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Today's consumer is ignoring traditional marketing channels. They are effectively finding ways to block them. How is this affecting your
lead generation efforts? How many resources are you putting towards cold calling and direct marketing? Are you connecting with your
target audience or just gathering a large quantity of poor quality leads? Social Media has opened up a new channel for marketers. Alterian
recently published a survey of marketers that found that 40% of respondents felt that their staff is not prepared to take advantage of the
You now have the ability to have conversations directly with potential customers. The web 1.0 world was ideal for companies selling direct to customers (b2c). E-commerce sites nicely facilitated that. At present the internet is teaming with social networks where people are interacting with each other and most importantly, seeking information. They trust their peers far more than they trust marketing messages. Social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and niche forums are communities of like-minded people sharing ideas and trying to solve their problems. This web 2.0 world is now an ideal place for business-to-business companies (b2b) to utilize social media for their marketing efforts. Mashable reported that "Dell generated a total of $6.5 million in revenue from their Twitter presence, where they have nearly 1.5 million followers on their @DellOutlet account." No matter whether you have a short sales cycle or long buying process, it is ideal for two reasons:
- The new social web is about trust and relationships. Sales has always been about that, but now the internet offers a new venue that disregards the boundaries of geography.
- Companies don't buy, people do! And for products with a long buying process that translates into a longer time spent researching the web for solutions. So the precepts are just as applicable for b2b marketers as well as b2c.
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