For B2B, Google+ May Be Your Best Friend

For years I worked in business to business marketing in one form or another. I understood how all the different channels worked, loved the way that the newly emerging web brought immediacy to my communications and got a sense that the concept of “branding” was shifting under my feet.

And then I landed in the world of business to consumer marketing – working for an agency on big FMCG/entertainment and QSR brands. Despite years of experience I felt out of my depth. And one of the most challenging aspects was understanding the nature of SCALE. In the B2B world, your focus is on much more narrowly defined audiences – whereas for large consumer brands, scale is what works.

Over the last 10 years there has been a lot of cross-pollinating between B2B and B2C. Much of this has been driven by social media – or by our new appreciation of audiences that are a by-product of social media. Yet, I can’t help feeling a little disappointed that we haven’t learned another lesson of social media – that it’s not scale or reach that is important. It’s the engagement – and the potential to impact BEHAVIOUR – that is vital.

Take a look at this infographic from Pardot comparing Google+ and Facebook brand pages. The numbers are huge. The scale is amazing. But think about it – in B2B you often know WHO you want to reach (I don’t mean “who” in terms of a persona – I mean actual people working in actual businesses). The challenge is to find innovative and creative ways to not just reach, but to engage and prompt them to action. And if you think about that rather than the being dazzled by statistics, you might just find that Google+ is your new best friend.