Your guide to doing inclusive marketing – the right way!
Buyers of online social products and services face a difficult problem – what is it, exactly, they are purchasing? Social initiative sponsors and corporate purchasing agents alike must evaluate market offerings against a backdrop of hyper-speed product and service evolution, hyper-active marketing efforts and, well, just plain hype. It’s a daunting, confusing and uncertain process. With so much variety and rapid evolution, even industry insiders find it tough to make apples-to-apples comparisons, let alone identify the best apple or apple seller to meet a specific business need.
Online communities are not a new phenomenon, but they are now capturing the hearts and minds of social media users around the globe. There seems to be an online community for every walk of life or group. But the underlying operations of a given community can vary drastically, depending on whether it is consumer-focused or a business-to-business community. If you are building or running an online community, or a member of one or more, it is important to understand the differences to maximize the value of your online home. Some organizations do not realize there are a variety of different online community models to explore – each with its own set of benefits and challenges. Below is a brief overview of the different types of community models:
In this new age of paid vs owned vs earned media, I see strong parallels between those who are still playing in the kiddie leagues and those who are athletes. I’ll grant you it’s not black and white — there are different forms of performance with owned and earned media.
Paid media is straightforward – a company pays for advertising or promotion.
Earned media is about publicity that comes naturally, organically and without payment.
The world of social business continues to evolve. No one considers it a fad anymore.
B2B online communities serve their host organizations by offering key business constituencies – customers, partners, suppliers … even other firms in the same industry — a private, gated virtual space where business information can be safely shared with other decision-makers. Most business-to-business companies depend on building relationships with their customers to create sustainable returns and a foundation for long-term growth. Customer satisfaction is essential to generating repeat business, and online communities help B2B companies learn about and respond to current and future customer needs – the key to customer satisfaction.
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