Tag Archives: B2B marketing

The Twain Shall Meet, Someday

- L. Subramanyan, CEO, Trivone Digital

Now, that is settled, you have two worlds in the supply side – the industrial (read the old world) and the Digital (the new order). The narrative always distinguishes the one from the other, Digital economy, with all its net-based trappings is sharply differentiated from the old economy – the manufacturers, the small industries and so on. Even the stats released scream the same news, why even our Prime Minister talks about Digital India and Make in India, in different breaths..
That has to change, just as the old economy cannot tap newer opportunities without embracing the new tools of trade, the digital players, at some stage or the other, will have to start looking at the Brick and Mortar (BAM) realities. To read the two of them as separate is to miss an extremely critical conjunction where the sum of the parts (of each) can be dramatically more than the whole.

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Look at Mumbai Police. Policing is an old school methodology.. particularly in India. However, in a space of three weeks, Mumbai Police dramatically transformed their entire messaging and its efficacy by combining old school techniques (enforcement drives, fines etc) with social media tools. They built and nurtured a community on Twitter, showed a human, and oftentimes, a humorous face, to their constituents and told the Mumbaikar to behave. They could have done that using hoardings or ads in newspapers, by choosing to tweet, they reached out to influencers and their followers, to spread the word and dramatically improved their messaging reach.

What does this mean for the average Indian manufacturer who probably has an apology for a website and has very little interest and understanding of digital media? To my mind, five things:
1.    Leverage your community: Digital companies have spent and are spending humongous cash to build their communities. You already have yours – your customers, prospects, suppliers et al. It is finite, perhaps smaller in number, but has a much larger monetizability. Consequently, it is much easier to get them together within your brand and start conversations with them to understand them better.
2.    Rational conversations: Your community, and your discussions, are much more appealing to a rationale than to an emotion. Here is your opportunity to start the conversation. Sure many of your constituents are not online or social. So what? You have to start somewhere, and earlier the better.
3.    Social interaction: You spend a significant amount of time and money to get to know your customers – dinners, conferences, meetings… Wouldn’t you like to supplement this by getting into a discussion with them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis? Are’nt there any issues that you always wanted to discuss – be it the coming budget or the interest rates or even the price of Narendra Modi’s outfit? Why would you wait till the elusive dinner to do that? Make it a continuum rather than a point discussion. Discover your constituency.
4.    Leverage the www: Your website doesn’t have to be a static broadcast tool. It can be dynamic. It can represent your brand, your products, your ethos, your chairman’s vision, the solutions, your team, your champion within your company, the unsung hero who needs to be recognized… it can be as dynamic as it gets, and certainly a lot more dynamic than your glossy brochure that you got printed last month! Think about it. So, build your web presence, but with a lot more content, text, audio, video, graphics. It is all out there to be leveraged.
5.    And finally, focus on the Content: The difference between one website and the other, is just the value of content and how it is shown. So don’t scrimp on the content, it is dynamic and needs to change, to reflect your company. There are real people, within your company and within your constituency.. leverage that reality.

So what happens if you do all of the above? At one level, there could be some minimal cosmetic changes. However, at another level, you start interacting with your constituents much faster, in a much more focused manner. Your prospects start seeing you as a real company, with real people, and not just as a faceless manufacturer of mechanical seals! The quality of your discussions goes up as does the quality of your BD, and sometimes in the near future, the velocity of your BD.
Digital is not just a ‘nice to have’ but a rapidly evolving ‘must have’. The power that B2B can provide to digital initiatives is enormous and can have a much quicker impact on the business than a consumer facing initiative.
When Make in India meets Digital India… magic happens!

L Subramanyan
Is the CEO and Founder of  Trivone Digital Services, the agency which conceptualized and ran the Mumbai Police Social Media campaign. The views are personal.

Internet Of Things For Marketers

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Internet of Things is described as embedded devices or things with internet connectivity, allowing them to interact with each other on a global scale. This level of connectivity is increasing the reliability, sustainability and efficiency of products and services by improved access to information. The increased choices given to consumer through IoT is giving them a lot of choices. This has enhanced the marketers activities to increase and retain business.

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Economists believe that IoT will make the biggest impact on marketing in the coming years. Marketers can use IoT to a good extent to reach their consumer. In a study in July 2015 by 2nd Watch, nearly six in 10 US IT and business executives said they leveraged machine data/the IoT for digital marketing. Digital Marketing can get bigger if we consider IoT as a tool. 

IoT has the capability to collect and analyze data which can be used by marketers and enable them to take appropriate actions. They can measure the actual behavior in real time and devise relevant customer relationship activities. Brand interactions can also be measured by understanding brand preferences, eye movement etc. This information can be utilised better than traditional buyer research, to improve the customer relationship and increasing their brand loyalty. By understanding consumer behavior, marketers can enhance the feel good factor of their brands and products.

Diminished defects, improved customer satisfaction and low costs can improve seller performance and buyer experience. With the help of IoT, marketers can track information about the consumers such as the credit history, loyalty and importance to company. By a good analysis different prices can be offered to different consumers. Using IoT, online content can be well adjusted according to consumer interest. IoT offers marketers the ability to interact with consumers of different segments at one marketplace and take better decisions. 

We can say that IoT has enhanced the exchange of sales data, smarter approach to CRM and enabled a smart way to interact with consumers. The marketers today have many opportunities to make their business processes better. IoT can make life easy for marketers if they know the means to utilise the data recieved.

How To Fight Challenges Of Big Data

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it ~ Molière

Whenever we fight a challenge with a good strategy, the outcomes are fabulous. Everything in this world has pros and cons, so we should cut down the problems and extract the benefits. In my last article we discussed about what Big Data is, its benefits and the various challenges it brings along. Today we shall discuss how to fight those challenges to make this essential tool, a priceless asset and not a liability.

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The major challenges of Big Data are, Data Volume, Talent Gap, Performance, Technical complexity, Security and Cost. These are some of the major challenges faced by users and organisations of almost every industry/ sector. If we are able to solve these 6 issues, majority of the Big Data problems will diminish.

Data Volume Solution: The data is growing at an exponential rate and it is important to extract relevant data. It is necessary to identify source of your data as well as devise strategy to maintain and control it. There are many companies that master in Data Management. The trick is, discover potential for creating/ optimising data volume strategy, provide monitoring and reporting capabilities for technical KPI’s and compliance check for corporate Data Volume Strategy.

Talent Gap Solution: Content discovery & management is a primate for Big Data management. To discover and manage the relevant content, highly skilled team should be appointed. A team who is able to understand the audience being delivered as well as the technical complexities involved in data extraction. Since technological changes happen very fast, frequent training to the team should also be given for better performance.

Performance Solution: In the digital world, where delay of nanoseconds can lead to loss of sale, high operating speeds are required. The organisation should be able to cope up with the changes in IT landscape for fast reach. Latest and modern hardware as well as software should be used after monitoring the required speed. 

Technology Complexity Solution: On the internet, information is scattered on a large scale in different formats. There should be a centralised content repository and easy UI to ease the technical complexities of the data. The team appointed for data extraction should be equipped with essential technical skills as well.

Security Solution: Security issue is a major obstacle for many companies, which prevents them from utilising the data completely. Usage of hardware and software should be reviewed thoroughly and necessary updates and extensions should be installed. Enterprises can also design personal clouds services, with hybrid services in mind to make sure future integration is possible.

Cost Solution: With new improved technology comes in a cost. The cost should be managed properly based on team appointed, profit generated and eventually cost saving from old technologies used. Smart management of operations for data extraction should be done to have the minimum cost involved. One way is the ability to compress data at the most granular level, which will not only reduce storage requirements, but also simplify the infrastructure. It depends on various companies, their projects and demands to minimize this expense. The true cost, benefit gained and utility should be evaluated thoroughly to take wise steps.

If the above given solutions are practiced, they can help organisations in a good manner to mange their issues with Big Data. Big Data has lots of benefits and encashing these benefits require a good strategy. If a company is able to utilise this information properly, it can reach great heights

Digital Transformation : Big Data & Its Challenges

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

It said that there are no free lunches in the world. With all processes, trends, changes there are pros as well as cons. With every new change and trend there are new challenges that comes along. Today we shall talk about a new concept coming up with the transforming era and its challenges.

We talked about how the world and economies are going digital. With this digital transformation, comes in a new concept called the Big Data. Big Data is a popular term today, which is used to define the exponential growth and availability of data. Wikipedia describes Big Data as a broad term for data sets, that are so large and complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. 

If we simplify Big Data to understand better, then it is a simple cycle. A lot of data, content or information is stored and optimised by various search engines. Out of this storage, content is discovered and managed. After managing and discovering the data, useful and intelligent data is identified. By delivering the intelligent data, user experience is measured using various means such as Analytics. The best user experienced data is then again stored and optimised by search engines. 

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After all the entire cycle is made to engage the user. In the cycle, there are certain challenges that are faced by the users. Some of the challenges are lack of collaboration, multiple media formats, long cycle time, technology ownerships, workload diversity, data security and many other factors. If we consider some of the major challenges then it will be a little simpler to understand and overcome.

Challenge 1 : Data Volume
Companies face alot of difficulty in extracting the right data and understanding its usability. To engage with one’s customers, companies have to think out of the box and look for models that are different from traditional ones. 

Challenge 2 : Talent Gap
Content discovery & management is an essential part for Big Data. Companies today struggle alot to find the right talent, which is capable enough to understand new technologies and interpret a meaningful business insight from it.

Challenge 3 : Performance
In the digital world, where delay of nanoseconds can hamper your business process, big data must be moving at great speed. It is a challenge to react to the flood of information in time required by an application.

Challenge 4 : Technology complexity
On the internet information is scattered on a large scale in different technical formats. Leveraging the data means to work with a strong and innovative technology as well as adapting to changes in IT landscape efficiently.

Challenge 5 : Security
Concern for security is a major obstacle for companies, and prevents them from utilising the data completely. Most Big Data platforms have few security mechanisms to safeguard the data. So it becomes a challenge for both end user as well as the company delivering the data.

Challenge 6 : Cost
Big Data has opened up excellent opportunities for business improvement, to experiment with new methods and discover new technologies, that provide good insight for ones industry. With all this comes a cost, but doing it all the right way with effective cost structure is also a challenge.

According to Gartner Research, Big Data can have major impact on current business in three ways. Big Data can discover hidden insights, improve decisions by enriching information for decision makers and automate business processes. With more data within reach, companies can determine an additional insight. This insight can improve their business processes and enable them to get value from available information.

The new transformation has brought alot of good stuff with it so it has brought complexities. To stay in the competitive market one should adopt this change but with relevant changes as per the industry. To fight these challenges is important, stay close to our section to learn how to fight them.

Digital Transformation A New Era

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

In the race of technology worldwide, economies are growing at a fast rate. To stay in the competition, one important thing to keep in mind is Digital Transformation. The world is getting increasingly digital everyday in all the aspects of society. It affects both individual businesses and segments of society such as government, medicine, communication etc. But do we know exactly what is this transformation all about? 

According to a market research report by MarketsandMarkets, the global digital transformation market is expected to grow from $150.7 billion to $369.2 billion, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.6%. Big giants such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, Apple, Oracle etc. have become the major vendors for the Digital Transformation market. It has become the primary objective of every organisation to know that how is the digital transformation happening in their industry and its effects on their business. 

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Companies vary in their digital maturity, and the ones who are more mature outperform the ones who are not. The leading digital changes require the leadership teams to have a vision of transforming their company to the digital world.

"What we find with digital transformation work is that it’s not really a technology problem, it’s a leadership problem" – George Westerman, Research Scientist, MIT’s initiative on Digital Economy

The initial step for any organisation is to evaluate key characteristics of their business that should go digital instead of manual. An example of such a scenario could be outdated technology. Revamp it, make your current workforce undergo innovation workshops to enable them brainstorm and collaborate with leaders to identify opportunities for digital transformation.

Redesigning a website every few years will not help to compete in digital economy. Organisations need to make more fundamental changes. Digital has raised customer expectations, the speeds of work has increased, patience levels of people have dropped and the list is endless. So it has become essential for organisations to incorporate the necessary changes. 

Tomorrow’s people will have immediate access to much more information as compared with today. Digital enterprises should be able to deliver their services to customers, using their preferred mode of access. The organisations should leverage social, mobile, analytics and cloud as their enabling technologies. Making use of these upcoming new tools to enhance the business process, organisations transform their business models. 

By transforming the business practises to digital organisations can work and perform better. They save alot of cost, time and gain customer satisfaction more than before. Digital transformation has validated to impact the bottom line and stimulates productivity. Businesses that incorporate digital transformation, according to Gartner, will be able to find opportunities and work in seconds. Some of great successes in digital transformation are Nespresso, Marriott, T-Mobile USA. Organisations who invest in new technologies, people and processes, gain great outcomes which include greater profits and market share as well as talent and better brand loyalty by their customers. 

A recently conducted survey by Altimeter group, a specialist research company based in California, stated increased customer engagement, improved customer satisfaction, higher digital traffic, increased lead generation and greater conversion as the top benefits of digital transformation of a business.

So if you are still thinking about whether to make your business process digital, gear up and embrace yourself, because the world is at a very fast pace. Increase your pace to stay in the competition.

Social Media Marketing For B2B Companies

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

In the increasing era of social media the world is getting small. Companies are able to interact with their consumers worldwide through the platform of social media. Brands establish a strong relation and maintain brand loyalty through these platforms. Then why should B2B companies avoid social media?

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There are myths that close the doors for social media for B2B marketing. Many B2B marketers feel that social media is not the right platform for their company or their target audience don't use social media. Some feel that social media is only for young people. These are some of the myths that keep marketers of B2B companies away from social media. 

In today’s era of rapid changes in digital marketing and presence across social media, B2B marketers can’t go very far with traditional methods of digital marketing. Social media is one channel, which can prove to be loyalty builder for B2B businesses. Social media enables B2B companies to feature their credibility and frame a reputation in competitive markets.

By using social media platforms B2B marketers increase the exposure of their company, increase the traffic for their digital marketing campaigns, develop loyal fan following, generate new leads and improve sales. Social media can reduce the existing marketing expenses and provide a better insight to the marketplace. 

Some of the B2B businesses such as Dell, Ford, Microsoft Advertising and GE have done great work using social media platforms for their digital marketing campaigns. It is not necessary for B2B companies to be boring and stick to traditional digital strategies. Big companies have churned out great results with social media marketing. 

Social media marketing gives the marketer an insight about what their consumers are expecting. They can understand how the dynamics are changing, what are the upcoming trends affecting their consumers, how can they establish better relations with their consumers and many more such fields which cannot be accomplished using other digital marketing tools. Social media is an excellent platform to spread a good word of mouth. Good word of mouth helps B2B marketers to generate leads and encourage promoters. 

Digital has changed marketing trends so social media has also affected the current marketing. Social media has changed customer experience and their expectations. So to keep up with the changing trends and keep your customers’ faith B2B marketers should not skip social media marketing in their digital marketing. 

Content Marketing The Driving Wheel For Business

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

Content Marketing is taking a bit of heat as marketers scramble to jump on the latest trend of thinking like a publisher. B2B companies are executing this idea to enhance profitability. They are successful in doing so because targeted content is one of the most powerful tools for brand building and increasing sales and marketing.

There is no reason to state that B2B brands and companies are boring, it is the content which makes them interesting. Content makes their agenda attractive and leaves a strong impact. It convinces the reader that you are someone they can trust and do business with. One should understand the audience and cater to them in the best creative way to grasp their attention and generate revenue from it.

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Marketers are churning out content more than ever before and reaping great results from it. According to a survey by Content Marketing Institue 70% of the B2B marketers are producing more content in 2015 than in 2014. This is a clear reflection how content marketing has become a powerful tool today. Some of the popular B2B companies have gained success in 2014 such as Toshiba, Linkedin Talent Solutions, IBM and many more.

In marketing, clarity and simplicity of message is cardinal. Good content catalyses a good content marketing which drives the business.

Expanding Business Through Social Media

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

People used social media to interact with friends and relatives. Now they interact with brands and companies through social media. It is a great tool for organizations to promote their websites and to keep new and existing customers chatting about their business.

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Social media marketing is attaining new heights to promote businesses. The number of SMEs is increasing and so is their marketing strategy. A report states that out of 10 SMEs, 8 use social media for their business to drive growth. Many B2C marketers attain their customers through Facebook. Majority of the luxury brands have a presence on Pinterest which increases their sales and increases user engagement. Majority B2B marketers connect with organisations and do business through Linkedin. Celebrities have fan following through twitter, even US President just logged in twitter to connect with his countrymen.

Social media lowers many geographical barriers creating a much broader spectrum of people to target. Social media profiles and content can be seen and shared from anywhere on the planet, thereby offering businesses significant opportunities to increase brand awareness and engagement. There are many successful campaigns on social media for companies like Oreo, Red Bull http://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/03/24/6-brands-that-will-have-you-rethinking-your-social-media-marketing-strategy/

Businesses must therefore utilise social networks to enhance their interaction with a broader audience in diverse locations. If businesses wish to optimise their digital marketing, a move towards social media is essential.

The Jaldi 5 for B2B Digital Marketing

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- L Subramanyan, CEO, Trivone Digital

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In the beginning was the word… the written word, lovingly called ‘text’, then came the design element followed by a whole wave of social media tools. Somewhere along the way, Whatsapp and their ilk got into the act. Just when we thought it was some kind of a (brief) end-point, along came the video. While all this was going on, the platform changed from desktop to laptop to tablet to the ubiquitous cell phone.

The above paraphrases the changes that I have seen in the last four years that I have been running Trivone. Inevitably, this has led to a constant change in the business model (any version of which lasts just a quarter or two, anyway).

If that is evident to you, and me, there is one animal that is somewhat oblivious of the above mentioned changes – the Indian (if not other) companies that are selling to other companies, called the B2B segment. Most use their websites (and ALL of them have one) as nothing but a broadcast tool, not updated regularly, replete with ‘prison-row’ kind of images, with gibberish that would have you reaching for the next large peg of Black Dog!

The irony is that the maximum usage of this change is probably the B2B companies. Consider this: B2B companies have a finite set of customers or at least a finite universe of prospects. They have a very clear and rational business case (no depending upon the finer emotional sensibilities of their customers), can convey most of their information across formats, the cost of converting their stories into videos is relatively low and everybody in the B2B business has a cell phone.

So what is the problem? To my mind, it is just plain and simple inertia and a bull-like stubbornness to accept that digital is a part of business. Most of such companies have a CIO, who is only, at best, an infrastructure manager and is a technical geek. (S)he is not considered to be strategic to the business. The attendant problem is that anything that is IT is the CIO’s bailiwick, and hence considered IT and hence not strategic to the business. It is not as if the CEO or the owner doesn't understand the importance of Digital in her life; it is just that (s)he believes that her life and her business are two different things. That is the irony.

How do we change this mindset? For starters, the owner has to understand that Digital is core to the strategic business of the company; irrespective whether one is selling toothbrushes or rocket launchers (not that either of the businesses is inferior or superior to the other). I would ask each owner to do the following, from tomorrow morning:

1.     Start reading the business newspaper on a tablet. That way you can read a story, comment and send it to people in a company.

2.     Get social yourself… throw out the black tie and start getting your Linked in, FB, Twitter accounts active. You will meet people from your business and affiliated groups, start following discussions and over time you will start to participate.

3.     Make your company website page the default page on your browser. Even if you spend less than 3 seconds on it, that is 15 seconds in a week! A huge increase from today’s 15 seconds in a month, if at all.

4.     Make your marketing person explain why (s)he cannot use digital marketing tools to reach out to prospects. It is possible that (s)he may not be able to do all the time, at least it will make her think before giving you a marketing plan, sans digital

5.     Spend at least half a day in a month to attend the countless digital marketing/ mobile marketing events. Most of them may be worthless, but even if one such event gives you one insight once a month, you are on your way.

That's it! Nothing enormous. The above five things will not take more than 10 minutes of your time in a whole day! Who knows, pigs may actually fly.

 

Content Marketing: Asking the Right Questions

- Ruchika Narang – Marketing Program Director, Trivone Digital (@Ruchika_N)

 

Step by Step Guide to Content Marketing

I’ve often had our clients ask us if Content Marketing is ‘right’ for their business. The answer is a resounding Yes! According to Content Marketing Institute, 90% of B2B marketers use Content Marketing to grow their business. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t! In fact, to ensure success of your business in today’s digital age, it is not sufficient to just create products; you need to create great content as well. Content Marketing is nothing but telling your story, be it around your brand, services, products or industry expertise in an effective and optimized manner to reach and communicate with your audience.

The better question to ask is ‘What is the best way to get started with Content Marketing?’  Here’s a step-by-step guide to get started on your Content Marketing strategy:

Step 1: Define your goals.

Whether it is lead generation, visibility, brand awareness, reach and recall, defining your goals and end objectives is the first step to start marketing your product.

Step 2: Define your target audience.

Understand and segment your target market. You will need to highlight the demographic and psychographic behaviour of this audience. Understand their interests, needs and infuencers.

Step 3: Tell your story.

Keeping your consumer’s interests in mind, start telling your story. Create content that is both relevant as well as informative to your audience. The tone and voice of the content should be aligned to the content format, for instance an article has a more ‘scholarly’ tone while a blog usually has a ‘helpful’ tone.

Step 4: Get Creative

Explore various formats of content such as articles, infographics, videos, blogs, whitepapers etc. Visual content is often more attractive and engaging compared to text. Consider video blogs, interview snippets, product demo videos, review videos as part of your content mix.

Step 5: Distribute your Content

Write content that is shareable! Content that is both fun to read yet informative has good potential to be shared by readers. Keep an eye out for ongoing trends in the Content field – ex. Listicles and Slideshows have become quite popular, and might I add, quite shareable. Use your website platform along with your social media platforms to distribute and cross-promote your content.

Step 6: Track and Analyse

Tracking your content pieces will give you a fair idea of what’s clicking and what’s not! Identify metrics before hand that you need to measure, such as number of visits, links of your content shared, social shares, likes, comments etc. Ensure that you track regularly and analyse the data collected to better your content / content strategy in the long term.