A Call To Action (For Fleet Providers): ‘Owned Media,’ More Than Being Social

While brand mar­keters for con­sumer com­pa­nies exploit the new web-cre­at­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties to catch buy­ers’ atten­tion, B2B mar­keters have had good rea­son to wait. The gen­er­al con­sen­sus is that dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing com­pris­es cor­po­rate web­site and repet­i­tive cor­po­rate mes­sag­ing placed in ban­ner adver­tis­ing and in social media posts, tweets and pho­tos.

By Ed Pierce, ItsTheArtsFleetMarketing.com

As a mar­ket­ing man­ag­er for a provider of fleet prod­ucts or ser­vices, you know that the first ques­tion an exec­u­tive will ask is “Where’s the val­ue?” Are you real­ly going to explain mar­ket­ing val­ue based on Face­book “likes,” Twit­ter “fol­lows,” and Pin­ter­est “pins”? Not like­ly! It’s hard enough explain­ing the val­ue of tra­di­tion­al adver­tis­ing mea­sures like cost-per-thou­sand, impres­sions, aware­ness and per­cep­tions.

Okay, so why will dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing become an inte­gral part of every fleet provider’s inte­grat­ed mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy?

The first rea­son is that “owned media” gives you total con­trol over direct inter­ac­tions with your tar­get audi­ence. You con­trol both the tim­ing and con­tent of your mes­sages.

Sec­ond, social media “fol­low­ers” are more emo­tion­al­ly con­nect­ed, accord­ing to a Motista Q4-2011 report. Of course, stronger emo­tion­al con­nec­tion leads to bet­ter busi­ness out­comes.

Third, social media con­nec­tions lead to bet­ter response rates to tra­di­tion­al pro­mo­tions. In the same Motista report, 28% of social media fol­low­ers of a busi­ness’ page respond­ed to that company’s direct mail (snail mail) pro­mo­tions com­pared to 10% of non-fol­low­ers.

Final­ly, 73% per­cent of social media fol­low­ers have recent­ly rec­om­mend­ed a brand com­pared to 40% of non-fol­low­ers, results report­ed by Motista.

As with all B2B mar­ket­ing pro­grams, the road from brand aware­ness to a sale is long and wind­ing. How­ev­er, that road is paved with sig­nif­i­cant mile­stones – gain­ing share of mind of the buy­er, clear­ly dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing the busi­ness, estab­lish­ing a unique solu­tion, build­ing an emo­tion­al con­nec­tion, and final­ly, shar­ing a belief in a mutu­al­ly advan­ta­geous rela­tion­ship.

Despite the oppor­tu­ni­ty that owned media brings to a busi­ness, sur­pris­ing­ly few com­pa­nies have the con­tent, process, and method­olo­gies in place to ful­ly ben­e­fit from direct dis­tri­b­u­tion to a tar­get audi­ence. Even if there’s a plan that has been effec­tive in secur­ing good search engine results and dis­tri­b­u­tion of the brand name, the crit­i­cal ele­ment of engage­ment is still lack­ing.

In the next col­umn, we will delve into ways fleet providers can improve engag­ing their tar­get audi­ence. If you have a spe­cif­ic mar­ket­ing issue or ques­tion, call me at 610–585‑0801 or send an email to Ed Pierce, ItsTheArtsFleetMarketing.com

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