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The Role of Customer Engagement in B2B Social Marketing

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It was interesting when Jon Miller, Marketo’s VP of Marketing/Co-founder, presented three things social media did that transformed the way businesses interacted with their customers at their Social Marketing Rockstar Tour. Social media taught businesses to listen to what people were saying about them, recognize the importance of having a presence, and finally the need to set up a channel to get the right message out there.

I immediately thought of the parallel it drew when it came to our philosophy on customer engagement: listen, understand, engage. For as long as marketing has been around, the old way to go about things was: promote this! read this! buy this! need this! It was easily a shouting match where the companies “communicated” their message in a one-way fashion. Maybe this is why it resulted in company-to-buyer trust being at only 33% (your customers are smart enough to sniff out a what’s authentic and what’s not) and yet peer-to-peer content results warrants 92% trust. (Nielsen Research 2012)

This was my favorite slide from today’s presentations on championing B2B Social Marketing:

Keys to B2B Social Marketing Success

It only goes to reinforce how genuine customer engagement is rewarded when relevance is part of the mix. We’ve talked about how customer engagement is key for SaaS companies, so naturally providing a constant increment to value and service level improvement without additional costs is probably one of the biggest benefits for any customer. Simple things like acknowledging a tweet or being the attentive to their needs can really wow and foster emotional attachment from your customers.

Ultimately that is the kind of relationship you want to have with your engaged “fans”. It doesn’t matter whether this is coming from social marketing or customer service, 3 goals to keep in mind are to:

1) Know your customer – put a face to their names, understand their needs
2) Be proactive – a reactionary response is not enough
3) Evolve your service – whether it’s your marketing tactics or product, don’t stay stagnant

Jill Rubin

Jill is a senior marketing and business development executive with experience leading successful teams in both large companies and startups. She has taken companies from early stage to strong revenue growth and propelled established businesses to industry leadership positions.

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