“Technology does not cause behavior to change; it enables behavior to change,” said Hotchkiss, who participated in a panel discussion on “Engaging the Business Buyer in the Near Future” on the opening day of the BMA’s annual conference.
Panelist Jim Lecinski, managing director-U.S. sales and service at Google, said marketers need to wade through the vast array of available metrics to find the meaningful ones for reaching customers. “Measure outcomes,” he said, “not eyeballs.”
The panel also addressed sustainability issues.
Charlene Lake, chief sustainability officer and senior VP-public affairs at AT&T, said marketers ignore environmental and sustainability issues at their peril. “Sustainability is a business issue, not a ducks, and bunnies and polar bears thing,” she said, noting that large AT&T customers have been attracted to the company’s products that use less energy.
Most of the panel discussion, however, focused on how to engage customers via digital means. Jeff Killeen, CEO of GlobalSpec, said research showed that more than 90% of industrial buyers were researching products digitally. “Your product line has to be searchable, otherwise even big brands become invisible,” he said.
Lecinski echoed this, pointing out that b-to-b searches on Google had increased by 212% over the past two years.