Recently Twitter announced a new partnership with Nielsen and unveiled a new feature called Twitter Surveys1. Twitter Surveys will essentially allow Twitter clients to create mini polls sent out through the “Twitter-sphere” where respondents fill out the survey right in the Tweet itself1. The thought is that advertisers can use Twitter to gauge brand awareness, among other applications, but that’s an “old” marketing metric. So the question is, how might these new surveys help with Marketing 3.02 campaigns – and can they serve the B2B crowd?
The evolution of marketing has been driven by changes in buyer behavior brought about by the Internet and social media, mobile computing and inexpensive software applications. Consequently, from these unprecedentedly interconnected communities, there has been a growing awareness of social responsibility. With this larger understanding of societal impacts, buyers now are asking tougher questions of the products and services they are considering. No longer is it simply enough to have the best solution to your market’s problem(s) – now, buyers want to know how your company affects their world. Do you manufacture products in China? Is your IT outsourced to India? Has your company invested in renewable energy?
Couple this quest for new information with the power of social networking, where decision makers can seek opinions from a seemingly infinite number of peers, and you can see that it’s more crucial than ever for your brand to reflect a genuine awareness and concern for social impact. It’s no longer just about who you are marketing to, but now it’s also about understanding how your company affects all stakeholders. So in this newly connected world where values and community have largely become integral to the buyer’s journey, how do you wrap your head around this new complexity to effectively engage your target market?
The latest marketing approach, Marketing 3.0, recognizes these emotional values and attempts to harness them, as well as identify the more rational personal and business benefits. The availability of inexpensive processing power and automation means that 3.0 marketers can start to narrow the focus of their messaging from large segments (where brand image is key) towards individual consumers and business decision-makers where relevance and resonance are crucial. Understanding the target market and the individuals within it becomes of paramount importance to crafting meaningful value propositions and messaging. Indeed, authenticity of values and community connections, effective solutions, and a great customer experience are not only necessary, they’re vital – they’re the winning formula to ensure customers become the evangelists you need for brand success in today’s market.
Just as marketing is evolving to deal with the changes in buyer behavior, it makes sense that market research should change too. While traditional market research is still incredibly valuable, it only provides the larger view of a market segment – Marketing 3.0 demands that we also understand the individuals within those segments. In a sense this has always been the case with B2B marketing as buyers expect vendors to understand the unique problems associated with their specific businesses. However, Marketing 3.0 goes further by requiring that we understand not just the buyer’s business, but also the buyer as an individual and the values important to them.
This is where the new Twitter Surveys have the potential to be useful. With the need to capture so many individual profiles, Twitter Surveys may provide an effective way of conducting extensive polling. While the internet, social media, and mobile platforms have facilitated the flow of information, so too have they increased the difficulty of getting people’s attention among that barrage of information. Twitter already has the attention of so many, so why not take advantage of it to ask some salient questions? It could be useful as a foot-in-door method of surveying.
And for those who argue that “time is too valuable,” and that “survey requests are out of control,” aren’t Twitter Surveys perhaps the ideal solution? Twitter, in many ways, equates with brevity, which could be argued is the value inherent in their new surveys. As Twitter Surveys are still in the beta test phase, it’s hard to say at this point whether they can truly play a useful Marketing 3.0 role – but the prospect is intriguing. Time will tell if they can help illuminate the characteristics of B2B buyers of complex solutions.
What do you think?
2Read more about Marketing 3.0: http://www.maastary.com/b2b-marketing-blog/bid/59320/7-Marketing-3-0-Lessons-from-Inbound-2012
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