B-to-B Insights: Marketing Mythbusting
There’s a lot of misinformation on many topics, and B-to-B marketing is no exception. There are two reasons for this:
1. Many B-to-B marketing practitioners prefer to make marketing decisions based on personal opinion and subjective judgment, rather than tested techniques and proven principles. The reason most often given: Rules interfere with “creativity.”
2. Many marketing professionals do not have systems in place to measure Web analytics, and those who do often don’t know how to interpret the results. Unlike the good old days—when it was easy and simple to measure ad and direct mail results—a lot of marketers are either baffled by how to use Web analytics or don’t bother to test online.
As a result, there’s more guesswork, not less, in B-to-B marketing today. Increasingly, this gives rise to false beliefs or myths about B-to-B that are difficult to dispel:
Myth No. 1: B-to-B prospects don’t read. I’ve been hearing this one for my entire copywriting career, and I started in the late 1970s. If I had a nickel for every client who proclaimed, “Our prospects don’t have time to read,” well—I’d have a lot of nickels.
The idea that business prospects don’t read is preposterous. Countless business executives have graduated both high school and college, and to do so required years of intensive reading and study.
It is my experience that business prospects don’t necessarily read “long” copy, but they do read as much copy as they need to help them make intelligent buying decisions. If this were not the case, there would be no need to post copy on the pages of your website. And your Google AdWords campaigns would generate zero clicks.
Myth No. 2: There’s no difference between selling to a business prospect and selling to a consumer. A B-to-B ad agency owner I respected told me many years ago, “Whether he is at work or at home, the prospect is a human being first, a businessperson second.”
Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter who has written copy for more than 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Praxair, Intuit, Forbes, and Ingersoll-Rand. McGraw-Hill calls Bob “America’s top copywriter” and he is the author of 90 books, including “The Copywriter's Handbook.” Find him online at www.bly.com or call (973) 263-0562.