At DMA2012: B-to-B Symposium: a 'conference within a conference'

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Las Vegas—The Direct Marketing Association's annual conference and expo, which concludes today, again included the B-to-B Symposium, a multisession “conference within a conference” devoted to b-to-b marketing tactics and sponsored by BtoB. Topics delivered over six sessions included social media analytics and selling, content marketing, infographics and Big Data. One powerful message was that social media is not a panacea for all marketing needs. “The paradox is that social is not a very trusted source of information,” said Jonathan Block, VP-practice director, technology at consultancy SiriusDecisions, at a B-to-B Symposium session titled “What's the Value of Social Analytics?” “It's the signal-to-noise ratio, figuring out whose opinion you should trust and who's influencing the buyer.” Block said social media is most valuable to marketers and potential customers in the later stages of the purchasing funnel, where prospects consult their peers about vendors and product options. “Marketers want to know attribution, the impact of the cold-to-close process,” Block said. “We typically see organizations with a 30% lift in response rates when using social properly.” Kevin Lofgren, CEO of direct-mail marketing company Farstar Inc., hosted a “mythbusters” session designed to explode marketing misconceptions. “One myth is that it's impossible to reach senior-level executives,” Lofgren said. “Not so. Hand-addressed direct mail pieces with an element of intrigue can have a greater than 70% response rate in getting people to a microsite. Also, despite preconceptions, mass marketing can indeed be personal. It comes down to good storytelling, where more personal conversations continue online.”
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