Title: Communications/social media director
Company: Boeing Co.
Years in current job: 3
Boeing Co. makes the ultimate b2b product: passenger jets costing tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions, of dollars that are bought by large corporate or government teams. But even this quintessential b2b marketer is finding value in blogs, Twitter, YouTube and other social media tools.
“We're not selling airplanes or fighter jets [with social media],” said Todd Blecher, Boeing's communications/social media director. “The core idea is to put a human face wherever possible on the actions of Boeing.”
Blecher said Boeing's current approach to digital content marketing and sharing via social media had its roots in an overhaul two years ago of the company's corporate website, which he described at the time as a “link farm.” Today, the site is designed to make Boeing's humanizing content more readily available.
The company's YouTube site has more than 13,000 subscribers, and its videos—from the first flight of the 787 to the company's television advertising—have tallied more than 4 million views.
Blecher can point to numbers like that to show that social media is working for Boeing, but he acknowledges that digital metrics can fall short of demonstrating return on investment. “Metrics are the holy grail of the digital space,” he said.
But Blecher has few doubts that Boeing's social media efforts are paying off. He points to the example of the SUGAR (subsonic ultra-green aircraft research) Volt, Boeing's concept of a hybrid airplane. A Boeing video about the aircraft was recently posted on the website of NASA, a large customer of the company.