Mark Nardone, EVP at PAN Communications, speaks with Ted Rubin, a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist and Acting CMO of Brand Innovators. Watch the video or read the transcript below as Ted Rubin answers the question: Are B2B companies catching up to B2C companies in terms of employee advocacy? Or can B2C companies learn something from the B2B side of how they communicate and interact with their employees?
Interested in learning more? Check out other sections from the conversation: The “Connection Economy”, Employee Advocacy and The Empowered Customer.
Mark Nardone Intro: Key Learnings from B2B Companies
Do you think B2C has learned from the B2B experience on employee advocacy? I think B2B has learned a lot from B2C on how to connect, how to engage, how to converse. B2B brands are definitely adapting to a lot of the great things that the B2C brands are starting to do more. Do you think it’s opposite a little bit on the B2B side with employee advocacy?
Ted Rubin on Key Learnings from B2B Companies:
When I first joined Dynamic Signal, I expected the low-hanging fruit to be the B2C companies because you have thousands and thousands of employees, they all have friends, you’re selling, you know, mugs. Everybody needs a mug. Think about what you can do with that! ‘We came up with this great mug: you drop it and it bounces right back up in your hands.’ I mean there we go, there’s another product idea.
What I found was it’s the B2B companies that are embracing it much quicker. It’s some of the biggest clients from Dynamic Signal are Essenture, IBM, Deloitte. The reason for that – I think, and here’s where the learning comes in – is they are very accustomed to creating very directed content for their audience. So, marketing has always been about the shiny toy, the ad: ‘Buy this! It’s great; it bounces off the walls!’ Whereas B2B is much more of a consultative sale, so it requires a lot more information.
B2B companies are much better prepared for this whole content marketing world. I would also like to say – what gives them an advantage in social – is that their universe is limited other than Salesforce where you know the numbers are huge. But even Salesforce has a list of every single potential client. I guarantee you that they have lists and spreadsheets telling you everybody you can contact and who you can call whereas consumer marketing that’s obviously not possible. Number one, because we don’t have all that information and number two, because the universe is astronomical. They have much more of an ability to direct their communications and to listen to what they need to hear in comparison to B2C. So, I think B2B has embraced employee advocacy a lot more.
I also think B2B companies have more managers, directors and VP level employees than a consumer goods company. When you look at the numbers within B2C, you are looking tens of thousands of people working in factories, stores, and are very different, whether it’s education level, training level, all different things. So, I think that the B2C companies can learn a lot because the problem is – I don’t think they recognize that. They still think there’s this big wall between them instead of recognizing how they’ve really come together more. I think there’s a lot of learning going on there. I just think like everything else we have to open our minds.