b2b marketing

Why Local Loyalty, Big Data & Content Matter in 2014

Last week we had the opportunity to learn about the hot marketing trends for 2014 with three leading B2B marketers.  "What's Hot in B2B Digital Marketing in 2014" was hosted by our own Rob Fuggetta with panelists Sharon Crost, Lauren McCadney and Rishi Dave. As three of the best and brightest minds in digital marketing, we were excited for these three speakers to discuss the following with us: 1. What's hot in B2B digital marketing in 2014?

2. Why is it a major trend?

3. What should marketers be doing about it?

SharonCrostSharon Crost of Hitachi- Senior Manager Manager, Social Business 

Local Loyalty:

An innovator in social media and visiting professor, Sharon joined us to discuss Local Loyalty. So, what does that mean? Simply put, people aren’t buying from robots or social media spam- people buy from people. TwitterBird  "Local" has a wide variety of meanings in digital and social media; it could refer to geography, a topic areas of interest, or a conversation with someone who is influential.

In 2014, customers want to work with influential leaders, not spammers- business today is all about working relationships with prospects and sales, and each experience should be personalized. To do so, the influencers must be identified and advocates must be provided with content.

LaurenMcCadneyLauren McCadney of CDW- Senior Manager, Social Media

Big Data:

According to McKinsey Global Institute, "Big Data: The next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity." Unfortunately, 82% of CMOs are feeling underprepared for Big Data (MarketingCharts.com) and the data explosion. Lauren shares the keys to Big Data Success:

1.What are you trying to learn or solve for?

2. Amassing the right data

3. Finding analytical talent: Buy it? Borrow it?

Lauren explains how each company has huge volumes of data, but is it actionable? Big Data projects can deliver information and impressive Powerpoints, but effectively using this data is crucial to Big Data success.

RishiDaveRishi Dave of Dell- Executive Director, Digital Marketing


93% of B2B Marketers are using content, but only 42% believes it is effective (MarketingProfs / The Content Marketing Institute.) Rishi believes that companies are struggling with content quality because in the past, content was produced once per quarter, launch or campaign. Today, our open channels with customers require many pieces of marketing material per day, so marketers struggle with maintaining high-quality and engaging content.

While content is one of the best ways to generate qualified leads, it is important to keep in mind that it can take time. Content does not automatically convert leads, but with a constant funnel of content creation, prospects will find you when they are ready to connect.


Connect with the speakers on Twitter: @RobFuggetta@RishiPDave@SharonHDS & @LMcCadney




New Lead Generation Solution Delivers Referrals From Brand Advocates

If someone told you there was a shoebox full of hand-written highly qualified referral leads buried next to a tree in South Dakota, would you grab a shovel and venture to retrive them? Judging by the stats below, I'm sure every marketer and salesperson would be on the next flight to South Dakota cracking a bottle of champagne!

Facts about Lead Generation

  • Sixty percent of B2B marketers say generating leads is their top goal for 2012, followed closely by 57 percent who said “converting leads into paying customers” is their top priority (MarketingSherpa, “2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Survey”).
  • The average cost per lead using traditional outbound marketing tactics (direct mail, trade shows, direct marketing) is $346, according to HubSpot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing.
  • In a recent survey by HubSpot, about 25 percent of marketers said referral leads were worth $1,000 per lead to their company and about 10 percent said referrals were worth more than $10,000.

Today, we've announced a new lead generation solution to help marketers and salespeople generate thousands of "free" referral leads from their own Brand Advocates and their social networks. 

Zuberance’s new "Advocate Referrals" solution is not a tell-a-friend tool or pay for referrals tactic. It’s a complete referral marketing solution that enables companies to systematically:

  •     Identify Advocates from among customers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, website visitors, and more;
  •     Leverage Advocates to generate referral leads by making it easy for Advocates to create and/or share compelling content and offers with their social and business networks;
  •     Track and optimize results in real-time.

How it works:


The Zuberance Advocate Platform automatically tracks which Advocates are sharing content and offers with their social networks; how many referrals have been generated; and the conversion rate for these referrals. A/B testing enables marketers to compare and analyze what offers or content being shared by Advocates are generating the most referrals. The Zuberance Advocate Platform also enables marketers to automatically re-engage Advocates to spur more sharing and referrals.

“Referral leads are the Gold Standard of leads, the Glengarry leads. These are the leads that marketers need and salespeople crave,” said Rob Fuggetta, Zuberance Founder & CEO. “Zuberance’s Advocate Referrals delivers thousands of qualified referral leads into the sales funnel, boosting sales fast,” he stated.

To learn more, read the full press release here.

Top 5 Brand Advocacy Best Practices For B2C AND B2B

According to a recent IBM study, Customer Advcocacy is the #1 priority for CMO's worldwide. As more and more brands begin to create a brand advocacy strategy, it's important to consider these five best practices.






1. Identify Advocates using multiple touch points. If you want to build your brand army, you should be identifying Advocates every which way. Plot our your customer experience and wherever your customers touch your product, service, or brand, ask “How likely are you to recommend us to your friends?” Place this question on your website, in emails, on social channels, in-product, etc.

2. Give Advocates lots of ways to recommend. Brand Advocates like to spread the love in various ways. Some are active content creators; some are avid sharers. Give  Advocates the opportunity to write reviews, rate products, create testimonials, share offers, whitepapers, and other content, answer prospect’s questions, and more.

3. Leverage Advocate content smartly. Advocate-generated content is pure digital gold. Lauren McCadney, Senior Social Media Manager for CDW, says that this content is better than any copywriter could write. Take advantage of your Advocates’ enthusiasm and place their content on your website and product pages, integrate it with email marketing campaigns, use it in advertising, and more.

4. Create an ongoing advocacy program, not a campaign. Advocacy should not be considered a one-off campaign. It’s an ongoing strategy and that builds over time and strengthens the brand-Advocate relationship. Advocates can support and amplify many of your marketing initiatives such as product launches, company announcements, community membership, etc. They’re even willing to give you feedback on new products, defend you from detractors, and answer prospects’ questions on your behalf.

5. Don’t pay or coach Advocates. Keep recommendations for your brand authentic and genuine. Giving customers incentives taints their recommendations and is just plain lame. If your company makes great products, there’s no need to waste precious marketing dollars on inauthentic advocacy.

To read about brand advocacy success stories, download "Turning Your Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force."

Do you have any best practices to add? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Webinar Recording: Secrets of B2B Social Media & Word of Mouth Marketing #B2BWOM

Below is the recording from our recent webinar on "Secrets of B2B Social Media & Word of Mouth Marketing" during which top marketers with a breadth of experience running B2B marketing shared social media success stories from brands like Intuit, Adobe, Microsoft, and CDW.

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Key Takeaways:
  • Only 5% of Chief Marketing Officers rate their companies' online marketing performance as excellent.
  • B2B marketers say their top challenges are generating more leads, reaching decision makers, and improving lead quality.
  • One of CDW's best marketers and salespeople is "Hard-core" CDW Advocate, Justin Dorfman.
  • 83% of online consumers say online reviews influence their purchases.
  • Intuit found that Advocates love to share new product information before the public launch (beyond just discount offers.)
  • Companies can double their conversions by putting Advocate-generated recommendations on product pages.
  • 80% of Intuit's sales are driven by Word of Mouth.
  • Brand Advocates are your secret B2B marketing weapon- 90% of buyers trust Word of Mouth vs 14% trust ads.
  • Advocacy best practices: 1) Don't pay your Advocates. 2) Make Advocate/Word of Mouth marketing part of ongoing marketing mix. 3) Scale and track advocacy programs.
  • How to identify Advocates: Ask them The Ultimate Question, "How likely are you to recommend our brand/product to your friends and colleagues?"
  • Build your brand army by identifying Advocates across touch points: Email, website, call center, product page, social media, packaging, etc.
  • Advocates recommend because they've had a great experience with your brand/product and they want to help others.

We also conducted a poll during the webinar and asked the audience, "How much of your business comes from Word of Mouth?" ANSWER: 48% say that 50% or more of their business comes from WOM. (See results below.)

Make sure to download our "Top 5 Myths of B2B Word of Mouth" whitepaper.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

Upcoming Sept 21 Webinar: Secrets of B2B Social Media & Word of Mouth Marketing #B2BWOM

Title: Secrets of B2B Social Media & Word of Mouth MarketingDate: Wednesday, September 21 Time: 11am PST/ 2pm EST

Twitter hashtag: #B2BWOM

Click here to Register now!

As a B2B marketer, are you harnessing the power of social media and Word of Mouth to drive leads and sales?

Register now to attend this free webinar featuring real-world case studies from leading B2B companies like Intuit, Adobe, Microsoft, CDW and more!

What You’ll Learn

  • How to generate referral leads and boost sales via social media and Word of Mouth
  • How to turn Facebook fans and Twitter followers into a powerful marketing force
  • The Do’s & Don’ts of social media marketing involving customer advocates

Expert Presenters

Laura Messerschmitt, VP of Marketing, Outright (@ljmesser)

Laura Messerschmitt is the Vice President of Marketing at Outright, an online bookkeeping solution for small businesses.  Prior to Outright, she spent seven years with Intuit, where she led social media marketing efforts and advocacy programs.   She holds a B.S. in Mathematics (Summa Cum Laude) from UCLA and an MBA from Stanford University.


Rob Fuggetta, Founder/CEO of Zuberance (@robfuggetta)

Rob has more than 20 years of experience in Word of Mouth marketing. His WOM strategies have created marketing success for Apple, Intuit, Norton, and many others. Fuggetta is a frequent speaker and author of the upcoming book, “Energize! How to Turn Fans, Followers, and Enthusiastic Customers into Social Media Marketing Machines.”

Register Now!

Whitepaper: Top 5 Myths of B2B Word of Mouth

Download: Top 5 Myths of B2B Word of Mouth. Word of Mouth (WOM) is the "world's most powerful sales tool," according to Nielsen. Today, thanks to social media channels like blogs, Twitter, review sites and more, WOM and online recommendations are more influential than ever. But is WOM effective in B2B environments? Discover what's fact and what's fiction in B2B Word of Mouth marketing.

Download this whitepaper and learn:

  • What role does social media play in influencing business purchase decisions?
  • How to measure B2B Word of Mouth
  • How B2B and B2C WOM compare.

We want to hear from you!  Share your thoughts on the whitepaper here.

New Marketing Technologies: CIO's and CMO's Need to Work Together

The new Forrester Research Inc report, “Emerging Technology Applications For Marketing," stresses the importance of businesses understanding up-and-coming marketing technology in order to effectively communicate to customers.  These technologies are a great support to the marketing mix.  Forrester advises CIO’s and CMO’s to work together for ideal business success. In order to stay relevant and reliable, CIO’s should be aware of new technologies that could be incorporated into the marketing strategy, especially in B2B companies. Some key takeaways from this report are as follows:

  • When you address customer needs effectively, sales follow.  Marketing should focus on putting the customer in the driver’s seat, which ultimately benefits the bottom line.
  • 58% of Marketing Professionals think IT and Marketing speak different languages.  56% think IT doesn’t understand our business.  In reality, the two departments are very closely related – both have a clear set of processes that help the organization relate to the customer, enhance the brand experience, collect data and help secure revenue.
  • One of the four emerging technologies to watch in 2011 is: Brand Advocate platforms to energize Word of Mouth (WOM).  Zuberance was given a notable mention as a supplier of this technology!
  • Consumers are increasingly more proactive in their advocacy of brands through recommendations across social media channels, which is extremely helpful for B2C companies.  But, B2B marketers can use Brand Advocate platforms to encourage WOM by loyal customers in order to generate sales leads, references, and share your thought leadership.
  • Encourage your marketing team to get customer feedback on how to improve.  With thoughtful responses you can deliver better customer service and collaborate with IT to find new technologies and vendors to address concerns or opportunities.

In conclusion, IT and Marketing can easily work together to employ new marketing initiatives that deliver more value and are sustainable in our highly social world.

-Lucy Arnold, Marketing Coordinator, Zuberance

A successful social media campaign is integrated with all marketing and media efforts

Social media isn’t a “one size fits all” solution. If the client is in the B2B space they need to spend months if not years building a relationship. That’s because B2B sales cycles can be extremely long, said Mark Kurtz, Chief Growth Office and VP of New Media for Gage Marketing.

But in the B2C space, Gage can be very aggressive through promotions, contests, and ad campaigns. Ultimately though, social media doesn’t exist and survive in a bubble. It’s all about integrating a campaign, said Kurtz.

Connect social media with all forms of media.

-David Spark, Social Media Journalist, Spark Media Solutions

SVAMA Panel Recording: The Next Step in Social: Beyond Listening & Engagement

Last week, Zuberance sponsored an event held by the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association’s (SVAMA) on “The Next Step in Social: Beyond Listening & Engagement” at the Adobe headquarters in San Jose, CA. The highly engaged audience was there to gain insights from top marketers from Adobe, Intuit, Altimeter Group, and Zuberance on energizing Brand Advocates and measuring social media ROI. Take a look at the panel recording below. Keynote Presentation by Chris Arens, Partner, Catalyst S+F


Panel Discussion: The Next Step in Social: Beyond Listening & Engagement


Featured Panel:

Key takeaways from the discussion:

  • Globalization of business is not an excuse for lacking a good relationship with your customers.
  • The moment you start calling your customers “end users” respect goes out the door. They are PEOPLE.
  • “Thinking about buying an Advocacy army? Forget it. You can’t buy love.” -@christianarens
  • “Recommendations are the new advertising.” – CMO of Visa
  • B2B users are the heaviest users of social media, so it pays to have a strong community to guide them to your brand.
  • Measuring social media ROI varies across businesses. Zuberance developed ROA (Return on Advocacy) to measure the value of a recommendation.
  • “Would you really stay away from social media even if there was no ROI? No, of course not.” – @robfuggetta
  • 9 out of 10 people are listening but not posting on branded social channels. Deal with negative comments publicly and show your community that you’re listening. Some of the best campaigns come from taking negative responses and fixing it, which can turn detractors into Advocates.
  • Intuit invites their Advocates into the “Intuit Inner Circle” where they are given access to exclusive events and information.
  • The voice of customer helps fuel innovation. Adobe uses their Facebook fan page as a forum to engage with users, gain insight, and bring that info back to product development.
  • “Social media is bringing people into the company. It’s not about getting through gate keepers anymore.” – @mariapoveromo
  • The key to energizing Word of Mouth? Simply give Advocates the tools to recommend in ways that are easy, convenient, are distributable across channels.

Thank you again to the panelists and everyone who came out!

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance