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Finding the B2B Social Media Opportunities

Posted by Josh Mendelsohn

Thu, May 27, 2010

Today's eMarketer email features an article about the relatively slow adoption of social media by B2B marketers.  While some companies have jumped in quickly - and often without a plan - those that are slow to engage may lack executive support or have concerns about privacy, legal issues, or staffing.

And even for those who are ready to engage, while the venue selection is obvious for many consumer focused companies, B2B marketers often need to look beyond the mainstream social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn to find the best opportunities to make an impact.

 

social media strategies

Our clients at AMD faced a similar situation.   They knew they wanted to be active, but weren't sure how to prioritize.   So after jumping into social media they took a step back to examine who their key audiences were and where they were active, which venues they needed to engage in, and what people were willing to accept from their brand. 

 

social media strategy case studyWant to learn more about social media research?  Watch our webinar featuring Georgeanna Liu and Chris James from AMD as they present a case study of how CMB conducted market research to support key social media strategy decisions and how AMD is using it today.  Watch here.

 

Posted by Josh Mendelsohn. Josh is our VP of Marketing and loves live music, tv, great food, market research, New Orleans, marketing, Boston and sports. You can follow him on Twitter @mendelj2. 

Topics: B2B marketing, social media, B2B research

Using Primary Market Research to Evaluate B2B Social Media Strategies

Posted by Chris Neal

Thu, Apr 22, 2010

We recently conducted research on social media to look at why people become fans and followers of certain brands. We wanted to get a high level view of why people become a fan/follower. Our gut (and some of our own personal experience) told us that many people that become a fan or follower do so because they are already customers of that brand. For the most part our instinct was right. Our research found 49% of people who become Facebook fans do so because they are already a customer. 

The really interesting part is we found over half of those people who are engaged stated that they are more likely to buy and recommend that brand since becoming a fan/follower.   It's clear that using social media as an engagement strategy helps cut through the online clutter and keeps brands "top of mind".

This makes a lot of sense for consumer companies, but is a social media engagement strategy right for harder to reach B2B audiences? The short answer is yes, but not without digging deeper to learn more about who you are trying to reach and where they "live" online.  There are so many social media outlets available today and they are not all created equal and they're not a "one size fits all" answer.

Truly using social media as an engagement strategy may not take a lot of money, but it does take a lot of time. So the best place to start is prioritizing who you want to engage with and then look for the best places to find them and figure out how they want to be engaged in the various social media outlets available.

Recently we worked with AMD, a leading processor company to re-evaluate their social media effectiveness and develop a more optimized and targeted strategy to reach their widely disparate target audiences. It was important to start by looking at each of those targets and then systematically evaluate the true extent and impact of social media usage on each of those audiences.

  • Audience: We used separate research modules for each unique target audience, spanning from extreme B2B to consumer segments
  • Recruiting: We did not use social media to recruit research participants as to prevent sampling bias
  • Techniques: Both qualitative/open-ended and quantitative research

This approach really allowed AMD to refine and optimize their social media content and tactics based on the different behaviors of each target audience. Learn more about this AMD case study at the Social Media and Community 2.0 Strategies event coming to Boston May 3-5.

Understanding B2B Social Media:  An AMD Case Study

CMB's Chris Neal and AMD's Georgeanna Liu will presenting a case study of how CMB helped AMD better understand and capitalize on social media to drive their business. In this session, we'll explain the steps that AMD took to review and refine their social media strategy focusing on very specific target audiences. 



Read more about social media
by downloading our report:
 
"Why Social Media Matters for Your Business."

 

 

 

 

Topics: technology research, B2B marketing, social media, Consumer Pulse, B2B research, customer experience and loyalty

International Market Research Starts with Choosing the Right Partner

Posted by Jared Huizenga

Tue, Apr 13, 2010

There's a lot to consider when collecting international data. It's a whole different ball game outside the U.S. market. From methodologies to translations to project management, a lot needs to be taken into consideration-even in other English speaking countries.  The first step to any successful international research project is choosing the right partner.There are so many choices and they are not all created equal. A single data collection partner will never be the right fit for every project. At CMB we have created our own Global Certified Network to ensure we have the most well rounded pool of partners we can team up with on every project.  Having our own certification process has allowed us to hold our data collection providers and partners to the same high level of expectations our clients have come to rely on us for.

To qualify for CMB's Global Certified Network our partners must agree to several strict requirements including industry standards, security requirements, data quality assurance, and project management guidelines. Some examples are...

  • Industry Standards:  All certified partners are required to comply with the ESOMAR International Code on Market and Social Research. In addition, all vendors must comply with national, regional, and local laws. They also must sign Chadwick Martin Bailey's Confidentiality Agreement.
  • Security Requirements:  All partners are required take active measures with regards to respondent privacy. This is especially true when using client-provided sample lists. The partner must be CAN-SPAM compliant and destroy all sample records at the end of a project-or at any time per Chadwick Martin Bailey's request. 
  • Data Quality Assurance:  Partners must demonstrate that procedures are in place to guard against "bad" data and if any issues with data collection arise, partners are required to inform us immediately and offer proactive solutions. Partners must inform us upfront when they are using additional partners for data collection and they must give us the names of those additional partners if issues come up.   
  • Project Management Guidelines: Partners are required to provide a minimum of two points of contact and to respond to queries and requests from the CMB project staff as quickly as possible. Partners must also agree to participate in frequent meetings to give us status updates.

These are just a few ways we ensure our partners share the same commitment and high standards we do when approaching each project. This certification has also allowed us to build an outstanding network of partners with some of the best and brightest companies in our industry.

Posted by Jared Huizenga is CMB's Field Services Manager. Jared is on the New England Barbecue Society's Board of Directors and is the pitmaster on a competition barbecue team.

Topics: international research, B2B research

Market Research Shows IT Service Providers Lack Brand Distinction

Posted by Don Ryan

Wed, Mar 10, 2010

In a recent Technology Pulse we asked 145 IT decision makers from US-based companies and organizations of all sizes about their use of and priorities for IT- related services for their organization.  One of the more interesting findings in this study is the lack of brand distinction for IT service providers. When we asked IT professionals about the uniqueness of several brands (based on a variety of brand attributes), the option "None" among these brands was actually ranked highest by IT professionals with 37% of respondents.

When the "brand" that had the highest distinctiveness was "None," that means that there are some brand attributes that IT decision-makers don't think any providers do well, and others where they think many providers do this well. Overall, we see that most IT services providers have not achieved distinct brand positioning among IT decision makers. Even large brands with very strong awareness, favorability, and purchase consideration momentum (such as IBM or HP) often do not stand out for any one particular attribute.

HP, for one, is taking steps to broaden their brand awareness.  In a recent Wall Street Journal article "H-P Revealing Its New Personality In Corporate Campaign" the author writes about the launch of Hewlett-Packard's first corporate ad campaign in more than five years. Clear positioning regarding services should be a focal point of these efforts.

It's vital for IT services companies to gain a better understanding of the opportunities to create distinction around their brand and understand what brand attributes are most important to their customers. Otherwise their biggest competitor "None" will beat them all.

Learn more by downloading the full CMB Tech Pulse report: IT Services

Posted by Don Ryan. Don is the managing director of CMB's technology practice. Don is an avid tennis player and enjoys reading political commentary and spy novels. 

Topics: technology research, Consumer Pulse, B2B research, brand health and positioning

Using Segmentation: High Quality Market Research Is Only The Beginning

Posted by Jeff McKenna

Thu, Jan 21, 2010

As a high end market research firm we spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the design and analysis of segmentation research projects.  We have tried and true techniques and processes for building the most useful scheme for a given company and know exactly how to put them into practice.  But from a client perspective, that is only the beginning.  Without buy-in from executives up front and evangelization following the research, even the best segmentation solutions wind up unused.

In our recent webinar, Andy Vranesic of GE Healthcare stated that only 10% of effort in getting segmentation used exists in getting to results, with the remaining 90% managing change across the business induced by the results. He continued on to say that segmentation output should cause the C-suite and senior managers to think differently about the business- and that should be reflected in their tactical actions.

Three tips to making segmentation useful:

1) Conduct up front workshops with key stakeholders to set expectations and make sure their goals are included in the design

2) Don't let the numbers unilaterally dictate the scheme you choose, a scheme is only useful if it fits the organizations ability to act

3)  Be deliberate about post-project evangelization.  Set up an internal strategy for each relevant group so that they understand the key takeaways and take appropriate action.

 

Watch our recent B2B Segmentation webinar with GE Healthcare

 

 

Jeff is a Senior Consultant and has of the most diverse professional lives in the business. He applies his experience in new home construction, cosmetics, insurance, corporate governance, and retail with his analytical skills to create  dynamite client solutions.

Topics: B2B research, webinar, market strategy and segmentation