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Calculating The ROI for B2B Social Media Marketing

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Marketing budget - coins

B2B firms are increasingly using social media liked LinkedIn, Twitter and other channels to drive sales. But how do you justify the time and effort? And how much should you spend on social media in comparison to your other sales and marketing activities?

B2B Technology Marketing research firm MarketingSherpa published a report in 2011 that answers the question.

To calculate the potential Return on Investment, they suggest you use the formula

(Value Gained from Investment – Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment = RoI

Social Media Return on Investment

For example:

  • Allocate marketing time and effort of $15,000 to a social media marketing campaign
  • Generate 500 qualified leads from this effort at a value of $150 per lead, giving a total value of $75,000
  • then your RoI = (75k – 15k)/15k = 400% return on investment.

You can read more in the MarketingSherpa report “CMO Perspsectives on Social Media RoI

What is Social CRM and why is it a big deal for Business-to-Business?

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Buyers are acting like consumers – they are doing more research online before talking with potential suppliers of products and services. Initially, most of that research was being done through the 3 big search engines – Google, Bing and Yahoo – plus some specialist sites for particular industries, such as GlobalSpec in the US for industrial supplies. However, in the past seven years people have also begun asking their contacts on social networks for advice on potential purchases. The Edelman Trust Barometer examines trust in sources of information. Since about 2004 people have indicated their most trusted source of information is from “people like me” – 65% gave this response in the 2012 Barmoeter. This means they are using the input from friends, colleagues and their professional peer group across their social and real world networks when making purchase decisions.
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Business Buyers are Acting More Like Consumers – Report

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Business-to-business (B2B) buyers are acting more like consumers, according to a new report. The white paper “The New BtoB Path to Purchase” summarizes the results of the DemandGenReport ‘Inside the Mind of the Buyer Survey’, which polled over 230 business buyers and got some interesting results.
• 83% of the B2B buyers surveyed said they start their purchase process with informal research
• 41% said they engaged with a sales representative only after their own initial research was conducted
• 25% said they engaged with sales after a preferred list of vendors was established
• 53% of small businesses said their first contact was made with the supplier sales team only when they asked that supplier for information via their website
• Less than 7% of buyers said they connected with vendors via a cold call
• 41% said they contacted the product or solution vendor directly themselves Read More

How to Market Software-as-a-Service Products

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You’ve built a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) product. How do you acquire customers? This slide presentation describes how to drive traffic to your site, generate registrations and convert those registrations to paying customers.

Written by Michael White

Michael White is co-founder and Managing Director of Motarme, the Marketing Automation vendor. You can find him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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