Customer satisfaction is an aim that every company — whether in the B2C or B2B business — has been pursuing for years. Or at least that’s what they all claim. Whether companies actually do what it takes to satisfy their customers is another question altogether. Back in my days at FileNet, we had customer satisfaction surveys conducted. Our variable salaries were partly linked to the index value, so it was in management’s own financial interest to make sure customers were happy.

The way I see it, customer satisfaction has become even more important in the age of social business, since social media channels have given customers much more power. In the past, complaints could often be swept under the carpet. But now it’s easy to make them public, so keeping customers happy is becoming more important than ever. In English, a term has emerged that goes beyond mere customer satisfaction. “Customer experience” is all about the consumer’s overall experience with a company and its products and services. (read more…)

There seems to be a perception that social media is better suited for business-to-consumer brands than business-to-business marketing. This view is supported by a lack of easily accessible social media success stories in the B2B space — on the Internet and at conferences. But it is a misconception.

Without a doubt, there are countless impressive B2C success stories, including the funny Bodyform video created in response to a disgruntled Facebook post and the successful Old Spice video campaign. But social media is also extensively and successfully in use for B2B marketing. We simply might not hear about it as much because the examples are not as entertaining.

B2B social media is best suited to generating awareness. To just pick a few examples, social media can help build thought leadership, increase the reach of events or strengthen your brand. Social media can also foster action and engagement. Used properly, social tools can help you leverage advocates and influencers to spread your message, generate content for you and even generate leads. (read more…)

“I didn’t know what to do, so I just Googled it.”

The lead corporate social strategist at one of the top hospitality brands in the world pulled us aside and in a hushed tone confided, “Honestly, I didn’t know what to do or how to write one, so I just Googled the term ‘enterprise social RFP.’ ”

It might be shocking, but it’s more common than you think.

Large brands are starting to think about doing social at scale — the way that large, global brands can have a personal relationship with hundreds of thousands or millions of customers.

“Playtime is over”

As Esteban Contreras, social media manager at Samsung USA, said, when it comes to social, “Playtime is over.”

He’s not the only one who has figured this out.

At Sprinklr, we conducted nearly 200 interviews — see them on SprinklrTV — with heads of social at companies such as AT&T, Boeing, Abbott Laboratories and General Motors, as well as industry thought leaders such as Joe Jaffe, David Armano and Matt Dickman. (read more…)

Andy DeBrunner is social media manager at Godfrey and has worked with Fortune 100 companies to tackle their social media needs. He was also a contributor to Godfrey’s e-book “Jumpstart Your B2B Marketing.” Follow him @adebrunner or follow Godfrey @GodfreyB2B.

Your customers are using social media. That’s no surprise. So is it appropriate for you to join in on the fun and get your business on board? I know what some of you are thinking. “Sure, I know everyone’s using social media, but my company sells products that cost a ton of money and sales can take years to close. I can’t generate a sale, or even a lead, for any of my products using Facebook or Twitter.” If you just said some version of that to yourself, let me reframe the way you might want to think about social media for your business.

All too often, Facebook and Twitter dominate marketing meetings and boardroom conversations about social media, both in B2B and B2C. (read more…)

Deluxe is in the middle of a big brand and strategy shift. It is the world’s largest printer of checks, but it is working to become a brand known for products and services that help small businesses expand.

To demonstrate this shift, Deluxe launched Project REV, a yearlong marketing lab in which nine small-business owners were given $5,000 in Deluxe marketing products and services as well as expert consulting. In his BlogWell presentation, Deluxe’s Nathan Eide walked us through the program and explained how social media played a critical role in its success.

A few of Eide’s big ideas: (read more…)