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Consulting room: make social media pay

Consulting room: make social media pay

It's here to stay, your business can't ignore it, so how do you make social media work for you?

Just like every business community, the IT channel is grappling with a rapidly changing marketing landscape. Social media is now widely acknowledged as influencing purchasing decisions – it’s even produced the term “the opinion cycle” – a fast moving virtual cyclone of potential endorsement or derision that can happen almost as soon as a new product or service is launched.

It’s worth noting that your customers (and not just their kids) are definitely using social media. Nielsen reports that 42 per cent of Twitter’s audience, for example, are in the 35-49 year-old category – so that’s verging on the senior management and C-level demographic.

But ultimately, social media is best viewed as yet another key avenue that should be used to reach prospects in an integrated marketing campaign.

When we talk about integrated campaigns – we’re talking about a multi touch approach to customers and new prospects. Did you know that on average, it takes four or five marketing ‘touches’ to produce a properly qualified sales lead? One-size-fits-all marketing approaches often miss the mark. Telemarketing alone, for example, can often be ineffective.

Most often companies need a combination of multi-touch approaches to prospects before they’ll really start to engage with you. Strong messaging across direct mail, eDMs, microsites and telemarketing help to ‘nurture’ or move your prospects along the buying journey into becoming a long-term customer.

And once you’ve established the multi-touch approach, the next question is how to stand out? Bombarded with advertising, telemarketing calls, and unsolicited emails, everyone is becoming much more picky about what communications they receive – and their memories more selective about what they remember ever seeing.

Increasingly, you need exciting creative coupled with a smart strategy to make inroads. But how can you effectively use marketing tools to strike up a meaningful relationship with your target audience? How do you get prospects to click? Tear open? Read? Share?

And on top of that, why use a digital campaign for one audience and an event for another? And when would you bring social media to the table? In the increasingly exotic mix that is marketing today, it often seems that there has to be an easier way to build sales pipeline and still get noticed.

It’s with all this in mind that Bang has designed a new go-to-market portal for IT channel partners. It’s called Pipeline and mostly it’s been built to make marketing easier and faster, while still delivering the cut through and lead generation results that partners need.

On Pipeline, IT resellers choose between five different marketing packages. To find out more visit www.bang.net.au/pipeline.

Karl Uhrich is account services director at Bang, one of Australia’s leading IT business-to-business communications specialists. You can contact him on 02 9512 0106 or at karl@bang.net.au


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Tags marketingdirect maileDMtelemarketingmicrcositesintegrated marketingtwitterPipelinesocial mediamanagement

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