In the business-to-business (B2B) world, generating qualified leads that turns into sales can be a tough proposition. Now, add the current economy into the mix and that reality makes this an even more daunting task.
B2B marketers use a variety of key performance indicators to determine ROI. Below are a list of models deployed most by B2B marketers:
- Cost-per-lead model: a qualified lead is capture and this becomes success
- Cost-per acquisition model: where once the lead is capture and then converted, success is measured
- Cost-per-opportunity model: customers are contacted by a representative of the company
With the increased use of social media by business-to-consumers (B2C) marketers, many B2B businesses are looking at the feasibility of using social media to achieve their objectives. Like with all new ideas, there are obstacles such as the following:
- Many B2B customers have not embraced social media as a means to dialogue about product/services
- Social media offers a variety of channels and strategies deployed can differ when using Facebook vs. Twitter
- Measuring success and ROI can be difficult
- Social media leads are not always easy to qualify nor convert into a sale
- Social media may not be relevant and/or content requirements can be difficult to manage
One must ensure the desired audience actively engages in a given vehicle is crucial for success. Millennials would potentially be more apt to engage in social media compared to their older counterparts (Gen X or Boomers). There are advantages to using social media as a B2B business. Consider the opportunity to continue a conversation with existing customer, a place for your company or product to have a unified voice, and/or a means to have existing customers become brand ambassadors and spread positive news on your behalf. In the B2B world, having someone already happy with the results of a purchase could be a game changer. This is especially true since the product/service can be a lot costlier in B2B.
In the end, there is always a way to be unique and use social media to garner potential leads. One just needs not be risk-adverse and willing to explore and test until the results desired are cultivated.
Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years experience, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying” (self-help advertising guide); available at Amazon.com. Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2011 Top Execs in Marketing & Advertising and Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: email@example.com