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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Field guide to the Social Business
In my consulting work at Socialmedia.biz, I still run into executives and top-tier managers who think of social networking as an employee productivity drain. For anyone who shares a similar point of view, run to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of "Social Marketing to the Business Customer" by Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman.

The book is chock full of...
Published on March 31, 2011 by J. D. Lasica

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good overview but no specifics
I was looking for more specifics than what I found here. If you don't know anything about social media it's a good introduction, but if you're looking for specifics on utilizing and optimizing on sites like LinkedIn, twitter, or Facebook it doesn't really deliver any level of detail.
Published 11 months ago by Aubree Hoover


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Field guide to the Social Business, March 31, 2011
By 
This review is from: Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships (Hardcover)
In my consulting work at Socialmedia.biz, I still run into executives and top-tier managers who think of social networking as an employee productivity drain. For anyone who shares a similar point of view, run to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of "Social Marketing to the Business Customer" by Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman.

The book is chock full of meaty, real-world examples of how to grow your business using B2B and B2C strategies and tactics. The authors show how companies can use social media to forge deep, productive relationships with customers and lure new customers into the fold.

Channeling Shel Israel in "Twitterville," they cite a Dell senior manager Richard Binhammer's admonition: "Don't waste your time trying to convert atheists. Work on the agnostics in the room -- doubters who might be turned into believers through conversation."

The authors explain how a Midwestern distributor of solar panels could use Twitter's advanced search feature to scout out anyone discussing the term "solar panels" within a 100-mile radius of Chicago.

In devoting a chapter to search, the authors reveal some of the tactics that social marketers use to suss out keywords that customers are using to discuss your business -- and where they're discussing it. Sometimes it calls for a shift in the language you use on your own website or blog. "If you're blogging about `solar cells' but your customers are searching for `solar power,' you're speaking two different languages," they write.

Social media platforms and services -- LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, podcasts -- are covered in depth. Businesses' use of Twitter is more robust than you might imagine. By the beginning of 2010, some 70 percent of B2B marketers were using Twitter compared with 46 percent of B2C marketers.

While you can find zillions of "social media gurus" online who can set up a Facebook Page or Twitter account for your business, you're really not going anywhere unless you have a strategy. And Gillin and Schwartzman deliver with a deep dive into identifying business goals and mapping them to metrics. "Setting a goal like `increase sales' is too general because there are far too many ways to attack the task," they write. "A better goal is `increase sales of left-handed finambulators by 50 percent by expanding distribution channels.' "

The authors also offer a timely look at how companies can take advantage of crowdsourcing to improve their products and internal processes. Brands using customer forums include Dell's IdeaStorm, Procter & Gamble's Connect + Develop, BestBuy's IdeaX, Starbucks' MyStarbucks Idea and Salesforce.com's IdeaExchange. UserVoice has developed a number of innovation forums for customers for companies such as Nokia and Sun (now part of Oracle).

Influence, decision-making, lead generation -- it's all here. Whether you're a small business owner looking to get your arms around social media, a senior manager at a Fortune 1000 business or a marketer trying to pick up tips about this dynamic new landscape, "Social Marketing" has something chewy to offer.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read Resource For Business, January 25, 2011
This review is from: Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships (Hardcover)
If you work in marketing for any size company there are three reasons you need to buy AND READ this book.

1) You'll gain the knowledge you need to spend your dollars wisely.

2) You'll learn the technical terms that will let you ask the right questions in the right way with the right words.

3) You'll see that you absolutely need to stop whatever you are doing immediately and get a social media strategy. The world is changing before our eyes!

Thanks Paul and Eric for your bravery and willingness to go to market with your book first. I wish I had your foresight and your courage!

Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful for B2B social marketing, January 3, 2013
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Amazon Addict (Locust Grove, VA) - See all my reviews
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Most people don't realize the distinct differences between marketing to consumers and marketing to other businesses. This is also true within social media, and this book helps to clarify those differences and sets out guidelines which will help anyone new to this field get on the right track. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about B2B marketing on social media platforms.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource!, October 30, 2012
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Fantastic resource for coming up with a B2B plan that works! I found myself highlighting every few pages and referring to it when I'm crafting proposals or presentations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best B2B marketing book you will read this year, June 23, 2011
By 
Lee Hopkins (Adelaide, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships (Hardcover)
Without doubt, the best B2B marketing book you will read this year!

HERE'S SOMETHING I bet you didn't know: spending on B2B social marketing is expected to grow 21 per cent annually through to 2013. And here you thought platforms like Facebook are purely for B2C plays...

But selling to businesses is different to selling to consumers, and Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman (my podcasting colleague from the early days of FIR) outline in a extremely cogent way why selling to business is different.

Take these few examples they give:

B2B marketing is much more likely to focus on value than `experience';
B2B buying decisions are usually made by groups;
Business buying cycles are longer than consumer buying cycles;
Business buying decisions are more likely to be a commitment than consumer buying decisions;
Relationships play a more important role in B2B than in B2C decisions;
Service and Support are essential decision factors;
Channel relationships are complicating factors in the marketing equation.

Social media, as Gillin and Schwartzman point out, is highly suited to addressing many of these issues. As they point out,

"[Social media are] particularly effective at connecting customers with the people behind the products they buy. This barely matters in consumer markets, but in high-dollar transactions that may affect the fate of the buying company, the ability to communicate directly with designers, engineers and support personnel can make all the difference."

Gillin and Schwartzman argue that B2B companies have must to gain from using social tools, more so than their consumer counterparts. For example, and again to quote the authors,

"Group decision making is enhanced when everyone involved in the decision has access to the resources that the vendor is bringing to the table. This benefits small B2B suppliers in particular, because they can more easily expose their expertise and experience to prospective customers.

"Business buying cycles are shortened when buyers don't have to navigate through intermediaries to answer questions. Social media makes it easy to reach the source directly.

"Similarly, it's easier for buyers to make a commitment to a vendor when they know the people behind the brand. This awareness even provides an additional layer of comfort for service and support. If a vendor were to go bankrupt, for example, buyers would still have a way to find the people who built the products.

"Relationships can now be forged at every level. Although this may present a threat to the sales organisation, it improves the chance that the buyer and seller will find touch points elsewhere in the organisation. For example, product developers may be more effective than marketers at establishing trusted relationships with influencers in customer organizations.

"Complicated sales are made less complex when all parties have open channels of communication. This reduces finger pointing and improves customer satisfaction. For the selling company, it also creates ways to identify new business and upsell opportunities.

"Channel relationships are smoother when all parties are clued into what each other is doing and can take advantage of opportunities for joint promotion and co-op marketing."

In other words, social media can positively affect B2B relationships at nearly every level.

But not every company has the culture or intestinal fortitude to take advantage of such opportunities. There are still a lot of very scared middle and senior managers out there on both sides of the equation who would prefer to see things stay as they are.

That's why Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships is so valuable.

It's a road map to understanding the changing dynamics that introducing social media brings to an organisation and what YOU can do about it.

Look at their chapter titles for an example of how they walk you through this step-by-step:

One: The changing rules of B2B marketing
Two: Seven ways you can use social media
Three: Winning buy-in and resources
Four: Creating a social organisation
Five: Creating and enforcing social media policies
Six: Learning by listening
Seven: Understanding Search
Eight: Choosing platforms
Nine: A non-techie's guide to choosing platforms
Ten: Social platforms in use
Eleven: Pick your spots: Planning social marketing campaigns
Twelve: Lead generation
Thirteen: Profiting from communities
Fourteen: Return on Investment [yes, the dreaded `ROI' question - with answer]
Fifteen: What's next for B2B social media

They even include the elements of a social media policy so that you can cook one specific to your own organisation.

With examples a-plenty, and written in a no-nonsense style, this book is a must-read for anyone involved anywhere in the communication chain: PR, internal communications, sales, marketing, buyer, seller, C-suite.

Eric runs a superb podcast series at ontherecordpodcast.com to support the discussions and ideas that the book generates.

Without doubt, Social Marketing to the Business Customer is the best B2B marketing book you will read this year!
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4.0 out of 5 stars MKT 306 - Book Report Review, March 19, 2012
This review is from: Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships (Hardcover)
Whenever I sit down and venture through the pages of any novel, the "ah-ha" moment usually comes at the end or at the climax in turn of events. But as I was reading this book I had that light-bulb moment from page one. With a specific example about Dell already laid out on the first page giving me, the reader, an idea of just what I was getting into. The main objective of the novel is to let readers know that social marketing is pertinent to the growth of a company's involvement in the media which in turn will reflect their success. What I enjoyed most about reading this book isn't so much the helpful knowledge applicable to marketers, but there was no useless banter and fluff to bore me or fill paper. The entire book was relevant to making business-to-business marketers aware of the infinite benefactors of utilizing social networks to grow, expand and network. Another strength, other than being a quick and efficient read, is that I learned the entire way through. It was like a mini-textbook with real life examples engaging to it's readers. And the last strength I deemed worthy of mentioning is that this novel not only is beneficial to marketers but also a guide to reference for strategies, tactics and ways to set goals and achieve them. While reading, I applied some of Gillim and Schwartzman's methods to my own ways of doing things. Not set unrealistic goals by just hoping they happen, but reach these aspirations by following a strategy that works. In this books case: social marketing. Not relying on print or televised advertising alone, but ways others can be entertained and engaged to respond and be active in the business. This book was a fantastic read. Engaging til the very last page.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Social Media Taking Central Stage in the B2B Arena, August 20, 2012
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This review is from: Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships (Hardcover)
Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman render a great service to their readers by compiling in one place the experience that they have gained in using social media in the B2B space. Messrs. Gillin and Schwartzman invite their readers to view social media as a far-reaching phenomenon that has an impact on the entire business. Social media is not the pet toy of the marketing department. The authors give their audience a number of examples that show how some companies successfully leverage social media to profit from online communities by increasing sales and/or by improving brand awareness. These companies are clearly not scared of losing some control on their corporate message to the benefit of a variety of stakeholders with their respective agendas. Furthermore, Messrs. Gillin and Schwartzman rightly stress that the choice of tools is the last thing to consider when one plans a social marketing campaign. Goal, metrics, and tactics should be defined before any discussion of which tools to use comes to the fore. In addition, the authors demonstrate that measuring the ROI of a social marketing campaign is possible. To their credit, Messrs. Gillin and Schwartzman do not minimize the difficulty that one can experience in making this calculation. Capturing and analyzing historical data needed for calculating the ROI requires both time and discipline. Finally, the authors review the different elements of a social media policy in the appendix of their book. In summary, Messrs. Gillin and Schwartzman show how to successfully use social media to reach out to the business customer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Will make you a believer in social media in B2B!, May 6, 2011
This review is from: Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships (Hardcover)
This book by Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman is a must read for business leaders who are ill-informed about social networking technologies. That's most of us who are over 40! Just because you don't use Facebook or Twitter, however, is not a valid reason for remaining ignorant about the ways that social media is being used with great effects in business. Until now, most of the industry hype has been around the use of social technologies at the business to consumer and individual to individual levels. But it turns out that a lot of high impact social marketing is already taking place between businesses.

At the dawn of e-Commerce, companies struggled with their strategies for dealing with new online competition. Should they continue to do bricks and mortar or spin off a clicks business? It turned out that for most established businesses the internet became a complementary marketing channel instead of a new business. The right mix of traditional versus new channel varies by company and industry. Social marketing and digital media are in the same situation. This book makes it clear that they are here to stay and for most businesses it's now a matter of deciding on the right mix of social and traditional marketing that makes sense for your company.

This book helped me realize that the game is already over. It's an easy read and provides a practical guide to help you evaluate how social marketing might help increase the value your company to your customers.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading for every B2B company, February 22, 2011
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This review is from: Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships (Hardcover)
I just started to read this book but I can tell you already that it should be required reading for any B2B company, especially for folks in upper management. The funny thing is I found this book totally by accident, which was a pleasant surprise. I went to Barnes and Noble looking for some books on other business topics and I happen to see this one on an end cap. Frankly, I was actually a bit shocked as it never crossed my mind that there might already be a book out on this subject. I assumed it would be another 3 years or so for a book of its nature to appear, if it ever did.

Anyone who has been involved in social media for the past few years, whether for business or pleasure, already knows the value of it however what's not apparent at first is how it may apply to B2B relationships. Not only does this book put your mind at ease on the value of such interactions it also provides great examples. The section on ROI is one of the first chapters I read and the authors really did a great job on covering this topic. ROI has always been a tough topic in relation to social media but they tackled it better than anyone I've seen so far.

I cannot wait to finish reading the whole book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Real practical advice from social media experts, February 2, 2011
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This review is from: Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships (Hardcover)
This is an excellent book, and should be a must read for any B2B marketer. There is so much practical advice here that it will be hard to summarize in this short review, but this book is filled with case studies of what worked and what didn't on various social media campaigns and how it is used in daily life by leading corporations, and some unknown ones too. The authors (both of whom I count as colleagues) really know how to portray information that is actionable, clear, and cogent. You'll find out how to use Twitter for crises management, how to make use of free analytic tools to roll your own search engine optimization, how to improve your company's LinkedIn and Facebook footprint, and more. Don't waste any time on overpriced experts (unless you plan on hiring Paul or Eric themselves), spend some time on this book and you will be more than halfway there.
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