B2B Marketing, The 4 P’s and Social Media – Promotion


The third in a series of blogs that focus on today’s B2B marketing environment, in which the traditional 4 P’s (Product, Place, Promotion and Price) are being influenced by social (digital) media and activities.

Prior to the rise of social media, B2B promotion meant both product and corporate branding via the following channels; literature (handouts for trade shows, 4 or 6 color brochures, newsletters, etc.) event sponsorship and speaking engagements, direct mail to established and potential customers, ads in trade publications, and related lead generation activities.  These activities were measured on leads generated, sales and market perception.

With the change in buyer behavior, where 60% of the sales cycle is completed before a sales rep is contacted, promotion in the social media age takes new forms and emphasis.  The “old” activities are still needed but on a smaller scale.  The emphasis instead must be put on the following:

· The web site.  (See the Place article for specific suggestions.)

· Email campaigns.  These should be tied to the marketing automation system in order to link opens and responses, so that follow-up nurturing letters can be sent.

· Corporate Branding activities.  In the days before social media, the salesperson established trust in the company by building a relationship with the buyer.  Today it is necessary to convey the strength and reliability of the company by building and reinforcing its brand.  This takes many forms:

o   Building industry thought leadership through blogging, guest blogging and pertinent articles available on the corporate web site.

o   Listening and commenting on industry related user groups

o   Listening and commenting when appropriate on twitter

o   Maintaining a YouTube channel that shares the thought leadership information and provides information about the company

o   Up-to-date information about the company and the management team

o   Listening and following up via customer service activities

· Product Branding activities.

o   Written and video presentations of feature/advantages/benefits of the product

o   Written and video presentations of case studies, including interviews (endorsements) by the principals of the case studies.

o   Estimated ROI calculations of the product


The key to successful promotion in the social media age is the development and distribution of unique meaningful content.  This content can then be shared via the different social channels resulting in continuous broad exposure.  Failure to develop and deliver original content may drop a company lower in the search algorithms, resulting in lower placement when a buyer does an organic search.

Bottom line, the “old” promotional elements remain, but at a lower level.  New social media elements are in play, the most significant being the development of unique meaningful content.




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