• SAP Exec Shares Marketing Pearls and Pitfalls

    Michael Brenner

    Michael Brenner

    SAP Senior Director of Global Marketing Michael Brenner provided valuable insights on marketing strategies during a recent webinar on Progressive B2B Marketing sponsored by Focus Interactive Summit and promoted by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Network group on LinkedIn.

    At the webinar session titled “Confessions of a B2B Marketer,” Brenner provided insider tips from a corporate perspective, outlined what’s working and what’s not, and offered some concrete tips to get ahead in the digital world.

    He said the economic storm and slow recovery had upped the pressure of performance on B2B marketing.  Throwing money at digital tactics backfired because not all marketers understand digital techniques in B2B marketing.  The next natural step was making cold calls to customers and spamming them with emails.

    “Upsell.  Cross-sell.  Sell.  Sell.  Sell.  The result of all this was redundancy like B2B marketing has never seen before,” said Brenner.  “Lists became ‘tired’ as response rates dropped.  We paid for the short term leads with long term loss in customer satisfaction and loyalty, as opt-outs increased and the brand image suffered — all because we were spamming our customers.”

    What’s needed now is an alignment between Marketing and Strategy, a holistic plan built on customer needs, and creation of compelling content that helps buyers.  Insight-driven marketing starts with the customer.  “When we start with customer needs and pains and then craft solutions, offers, content and marketing programs towards the customers, our businesses will start to sustain growth,” he explained.

    According to Brenner, the most important points in B2B marketing today are social media:  blogs, personal branding, response management,  retention & loyalty, sales & marketing alignment, quality of leads (rather than quantity of leads) and strategic marketing planning.

    In his current role at SAP, Brenner focuses on contributing to the sales pipeline and demand generation through online marketing with proven results and a clear ROI.  At SAP America where he was Director, Online Marketing and Social Media till September 2010, he drove SAP’s regional Social Media Strategy and annual strategic media plan to produce more leads and pipeline for sales at a lower cost.

    You can access Mr. Brenner’s recorded session and the entire half-day webinar on the Focus Interactive Summit site.  He is also a prolific blogger and shares his insights on marketing at www.B2BMarketingInsider.com.

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