B2B engineering and electronics PR has taken longer to embrace the trend for content marketing and has not been as ready to exploit social media as consumer electronics. As the recession continues to bite in 2013, technology firms will need to revisit social media ad multichannel PR. At 40% the cost of traditional methods of marketing, tight budgets and the need to work harder for fewer clients will make it a necessity. 2010 was the year that B2C embraced social media but 2013 will be the year that B2B becomes social.

It will be much easier for electronics and engineering as most of the business mistakes with social media and content marketing have already been made by their b2c cousins. With smartphones and tablets being responsible for a greater percentage of productivity, marketing executives can now keep on top of their social media on the go and fit it in around their day as needed. Software abounds to make managing social media much more efficient and monitoring so much more effective. Good technology PR agencies know exactly how to maximize the potential reach and life of any online marketing campaigns and therefore exploit any offline promotional activity to its full extent, creating a buzz  prior to an event or activity and reflecting on the results post that event. Networks and relevant lists are already in place and growing quickly. All that is needed is shareable content to disseminate across these networks and get the b2b conversations flowing.

Conversation does not come naturally to some technology firms. They do not see the relevance for their own businesses and doubt its value. Unfortunately for this few it is now the way business is done. Social media is no longer something new. With the fragmentation of the audience and break down of traditional media, inbound marketing has become a necessity. The technology sector has seen its own industry press hit by the move to digital. Remember ‘The Engineer’ which printed its last this summer. Marketing managers are having to find new channels for their promotional messages and are finding that communication with their clients and customers is now a two way affair.

Listening is the most important part of this two way communication. Time and energy needs to be devoted to continually monitoring feedback and opinion and creating a strategy to act on and respond to this feedback. Gone are the days of the tear off slip and annual survey. As listening software becomes ever more sophisticated, delivering qualitative as well as quantitative data, technology businesses will find that they have never had so good an understanding of their clients.

Powerful marketing software like Hubspot and Radian6 may be unwieldy and too costly for a small engineering firm to handle but good technology PR and communications agencies have the technology already and know how to use it on their clients’ behalf.

As you make your new year’s resolutions for your business in 2013, put getting to grips with your digital marketing top of the list.