2020 has created ‘Perfect Storm’ conditions for B2B communities to flourish, and with this in mind, Guild, a British, independent messaging platform for professional groups and networks has published a new guide: Community Based Marketing (CBM)– the new play in B2B marketing.
Although Community Based Marketing is burgeoning and there’s no shortage of technology to support it, Guild believes there is a lack of knowledge in this area which could hinder success—hence the reason for developing the guide.
Against the backdrop of remote working, rapid digital transformation and oversaturated B2B digital marketing channels, the in-depth guide:
- defines Community Based Marketing (CBM)
- shows where CBM sits in the marketing funnel
- makes the business case for CBM
- gives success factors for CBM
- provides case studies of successful CBM in B2B marketing
Ashley Friedlein, CEO and Founder, Guild, said: “Community in B2B is back in fashion. When almost every B2B marketer follows the same playbook, it’s time to develop a new play. And many are betting that a Community Based Marketing (CBM) strategy will be that play, so marketers need to be armed with the tools to make it a success.”
The guide highlights several catalysts which are pointing towards CBM being the newest and most effective component of a B2B marketing strategy. These include a rise in the ‘passion economy’ or micro-businesses with professional experts at the helm; a less hierarchical way of working in larger corporates; the impact of Coronavirus; and the fact that traditional marketing tactics are rising in cost but dwindling in effectiveness.
Friedlein continued: “As a result of COVID-19, online or digital communities have seen a resurgence. Events and networking in person are no longer feasible, and the human connection has been lost. Finding safe spaces to connect, not just personally, but professionally, has become more important than ever.”
Although gaining considerable groundswell at present, Guild acknowledges that, in various guises, online communities stretch back to the 1970s (see Online Communities Timeline). However, today, community building is being applied as a marketing strategy with ROI measured on a number of levels including retention, driving leads and market insight.
As well as detailing what a successful approach to CBM looks like, the guide includes a number of case studies and also features contributors from vendor, agency and client side experts in digital transformation, B2B marketing and communications.
Friedlein concluded: “Community Based Marketing is set for rapid growth in 2020 because it turns stale and ineffective marketing tactics on their head. B2B marketers have a much better chance of gaining the attention, action, and the loyalty of their prospects and customers when they create a space where prospects and customers can forge an emotional bond and reciprocity between each other and the community founder.”
To find out more about how to effectively manage an online community, download the Community Based Marketing guide here.