Communication Matters - our blog on trends and events


Posts by Lisa Zone

What comes first: the budget or the plan?

Why a test fund should be in your 2019 budget request

It’s hard to believe 2019 budgeting and planning efforts are already underway. Unfortunately, the state of business today often means budgets are due before planning even starts. That can make it difficult to significantly change a marketing program from year to year because it’s hard to request a budget without knowing what you’re requesting a budget for.

How to combat that challenge? I’d advocate for building in a “test fund” for 2019, which will allow your team to try new things – say, an emerging social media platform or a new customer engagement technique – even if you haven’t fully scoped what those activities look like yet. That said, it might be easier for you to get a test fund approved if you have at…

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3 ways to determine if your B2B customers are using social media

Since the start of the year, I’ve had about a dozen conversations with B2B clients and prospects about whether and how their customers are using social media. Marketers want to make sure they are spending their time (and money) where it will be most impactful, and they’re not always sure social media is worth the investment.  

If you’re still struggling with how your customers are using social media, try one of these approaches to inform your perspective a bit more:

1. Conduct an audit.

Taking inventory of conversations that are happening on social media can provide great insights into where customers are spending time and what they are talking about when they’re there. An audit can tell you what kind of content your customers react to best, which platforms are…

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3 easy ways B2Bs can optimize social media efforts

How can you make the most of your social media efforts when you don’t have a dedicated resource or budget? In B2B organizations, the role of social media owner or community manager is often simply added to someone’s existing responsibilities, not carved out as a separate function. And often, there is little to no budget assigned to support such activities. So what can B2B marketers do to advance their social media efforts when they have competing priorities and a modest investment to work with? Surprisingly, a lot.

I recently came across this post and infographic by Bob Hutchins on the topic, which has some really useful and enlightening data to help B2B marketers optimize the scarce social media resources they may have. While I’d encourage you to check out the…

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5 places to audit your B2B brand’s digital health

If your B2B organization is like many companies, you probably spent months (sometimes years) and thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars to develop and launch your corporate brand. And if you haven’t embarked on a branding initiative – even a small “refresh” project – in, say, the last five to seven years, chances are your brand’s digital health may not be an accurate reflection of who you are or want to be. Is your B2B brand keeping up in today’s increasingly digital landscape? Even in the B2B space, brands must continue reinventing themselves online to remain relevant and competitive.

Consider this: If your brand position is “nimble and easy to work with,” yet customers can’t figure out where anything is on your website, is your digital footprint really aligned…

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Fantasy Social: Draft the right platforms for your team

Are your B2B social media efforts going the extra yard for your business? Or are you pulling a Hail Mary and just praying that what you’re doing gets you across the goal line?

(Are my football references too much of a stretch? Probably. But stick with me here.)

Welcome to the first post in our new Fantasy Social blog series, where we’ll pit two social media platforms against each other in a weekly fantasy football-style matchup to help you determine which one(s) might work best for your B2B business.

Starting next week, we’ll evaluate head-to-head matchups based on the same criteria:

  • Fan Base – Who’s using each platform? What’s the demographic profile, audience size and, ultimately, reach to a B2B audience?
  • Social Skills – Does the platform require a…
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