Social Media for B2B: Leveraging Social Tools and Networks for Stronger Customer Connections and Accelerated Sales
Principal, Solutions Insights and Senior Associate, Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA)
October 18 - 19, 2011
The big question around social media for B2B marketing is no longer "whether" but "how." How do we take best advantage of the explosion of social tools and networks to achieve our top marketing objectives? The debate over social media may be over, but how to proceed amid the seemingly endless possibilities and the overwhelming hype is far from clear.
No doubt the social media opportunity for B2B marketers is huge. Leading companies are already tapping social tools and networks to help identify new opportunities, demonstrate thought leadership and expertise, build and strengthen customer relationships, generate demand, and accelerate sales.
But most companies are just getting started and the challenges in crafting a strategy and program that meets customer needs and contributes effectively to marketing and sales are substantial:
- Who are we trying to reach?
- How should we attract and engage?
- How do we capture real value and return on investment?
- Do we have the skills and experience?
- How should we organize our efforts?
- How can we minimize risk?
If you're working to integrate social media with the rest of your marketing program and wrestling with these questions, this workshop is for you.
- Through a combination of case studies, short presentations, guided discussion, and practical exercises, the workshop will help participants:
- Explore the potential of social media to support all aspects of marketing strategy and programs
- Learn practical lessons from leading and best practice B2B companies
- Outline a strategic framework for applying social media to existing marketing programs
- Understand the operational requirements for organizing, staffing, and measuring results
- Analyze immediate opportunities to leverage social tools and networks to improve current marketing performance
Who Should Attend
The workshop is designed for marketing executives and managers interested in taking advantage of social media in any and all aspects of B2B marketing, including market research, brand development, product/service/solutions marketing, marketing communications, field marketing, sales support, partner management, customer loyalty, and marketing operations. The workshop works best when participants represent a cross-section of marketing disciplines and responsibilities. It is also valuable for representatives from other functions that work with marketing, including sales, delivery, customer service and support, R&D, and HR.
This is a sample agenda, the final agenda will be developed according to your needs
The Promise and Challenges of B2B Social Media: Who's Doing What (Presentation, Discussion, and Exercise)
- Current Trends in B2B Social Media: Data and Examples
- Deep Dive: Thought Leadership and Social Media
- Group Exercise: Defining Risks and Challenges
Lessons from the Leaders: What's Relevant for Us (Presentation, Discussion, and Exercise)
- Building Awareness
- Driving Leads
- Accelerating Sales
- Strengthening Customer Relationships
- Case Study and Group Exercise: EMC's Community Network
Building a Strategy: Where to Invest (Guided Discussion)
- Understanding Stakeholders: Internal and External
- Setting Priorities: Business and Marketing
- Defining Resources: Budget, Staffing, and Partners
- Establishing Governance: Policies, Guidelines, and Ownership
Sustaining a Program: Measurement and Support (Presentation and Discussion)
- Accountability and Metrics
- Education and Training
Next Steps: Near-Term Opportunities to Improve Performance (Exercise and Discussion)
- Group and/or Individual Action Planning; each participant will leave with a framework for a social media strategy
The workshop is designed to be highly interactive, with a lively mix of presentation, discussion, and group and individual exercises, and a strong focus on case study examples from leading B2B companies. The workshop combines general overview of how B2B companies are integrating social media into their marketing programs with focused discussions and exercises on the particular concerns, opportunities, and needs of the sponsoring organization.
Rob Leavitt is a Principal at Solutions Insights, a B2B consulting and training firm that helps companies develop, market, and sell high-value solutions A veteran marketing strategist, Rob specializes in issues- and content-based marketing for solutions, helping companies create distinction in the marketplace and have strategic conversations with clients, prospects, and market influencers.
Prior to co-founding Solutions Insights in 2008, Rob was Vice President of Marketing at Truman Company, a consultancy specializing in executive relationship marketing, and Vice President of Marketing and Member Advocacy at the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA).
At ITSMA, Rob worked with many of the world’s top technology, telecom, and professional services companies, including Accenture, Cisco, EDS, HP, IBM, Lucent, Microsoft, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and SAP. He organized dozens of marketing leadership events, and authored numerous articles and reports on solutions marketing and related issues, including marketing leadership, branding, thought leadership, social media, partners and alliances, corporate communications, and cause-related marketing.
Rob continues to work with ITSMA as a Senior Associate, and speaks regularly at professional marketing events. Rob has a BA in US History from the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Political Science from MIT. You can follow Rob on his blog at www.reputationtorevenue.com and on Twitter at @Robleavitt.
This course will be held in Philadelphia, PA, meeting venue TBD, on October 18 - 19, 2011. Additional information will be provided when available.
Cost and Registration
ISBM Member $1,500
Paula Dorminy or Gary Holler