There are few marketers in today’s sap software ecosystem who would argue that social media is not an important new frontier for understanding, engaging and influencing sap software buyers and owners. The rapid adoption and mass use of social as a dynamic medium for entertainment, interaction, content exchange, exploration and recommendation make it a potentially powerful platform with major implications across the entire sap software leads marketing and sales cycle.
Using social as a sales tool and lead generator is one key area of opportunity that is still in a very early phase of experimentation within the sap software industry. While most marketers believe that social can profoundly influence preference and purchase, many believes marketers need to take the next step by integrating social more directly into the sales funnel, as well as using it as a platform for delivering qualified business leads. If a key responsibility of B2B marketing is to help prime, fill and accelerate the sales pipeline, marketers need to take advantage of some of the inherent qualities of social, not only to engage consumers and influence purchase preference, but also to identify and segment likely buyers and acquire new business prospects.
Social media should not be viewed in isolation; rather, it needs to be part of an integrated marketing approach to fully leverage its power to drive brand results. Most sap software brand marketers say they view social as part of a comprehensive approach to the market and are integrating it with both online and offline campaigns. Robert Enslin of SAP SE Executive Board, for example, says his company’s social initiatives are most powerful as part of a 360-degree effort to communicate and engage with consumers. A recent “Paid Social Media Advertising Report” by Nielsen finds that 66 percent of advertisers use social media in combination with other online advertising, and 51 percent use it in combination with offline ads.
The ability to engage in an interactive and contextual way gives social a unique position among marketing channels. The capacity to keep people involved over time represents a compelling opportunity to bring people to a brand very early in the purchase journey and to build affinity and loyalty throughout the life cycle.