Email is Dead. B2B Businesses Need to Wake Up to the Social Revolution

I’ve just looked at my inbox. I’ve been out of the office for 2 days this week and have accumulated 411 unread emails. A quick scan identified the ‘important stuff’ that needed urgent attention, the rest? Well it was a combination of invites to marketing events, invites to meetings about marketing services, invites to spend money on marketing services, invites to marketing webinars, invites to marketing. Bored. That’s what I was the minute I started reading them. Of the 300 odd slices of spam, about 60% had personalised the email with my name. About 10% of them had my name spelt incorrectly, left blank where the data merge had failed and one even said ‘Dear Do Not Email’

Lazy marketing. Lazy untargeted, generic, boring, disengaging, useless, marketing. Why is it that in an age where we as marketers have so many incredible tools at our finger tips that this shit still goes on? Every. Single. Day.

What these businesses don’t realise is that their efforts are actually having a negative impact. My sentiment towards their brand and services was neutral last week, it was unknown, it’s negative now, and the marketing or campaign manager sat behind their ‘sophisticated’ email / automation tool thinks they are doing a good job. Wake up and smell the roses. Or something else.

Email in the 90′s revolutionised the way we were able to communicate. But this is 2013. Thinks have moved on. A lot.

Take a look at the infographic above for some interesting stats on Social growth.

I use email now simply as a support mechanism as part of a fully integrated campaign. In fact, I choose not to use it in some instances. I’ll also ensure it’s targeted and relevant before pushing send and that our data is accurate. ‘Mr Do Not Email’ I’m sure would approve.

Social however, provides us with a platform that makes our audience feel special, feel loved and not feel like they were 1 of 29 Billion people that just got the same email.

My advice, invest time in researching and then connecting with your customer and prospect base on social channels like Twitter and LinkedIn. Then market to them individually on these platforms. Yes it’s time consuming but just watch the results. Suddenly you will have an engaged audience, you can tweak the content and message of your comms and campaigns on an individual basis and that will lead to a much more successful campaign. 

What’s more, the Facebook Generation are email adverse. 10 years from now the senior decision maker community will be socially genetic. We need to understand this and start building proper social marketing strategies to help us differentiate when this shift change occurs. It’s occurring already by the way…

There really is no excuse not to get personal and social with your marketing efforts. Think you haven’t got the time to take this approach? Well think again, you really haven’t not got the time.

 

Gareth Case has more than 15 years experience of marketing in the B2B technology space.You can follow Gareth on Twitter here – http://twitter.com/gareth_case or to view his infographic CV - download a PDF version here.

Published with permission from Case: The B2B Marketing Blog

About the author  ⁄ Gareth Case

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