for your business.

For my latest digital finds and thoughts, why not follow me: @zoe9?

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Twitter unveils Advertising Plans (via Marketing Week)

Twitter will monetise its site by allowing brands to pay to post ’Promoted Tweets’, updates which will feature in search results as well as in their feeds, allowing the brands to reach a wider audience than just their followers.The first set of advertisers include Best Buy, Bravo, Red Bull, Sony Pictures, Starbucks and Virgin America.

This is a clever advertising model for Twitter, I would be interested to see how this evolves over the coming months. I can see this becoming very much like Google’s Adwords business, where visitors do acknowledge and click on the paid advertising, but still prefer the natural listings, which is clearly shown in the natural visitor numbers and research conducted. Over time I would expect to see this happening with Twitter’s paid for tweet service eventually. Overall, this form of advertsing is a good offering for brands to pilot and see what works for them and what doesn’t.

Read more on this Marketing Week article.

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My Top 10 Twitter Apps

Further to my first TwitCam test broadcast yesterday, here’s a list of my top 10 Twitter apps, which I think you will find useful:

1. Desktop App –TweetDeck, Twhirl and Seesmic use these apps to manage your Twitter feed effectively
2. Mobile App – TweetDeck, Twitterrific use these to tweet on the move from your mobile device
3. TwitPic – share pictures and photographs in Twitter with single sign on
4. Qik – share mobile videos in Twitter with single sign on
5. TwitCam – live video streaming in Twitter with single sign on
6. FriendorFollow – manage your followers and accounts you are following with single sign on
7. Twitter Search – access the latest news and events through realtime search on Twitter
8. TwitPoll – engage and manage live interaction with your followers by using polls and surveys
9. CoTweet – manage Twitter accounts easily with multiple users and accounts
10. TweetScan – monitors various microblogging platforms for a small fee

Hope you find my tips useful, if you use my top 10 list please add a link to my WordPress page, many thanks.

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