There’s now a lot of the RIGHT kind of activity out there, and we thought we’d share some reasons why we’re bullish on the business climate – as well as the “WIIFM” – “What’s In It for Me?” – for you.
Big Business Paying Attention to The Right Marketing Focus
Yes, we’ve talked to quite a few big business people — large, publicly traded companies, for example — who have decided that they need to take yet another look at how they are allocating funds. And being nimble enough to shift — sometimes on a dime — to Social Media Marketing and Mobile Technologies.
Case in point: Allstate Roadside Services, whose Mobile App is already off to a rousing start. [DISCLOSURE: Area 224 has a client relationship with Allstate Roadside Services to support this Mobile App.] The marketing push around this involves an integrated campaign — not JUST social media — but the decision to launch this in the first place stemmed from success the business had with MINI and a mobile app for MINI users.
Startups Jumping in With Both Feet – And Using the Bootstrap
No better way to start a business than to bootstrap and learn along the way. We did it with U Sphere — and boy did we learn a ton here about what makes things successful and, in our case, why things don’t scale or monetize enough to support the long-term business case.
Bootstrapping — building your business through sweat equity, looking under couch cushions for money, funding efforts out of cash flow — will give you the ability to understand just what the market will support. Or not support.
In any event, it seems like every day we’re tweeting with or getting a request to connect with a new startup. Most will not succeed, but some will figure it out. And all have the ability to learn from what the market tells them. (We did.)
Niche Within the Niche – Find it and Succeed
Specifically, helping Realtors make better connections with consumers — i.e., people who will buy a house from them. Going after the overall real estate industry is, IMHO, too broad a focus. The “How Do You Market Yourself?” within real estate question — that’s a niche we think Social Media Marketing can help answer. Not all Realtors will want to get it, but the niche within the niche is where we’ll look for customers.
B2B Marketers Will Figure Out Social Media Marketing
It’s not going to happen overnight, but there’s something in each of the three other blurbs above for the B2B Marketing world.
For instance — where best to focus marketing dollars? Since SMM is trackable, moving ad dollars from print to online will give much better ROI data. Often, the business trade publications (maybe ironically) are the best place for online marketing — usually there’s a robust list, really good niche traffic numbers, and editorial content that drives visitors. (Because trade reporters with really good relationships are the ones breaking the industry stories that can drive traffic for right-now visitors that aren’t reading the print publication.)
We’ve talked to B2B marketers about sorting this out — we were part of a great discussion last week at Website Magazine’s Roundtable Discussion. (Disclosure — that’s not the official name, but Area 224 was there, at a round table, under a sign that said “Social Media Marketing.” The format of the networking event was great — move around every three minutes and talk about your business issues and learn from each other. Which we did.) It’s an investment — Social Media Marketing is an investment. B2B Marketers know that. How to best allocate the investment will take time to figure out — but the answer comes back to one of the discussions we’ve had over and over.
Why Do You Want To “Do Social Media Marketing” In The First Place?
Customer Service? Market Research? Public Relations? Executive Positioning?
B2B Marketers who know that up front — “Hey, let’s use Twitter to do brand research and see if anyone knows who we are?” — are poised for success.