Four Emerging B2B Brand-Building Technologies


In the report, “Emerging Technologies B2B CMOs Should Watch in 2011,” Forrester analyst Jeff Ernst recommended CMOs explore online content curation to bolster thought leadership; listening platforms to gauge customer sentiment; brand advocate platforms for spurring word-of-mouth; and appointment scheduling applications to engage potential customers who are ready to buy.

Even though only the third item is identified with branding, I believe all four of these tactics can be part of a comprehensive strategy for brand leadership in the online and social media spaces. 

Especially interesting is the last entry – appointment scheduling apps – as it gives prospects a significant feeling of control over the sales process. This alleviates some of the friction that naturally results when a sales call is received at an inopportune time. 

Even if the prospect may be interested in the product or service, poor timing of such a call can not only negate the sale, but damage the brand if the sales person is overly aggressive and doesn't recognize the intrusiveness of their call. 

With such an app, the sales call is not only expected, it has been asked for and schedule by the prospect. If the app follows standard .ics protocols, it can also be changed or canceled by the prospect through their regular calendar.

That means a positive brand experience, right from the start of the sales process. And that can only be good for everyone.


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