If you haven’t already heard, a gradual revolution is taking place in B2B digital marketing, especially regarding the professional services arena.
Earlier, the focal point of the B2B digital universe centered around the website. All B2B marketers had but one goal: Do whatever was necessary to bring folks back to the main website. Yet nowadays, the online world has undergone a change. A brand new game is being played that revolves around the customer (as opposed to the company). Multi-channel marketing, from iphones to tablets to video clips, has shifted the epicenter of the digital universe off the old standby — the website — and on to the individual customers instead. The current mantra is: Be interesting, dynamic and discoverable wherever your customers are.
One company at the forefront of multi-channel marketing is Deloitte. One metric succinctly tells the story: Since starting video podcasts–brief interviews with thought leaders–one year ago, Deloitte noticed that every video is downloaded roughly 3,000 times. Quite a difference when compared with 1,000 average downloads per white paper. The advantages are especially striking when you take into account the fact that videos can take 1/12 of the time it would take to produce a white paper. The videos have actually become so successful that Deloitte releases a new one every week.
I interviewed two Deloitte digital marketing executives: Jennifer Chico, Director of Internet Marketing, and Kelly Nelson, Marketing Leader, Deloitte Analytics. Here are some tips from their experience at Deloitte.
WENDY MARX: Tell us about your new digital marketing model.
JENNIFER CHICO: We’re changing from the old fashioned, “hub and spokes” to an entanglement model. If you imagine a wheel, it used to be that our website was in the center, and the spokes included email-marketing, Google advertising, and other strategies to bring traffic back to the website. Today, we’re shifting more towards an entanglement model. This model needs us to be relevant and discoverable across a wide array of different channels. With that being said, Deloitte.com is still the basic home base for digital strategy, but it’s no longer everything. We have to be where the customers is, be interesting, and most importantly — easy to find.
How does your new, dynamic relationship with the customer influence content?
KELLY NELSON: We’re taking tips from B2C companies — the content is usually short, sweet, and gets right to the point. There’s also a focus on benefits, and consumers are addressed in a familiar, recognizable way. In previous times, we used to began the white paper with a big piece of thought leadership. We thought, “Why don’t we flip it around? Instead of starting with the with the big thing, let’s begin with the seed, the small idea.” Many people simply aren’t interested in reading a dense, twenty page document. Now we begin with smaller sections, like our three-minute guides. Afterwards, we take a look at the results and see where the interest lies; if there appears to be tons of interest in a certain topic, we’ll go into more depth with it.
What other approaches are you taking with content?
NELSON: Good question. We’re going with a blog-like approach. We post conversational-style content and can be about anything from analytics about talent to supply chain management. It’s brief–roughly two paragraphs or less–and emphasizes the conversation more than omnipotent “thought leadership”. The consumer needs to see you as an approachable friend they would turn to for advice. For instance, “here’s a couple of things to think about when thinking about tax season.”
What exactly do you measure?
CHICO: Here is what we examine to measure our effectiveness: The awareness and engagement we’re driving, the volume and reach, the amount of engagement we’ve stirred up from various outlets–are we having a give and take conversation ? Have we improved on the conversation rate? Have we sparked action? Did they subscribe to something? Download anything? View a podcast? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, we know our efforts are having their desired result.
Did you join the B2B digital revolution? I would love to hear what you’re doing — please share!
Wendy Marx, B2B PR & Marketing Specialist, Marx Communications. Follow me on Twitter @wendymarx.