Must-Have Tech Tools for All B2B Marketers
Business-to-business (B2B) marketers who ply their trade on the Internet are bound to find plenty of competition these days. The traditional methods of marketing and advertising fall way short of meeting the expectations of today's B2B marketers. Technology has evened out the playing field for B2B marketing, but it has also made it far more challenging.
There are certain tools that B2B marketers must have these days in order to stay relevant. Some of these tools have already been in the market for a few years, which means that B2B marketing professionals who do not yet have them or use them should do everything in their power to implement them as soon as possible.
This may sound very surprising to young B2B marketers in the 21st century: Advertising on print media such as newspapers and magazines is still very effective when done correctly. Why do print ads still work? The answer is simple: Easy metrics. A business that chooses to run an advertising campaign can use unique email addresses and telephone number to gauge interest and response. Advanced online metrics such as Google Analytics are missing this simplicity, which every B2B marketer should try at least once.
All-In-One Internet and Communications Bundles
Access to fast and reliable Internet connections is the most important technology tool in any B2B marketing office. It is also one of the most affordable. B2B marketers must stay connected to their clients, prospects and staff. The bundled services offered by some fiber optic internet providers such as Verizon Internet and AT&T are exactly what a modern marketing office needs: Broadband connections, Voice over Internet Protocol and digital television.
Some marketers opt to install only broadband Internet service in their office and then come up with their own solutions such as Skype for telephony and video sharing sites to review TV commercials and programming relevant to their chosen field. The problem with this setup is that it often tends to consume more bandwidth and CPU resources. Bundled packages are designed for users to browse the Internet, talk on the phone and watch TV simultaneously from their offices without having to worry about compromising bandwidth.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
If there is a single adage to define the B2B marketing strategy of the 21st century, “Content is King” would be the most appropriate. Content has the ability to sell goods, services, ideas, and more. Some online marketers claim that an online content bubble looms high on the Internet horizon, but this is a far-fetched call. Content has been around since before humans created languages and alphabets, and it is not likely to stop now or ever.
Internet content entails two main processes: Creation and management. B2B marketing firms with multiple clients know about the importance of a solid CMS too well. As business grows, the need to manage content efficiently becomes crucial for online marketers. WordPress, Drupal and other CMS solutions have become as ubiquitous as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, and they form the basis of the online social networking experience.
Effective Social Networking
Many B2B marketers being their careers through LinkedIn and later find themselves using advanced platforms to manage multiple Facebook Timelines and Twitter feeds. LinkedIn is of particular importance for B2B marketers, but it is often misused to the point of overkill.
The problem with LinkedIn, Twitter and social media in general is that marketers have invaded the networks with the intention of making them their digital bullhorn. Shameless self-promotion runs rampant in social media, which is not conducive to efficient networking. B2B marketers should be setting an example in this regard by practicing engagement and fostering real connections in their own social circles.