C-to-C Is Winning, But B-to-B and B-to-C Marketers Can Play, Too

Group using mobile phonesMost of the content marketers see is from other consumers — whether it’s shared or original — rather than straight from marketers, says Mathew Sweezey, a principal of marketing insights with San Francisco-based CRM software provider Salesforce. “Nobody Cares About Your Newsletter: 4 Ways to Break Though the Digital Noise With Mobile Marketing” was actually a bait-and-switch session title, admitted Sweezey at the end of his Tuesday afternoon session during Integrated Marketing Week 2015. But the point is made — marketers need to realize how people are hearing about their companies and address those realities, he said at the Direct Marketing Association-hosted conference held at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York.

For instance, this video with millions of views didn’t come from a marketing campaign, he says as he flips to Slide 13:

Perhaps consumers saw this video on Facebook, which he forced attendees to admit they visit during work hours for escapism. Help consumers fulfill their purpose and content may get viewed, Sweezey says. For instance, one B-to-B marketing video with nearly 3 million views comes up under the search term “Caterpillar Jenga video.” Drivers use industrial equipment to play a large-scale version of the game here:

Target Marketing asked Mike Uehlein, a DMA spokesman, about the idea after the session and he agreed with Sweezey.

“Smart marketers will always find a way to develop relevant content for their target audiences,” Uehlein says. “Yelp is just one example of this. When looking for a restaurant, I’m not looking for the average user’s reviews, but I look at the users labeled as ‘Elite.’ To me, these users are verified through their participation in the Elite program, which I know from personal experience is cultivated by Yelp’s city coordinators. This is just one example of how markers will develop relevant, verified content for consumers.”

Sweezey had a few other tips for marketers who want to get their content in front of consumers:

• If the newsletter is actually working, continue to use it. Most newsletters have “abysmal” results, he says. Sweezey says marketers should ask: “Is it fulfilling one of those core needs that human beings have?”

• Understand that most buyers do “batch research” that they download all at once and hope to eventually read. Also, Sweezey says, about 80 percent of buyers will come to companies with their minds made up. [Editor’s note: This number varies widely, depending on which research is cited. It’s fair to say marketers who cite this phenomenon seem to agree that “most” buyers come to companies having already made their decisions.]

• Use predictive modeling. If a customer bought a bed, it’s possible the person is redoing a bedroom. What else may the customer buy?

• Make an excellent impression on a consumer’s notification screen, whether that’s in social media or elsewhere. “That’s a brand impression that can get you instantly onto the home screen of someone’s mobile,” Sweezey says. To do pinpoint targeting in Facebook, marketers can use Power Editor, he notes. But in social media, “pay to provide amazing experiences, not ads,” Sweezey advises in Slide 71. Convert social media campaign video viewers, for instance, by collecting email addresses with offers to keep them up to date on similar experiences, he shows in Slide 72.

• Think mobile. For instance, 66 percent of emails are opened on mobile devices, he says.

• Use rich text for email messages, because HTML is now a consumer’s “measure of BS,” Sweezey says. He thinks it increases conversions over HTML messages by 30 percent, because rich text means one-to-one communication.

• Think about how shared values and shared actions can equal shared profits. Sweezey cites a Levi’s campaign in Braddock, Penn.:

Heather Fletcher is a freelance reporter for Adweek. She covers performance and direct marketing.