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B-to-b marketers tout online channels

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Chicago—“The value of minisites is the ability to track and interact with your customers in a noninvasive way,” said Wes Thompson, VP-marketing strategy, ABN AMRO/LaSalle Bank, at BtoB’s NetMarketing Breakfast Wednesday. “You can use tracking [analytics gained from microsites] to think about the value to your customer.”

Panelists from Aon, ABN AMRO/LaSalle Bank, CareerBuilder and Tellabs discussed the effects of employing various online marketing channels—including microsites, Web sites, video and podcasting—to increase revenue and more fully involve customers.

All the panelists agreed on the need to test and measure results to determine the impact of specific campaigns.

Jason Ferrara, director of corporate marketing at CareerBuilder, said marketers can learn the usefulness of an online channel by making small changes in marketing strategies as opposed to, for example, revamping an entire Web site.

“The lessons we’ve learned [by making small changes to online campaigns] are simple but powerful, and they are more important than making big changes,” he said.

Rudy Koenig, senior content manager at Aon.com, said one of the values of interactive marketing was its ability to hone your messaging and drive people to your Web site.

Some panelists emphasized Web storytelling and offering compelling information as an effective means of reaching customers.

“Content is king whether you’re b-to-b or b-to-c,” Thompson said. “You have to be relevant to your customers”

Mike O’Malley director of marketing at Tellabs, said “When you’re given the choice of giving a dramatic reading of a white paper versus giving a podcast or showing a video, it’s a much more powerful and effective method of communication than slipping a white paper across the table.”

—Tequia Burt

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