More than 200 b-to-b marketers shared strategies on how to use Web 2.0 technologies and integrated marketing to engage customers at the Business Marketing Association's annual conference in Las Vegas last month.
One of the hot topics at the conference was integration, not just in terms of integrated communications programs, but integrating organizations to most effectively market to customers and prospects.
Eduardo Conrado, corporate VP-global business and technology marketing at Motorola Corp., talked about the company's recent reorganization of its b-to-b segments.
Prior to the restructuring, Motorola approached b-to-b marketing from the product side, focusing mainly on technology and products in its marketing efforts.
“When you work with a ton of engineers at your company, it is very easy to lead with the product first,” Conrado said. “We had to start defining our positioning from the customer's perspective.”
Now Motorola has reorganized its b-to-b business, which makes up half of the company's total revenue, into vertical industry segments such as manufacturing, transportation and health care.
It has product development experts in each segment that work with a centralized marketing communications team to develop campaigns to address each segment.
As part of the reorganization, Motorola consolidated its consumer advertising with Ogilvy North America and its b-to-b advertising and marketing with BBDO New York.
Conrado also discussed Motorola's recent campaign, “Technology That's Second Nature,” developed by BBDO New York, which is targeted at the government sector.
The campaign is aimed at police chiefs, fire chiefs and municipal CIOs.
“We started doing microsegmentation within the government sector,” Conrado said. “The way we communicate with a municipal CIO is a little different from how we communicate with a police chief.”
The campaign uses print and online advertising to drive users to a landing page featuring a “virtual city,” in which different types of users can learn more about Motorola products by interacting with them in a variety of emergency response situations. (For more about Motorola's marketing operations, see Q&A with Conrado, page 1.)
In another key-note presentation, Oracle Senior VP-CMO Judith Sim discussed the marketing challenges associated with a company that has grown from $9.5 billion to $22.4 billion in revenue over the past five years.
During this time, Oracle has grown from offering about 1,000 products to more than 9,500, mainly as a result of acquiring more than 40 companies.
“Part of the trick of marketing is trying to explain what we do in a simple way,” Sim said.
To do this, Oracle recently consolidated all its marketing operations. Previously, it had separate marketing operations in each country in which it does business.
Now all of these functions have been brought together into one central marketing organization, which Sim leads. This year, Oracle will run 26 global campaigns and conduct more than 7,000 events, all from the central marketing group.
“This is part of how we've been able to be so efficient,” Sim said. She also broke down the different types of marketing programs Oracle uses and the ROI it achieves with each (see story this page).
Marketers also discussed how they're using a variety of integrated marketing programs to reach customers and prospects in new ways.
During a panel discussion on corporate sponsorships, marketers and sports marketing organizations talked about how sponsorships can benefit b-to-b advertisers.
Jeff Hayzlett, VP-chief business development officer at Eastman Kodak Co. and newly appointed chairman of the BMA, said Kodak is moving away from sponsoring the Olympics, for which it has been a sponsor since 1986. (It will be a worldwide partner of the Beijing Summer Olympics.) “We are looking for things that give us a greater ROI,” Hayzlett said.
Kodak is forming sponsorships with more-targeted sporting venues, such as the PGA Tour and NASCAR.
Tom Wade, CMO of the PGA Tour, said there has been a major shift over the past few years, with more b-to-b marketers sponsoring the event than in the past.
“Golf has always been used for hospitality, but now b-to-b companies are using the PGA Tour from much more of a media standpoint,” he said, pointing to advertisers such as Accenture and FedEx Corp. that sponsor the tour and run major ad campaigns on its telecasts. “It's the image you're creating. Being part of a big sport makes a statement about a b-to-b brand.”
Bud Denker, exec VP at Penske Racing, a racing division of transportation company Penske Corp., said b-to-b marketers are much more interested in measuring marketing ROI on sports sponsorships than they have been in the past.
“The attention to detail of what people are looking for is much different,” Denker said. “[Sponsors] have a long list of ROI items—will it do this, and will it do this? Companies are much more aligned with showing return on investment.” M