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Social Media The Focus of today's BtoB NetMarketing Breakfast

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    I had the great fortune to be invited by Ellis Booker to participate in today's BtoB Magazine's (btobonline's)  NetMarketing Breakfast in Manhattan. Sitting on the panel with me were three incredibly skilled, experienced, and successful business to business experts - each with a powerful story to share. Social media was the theme. I was taking notes like crazy! Sitting in the room were approximately 100 business to business practitioners from the greater New York City area.

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    BtoB covered the event excellently, so be sure to review their take here.   Now, for my highlights (I am intentionally avoiding topics covered in the BtoB article):

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    First up was Paul Dunay, Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing at Avaya. Paul mentioned that he utilizes many social media sites to further Avaya's goals, with Facebook as "the hub" and twitter as a "teaser" to float topics. Paul feels that "the future of media is contextual" and urged the audience to delve into that practice.

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    Next up was Rob DeRobertis, Director of Marketing for the GP DSP Division of Analog Devices.   Rob suggests that we map our customer's buying process, then understand the key influences at each step. He uses LinkedIn to target high-level individuals.  Like most successful Marcom people I know, Rob is an artist (an accomplished photographer in his case). Check it out.

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    Gary Spangler (scroll to near-bottom), ebusiness Leader of DuPont Electronic & Communications Technologies shared some research indicating that 80% of engineers (remember, this was a BtoB Magazine event) prefer email or the web versus face-to-face when it comes to gathering information. Like any good engineer, he had tons of other stats in his presentation.

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    I shared my philosophy of "turning the company inside out". I recalled the old days, when all marketers relied on stock photos of incredibly-handsome people, pristine labs, and flawless facilities. We used these images to  craft brochures that would be pressed upon our tecchie customers by slick sales people in 3-piece suits. We all chuckled when we thought of how wrong it feels, today, to expect extremely technical people (on a mission to find technical answers) to NOT be talking with the tech staff of our companies. In the old days, our tecchies were hidden behind a curtain because they were not "perfect" human beings (stock photo worthy - who is???). Today we all understand that transparency is the key, that our technical customers are most comfortable talking with equally-technical support staff, and that the people who design, build, and service our products clearly have a lot more to offer than "crafted" literature and talking suits. My single biggest contribution to my company (I've been here over 25 years), in my opinion, has been to turn it inside out - and put our tech staff face-to-face with the marketplace - especially in our blogging program. Don't get me wrong. Indium Corporation has had engineers on the phone, in the air, in customer facilities, and authoring/presenting tech papers for longer than I've been on board. Our founder was a Chem E. (back in 1934), and we've always been an engineering company (today our President is also a Chem E.). I want to be sure to give credit where credit is due (to our corporate DNA). I am only taking credit for taking the concept to the next level - when the tools availed themselves.

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    Anyway, Ellis did an excellent job of making us all feel comfortable (as if this seasoned group of B2B Marcom pros needed any help with that). We had a great time and learned a lot.  I certainly plan on contacting my panel mates in the near future. They know a TON, and are responsible for some VERY impressive achievements.   You can listen to each of us in a 3+-minute video that Ellis captured just after the event wrapped up.

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    UPDATE: all four sets of PowerPoint presentations are now available.

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    Please comment and let us know what you think.