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'BtoB' NetMarketing Breakfast: Content, social and themes drive brand awareness

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Boston—Both large and small companies can leverage digital marketing to ramp up brand recognition, but it requires thorough planning, a commitment to the long haul and a close look at media buys, according to panelists at BtoB's NetMarketing Breakfast held here Tuesday. “We already had a solid start with webinars, press releases and our LinkedIn community, but we were projecting outwards to our audience,” said panelist Matt Benati, VP-global marketing at data integration company Attunity, which has 115 employees and competes against such companies as IBM Corp. and Oracle. “Our content and website were too IT-focused,” Benati said, of Attunity's attempts to raise its profile. “We really wanted to develop a community, to get people engaged and for them to become self-selected leads.” Benati, who joined Attunity in November, has focused first on developing content, including a blog (with regular Tuesday and Thursday posts), e-books and white papers. As a result, from December to February, website traffic has increased by almost 10%, with page views up more than 15%. “This isn't an overnight success; that will take time,” Benati said. “The ultimate goal always is revenue, but content is a way to get your message out there and to draw people to you. Those people will circulate and spread the word.” A much larger company, Pitney Bowes, has for more than 90 years been synonymous with mailing machines and postage meters. But it faces a challenge as it moves into marketing services. Dan Kohn, VP-corporate marketing, said that outside of the mailroom, Pitney Bowes has brand recognition of only 3%. The solution: Change the message from mail as a channel to communications as a purpose. “This is not about media; it's about the job of media,” Kohn said. He segregated marketing channels that grab attention (such as radio and search) from those that “prove it”—online ads, direct mail, live events and the company's website. Then he tailored messages appropriate to each. Ads were personalized by target industry, job function and location; and landing pages were automatically customized based on the targeting of the ads. The company invested in rich media, with banners featuring videos, animation and offers. “Our brand recognition in the front office has gone from 3% to 10%, and the likelihood of people to consider our new services has doubled,” Kohn said.
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