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My team is all over the map on this question. And it comes up all the time. There’s no doubt that for B2C companies, social media (SM) is now an essential aspect of marketing and sales. But for B2B, especially the totally un-sexy world of contract manufacturing/EMS, reasonable people can disagree.
Those espousing getting serious about SM point out that the younger engineers in the OEMs are using it constantly in their non-working lives and will naturally want to keep using it when they go to work–for research and communication. Therefore, EMS providers should make it easy for them to engage, using any platform they choose.
The nay-sayers point out that recent polls have shown that the vast majority of engineers do not take SM seriously–some even are hostile to it: “I don’t care what you had for breakfast this morning.” The EMS provider would therefore lose credibility with the OEM community if this OEM “embraces” SM and creates Facebook and Twitter accounts.
I’m interested in getting the opinions of OEMs in the VO GlobalNet community. Please take a moment to convey your thinking on this topic.
Thanks very much!
The EMS industry needs to begin to understand the value of marketing as a key to selling services in general. As an industry we do not seem to really push to either brand or differentiate our selves.
Kevin,if your description of ,”the totally un-sexy world of contract manufacturing/EMS” is the baseline for most EMS companies, and I think it is, there is a bigger need to understand why we view ourselves this way. The companies that get over this complex first and begin to integrate sales, marketing and branding programs will gain a very low cost competitive advantage.
Steve – to your point about the EMS industry not understanding the value of marketing…
I sat with EMS executives with a European-based provider this week and was surprised to hear their sole, global website is not running any online site analytics.
We discussed Google Analytics, briefly, (as a free app) and they said they had thought about implementing it and they intend to do something in the future but I gathered from their tone the company currently places little value on this type of knowledge.
My perspective is they view the time and expense involved to implement and administer as a cost — they don’t see it as an investment.
This thinking needs to change and will contribute (to some degree) to the detriment of some EMS companies. The/our research shows OEMs continue to go online to visit certain sites for gathering information and knowledge to help executives formulate strategy and make purchase decisions.
EMS companies with little or no online marketing; inferior looking sites or poorly-designed site architecture with no analytics/tracking stand to be among those companies in industry to have their first line of marketing (passive marketing) fail. They’ll not even know about the potential opportunities they missed.
Facebook is seeing increased pressure from investors/advertisers on their [in]ability to effectively monetize/generate sales from advertisers and create effective B2C marketing channels for these advertisers.
Meanwhile, content marketing has been around for a long time but is now seen as having greater value for advertisers in both B2C and B2B with the area where there is a big difference being lead generation for B2B companies.
The problem, as I see it, with B2B content marketing in the EMS industry is the messenger tied to the message [content].
A lot of industry interviews and articles, are with and written by, sales and marketing people.
Readers are smarter than this. (At least VO readers are)
I think publishers know this yet, they still insult readers by catering to the marketing and sales people because they’re the ones paying for the content plus, many sales and marketing folks tend to be attracted to the bright lights of a stage environment which is what content publishers can provide.
The ones who lose are the readers who recognize such content is thinly veiled marketing mojo dancing around and being propped up by publishers, in exchange for payment.
In EMS, it would be more valuable for readers, and perhaps everyone in the long run, if operations, quality, engineering and folks from other functional groups (sans sales, business development, marketing) were providers of content except perhaps for publications where the main focus is on sales and marketing – for example – the publication linked below, which is also where the chart image comes from.
Another informative marketing-focused online domain I recommend is http://marketingvox.com