Social outreach needs to deliver more than just brand-building.

I’m not down on social media outreach for the sake of it – I just don’t see why there’s such blind commitment to it when it’s clearly not mapping on to the preferences and behavior of the B2B customer-base. I’m thinking back to October’s marketing123.com report stating that less than 40% of B2B brands could measure any income return on their social outreach.

It’s clear I’m not alone – I take plenty of calls these days from marketing heads who tell me of the pressure they’re under to invest in social media – while of course showing tangible results. We’re in a time of forced experimentation when it comes to marketing outreach. It’s the new Wild West.

Look at it from the marketing head’s PoV. If they invest as they have done their results will likely be no better than they have been – which isn’t good. If they invest in social they can adopt the “you have to be in it to win it” mindset, and they can’t afford to sit on the sidelines fearing their competitors getting a lead on them. So they join in.

But this suggests there’s only two options for marketing. Traditional and Social. That’s clearly not the case. My issue is that no-one checked with the prospects and customers whether Social was any more appropriate, or persuasive, to them than Traditional. At least not the current understanding of Social.

There’s such an opportunity for those who really understand how buyers’ buy. Because marketing needs to deliver more than just ‘brand-building’. It needs to deliver sales.