Virtual show looks at demand generation

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Marketers have at their disposal “an explosion of social networks,” all feeding information to purchasers, said Patrick Crane, VP-marketing and advertising with professional social network LinkedIn in his opening video keynote last month during BtoB's Leading Edge: Demand Generation in the Digital Age, the magazine's first-ever, daylong virtual trade show. The LinkedIn executive stressed the importance of social networks, which he said could be used to derive information about purchasing decisions and prospects. “Thirty-eight percent of all media on the Internet is consumed on social platforms, so we, as b-to-b marketers, need to be there,” Crane said, adding that marketers must be careful before venturing into the social media waters. “A key question to ask yourself as a b-to-b marketer is, "What is the intent of those networks?' ” he said, noting that some communities are primarily for entertainment while others, including LinkedIn, have a strong professional orientation. In the day's other video keynote address, Jere King, VP-U.S. and Canada field marketing at Cisco Systems, said, “For marketing professionals, we have never had such an exciting environment for lead generation where our customers and prospects come together in this networked world.” King spoke about five lead generation strategies; described how the networking company uses a variety of channels, including viral online video, to drive awareness and leads; and ended by suggesting some best practices. In addition to the video keynotes, Leading Edge attendees registered for six webcasts during the day, on such topics as lead-scoring best practices, marketing automation, calls to action and offers, and lead nurturing and management. Attendees could also interact directly with one another and exhibitors via online chat. Virtual events and webcasting company ON24, which provided the platform technology for the event, was one of several exhibitors occupying individual booths on a virtual show floor. Leading Edge attracted 4,600 registrants. Webinar and keynote content from the event is available on M
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