Insights on tech and B2B social media marketing from an expert. First in a two-part series.
I recently had the honor of meeting Rishi Dave, executive director of online marketing for Dell's Public and Large Enterprise Business Unit, and touring the Dell Social Media Listening Command Center. (It was very cool!) I asked Rishi if I could interview him for my column and to my delight he said yes! So in this two-part column, you can get some insights on a topic I feel gets far too little coverage - tech/B2B social media marketing. However, please know that Rishi's insight is universal and of course can be applied to any social media marketing effort.
HG: Who are you and what do you do?
RD: I'm the executive director of online marketing for Dell's Public and Large Enterprise Business Unit. In this role, my global responsibility is to implement public and large enterprise marketing strategies for Dell.com, social media, communities, and Dell's Premier portal. Prior to this, I drove Dell's global web analytics strategy and worked on Dell's CEO level strategy as part of Dell's Corporate Strategy group. I've spent the vast majority of my career in the technology industry with marketing, business development, and consulting roles in startups to large corporations such as Bain & Company and eBay.
HG: How does social media marketing for B2B differ from B2C?
RD: B2B social media brings in two dimensions not in B2C. Namely, B2B social media focuses on orchestrating connections with multiple decision makers at a single company and working with them through a multi-step sales process. It also involves integrating social marketing efforts with a direct sales force and their account planning and execution processes. In order to succeed in B2B social media, companies must have the ability to create and amplify thought leadership content on a regular basis to keep high-level decision makers engaged and conversing on their brand's differentiated value. The great thing about B2B social media is that single successful interaction with a single person who influences a multi-million dollar deal can often justify social media investments.
I think a great example of how we identified and targeted this market lies within Dell's Public and Large Enterprise business. After years of driving technology standardization through its direct model, Dell's Public and Large Enterprise business (which focuses on servicing public and large, corporate customers) had a strong reputation for providing affordable hardware. Dell realized in 2009 that we needed to revitalize the brand and increase awareness of Dell's solutions capabilities. Dell learned that these customers valued a trusted advisor relationship, and launched the Dell Tech Center. This was an online community meant for customers who were primarily IT users, and gave them the opportunity to interface directly with Dell enterprise technologists, product developers, members of the CTO's office, and each other to address their current trends and even personal, organizational needs.
HG: What are some of the main tenets (philosophies, goals, attributes) of Dell's social media approach and policies?
RD: Here are seven items:
HG: Are there any hard and fast social media do's and don'ts (rules) you tell your team to follow?
HG: How do you integrate what you do on the social media front with Dell's more traditional advertising and marketing? Can you give specific examples?
A special thanks to Rishi for being so generous with his time to give us all this information! In my next column, we will see how Rishi answers these questions:
Of course, please comment and share this column to spread Rishi's wisdom!
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