Social Marketing Essays

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					                     A White Paper on Social Media Marketing
                     March 15, 2010

3 Lies, 4 Truths,
and 1 Surprising Fact About
Social Media Marketing
PLUS … 5 great resources for further reading

By combing Social Media with Word of Mouth Marketing
you can build a powerful Marcom Engine to drive B2B lead generation

About Keith Bates & Associates, Inc. (KBA). Operating as one of the nation‟s leading high tech ad
agencies from 1980 to 2000 KBA ( has recently evolved into a consulting firm with a focus
on creative strategy and lead generation to support rapid growth. The Marcom Engine and the 90 Day Blitz,
concepts developed by KBA in the „90s, are the backbone of the firm‟s efforts. Keith is a well known
professional in the field of high tech marketing communications, a speaker at many industry conferences,
and contributing author to numerous industry publications. He has been a communications consultant to
Boeing, Computer Associates, JD Edwards (now Oracle) IBM, KPMG, SPSS, and over 100 others. His
career began over 30 years ago with Foote, Cone & Belding, then the world‟s leading consumer ad
agency. KBA‟s competitive advantage stems from creative skills, planning expertise, and an ability to
translate complex ideas and technologies into easily understood product attributes. The company recently
completed a two year effort to develop and launch a social network for adventurers
( and in the process immersing the management in social media.

                                     We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing

Contrary to what some are promoting, Social Media is not completely changing the world
for B2B marketers. It is simply modifying and adding to it a bit. And it is important to
understand that it is not a standalone discipline. It needs to work hand in hand with tools
you’re already familiar with…or it won’t work at all!

Confusion is probably the best way to sum up the situation with getting one‟s mind around Social
Media. Is it just a concept? Is it tangible enough to lay it on a table and touch it like direct mail,
print advertising, brochures, and catalogs? Where does one begin?

In analyzing social media don‟t overlook the meaning of “media”, which is simply the plural of
“medium” which is defined as “a middle state, or something intermediate”. For many people
medium is perceived as simply the vehicle for the message. Marshall McLuhan however, in his
well renowned book, stated that “the medium is the message”.

So you‟ll have to choose…is social media a tool for delivering the message, or is it the message?
We believe it‟s a tool for delivery. And that the message is everything and that to raise the level of
awareness for your products in the market you will need multiple media. But only one message,
your brand. However there are infinite ways of couching that message…one of which is social
media and it myriad tools.

One of the bigger issues, after defining social media, is figuring out how best to use it. We
contend that social media complements all the tools in our Marcom Engine Arsenal, and that
includes word of mouth, influencer relations, viral marketing, and all the traditional offline tools
that support the demand generation process referred to as Accelerated Contagion. Our Arsenal is
simply the first of three modules in the Execution stage of our Marcom Engine. The two that
follow are Deployment and Measurement. Preceding the Execution stage is our Planning stage
consisting of the Audit, Strategy, and the complex Communication modules.

In the following pages you will learn 3 Lies, 4 Truths, and 1 Surprising Fact about Social

We will describe the elements that make up a social media marketing campaign and then we will
describe the process for integrating it with word of mouth marketing. Once you are comfortable
with this combined process it won‟t be difficult to blend them both with all the other traditional B2B
marketing tools you are probably already familiar with.

                                   We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing

Defining Social Media
3 Lies
marketing-inept as many people wish. Don’t believe those who claim that it is any of these.
They are lies.

It‟s tempting to appoint inexperienced people (inexperienced to the complexities of marketing
communications) to launch a social network strategy because they are pros at using and
managing Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. Bottom line…you need a combination of those that
are connected to social media, and those with solid experience in planning and executing across
all appropriate media. . Social Media is not a standalone Marcom strategy.

MARCOM, shifting to MARCON?

On the issue of Marcom, I came across an interesting twist on the word in Joseph Jaffe’s book
Join the Conversation. In a discussion of word of mouth marketing he raises the question as to
whether we are in the communications business or the conversation business. So perhaps
Marcom needs to be reinvented as Marcon? See Jaffe‟s

And on the topic of word of mouth marketing Jaffe contends that conversation is not the same as
word of mouth. It is much bigger because it is “all-encompassing, providing the bucket that
collects everything from influence to recommendations; from viral referrals to idle banter; from
random encounters to planned discussions; from publicity to, yes, marketing communications …”

Meanwhile Paul Rand of Zόcalo Group, while agreeing that social media is a powerful tool, puts
his emphasis on Word of Mouth stating on his site ( that “its true definition
can be muddied amidst the myriad new terms (including social media)” -- that Word of Mouth is
still the most powerful driver and measure of how your brand is recommended by consumers and
experts in relation to your competitors. Both Jaffe and Rand can each marshal a slew of data to
bolster their respective viewpoints. The purpose of this white paper is not to suggest that you
choose one over the other, but that you learn to integrate them.

I should note that Word of Mouth, like social media, is not without lies either or least
misconceptions. Following are a few common to WOM. Take a look. 1. It spreads like wildfire:
WRONG— rarely works well without accelerated contagion. 2. All you need is a good product:
WRONG—product needs inherent interest to inspire talk, and activities to accelerate process. 3.
With good PR you don‟t need marketing: WRONG—traditional marcom tools needed to convert
enthusiasts to buyers. Focus should be on sales, not contacts. 4. All you really need are early
adopters: WRONG—visionaries only start the process. Think pragmatists…to get rich. 5. Do it
online! No do it offline! WRONG—using only one is fatal. Both are needed.

                                     We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing

4 Truths
Social Media can be a powerful B2B marketing tool even though B2C is its primary user. With
skillful people managing the process it can be made to offer superb demand generation support.
The following truths were edited from Eric Gagnon’s contribution to BMI: Tuesday Marketing
Notes #214. (Reach Eric at

1. B2B BUYERS ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR RESEARCH bypassing traditional marcom
materials until later in the selling cycle. Easily accessed “content”, defined as factual, reasonably
objective, and non-promotional information is preceding sales contact.

environment priority is being given to white papers, case studies, newsletters, product reports,
fact sheets, and videos over brochures, mailers, etc.

specific discussion forums are often better channels for social media interaction in B2B markets
than Facebook and other generic social sites.

4. SOCIAL MEDIA IS AN ENTRY POINT—NOTHING MORE! Learn to think of social media as
simply a marketing entry point, the first step leading to an ongoing series of marketing events and
deliverables. It‟s a chance to assess your company‟s knowledge of its market.

1 Surprising Fact
THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS CHANGED from companies who market and sell their
products to the potential buyers in their market. Any B2B buyer can now use Google, news
and vendor Web sites, and social media to freely search and gather all of the information required
for making their initial product and vendor selections, largely bypassing your company‟s typical
marketing program and “story” as the sole source of their information about your product. This
shift places greater emphasis on the importance of developing factual, objective content and
using these new online channels, along with marketing automation, to deliver the right mix and
type of information to potential buyers for the appropriate stage of their buying process. From
Adam Needles of Silverpop. Visit then search Adam Needles. Read about
Content Marketing.

And now 5 great resources for further reading:

                                    We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing

4 Reasons to Use Social Media for Your Business
A Guide for Businesses in the Digital Age…a fanscape white paper
Courtesy of Fanscape, a Social Media Marketing Agency. For additional information visit, their blog at, or Twitter@Fanscape


1. Build receptivity to traditional marketing efforts. Just like with your email list, your social
media-based prospects and customers need communication on a regular basis. Daily is best. It‟s
not a numbers game. 500 passionate fans are better than 5,000 uninvolved followers.

2. Minimizes or eliminates the need for market research. Like giant focus groups, they‟ll tell
you what you need to know. The opinions you need most are yours for the asking.

3. Reduces or eliminates the need for professional PR. Don‟t overlook the hundreds of
influential blogs. Self-publish white papers, POV documents, essays, case studies, and research.

4. Offers a variation on customer service. Advantage is that helping one online is highly visible
vs. the private solutions delivered via phone calls.

42 Ways to Connect with Customers
using the Content Marketing Playbook
Courtesy of Junta42 For details see:

Visit the Playbook. Explore a full page explanation of all 42 ways

 1.    White Paper            16. Podcast                                31.   Online Media Site
 2.    eBook                  17. Video blog                             32.   Content Platform
 3.    Book                   18. e-Learning Series                      33.   Microblogging
 4.    Custom Print           19. Mobile Application                     34.   Video
       Magazine               20. Online Game                            35.   Virtual Trade Show
 5.    Digital Magazine       21. Widget                                 36.   Social Bookmarking
 6.    Magalog                22. Facebook Application                   37.   Online News Release
 7.    Audio Book             23. Branded Content Tool                   38.   Online Publishing Center
 8.    Case Study             24. Screencast                             39.   Webinar/Webcast
 9.    Article                25. Company-Focused                        40.   Road Show
 10.   Comic Book                 Community Site                         41.   Executive Roundtable
 11.   Industry Ranking       26. Customer-Focused                       42.   Teleseminar
       System                     Community Site
 12.   Testimonials           27. Wiki
 13.   eNewsletter            28. Facebook Movement
 14.   Print Newsletter       29. Photo-Sharing
 15.   Blog                   30. Custom Social Network

                                 We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing

Exploring Social Media as a process for driving
B2B Demand Generation
But first a word of caution. Demand Generation depends
as much on the message as it does on the media. Maybe
more. Take a look at the PPT link on the home page of Click the gold button labeled “Free
QuickChek. Download my short PowerPoint”.

Listed below are the most common online social
media and some of the offline tools needed to
support/enhance the process as presented on
                                                                                        Keith Bates
the PPT listed above developed by Keith Bates.

 Examples of Online Social Media tools       Examples of Offline Social Media support
 Blogs—your own and compatible entities      By-lined articles with contact data
 Email                                       Consulting practices
 Facebook pages for fans                     Customer Visitor Centers
 LinkedIn                                    Direct mail with personal contact data
 Mobile—meetings, events                     Experiential marketing
 Newsletters online                          Focused print media with contact data
 Podcasting                                  Road shows
 PRWeb                                       Telemarketing
 Social Networks (multiple)                  Word of mouth—71% offline
 Surveys                                     etc.
 Twitter accounts
 Unique landing pages
 Video ads YouTube and/or website
 Virtual conferences
 Virtual trade shows
 White papers
 Word of mouth—29% online

                                      We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing

How to do it:
The 4 B’s of Social Media Marketing
How to Implement a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Courtesy of Marcus Tewksbury, Director of Customer Intelligence.
Blog: Read New Rules of B2B Demand Generation, or email:

New Rules of B2B Demand Generation

For marketers the last two or three years have been some of the most chaotic ever. Traditional
mass media channels have scuffled, shedding jobs and revenue at a staggering pace. Tough
economic times have emboldened CFO‟s to raise the pressure on accountability. And the
emergence of social media and ubiquitous digital interaction has dramatically amplified the power
and voice of the customer. Net sum, the rules of the game and the very field itself have changed
drastically. Disruption creates opportunity. Firms who can embrace change and visualize a world
beyond product brochures and email blasts can capitalize on this.

For the past two years Alterian has trumpeted the death of marketing as they know it, and have
advocated the emergence of a customer driven marketing organization. Here‟s how they did it:

Effective social media marketing begins and ends with the CONTENT. If you don‟t have
something interesting to say all the distribution in the world won‟t matter. It‟s all about the

In social media distribution is cheap. Deploy and test as many new CHANNELS as you can.
Doing so enables your customer to choose the time and place of engagement.

You can boost your accessibility by making sure your deployed assets are findable by your
customers. Ensure your content and deployment strategy are as SEARCH friendly as possible.

What makes marketing accountable is the ability to RELATE ACTIVITY TO REVENUE. This
makes it possible to optimize channel selection and evaluate asset performance.

                                        We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing

Embedded Word of Mouth Drives B2B
Lead Generation.
The title above is from a book written by Keith Bates at the beginning of the word of mouth
“revolution” a few years ago. The copy that follows was edited and extracted from a PPT
presentation made to the ITA (Illinois Technology Association) at the same time. Also introducing
the Marcom Engine, the process that brings it all together.

Social media simply adds an alternative starting point.
The difference between then and now is that social media adds a new, and powerful entry point
for B2B marketers which must be understood before blending into traditional word of mouth
marketing. Word of mouth already recognizes that marketing has become a two way street. It‟s
now dialogue, not monologue. Social media simply provides an added dimension to the concept
of word of mouth which was introduced about ten years ago and today is pretty well understood.

AND NOW, THE WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) PRESENTATION:

What are the tools and processes employed by word of mouth designed to accomplish?

According to WOMMA there are five major activities:
1. Identifying people most likely to share their opinions.
2. Educating people about your products and services.
3. Providing tools that make it easier to share information.
4. Studying opinions as to how, where, and when they are being shared.
5. Listening and responding to supporters, detractors, and neutrals.

A sampling of some influencer relations tactics*

INITIATING THE RELATIONSHIP: Personalized correspondence; E-mail correspondence; Direct
response re influencer work; Care packages (product trial); Information packages (FAQs);
Forward articles of interest; Event interception

CONTACT OPPORTUNITIES: Recognition awards; Company conferences; Influencer spotlight;
Briefings; Webinars; Road shows; Lunch/Dinners
INVOLVEMENT: Influencer brainstorming; Product review board; Speakers bureau; Testimonials;
Day at the company; CEO summit

*Courtesy of Paul Rand‟s IRM program at Ketchum as presented to KPMG

Introducing the Marcom Engine as the framework for embracing WOMM. The Marcom Engine is
spelled out in greater depth at

Reengineering and Integrated Marketing Communications many years ago and consists of three
planning modules: Audit, Strategy, Communications; and three execution modules: Arsenal,
Deployment, Measurement. It acts as the foundation for the Communications Support Plan which
is the overall document that spells out in detail a marketers overall plans for sales and marketing.

Where, in the Marcom Engine, do the elements of WOMM get positioned?

Communications develops theme/image concepts; Arsenal is the application of these concepts,
Deployment then does the heavy lifting, and Measurement is the test of their effectiveness.

The Marcom Engine chart becomes the driving force for a Communications Support Plan which
typically runs from 25 to 50 pages and becomes the company‟s marcom blueprint for action.


Influencer relations, while potent, are slow and reach relatively few, but highly influential,
people. Sustaining the needed Network Hubs can be very labor intensive. Quality leads are the
result. Ed Keller, in his book The Influentials, says that 10% influence the other 90%. Regular
hubs consist of users, colleagues, vendors who become evangelists, and today social media
expands the reach. Mega hubs are the press, celebrities, analysts, politicians and industry gurus.

Viral marketing, while potent also, is fast, and if done well, reaches many people often overnight.
However, virals are typically short lived which then necessitates a need for Accelerated
Contagion. Concept of virals is based on Metcalfe‟s law: value of a network increases with the
square of the number of users. Classic was HotMail. Effective virals will start inquiries and
dialogues with vendor. Challenge is to determine whether you have a shock virus or an idea
virus. The ideal is both but rarely happens.


Accelerated contagion is frequently employed to sustain the needed momentum of WOMM and
incorporates many elements of traditional marcom including integrated marketing. Concept
began life 15 years ago as the 90 Day Blitz but remains viable today with additional
channels available. Accelerated Contagion is a multimedia, lead generation activity based on
response compression techniques. It is a fully integrated 3 month program that combines
traditional media with electronic media to create a sense of event, which in turn produces a
substantial flow of leads. It is designed to expand reach of influencer relations, and extend life of

For a more detailed look into Word of Mouth Marketing you might review a white paper I wrote on
the topic a few years ago (which means that some elements may have become old news). It‟s
available on the home page at

                                We lend wings to your sales, spurs to your marketing

The following links offer some recent insights into
the world of social media as offered by prominent
publications and knowledgeable people.

How Real-Time Search is Changing Social Media …introduced by Google Dec. 7, 2009

Social media dominates OMS (Online Marketing Summit) conversation. March 8, 2010

"BtoB' event panelists focus on social media (BtoB’s NetMarketing Breakfast, Feb. 2010

Optimism, accountability, social media (top 10 trends) BtoB Magazine, Jan. 18, 2010

Chris Brogan: co-author of bestselling Trust Agents and author of Social Media 101

Best Practices in Word of Mouth and Social Media: WOMMA by Ed Keller, Promo Magazine

Maximize Your Digital-Marketing Mix: 10 Ways to Integrate Social, Mobile, and Email by
Dan Forootan,

Integrating E-mail and Social Marketing: Do's and Don'ts by Simms Jenkins,

Social Media Not Preferred Recommendation Resource by Laurie Sullivan,

Five Social Media Trends to Watch in Early 2010 by Erik Qualman,

This white paper is purposed to point out directions you might pursue to
further your knowledge of both social media and word of mouth marketing
while starting your company down the path of enhanced B2B demand

Keith Bates
Keith Bates & Associates, Inc.


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