Engaging a business audience of One

Here’s a challenge for you: Name one business landscape that has experienced more disruption over the last five years, and seen more transformation, than B2B. Social platforms. Mobile connectivity. Niche business media. Content as a sales source. Targeting business people as people.

It’s nothing short of an extreme makeover. And we at OgilvyOne felt it was about time to help you make sense of it all. We asked thought leaders both inside our operation and out to put these game-changing trends under the microscope and layout a plan for helping you, an industry-leading business-to-business executive, to not only find your way through this briar patch, but also conquer it.

A few highlights to whet your appetite: Rob Morrison, Creative Director of OgilvyOne, reminds us that businesspeople aren’t just empty vessels for briefcases and Oxford shirts. They’re emotion-driven consumers just like everyone else, and need to be treated as such. To that end, Rob provides the five essential rules of emotional business.

Curtis Tracey of [email protected] lays out a plan for using social networks—specifically, LinkedIn—to deliver successful B2B leads. Among his top suggestions is to create a group within the platform—a step that will allow influencers within your organization to build relationships with potential customers and for your sales team to gather audience insights. Curtis writes a second piece, about the imperative of gathering and generating data as a way to share and communicate with potential customers when they’re most receptive. He explains the challenges of harnessing “big data,” and provides specific suggestions on how to work through them. The three items on his must-do list for B2B marketers: Embrace data, create mobile-friendly environments, and set up reporting and analytics that show ROI.

Emily Kelley of OgilvyOne debunks three myths of B2B mobile marketing. She explains, for example, that it’s not true that B2B customers don’t consume content in the same way consumers do—and that, as a result, content in the B2B realm needs to be somehow weightier and more ponderous. Rather, she suggests trying the same “rich, engaging content formats” that work for consumers.

Roger Christie of [email protected] argues that if you’re buying into the claim that social media doesn’t provide sales leads, you’re missing the point. It’s not a matter of flicking on a switch and having success, he points out. Instead, you need a long-term plan that integrates social media into your larger communications and business activities. Roger then delivers a full-blown B2B guide to social media.

Finally, Gordon McNenney of DT Digital offers up the seven steps to building a B2B content machine. Number 4? Give content marketers the freedom to fail. “Be willing to walk away from ideas that aren’t working,” he writes, “but be fun and courageous.”

Click here for the full report on driving customer engagement.

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