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Sunday, January 24, 2010

B2B Mobile Marketing Best Practices: Marketers, Your (Mobile) Audiences Need "More Show, Less Tell."

Iphone-parallels There are many best practices that have already been established in the mobile marketing sector... and many more that B2B marketers, in particular, will still need to learn and adopt.

Why?

Because mobile is an emerging new space with entirely new constraints on SPACE. And for complex B2B offerings requiring a lot of explanation for buyers, this is a BIG learning curve for B2B marketers who will need to start thinking "small".

Take a look at that mobile device up there. Pretty snazzy, eh? To be sure, it's visually stunning and all sorts of cool. It's also very small. After all, it's designed for mobility. But what our B2B target audience of business executives really need—due to now having to manage larger amounts of information on smaller screens—is for their content to be delivered in ‘bite-sized chunks’ and to be optimized for mobile environments. Whether that content is delivered through text, audio or video formats.

Why?

Because even when business professionals are off-site but on-the-clock they’re still seeking information that will inform their work, improve their efficiency and influence their purchasing decisions. And purchasing leads to ROI... which is exactly what B2B companies need. B2Bs, however, are notorious for producing content-heavy collateral.

Why?

Texting For the very simple reason that B2B offerings are wholly complex. Think about it, we B2B marketers aren’t selling ninety-nine cent song downloads, we're selling more along the lines of nine MILLION-dollar enterprise software systems. And while most B2C offerings don't involve a great deal of scrutiny or a high level of buyer involvement (save for buying a house or car), B2B business offerings are subject to a tremendous degree of risk vs. reward assessment. And enterprise audiences need data to assess risk and reward. Ergo, business audiences still very much need the content we produce, but on their mobile devices they now need content available in different lengths and formats.

It's not that B2B marketers should stop creating text-heavy content, it's that they'll ALSO need to create content that shows more, tells less. The BIG action point here is that B2Bs need to constantly consider the small mobile-viewing experience by developing marketing and sales content that is optimized for handheld screens.

How?

Through such mobile-friendly approaches as:

  • Mobile Web Sites. Developing Mobile Web Sites (or "mobisites") that are slimmed-down versions of much larger corporate Web sites. You'll still promote your key messages and communicate your key offerings, but you'll need to do so in a streamlined manner.
  • Video Case Studies. Creating 2-minute video case studies (in addition to 2-page text documents available at your regular Web site), that are far easier for your executive audience to watch on their mobile devices when they're on a layover between Denver and Detroit.
  • Video Demos. Producing short demos that are graphical in nature and can be uploaded to video sites like YouTube and easily embedded and accessed from your mobile Web site.
  • Audio Podcasts. Recording short audio podcasts that encapsulate the key industry tips you already publish in your monthly email newsletters, as these can be listened to during executives' daily commutes.
  • Shorter Content "Bursts." Writing 100-word snapshots (or what I call content "bursts") of 10,000 word thought-leadership pieces that executives can read when they're out in the field. Keep in mind that these bursts can provide an incentive to "read the full version for even more insights!" when they're back in the office and are afforded the luxury of 15" screens from which to view.
  • SMS Alerts. Offering 160-character SMS alerts of breaking developments in the industry, on the competition or the overall profession. You can always elaborate on and aggregate these in longer blog posts, too. But in keeping them short, keeps your target audience informed wherever they might be at the time the news breaks.
  • And so on and so forth...

Remember, B2B marketers, your business audiences aren’t always at their desktop computers when they require your information—but that information still very much influences their purchases. In fact, they're at their desks less and less. So, when you're creating and promoting content, you now need to be forever mindful that someone, somewhere on the other side of the data you publish will be accessing it by way of a device that's very small.

Thus, the Anytime/Anywhere Web Necessitates “More Show, Less Tell” from B2B Marketers.

Your audiences will thank you. More to the point, your audiences will actually be able to consume your content from the one device that never leaves their sides (or their pockets).

Note: A terrific post by Chris Koch on mobile B2Bs going more visual is located here. And a 10-Step Starter Guide on Integrating Mobile Into The B2B Marketing Mix is located here.


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Thanks for posting this very interesting and informative article.

CK this is perfect and thought-provoking. As a journalist and copywriter I've struggled to switch modes when jobbing for clients who need lots of words for product collateral and fewer for web copy -- but sloganeering and headline writing is part of my stock in trade. I just have to get used to reaching for those 'concise' tools more and more frequently; I also need to start thinking of and creating bite sized text versions (or visual alternatives) to everything I write. Less prose, more poetry! - Sheila Averbuch, ENN

Smart stuff CK.

While I suspect the desktop/mobile experience will be one in the same in a few short years, anyone hoping to reach b2B and B2C ought to be thinking about mobile marketing. It's more engaging, versatile, and easier to manage.

In terms of delivery, it seems to me that the best models are as fluid as the platforms. Short bursts with optional deep content, short videos summed up with text bullets, etc., etc.

All my best,
Rich

Great article on B2B Mobile Marketing. Building consumer relationships is the key to developing effective SMS-based marketing campaigns. At Globaltel Media, our customers have enjoyed great success in launching customized, two-way SMS-based marketing campaigns with dedicated short codes. Utilizing the real-time response rate tracking of our solutions, customers have been able to better tailor their respective campaigns to drive increased results and build customer relationships. It is imperative companies adhere to the MMA's opt-in/opt-out regulations, as sending out SPAM texts will only alienate potential customers. Thanks for the post!

Nice post. Marketers looking to ultilize this channel would do well to acquaint themselves with the concept of video bitrate. Doing so will make sure you retain visual quality but don't make viewers wait for your video to buffer in download . . . which is especially important on mobiles.

In terms of delivery, it seems to me that the best models are as fluid as the platforms. Short bursts with optional deep content, short videos summed up with text bullets, etc., etc.

Very well done information on mobile marketing and as many of your viewers may know, that Google is now placing significant revenue dollars into mobile marketing worldwide! What does that say? Wait until 2011 to find out!

I am pondering on how B2B marketing can be applicable to the Dentistry industry. I think it is doable but I have yet to craft the details.

Make no mistake about it, mobile has arrived—and it's changing how business professionals communicate with one another and how they interact with B2B brands.

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