IBM's Preschern named 'BtoB's' Top Digital Marketer of the Year; LinkedIn keynote

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San Francisco—Matt Preschern, VP-North America demand programs at IBM Corp., was named BtoB's 2012 Top Digital Marketer of the Year at an awards ceremony here Thursday. Preschern was recognized for his work this year using digital platforms to promote IBM's hardware, software and services, as part of its “Smarter Planet” initiative. “We are making IBMers part of the brand,” Preschern said, pointing to a “social eminence” program that helps IBM employees engage with social media and build the IBM brand. During a keynote presentation at the luncheon, Alison Engel, global marketing director at LinkedIn, revealed new LinkedIn research on how business professionals use social media. The study was based on an online survey of more than 6,000 LinkedIn users worldwide. “On personal networks, users "spend' time—on professional networks, users "invest' time,” Engel said. “Professional network users want content that can help them at some time in the future— insights that help them work smarter and updates from brands they are interested in.” The top content area for professional social-network users is career information, followed by brand updates and current affairs, the research found. “There is a deep well of emotion on professional social networks, similar to the type of high emotion that exists on b-to-c social networks,” Engel said. She presented case studies from Cisco Systems, Citigroup and IBM to demonstrate how b-to-b marketers are using content, LinkedIn groups and brand updates to engage with their target audiences. Also during the event, several of this year's Top Digital Marketers discussed how they're using social media, mobile and other online technologies. “Business is social,” said Linda Boff, global executive director-digital, advertising and design at General Electric Co., last year's Top Digital Marketer, who presented the award to Preschern. Boff said GE has found success this year using Instagram to engage its target audiences, being named one of the top five brands on Instagram, with more than 100,000 followers. “Mobile has been huge for events,” said Rishi Dave, executive director-digital marketing at Dell Inc. Dell creates mobile apps for its events and “gamifies” the content to let event attendees win prizes and network with other users. Dave and other panelists pointed to some challenges with mobile marketing. “The No. 1 problem is scaling mobile globally,” he said. Pam Didner, global integrated marketing manager at Intel Corp., agreed. “Intel is a global company, and it is very hard to develop a headquarters-driven approach to mobile,” she said. “Headquarters has to work with the regional offices to coordinate mobile programs.”
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