The ballroom of Grand Hyatt was set for an enlightening day with glittering lights and peppy music. Men dressed up in the best of corporate attire and ladies were nonetheless charming. The atmosphere was rightly staged for the first LinkedIn B2B Connect 2012 conference to be a major success. The room, which was tightly packed with engrossing eyes and attentive ears, saw Hari V Krishnan, Country Manager LinkedIn India kick starting the event. Hari invited David Meerman Scott to share his thoughts on “New Rules of B2B Marketing”.

 David Meerman Scott

David started his talk by sharing a great example of how Joe Payne’s blog post in real time, about one of his competitor getting acquired by Oracle did miracles to his business. This act led Joe’s story to be featured by the major media houses and also got him a business worth a million dollars from Red Hat.  David further elaborated the entire process how Joe created the content in real time and shared it on potential networks such as LinkedIn, etc. This was the secret sauce that worked for Joe and today B2B marketers need to focus on this, which is nothing but the “New Rules Of Marketing”.

David went further in decoding the “New Rules of Marketing” and shared that being “Real Time” is what matters. The bond trading market is the relevant example and B2B marketers need to adopt it. Today one needs an instant engagement with people otherwise you are going to lose out, added David. “Plan for now and React to now” was one of the messages that David shared during the discussion.

Carrying on his discussion further, David touched upon “Generating Attention”. He spoke about the common three ways that marketers are following but they are ignoring a very important way too. Buy advertising, Beg media attention and Bug your way to sales dealing, are the three ways that B2B marketers have been following religiously for ages. However, they have not focused on “Earned Attention” which David also refers as “Brand Journalism.” Earned Attention or the process of publishing content, sharing it and thereby leading it to the top of search engine rankings is being done by a few today and that’s what Joe Payne did, but most of the B2B brands are missing it.

David shared some more interesting real life examples of brands that are involving themselves into generating “Earned Attention”. HSBC which runs a site called “Business Without Borders” is doing the same and generating great results.  Agilent did the same to make the “Signal Integrity” page to rank in the top search results of Google.

So the next obvious question was then – what is stopping B2B marketers today? FEAR is the only thing that is stopping the marketers, shared David. David felt that B2B companies need to be more human as the people they are dealing and also dealing with, are all humans. So B2B companies need to be more human and have some fun. David shared another great example of Cisco on this context and played the famous valentine video, which the brand had created to spread its brand message. A server brand really went human and if you don’t believe me, then check out the below video.

And where is the ROI, an often asked question got a lukewarm response from David. The reason being David thinks that we are being too skeptic about the medium even before we try it out. We need to jump in and experience it first.

Before leaving the dais, David shared some interesting data from Hubspot. Hubspot researched 3128 brands in 2011 and found some great insights, of which one of them was that LinekdIn is 4 times effective than Twitter and Facebook in the B2B space. To know more about the research, click on David’s blog post.

By far the best talk of the event with some great examples and some hard-hitting thoughts. I agree with David that today the B2B marketers in India are scared and at the same time lazy to do the “Earned Attention” exercise. What are your thoughts on the slow rate of adoption of social media by B2B brands?

On the web you are what you publish

Prasant Naidu

Founder and Editor at Lighthouse Insights.

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